You’ve probably heard all about the Marlies excellent young defenceman.
His name is Korbinian Holzer.
Oh, you thought I was talking about the other guy.
Last night, and throughout the Marlies five playoff games, the other guy has been Jake Gardiner.
Holzer scored once and set up another with a rocket drive that ricocheted off Abbotsford goalie Danny Taylor. Holzer along with partner Mark Fraser made the Marlies’ end failsafe as the locals evened their playoff series with Abbotsford with a 5-1 win.
The teams move to B.C. for three games, tied at a win apiece.
“They played very physical and I think we matched that tonight,” Holzer said. “That was hockey out there. That’s’ what everyone wants to see.”
“It’s always nice if you get points and help the team but my main goal is to keep the puck out of my own net,” he said.
So far so good. He finished plus 3.
Since you asked, Gardiner was a few feet away from Jon Rheault when the Heat forward scored the game’s opening goal. Gardiner collected two assists but was caught on a two-on none with the Marlies up 4-1. Gardiner’s body of work suggests he is a player who performs better at the NHL level.
At 24 Holzer, a native of Munich, is two years older than Gardiner and working on his second full season in the American League.
“He’s just been excellent for us in the Rochester series and now this one,” said Marlies coach Dallas Eakins. “Having Fraser compliment him on the left side; those guys are two nasty dudes. I certainly wouldn’t want to be on the ice against them.”
So if you didn’t know the players’ pedigree, if you didn’t know Jake Gardiner from Korbinian Holzer, who would you expect to see making major league perdiem based on the snapshot provided last night?
Start with Holzer, an all-situation defenceman who plays more than 25 minutes a night. Holzer’s goal came on a slapper from the top of the circle. His assist came when his shot overpowered Heat goalie Danny Taylor. Jerry D’Amigo tapped in the rebound and in the space of two minutes a 2-1 squeaker was a 4-1 laugher.
Next move over to Ben Scrivens. Beaten just twice in the 3-1 season-opening loss, Scrivens was excellent in stopping 27 shots that included a two-man disadvantage and a host of lesser circumstances. The 25-year-old native of Spruce Grove, AB, surrendered just nine goals in five playoff games and looked poised and in complete control all night.
“Scrivey’s been good for us all year,” said Eakins. “Our team has so much confidence in him. He’s so calm and collected. That rubs off on the rest of our players.”
Hard not to mention Matt Frattin. The 24-year-old notched his third goal in five-post season game on a shift that began with a rollicking bodycheck and ended with Frattin blowing by an Abbotsford defender and ripping a wrist shot past Taylor. In 28 regular season and playoff games, Frattin has scored 17 goals. He scored eight times in 56 Leaf games. Seems to be something of a habit.
The next three games of the playoff will be played in Abbotsford with Game 3 set for Saturday. Should there be a Game 6 it will be played at Ricoh a week Saturday.
Nazem Kadri, into an empty net and Ryan Hamilton were the other Marlies marksmen.