TORONTO – The Phoenix Coyotes’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, lost Game 7 of their North Division Semifinal series with the Toronto Marlies by a 2-1 score.
Toronto winger Bates Battaglia scored the game-winning goal, firing a shot behind a screen from the right circle that found its way to the net with just 59 seconds remaining in the third period.
Overall, the season was one to remember for the Rampage as they qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs for just the second time in team history. They finished with 94 points and 42 wins during the regular season, both franchise-records.
Toronto took the lead with a Kris Newbury redirection on the power play halfway through the second period. It was only the second power-play tally for Toronto in 34 chances in the series.
It was also the first goal Tordjman allowed in 58 chances since the series shifted back to Toronto for the final two games. Derrick Walser and Jiri Tlusty picked up the assists.
A potential Toronto goal was waved off later in the period by referee Brian Pochmara, who ruled that the puck did not cross the goal-line, to keep the score 1-0.
The team ahead after two periods had won each of the previous six contests, but the Rampage, who were tied for the most come-from-behind victories during the regular season with nine when trailing after 40 minutes, had other plans in mind.
The Rampage, tied for the second-most goals in the third period with 97 during the regular season took nine of the first 11 shots during the final 20 minutes.
The hard work eventually paid off when Enver Lisin fired a rocket from the left point through traffic and into the net to tie the score 1-1 at 6:51 of the final frame. The power-play goal gave the Rampage a tally in six of the seven-game series while on the man-advantage. Mike Zigomanis, a Toronto native, notched an assist.
Josh Tordjman stopped 32 shots for the Rampage and limited Toronto to eight goals in the final four games of the series, while posting a .951 save-percentage (154-162). Scott Clemmensen made 37 saves on 38 shots for Toronto
The Rampage outscored the Marlies 19-16 in the series, despite dropping the first Game 7 in their six-year history. They also outshot Toronto 232-217 for the series, and held the shot advantage in six of the seven games, including Monday night at 38-34. All four games the Rampage lost came by just one goal, and all five including the regular season came by that margin. Toronto won the first Calder Cup series in its history.
Coyotes Prospects Game 4 Highlights: *Enver Lisin scored San Antonio’s lone goal *Josh Tordjman made 32 saves on 34 shots