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Amerks steal two in Toronto

By: Chamberlain Bauder

TORONTO, ON --- The Toronto Marlies hosted the Rochester Americans for game two of the North Division Finals on Saturday. A second period burst led the Amerks to a 7-4 win to move to 2-0 in the series. Rochester had five multipoint scorers. Mason Jobst had three assists while Sean Malone had a goal and two assists. Michael Mersch , Joseph Cecconi and Brendan Warren each had a goal and an assist. Malcolm Subban backstopped the Amerks with 34 saves for a .895 save percentage.

Photo Credit/Toronto Marlies

The first period was fast physical and defensive. Only one goal was scored, on the power play. The Amerks were the ones to score it, picking up right where they left off with their impressive special teams performance last Thursday in game one. Kulich found the net on the one-timer and gave Rochester the lead right around halfway through the period. That goal made five games in a row scoring for the rookie. Playoff hockey was in full swing as both teams would tie up after whistles and despite no fights in the game, they almost started at every stoppage in play.

Photo Credit/Toronto Marlies

The second period and almost no similarities to the first. Aside from the fact that Rochester ended with the lead. Five goals were scored in the opening seven minutes. Toronto started the period on the power play due to a cross check called on Jobst at the end of the previous period. The Marlies scored first but then it was all Amerks for the next five minutes. First was Jeremy Davies, receiving the puck low in the offensive zone and sneaking behind the right shoulder of Kallgren.

Photo Credit/Toronto Marlies

A minute after that the Amerks scored three goals in 1:16. Lukas Rousek broke away on a two on one fast break. A give and go with Jobst was enough to reveal the right side of the net behind the keeper. Rousek had no question finding the back of the net. A minute later Cecconi found Malone in the low slot, he popped the puck into the top right corner. That was Kallgren’s last chance to make a save as the Marlies subbed in Keith Petruzzelli. Cecconi wasn’t fazed by the new man in net. Just 12 seconds after notching an assist he scored from far outside for his first playoff goal.

Photo Credit/Toronto Marlies

Not long after the four-goal run, Matt Bartkowski was called for hooking. The power play was exactly what the Marlies needed to snap back into the game. Max Ellis found the back of the net from the low slot after collecting a rebound off Subban. Ellis’ goal was the last of the period at the ten-minute mark.

Photo Credit/Toronto Marlies

Toronto found the back of the net first in the final frame. Once again on the power play it was Pontus Holmberg in the mid slot five minutes into the period. Two minutes later it was Rochester on the power play. The veterans came through as Sean Malone held up the puck in the mid slot and thought about shooting. Instead, he passed to Mersch on the edge of the trapezoid. He brought the puck past the goal line and had an empty net shot due to Malone’s hold up of the puck convincing Petruzzelli he was shooting. At 6-3 the game was essentially over.

Photo Credit/Toronto Marlies

The last two goals came in the closing four minutes. Brendan Warren scored an empty netter. He was in the lineup after a clerical error in game one saw him leave after he came into play off the bench. Alex Steeves scored for Toronto on the power play again in the final two minutes setting the final score at 7-4. Both teams will head to Rochester for game three on Wednesday May 17.

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