TORONTO - Call it The Joe and Joe Show.
Linemates Joe Colborne and Joey Crabb combined for three goals and six points to lead the Toronto Marlies past the visiting Abbotsford Heat 5-0 in American Hockey League action on Wednesday.
?Both of us like to move our feet and we?re constantly supporting each other out there,? Crabb said. ?Joe?s a really well-rounded player ? He can pass the puck, he can shoot it and he?s a good skater.?
Colborne had two goals and an assist while Crabb scored once and had two helpers. Jerry D?Amigo, the third member of the AHL?s most potent line, collected two assists.
?Crabb has one of the best shots I?ve seen and he?s making me look good out there,? Colborne said. ?And the unsung hero has been D?Amigo, he does the dirty work in the corners and opens up space for us.?
The victory was the Marlies? fourth win in five games ? all at home ? as they improved to 5-1-1 on the season and padded their first-place position in the North Division.
?We challenged the guys to play a full 60-minute game, and they responded,? said Marlies coach Dallas Eakins. ?We just kept going after them and that?s the way you have to play. No lead is safe anymore.?
Greg Scott and Darryl Boyce also scored for Toronto in front of an announced crowd of 2,116 at Ricoh Coliseum.
Colborne, who has recorded at least one point in Toronto???s first seven contests, and Crabb are tied for the AHL scoring lead with 15 points.
???I???d never played with Joe before this season and didn???t know what to expect,??? Crabb said, ???but he flies around out there and he???s got good size, too.???
Abbotsford fell to 4-3-0 on the season, as the Heat suffered their first loss in three road games.
Ben Scrivens was sharp when called upon in Toronto???s net, and also benefited from a strong defensive effort in front of him. The Marlies were especially effective on the penalty kill, nullifying all six of the Heat???s man-advantage opportunities.
???The guys played really well in front of me,??? Scrivens said. ???The defencemen were blocking shots, the forwards were taking out the passing lanes ??? It was our best 60 minutes of the season.???
Abbotsford netminder Joni Ortio stopped 21 of 24 shots after replacing starter Leland Irving midway through the first period. Irving was chased from the Heat???s net after allowing two goals on seven shots as Toronto jumped out to a 2-0 edge by the 10:45 mark of the opening frame.
The Marlies led 2-0 after the first period and 3-0 through 40 minutes.
Scott put Toronto up 1-0 with a power-play marker at 8:27 of the first period, one-timing a pass from defenceman Juraj Mikus past a screened Irving. Colborne made it 2-0 barely more than two minutes later when he snapped a laser shot from the left faceoff circle past Irving???s outstretched glove at 10:45.
Colborne scored his second goal of the game ??? and seventh of the season ??? when he whacked the puck past Ortio at 4:59 of the second period during a goalmouth scramble.
Crabb, with his seventh of the season, and Boyce scored 43 seconds apart midway through the third period to seal the victory.
The Marlies now hit the road for a marathon nine-game, 18-day trek, beginning with a pair of tilts against the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday and Saturday. Abbotsford travels to Grand Rapids to face the Griffins on Friday.