Marlies remain perfect

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

Colin Murphy picked the perfect time to make a little history at the Ricoh Coliseum yesterday.

With the first Marlies goal in their new home -- and two subsequent points in their 3-2 win over the Rochester Americans -- the right winger kept his name prominent as the club pondered its final cuts.

The return of Kyle Wellwood from the Maple Leafs' camp later in the day meant one less job at forward.

"He's really improved his work ethic as camp has gone on, in games and in practice," Marlies' coach Paul Maurice said as the club completed its American Hockey League pre-season with a 4-0 record.

"Their line (Murphy, centre John Pohl and left winger Jeremy Williams) is effective, but I'm not sure we don't have too many similar guys on the one line. There's one player missing (Wellwood) who could make a pretty big difference about how much skill is on every line."

Wellwood and defencemen Carlo Colaiacovo and Staffan Kronwall were all placed with the Marlies, who began the day with 30 players, including five injuries. By midnight, they were to be down to a roster of 22. The roster was not being released until this morning.

Maurice, whose team begins play for real on Friday in Rochester, is not getting carried away with the unbeaten exhibition.

"I'm nervous as hell ... I'm not sure what we have now," said the veteran National Hockey League coach as he adjusts to AHL life. "Normally, by the start of the season, we've covered absolutely everything. But now, every time a guy comes back (from Toronto's camp), we have to do something again.

"It's better than being 0-4, but exhibition season can be sneaky. We have looked good on power play."

Murphy scored on the power play and assisted on Brad Leeb's goal with the extra man. Kamil Krebs (power play) and Sylvain Dufresne (short-handed) struck for the Amerks before Murphy's even-strength second period winner.

Jean-Francois Racine made 33 saves for the win.


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