The much-anticipated Calder Cup Playoffs could not have started much worse than they did for the Rochester Americans on Friday night.
Coming off their 99-point campaign, Rochester looked to roll their regular season winning ways into early postseason success.
In a packed Blue Cross Arena, the Americans came out of the gates feeding off the fiery fan reaction.
Throughout twenty minutes, bodies were flying while chances were limited. The game was scoreless through the first frame.
Unfortunately for Rochester, their luck would dry up early on in the second period.
Former Americans forward Nicholas Baptiste broke the scoreless game open with his first goal of the postseason, at 2:53 of the second period.
It's always a former player. Baptiste gives the Marlies a 1-0 lead. pic.twitter.com/hrd6PXMAvs— Let's Go Amerks (@LetsGoAmerks) April 20, 2019
Rochester attempted to build up their momentum but could not get themselves past Marlies goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo.
Toronto would push their lead to 2-0 late in the period, off the stick of forward Chris Mueller.
Sandin puts the Marlies up 2-0 just as their PP ran out. pic.twitter.com/tULb2D1Do2— Let's Go Amerks (@LetsGoAmerks) April 20, 2019
Mueller’s first goal of the postseason came at 14:31 of the second.
Heading into the third period, Rochester’s outlook was bleak but they still had some life left in them.
Chris Mueller would put one of the final nails in this game for the Marlies, with a power play tally midway through the final period.
Mueller’s second goal of the postseason came at 10:50 of the third and pushed Toronto’s lead to 3-0.
Marlies 3rd goal. Down low, behind the defense again. pic.twitter.com/D8T8d9MgT4— Let's Go Amerks (@LetsGoAmerks) April 20, 2019
Momentum continued to slip away from Rochester as the period progressed and they would fall in a deeper hole while on a man advantage of their own.
At 14:45 of the third period while operating on a power play, Marlies forward Adam Brooks was able to get a puck past Americans goaltender Scott Wedgewood.
Wrap around goal for Adam Brooks to take a 4-0 lead. pic.twitter.com/al2L317nCO— Let's Go Amerks (@LetsGoAmerks) April 20, 2019
The shorthanded goal for Brooks was his first of the postseason.
Rochester was able to get one back at 18:52 of the third period but it would not be enough.
Credit on Rochester’s only goal went to Tage Thompson, which is his first of the postseason.
Thompson scored the only goal. Marlies win 4-1 in game 1. pic.twitter.com/isDtRFT8tl— Let's Go Amerks (@LetsGoAmerks) April 20, 2019
Rochester’s loss drops them into a 0-1 hole in a best-of-five against the Toronto Marlies.
Game Two of the Calder Cup Playoffs takes place on Easter Sunday at the Blue Cross Arena, with puck drop shortly after 3:05 PM.
Final: Toronto 4, Rochester 1
Shots on Goal: Rochester - 30 | Toronto - 23
Rochester Goals: Thompson (1)
Toronto Goals: Baptiste (1), Mueller (1, 2), Brooks (1)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Chris Mueller (2 goals, 1 assist)
2. Kasimir Kaskisuo (29 saves)
3. Rasmus Sandin (3 assists)