It’s time to be honest for a moment and simply say that game stunk. The Toronto Marlies swept the Rochester Americans in three games to advance to the second round of the playoffs. The series was a dominating performance by the Marlies that just completely exposed the faults of the Rochester Americans roster, especially in game three. The Marlies scored three goals and shut the Amerks out, the first game out of 13 played that was decided by more than one goal.
The Amerks had heart and gave it there all but the Marlies had more talent and it showed.
(Photo by David Sturm, view more here)
The highlight of the game was the crowd of 7,118 at the War Memorial, the largest crowd for a first round playoff game in Rochester since April 13, 1990. It’s unfortunate the Marlies took control of the game early and took the crowd out of the game.
Philippe Dupuis scored the game winning goal at 3:59 of the first period with a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Leggio.
Mike Zigomanis sent a pass to Jerry D’Amigo in the slot who scored off a one timer to put the Marlies up 2-0 early in the second period at 1:36. Derek Whitmore delivered a big hit in the Marlies end which took him out of the play and it resulted in a three on two break.
Even though the Marlies had a two goal lead there was still a sense that if the Amerks could score one goal they’d be back in the game. That’s how the previous two games had gone and how many had gone all season. It wasn’t meant to be in game three though. The Marlies allowed 29 shots on net but very few of those were quality scoring opportunities for the Amerks.
Nazem Kadri scored a highlight reel goal at 4:36 of the third period with a great move to easily beat David Leggio to give the Marlies the commanding three goal lead. Corey Tropp made an attempt at a drop pass but no one was there and the rest was history. That was the game.
David Leggio was pulled from the net with three minutes left in the game to give the Amerks an extra skater on the ice but even with that they couldn’t generate any offense. Game. Set. Match. Season was over.
The loss isn’t all on Corey Tropp for that pass but it’s plays like that which brought the Amerks down. A poor pass in game 1 across the ice from Mark Voakes to Nick Crawford resulted in a turnover and a goal. A turnover by Crawford in game two as he tried to skate out of the Amerks zone resulted in a goal. A hit by Whitmore in the game as the play was going up ice resulted in an even faster break and a goal. The Marlies made many poor plays themselves but the difference was that the Amerks weren’t able to take advantage of them.
If there’s a positive it’s that the team didn’t try and make any excuses. In post game interviews David Leggio admitted to being disappointed with his performance. Derek Whitmore talked about wanting to have done more as well. Colin Stuart commented that everyone gave it there all.
In the days ahead it’ll be time to start recapping the season that has just passed us by. It was another disappointing end to a season.
Is it October yet?