TORONTO – The Maple Leafs and the Baby Leafs are heading in opposite directions to start the 2010-11 season.
Cam Cunning beat Jussi Rynnas with 3:34 left in the third period to give the Abbotsford Heat a 3-2 win over Toronto on Monday.
The Marlies are now 0-2-0 after falling to another division rival, while the Leafs are 2-0-0 to start their campaign.
Leyland Irving made 34 saves for Abbotsford while Rynnas made 26 in his first start for the Marlies.
Matt Keith and Greg Nemisz scored the others for the Heat (2-1-0). Matt Lashoff and Mike Brennan replied for Toronto.
Rynnas was sharp in his debut. The Finnish goalie made a number of great saves, especially on the penalty kill when the Marlies had to kill off two 5-on-3 power plays for the Heat.
After being sat by coach Dallas Eakins in the second period of the season opener, Nazem Kadri was moved to the wing with Alex Foster, but was held off the scoresheet. The Leafs highly touted prospect has managed just one assist in his first two games.
Toronto came out strong early and dominated most of the first period. The Marlies opened the scoring on the power play at 12:05, when Lashoff’s point shot beat Irving low stick side.
Toronto had a chance to open the scoring earlier while short-handed. Luca Caputi took a drop pass from Joey Crabb and beat Irving cleanly, but his shot hit the post.
Rynnas didn’t have much work in the first but had to be good late in the frame. He made some keys saves when the Marlies had to kill a 5-on-3 Heat power play in the last minute.
The Heat tied the game at 3:40 of the second period. Keith came across the crease, deked Rynnas backhand to forehand and flipped a shot over his outstretched glove.
Nemisz put Abbotsford 2-1 with a short-handed goal at 8:44. He took a pass from Carter Bancks on a two-on-one break and beat Rynnas high from the slot to make it 2-1.
Toronto tied it up 2-2 at 15:45 on a nice three-way scoring play. Danny Richmond fed Caputi, who then made a cross-ice pass to Mike Brennan for his first as a Marlie.
Toronto had two great chances to score in the third period. Ryan Hamilton went in alone on a breakaway from his own blue-line but was stopped by Irving, and Marcel Mueller had a chance with about five minutes left to give the Marlies the lead, but his shot from the slot hit the post.
The Marlies pulled their goalie to try and get the equalizer late, but couldn’t beat Irving, who was solid in net for the Heat.
Notes:The Marlies were 2-0-0 to start last season and haven’t lost their first two games of a season in regulation since the team moved to Toronto … The Marlies were 23-3-12 in one-goal games in 2009-10 … Toronto has killed all 10 penalties it has taken this season … The Heat were 5-2-1 against the Marlies last season, including a 3-0-1 record at Ricoh Coliseum … Announced attendance was 1,765.