After a late-season surge down the final stretch of the regular season resulted in a playoff berth for the Rochester Americans, the season came to an end with a 3-0 loss to the Toronto Marlies in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Monday night at The Blue Cross Arena. The Marlies won the best-of-five series three games to none. A crowd of 7,118 fans were in attendance at Game 3, the highest total to see an Amerks first round home playoff game since 1990.
“You have to look back at the way the guys played,” Head Coach Ron Rolston said of the 2011-12 season. “They sacrificed and competed for each other, and that is a team to me.“
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Toronto netminder Ben Scrivens finished with 29 saves for the Marlies to pick up his first shutout of the 2012 playoffs. Jerry D’Amigo and Nazem Kadri each registered a goal and an assist, while Phillipe Dupuis also found the back of the net.
For the Amerks, David Leggio turned away 23 of 26 shots faced in his 26th straight start overall.
The Marlies opened up the scoring 3:59 into the contest, capitalizing on a quick transition rush for an early 1-0 lead. Dupuis made his way into the offensive zone and let a quick wrist shot go from the right circle that beat Leggio up high.
D’Amgio, a native of Binghamton, NY, netted his league-leading fifth goal of the series just over a minute into the second period to double the Toronto advantage to 2-0. Off the rush, Kadri gained the Rochester blueline and fed D’Amigo in the high slot for a wrister through traffic that got by Leggio.
Toronto extended its lead to 3-0 at the 4:36 mark of the third, taking advantage of a three-on-two rush. Kadri ended up with the puck to the right of the net and finished the rush with a nifty maneuver before chipping the puck into the open net.
Marcus Foligno and Phil Varone led the Amerks in scoring during the postseason, as each rookie forward tallied two goals and an assist in the series. TJ Brennan also scored two goals in the series while Alex Biega collected two assists. Leggio, the team MVP who ended the season by starting each of the last 26 games and led the AHL in saves, stopped 78 of 89 shots in the series. Rochester was making its 42nd postseason appearance in the 56-year history of the franchise.