Marlboros Look to Keep Jr. Canadiens at Bay

Feb 27, 2023 | World Hockey Hub

Luca Moreno, forward for 2007-born Canadien youth hockey program Toronto Jr. Canadiens.
Photo from Instagram | @lucamorano_

Top-10 matchup in Toronto highlights packed week of games

Each week, World Hockey Hub highlights a few of the most exciting upcoming games in youth hockey. We have some early matchups this week. Atlant Mytishchi and Spartak Moscow kick things off with an ‘09 Top-10 tilt on Monday. Toronto Marlboros and Toronto Jr. Canadiens tangle in a premier matchup between 2007s in Canada on Tuesday. The week concludes with TPS dropping the puck in an ‘08 meeting with Tappara Sininen on Saturday. 

‘07 Jr. Canadiens continue to have Marlboros’ number

No. 1 Toronto Marlboros (54-10-0) have been one of the best 2007-born teams all season long. It is rare that they have an off night, let alone multiple ones against one particular team. The No. 10 Toronto Jr. Canadiens (42-11-4), however, have figured out a way to best the Marlboros twice this season. 

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Tuesday, February 28 @ 8:15 PM EST
Herbert Carnegie Centre

With each side in full control of all aspects of their game, this one is shaping up to be a true heavyweight battle. There must be something in the water in Toronto, because the Jr. Canadiens and Marlboros can seemingly score at will. With goal differentials of plus-226 for the Marlboros and plus-122 for the Jr. Canadiens, it’s clear goals won’t be hard to come by.

The Marlboros will be out to prove that they deserve their No. 1 status, but another loss to the Jr. Canadiens could certainly place some doubt in fans’ minds. A third win for the Jr. Canadiens would be a very nice listing on their resume and may even have World Rankings implications further down the road. 

Pete’s Pick: Probably the most even matchup out of the games we’ve highlighted this week, and it honestly could go either way. I think the Jr. Canadiens will put up a heck of a fight, but the added motivation from the Marlboros to not drop another decision to their fellow Toronto foe gives them the 4-3 win. 

Craig’s Pick: The Marlies’ William Moore, Matheas Stark and Jaeden Nelson, and Jr. Canadiens Nico Addy will have to shift gears quickly. Saturday, they were teammates for Team Ontario at the 2023 Canada Winter Games. Just three days later, they’re opponents in Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) play. Makes for an interesting dynamic in the fourth matchup of the season. I give the Marlies a significant edge, 5-2 to tie the season series two wins apiece. 

Laskavy, Pavlov lead ‘09 squads into Top-10 Russian matchup 

No. 10 Atlant Mytishchi (22-11-1) will look to even up its season series against No. 4 Spartak Moscow (28-6-2) in the final regular season meeting on Monday. Each 2009-born club has alternated wins since the first game back on Oct. 2. 

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Monday, February 27 

Atlant had no answer for Spartak in a 7-1 defeat in its most recent outing on Christmas Day. With plenty of time to regroup after that loss, they have since gone 13-4-1. Recently, however, they had a five-game win streak snapped at the hands of No. 3 CSKA Moscow. Spartak had their own five-game winning streak ended over the weekend as well with a 3-2 overtime loss to CSKA.

Leading them into this tilt will be Artemy Laskavy (35G, 45A) and Gleb Zhukov (25G, 34A). In the three prior contests, Zhukov has tallied three goals and four points with Laskavy also adding one goal. Spartak will counter with Dmitry Pavlov (22G, 20A) and Daniil Savin (17G, 25A). Perhaps most impressive is that in the series, Pavlov and Savin have been held in check by Atlant, with most of the offense coming from other areas of the lineup. The two top scorers for Spartak have only recorded a combined five points. 

Pete’s Pick: If the three previous games have shown anything, it’s that even when Spartak’s top players aren’t producing, they have the depth to more than make up for it. For that reason alone they come out on top in this one, 5-2. 

Craig’s Pick: Savin has 17 points in his last 10 games, and Pavlov has 15 in his last nine. If they’ve been held in check in previous meetings, I don’t see it happening this week. Spartak’s tandem is playing well heading down the stretch, and I think they run away with this one, 5-2 as well.

Miro Aaltonen hopes to change TPS’ fortunes vs. Tappara

In yet another rematch this week, No. 5 TPS (25-8-1) will look for revenge against No. 3 Tappara Sininen (25-4-5) in a Top-10 clash of ’08 Finnish teams. 

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Saturday, March 4

The last time these sides laced up the skates against one another on Feb. 4, it was a long night for TPS and goaltender Sisu Timonen in a 5-1 loss. Timonen did his best in the crease, turning aside 41 shots. Surprisingly, the dynamic duo of Petteri Sakki and Miko Vatjus were not the main names on the scoresheet for Tappara. Those honors went to Benjamin Lehtinen and Oliver Raimovaara, who notched three and two points, respectively. 

Despite limiting their damage, TPS will have to be wary of Vatjus (8G, 15A) and Sakki (10G, 12A), as both top the scorers list for the group. In order to combat that production, Paavo Fugleberg (11G, 9A) and Miro Aaltonen (11G, 4A) will do their best to get some pucks past Tappara’s defense. A more concentrated team effort in front of whoever tends the net for TPS will help as well. 

Pete’s Pick: TPS will have to be much tighter as a unit to have any chance of coming away with a victory here. They struggled with Tappara’s depth last game, and Timonen did all he could, facing nearly 50 shots. While I don’t think it’s as big a gap as 5-1, Tappara takes another win here, 4-2. Special teams will be crucial, but watch out for Sakki and Vatjus. They have three shorthanded goals to their credit already.

Craig’s Pick: If giving up 46 shots was a rarity, I’d chalk it up as an anomaly for TPS. However, they’ve been outshot — and surrendering 30-plus in most games — in six of their last nine contests. You give a team like Tappara that many cracks at the net and they’re bound to make you pay. Petteri Saki, Miko Vatjus and company roll again for Tappara 5-1.

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