TORONTO - Greg Scott had four goals as the Toronto Marlies beat the Rochester Americans 6-3 on Saturday in American Hockey League playoff action.
Greg McKegg and Paul Ranger had the other goals for Toronto. Drew MacIntyre made 31 saves for the win.
Zemgus Girgensons, two goals, and Cody McCormick replied for Rochester. David Leggio stopped 13 shots in defeat.
It was the first game of a best-of-five series between the two North Division rivals. The Marlies and the Americans are meeting in the first round for the second straight year. Last post-season, Toronto swept Rochester three straight.
Scott was Toronto's hottest player down the regular season stretch with seven goals and 14 points in the final seven games, and he got Toronto going to start the playoffs, staking the Marlies to a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals in the first period.
First, Scott picked up the puck in his own zone and capped an end-to-end rush with a snap shot that beat Leggio high glove side at 12:04
Then Scott finished a Marlies' 5-on-3 power play. Paul Ranger made a pass to the high slot to Tim Connolly whose slap shot was tipped by Scott past Leggio.
Rochester got that goal right back less than a minute later. Girgensons charged into the slot area from the point and fired a snap shot by MacIntyre to cut the lead in half.
It was a penalty-filled opening frame with seven minors assessed.
The Americans tied the game with a short-handed goal just 1:12 into the second period. On a 2-on-1 rush, Cody McCormick snapped a quick shot that beat MacIntyre low on the short side past his blocker hand.
The Marlies regained the lead just 1:36 later on the power play when McKegg backhanded the puck over a sprawled Leggio during a goal-mouth scramble.
But Rochester tied it again at 15:34 on a play that had to go to video review after it was initially waved off by the referee.
Girgensons' made a low-percentage shot from the goal line that bounced off MacIntyre's back, deflected off the back bar and out the other side.
There was a scary moment late in the period, when Rochester's Nick Crawford was bodychecked hard by Toronto's Kenny Ryan behind the Americans' goal. Crawford lied on the ice for several minutes before being helped off by teammates. He didn't return.
Rochester outshot Toronto 19-3 in the second period and 29-9 after 40 minutes of play. There were another seven minors called in the period. Toronto's Korbinian Holzer finished the game with four minors.
Ranger put the Marlies up for good with a blast from the Americans' blue-line that beat goalie David Leggio clean on his glove side 5:13 into the third period.
Scott got the hat trick with less than five minutes to play, making a backhand deke around Leggio off a 2-on-1 rush with Jerry D'Amigo.
Scott then put the game out of reach with his fourth goal of the game, an empty-netter at 1:22.
Game 2 goes Sunday afternoon in Toronto.
Notes: Toronto took the season series 9-1-0???The Marlies were without their top two scorers, Ryan Hamilton and Joe Colborne, who are both Announced attendance was 5.544.