From the Canadian Press …
Former Maple Leafs prospect Chad Rau came back to haunt the organization that drafted him yesterday.
The American Hockey League rookie had both goals for Houston as the Aeros defeated a depleted Marlies team 2-1 in overtime in a tight-checking affair.
Rau, taken 225th overall by the Maple Leafs in 2005, signed as a free agent with his home state Minnesota Wild over the summer after four years at Colorado College. He scored the winner on a screened wrist shot from just inside the blue line early in the extra period.
Much like the Wild under Jacques Lemaire, the Aeros (12-10-2) played a defensively sound hockey game, which was no fun for Marlies coach Dallas Eakins.
“That was about as tight-checking a game as you can have,” Eakins said. “They’re a frustrating team. They just back up, back up, back up, play four guys back. It’s a real challenge.”
Playing in a disciplined formation for most of the game, the Aeros made it difficult for the Marlies to mount any sort of offensive attack, limiting the odd-man rushes Toronto generally thrives on.
On top of that, the Marlies (10-7-4) were missing their top two goaltenders and three offensive weapons because of a mixture of injuries and call-up duty with the Leafs.
With James Reimer hurt and Joey MacDonald backing up the Leafs on the road, ex-Marlie Adam Munro was brought back on a pro tryout contract and stopped 19 shots.
Toronto was also missing forwards Christian Hanson (Leafs), Tyler Bozak (injury) and Alex Foster (injury).
Toronto’s goal came courtesy of centre Darryl Boyce, who played a spirited game and was rewarded for his efforts in the third period with his first marker of the season, tying the game 1-1.