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Marlies unsuccessful on special teams as Rochester downs Toronto 4-1 @NHL

TORONTO - Goalie Matt Hackett made 29 saves ? and survived a penalty shot ? as the Rochester Americans downed the host Toronto Marlies 4-1 in American Hockey League action on Saturday.

Hackett was the beneficiary of solid team defence in front of him, and also got some help from his goalposts. Toronto defenceman John-Michael Liles clanged one midway through the second period and again in the third, and T.J. Brennan hit the post on a penalty shot early in the third period.

Luke Adam scored his seventh goal in seven games, to extend his goal-scoring streak to four games. Mike Zigomanis, Alexander Sulzer and Phila Varone ? with an empty-netter ? provided the rest of the Americans offence.

Adam and Varone chipped in with an assist apiece for two-point games. The contest also marked Zigomanis' return to Toronto, where he spent the previous four seasons with the Marlies before signing with Rochester last summer.

The Americans improved to 4-2-1 on the season with their third win in four outings.

Rochester clicked on the power play, going 2-for-7 while allowing zero goals on six penalty kills.

Spencer Abbott had the lone goal for Toronto in front of 4,169 fans at Ricoh Coliseum, while goalie Garret Sparks, making his second start of the season, had 25 saves in a losing effort.

The Marlies have lost three of their past four games, scoring a total of six goals in that span, to fall to 4-3-0.

Rochester led 1-0 after the first period and 3-0 through 40 minutes.

Adam opened the scoring on the power play when he whipped a high wrist shot from the right faceoff circle past Sparks' glove at 16:09 of the first period, just four seconds after Toronto's Tyler Biggs was sent off for holding.

Zigomanis, with his third goal of the season, whacked a rebound over Sparks' blocker at 7:12 of the second period. Sulzer made it 3-0 for the visitors when Adam fired a cross-ice pass which the Americans' defenceman one-timed into the gaping net at 16:58 of the middle frame.

After Brennan's penalty shot hit iron early in the third period, Abbott tapped a rebound into the open net to put the Marlies on the scoreboard at 10:16 and Varone closed out the scoring with an unassisted empty-netter at 19:45.

The Marlies visit the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday, while the Americans are off until next Friday when they host the Syracuse Crunch.

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