Robbie Earl scores twice to lead Marlies to 5-3 win over Crunch

It was the first multi-goal game of Earl’s pro career, as he scored twice in just over two minutes late in a wild first period.

Forwards Colin Murphy and Kris Newbury and defenceman Chris Harrington also scored for the Marlies in front of 4,218 fans at Ricoh Coliseum.

Newbury also collected two assists for the Marlies.

The victory gave Toronto (7-10-2) a sweep in the home-and-home series against Syracuse, after the Marlies nipped the Crunch 2-1 on Friday night.

The back-to-back victories represent the Marlies’ first winning

streak of the season. The five goals scored by Toronto were the most since the Marlies beat Hamilton 5-4 on Oct. 27.

The loss was the fourth in a row for Syracuse (4-14-1), which is last overall in the AHL.

Forwards Geoff Platt and Mark Hartigan had power-play goals for the Crunch, while Joe Motzko scored a short-handed goal. Joakim Lindstrom picked up two assists.

The first period featured five goals as well as 54 penalty minutes, including four fighting majors and two 10-minute misconducts.

Things nearly got out of hand just 2:28 into the opening frame, when – in front of the team benches during a line change by both clubs – Marlies forward Erik Westrum elbowed Crunch winger Olivier Labelle.

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Labelle then fought with Marlies defenceman David Cloutier, while Toronto captain Marc Moro and Crunch forward Darcy Verot also squared off, though Moro got away with a double minor for roughing and Verot was whistled for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.

Westrum received the other 10-minute misconduct.

Toronto forward Brett Engelhardt and Crunch forward Adam Pineault also dropped the gloves late in the first, receiving fighting majors at 15:51, but the teams seemed to return their focus to the game at hand after that.

Toronto netminder Jean-Francois Racine stopped 18 of 21 shots for the victory.

At the other end, Crunch goalie Ty Conklin made 39 saves on 44 shots.

Notes: Toronto was 2-for-7 on the power play, while Syracuse went 2-for-6 with the man advantage. . . . The Marlies led 3-2 after the first period and 4-3 through 40 minutes. . . . The Marlies play their third game in three days when they host the AHL-leading Rochester Americans (15-1-1 entering Saturday’s action) on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.