The Toronto Marlies struck first on home ice as they took a 4-3 victory over the Rochester Americans in Game one on Thursday night.
In a playoff matchup that faces two divisional rivals that know each other very, very well, the first period of this game saw two teams try and feel each other out and work out the playoff jitters. There were four Amerks who had never played in a playoff game before. Corey Tropp took the game's first penalty of the game with a tripping call against Nazem Kadri. The Marlies couldn't convert on the chance nor the couple of turnovers the Amerks gave up in the first half of the period.
The rest of the period saw both teams work the jitters out and get some quality chances. The Amerks would score the first goal of the game as Phil Varone scored his first career playoff goal off a deflection in front of the net. The initial shot came from Nick Crawford and the secondary assist came from Luke Adam. In the regular season series between these two teams, Rochester would score the first goal six times. The period would finish with the Amerks leading 1-0 on the scoreboard and the Marlies would outshoot the Amerks 12-6.
The second period saw the game open up with more end to end action. The Marlies were able to tie the game up with a Jerry D'Amigo backhand goal on the doorstep of David Leggio. That would be the lone goal for Toronto even as they outshot Rochester 18-7 in the period.
Both teams found their scoring touches though in the third period as Matt Frattin gave Toronto its first lead of the game 1;10 into the period. He scored on a really nice one-timer through traffic and right between the legs of David Leggio. The Marlies would bring their lead to two goals as Nazem Kadri would draw his second penalty of the game, this time on Travis Turnbull, and Mike Zigomanis would convert on the power play.
Rochester wouldn't back down though as they tied the game up with Marcus Foligno scoring the Americans' first power play goal of the night and then TJ Brennan would tie the game four minutes later as each team skated with four skaters. That wouldn't last long though as Jarry D'Amigo would score his second of the game on a two on one breakaway coming off a Mark Fraser penalty.
The Amerks would valiantly try to tie the game up, but the Marlies and Ben Scrivens turned away the final few shots to preserve the 4-3 Marlies lead.Scrivens finished the game with 20 saves for the win while David Leggio had 34 saves in the loss.
Toronto has now given themselves a 1-0 series lead in the best of five series. Game two is Saturday afternoon in Toronto.