WEEKEND PREVIEW: Leafs Set for Busiest Weekend of Season

by Carlos Verde

LEAFS PREVIEW: Toronto (9-6) at Hamilton (4-8)

The Toronto Maple Leafs hit the road on Friday night to face the Hamilton Cardinals at Bernie Arbour Stadium in Hamilton.

The Leafs are red-hot, having won six of their last seven, while the Cardinals are looking to distance themselves from last-place Brantford in the battle for the final playoff spot.

Toronto has sailed through its recent schedule, with a 4-1 record in its last five games — all against bottom-half opposition —  and plus-30 run differential.

STORYLINES

REPEAT CUSTOMERS - The Leafs will be looking to make it back-to-back wins over the Cardinals, after edging out Dean Castelli's team 8-7 on Sunday courtesy of solo home runs from Justin Marra and Jordan Castaldo in the bottom of the ninth inning.

VINICIO STREAK - After an inauspicious start, Leafs shortstop Jose Vinicio has come to life offensively; the Dominican is 6-for-15 (.400) in his last three games, and has scored a run in each of Toronto's last seven games.

KEY WEEKEND - The Leafs will have an opportunity to solidify their spot in the top half of the Intercounty this weekend, with a two-game set against Welland on deck following Friday's game in Hamilton. Toronto currently sits one game ahead of fifth-place Guelph.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"We had a close game with Hamilton last weekend and fully expect that to be the case again on Friday. And Welland has been the best team in the league so far this season so it provides a great measuring stick for us to see where we are at." - Maple Leafs manager Damon Topolie

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