Aucoin reaches historic milestone

(CP) — Jussi Rynnas made 31 saves and Keith Aucoin joined a very exclusive American Hockey League club to lead the Toronto Marlies to a 5-0 shutout victory over the visiting Grand Rapids Griffins at Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday.

With the first of his two goals on the game, Aucoin became just the 11th player in the 77-year history of the AHL to reach 800 career points. He also passed Bruce Boudreau, a former junior Marlie and Aucoin’s one-time coach with the Washington Capitals, on the league’s all-time scoring list.

Nazem Kadri, Nicolas Deschamps and Ryan Hamilton also tallied as the Marlies (15-9-0-1) won their second straight and sixth of their past seven games.

Kadri and Hamilton also chipped in an assist apiece for two-point nights. Toronto defenseman Paul Ranger collected two helpers in front of an announced crowd of 5,767 at Ricoh, where the Marlies are now 8-2-0-1 on the year.

Rynnas hasn’t played often this season, but he has been on his game when he’s been in Toronto’s net. The 24-year-old native of Pori, Finland, is 4-0-1 with three shutouts in five appearances and has a 1.55 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. Rynnas hadn’t started since Nov. 13 due to a pulled groin muscle.

The Griffins lost their second consecutive game to fall to 13-9-1-1, and remain tied for first place in the Midwest Division. Tom McCollum made 21 saves in a losing effort.

The game was tied 0-0 after the first period before the Marlies broke it open and took a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Toronto opened the scoring 20 seconds into the second when Hamilton found Aucoin all alone in front and the center redirected the puck past McCollum.

Kadri made it 2-0 for the Marlies when he whacked a rebound through a scrambling McCollum for a power-play goal at 6:59.

Toronto scored another power-play marker — during a 5-on-3 advantage — when Aucoin deflected the puck at 19:57 of the second period.

Deschamps gave Toronto a four-goal cushion when he went hard to the net and banged in a rebound at 7:44 of the third period. Hamilton rounded out the scoring 32 seconds later when he shrugged off a Griffins defender, broke in alone and lifted the puck over McCollum’s shoulder.

Toronto went 2-for-7 on the power play while Grand Rapids was 0-for-7.