TORONTO (CP) - Marlies goalie Justin Pogge's first pro shutout came when he stopped 49 saves to beat Grand Rapids back in October. His second shutout, which he recorded Saturday at Ricoh Coliseum, wasn't nearly as difficult.
"I wasn't too busy, but I felt I made some good stops," said Pogge, who turned aside 15 Rochester shots in Toronto's 3-0 win over the Americans before an announced crowd of 4,416. "It definitely wasn't easy. I was lucky, and fortunate to get (the shutout)."
Besieged by injury and players recalled to the NHL level, Rochester (36-20-1-0)
has lost four in a row. But the Americans were getting no sympathy from the Marlies (23-29-2-4), who have won two of their last three games and are still fighting for the final playoff spot in the North Division.
"Kick 'em when they're down," said Pogge, who improved to 11-16-1 with the win.
"We've got to put our best effort into every game, no matter who we're playing."
"We've been in that spot, and you could argue we've lost our fair share of games
because we've been depleted with injuries," added Marlies captain Marc Moro. "We're running out of time, and we're not in a playoff spot right now, so every game is of vital importance. But we can't be too satisfied."
Ben Ondrus, Jay Harrison and Robbie Earl scored for Toronto, which denied Rochester on all 10 power play advantages the Americans had.
The Marlies were 0-for-4 with the extra man, but coach Greg Gilbert was impressed by his team's overall tenacity.
"The guys worked hard," Gilbert said of his charges, who will take on the Manitoba Moose Sunday in Toronto. "(Pogge) gave us an opportunity to win, and really played well in there."
Toronto opened the scoring on Ondrus' shorthanded goal of the first period, a period in which the Americans could manage only two shots on Pogge.
The Marlies extended their lead when Harrison's slapshot from the point that made its way through traffic and past goalie Adam Dennis at 11:13 of the second period.
Earl's seventh of the season into an empty net at 19:43 sealed the victory.
Dennis (11-11-0), made 31 saves for Rochester.