Marlies star says fans want a winner

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

If we win, they will come.

That's the attitude Kris Newbury of the Toronto Marlies has regarding the club's home-ice woes and its inability to attract many fans to the Ricoh Coliseum.

The Marlies have won just four of their first 21 home games, the fewest win total at home for any club in the 27-team American Hockey League.

Average attendance for Marlies games at the Ricoh, which seats 8,000 for hockey including private boxes, is hovering around 3,650.

"We have not lived up to expectations with the wins compared to losses," said Newbury, one of two Marlies skating in the AHL all-star game tonight. "It is a huge Leafs nation around here, but if we string a few more wins together eventually the fans will come.

"Right now we can only blame ourselves for having the record we do at home and for (fans) not being here."

WE'RE BETTER THAN YOU

PlanetUSA beat Team Canada 19-14 last night to win the annual skills competition for the third time in four years. A highlight during the breakaway relay came when Providence defenceman Matt Lashoff, who played for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, beat goalie Wade Dubielewicz with a behind-the-back, through-the-legs shot.

Erik Westrum of the Marlies won the individual puck control relay.

Announced attendance for the skills contest was 7,091.

BRIEFLY

There are approximately 400 tickets left for the game tonight ... The AHL will induct four men into its Hall of Fame today, including former Maple Leafs coach Mike Nykoluk. Also going in are Bun Cook, Gil Mayer and Dick Gamble.


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