The first game of the Amerks vs Marlies playoff series was predictable. The Marlies were better but the Amerks found a way to battle back and make it a close game ending in a one goal loss. That’s the same way the ten regular season games went between these two teams. The first round of the playoffs is the best of five making game 2 on Saturday a must win for Rochester.
The Amerks are an average team facing a talented Toronto Marlies squad. David Leggio was at the top of his game making 34 saves while Ben Scrivens at the other end had 20 saves. It was only a one goal game but Rochester wasn’t able to generate a lot of offensive pressure and they were fortunate Leggio kept the score the way he did.
Down 3-1 in the third period Marcus Foligno scored a power play goal from the front of the net off a quick pass from Paul Szczechura down low. The Marlies were watching Foligno all game and didn’t give him very much room to work but the moment he was open he scored.
Evan Rankin made a back handed pass along the boards to TJ Brennan on a two on one rush and Brennan was able to score from a near impossible angle on the goal line to the side of the net. If Rochester is going to find a way to win this series this is how they’ll need to score goals. Fast breaks and quick passes with accurate shots.
A failed late third period pass from Mark Voakes to Nick Crawford was the game changer.
From the Marlies post game recap:
D’Amigo was about to leave the ice after his shift with just under five minutes to go in the third period when he saw teammate Mark Fraser come out of the penalty box and gain control of the puck before charging into the Americans zone.
He chose to chase the play, putting him into the perfect place to poke home Fraser’s pass to score his second goal of the night.
“I saw Fraser and he was going hard there so I figured I might as well,” said D’Amigo with a shrug, adding it was a tough call since Fraser is a defenceman and doesn’t often lead the rush.
“He made a great pass and he made it pretty easy for me to have an open net.”
David Leggio was eventually pulled for the extra attacker but the Amerks weren’t able to generate any offense and that was the game.
I’m not writing off the series and the end of the season but it’ll be an uphill battle for Rochester.
Here is the game in six minutes courtesy of the Marlies:
Game 2 is Saturday in Toronto at 3pm, stay tuned for info about another viewing party.