A shorthanded goal by Jerry D’Amigo with less than three minutes remaining in the third period propelled the Toronto Marlies to a 2-1 victory over the Rochester Americans in front of 6,717 fans at The Blue Cross Arena on Friday night. The loss snapped the Amerks’ four-game winning streak and brought the two clubs into a tie atop the AHL’s North Division with 19 points apiece. Rochester also wrapped up its five-game homestand with a record of 4-1-0-0.
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“It’s a tough way to lose a hockey game,” said Amerks Head Coach Ron Rolston following the contest. “Obviously you get on the power play and think you are going to have an opportunity to win it and you lose it on that. That’s the second time against them in terms of having control of a game late and not finishing it, which is motivation for us because that’s a team we are neck-and-neck with right now so we need those points. That’s what makes it disappointing.”
Defenseman Joe Finley netted the lone Amerks goal on the evening, his first since joining the team this season. Maxime Legault and Shawn Szydlowski registered the assists on the goal, with Legault’s helper representing his first point as an Amerk. Goaltender David Leggio finished with 22 saves between the pipes.
Toronto was led offensively by Greg Scott, who contributed a goal and an assist, while D’Amigo’s game-winning tally was his third goal of the season. Netminder Mark Owuya turned away 26 of 27 Rochester shots to earn the win.
Rochester struck first in the contest at the 6:38 mark of the opening period as Joe Finley potted his first goal as an Amerk. After taking a pass from the left corner, Finley fired a low wrister toward the net from the left point, and the puck found its way through traffic and past Owuya to give Rochester a 1-0 lead.
The Marlies tied things up at one midway through the middle frame when Scott pounced on a loose puck in the crease. Simon Gysbers let a slapper go from the point that glanced off the right post and ended up behind Leggio, with Scott there to jam home his third goal of the season.
Toronto’s game-winning goal came with the club skating shorthanded with just 2:28 remaining in regulation time. After Scott chipped the puck past the Rochester defense at the right point, D’Amigo was in alone from center ice and beat Leggio with a quick snapshot high to the blocker side.
The same two teams will be in action on Saturday as the home-and-home series between the North Division foes shifts to Toronto for a 3 p.m. matinee at Ricoh Coliseum. Fans can tune in for the live broadcast on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk.