After their 2-0 loss to Toronto, the Amerks are merely one loss away from the end of their Calder Cup hopes.
The Rochester Americans and Toronto Marlies played for a second time in two days last night, but the result was no different. When it was all said and done, the Amerks lost 2-0, the same score by which they now find themselves trailing in the best of five series.
This was the first game in Rochester for Mikhail Grigorenko, and though he received decent minutes, he wasn't exactly a world-beater out there. The Amerks have struggled to find offense in this series, with just three goals in two games, and will need more from the wunderkid in Game Three if they're to prove victorious.
New goalie Matt Hackett performed well, stopping 18 of 20 shots and flashing his quick glove hand on a number of saves. However, he couldn't outduel former Amerks goalie Drew MacIntyre, just as David Leggio failed on Saturday. The Amerks will have to find some way to solve MacIntyre if they're to have a chance at a miraculous comeback.
They'll also have to be better on special teams - the Amerks went 0 for 5 on the powerplay, and they gave Toronto a whopping eight chances to score with the man advantage, which they did once.
Any way you slice it, a comeback won't be easy. Not only do the 'Merks have to win three in a row, but they have to do so against a team that has had their number over the past few years. Ironically, the relationship between Amerks and Marlies is not unlike that of the Sabres and Leafs from 2005-2011, though in mirror mode.
The Amerks attempt to stave off elimination on Wednesday in Rochester. Good luck, boys.