TORONTO, Ontario – The Toronto Marlies spoiled Paul Karpowich’s homecoming and his AHL debut by scoring two goals in the first period on their way to a 4-1 victory over the Peoria Rivermen Sunday afternoon at the Ricoh Coliseum. Derek Nesbitt broke the shutout bid for Jussi Rynnas with third period goal, his third in as many game.
A native of Thunder Bay, ON, Karpowich made his first start of the season with Peoria after starting the season with ECHL Evansville. Drafted by the Blues in the seventh round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Karpowich finished with 26 saves on 30 shots.
After Peoria was unsuccessful on their first power-play opportunity, Toronto scored just as their man-advantage expired. At 5:08 in the first period, Greg McKegg fired a shot from the blueline as their power play ended. Although it went wide of the net, Brad Ross was able to tip the puck past Karpowich for his second goal of the season. Jake Gardiner also earned an assist on the play.
Later in the first frame, the Rivermen drew a penalty with 1:51 remaining in the period, but the Marlies were still able to add to their lead. Dylan Yeo forced a turnover and with only one defender back to stop him, he was able to fire a shot past Karpowich for an unassisted goal, his second of the year at 19:12.
In the second period, Toronto quickly added another score. At 2:43, Jeff D’Amigo made a move around a Rivermen defenseman and shot above Karpowich’s blocker to extend the Marlies’ lead to 3-0. McKegg and Ross assisted on the goal.
The third period featured multiple penalties by both teams, but the Marlies were able to convert on their sixth power play of the game. Ross scored his second goal of the game at 6:34, assisted by Gardiner and McKegg.
Nesbitt ended the shutout at 14:25. T.J. Hensick won the offensive zone faceoff which later led to Nesbitt’s 21st goal of the year. Sergey Andronov also assisted on the lone Rivermen goal.
Toronto finished 1-for-6 on the power play as Peoria was unsuccessful on all four of their attempts. The Marlies outshot Peoria 30-21 in the game.
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