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Amerks hope to stay alive in 1st-round series against Toronto

Fans in the Buffalo and Rochester markets can watch Game 3 on MSG

by Rochester Americans @AmerksHockey /

The Amerks look to stave off elimination as the best-of-five series shifts north of the border on Wednesday for Game 3 of the North Division Semifinals at Coca-Cola Coliseum. 

Opening puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV. MSG Network will also carry Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment's live broadcast of the matchup in Toronto with coverage available in both the Rochester and Buffalo markets.


Tweet from @AmerksHockey: WATCH | ���Obviously our backs are against the wall. We understand if we lose a shift, period or game we are done. We have done a good job at responding all year.���HC Chris Taylor on the #Amerks facing the 0-2 series deficit.

 Tweet from @AmerksHockey: WATCH | ���Enjoy the moment. Playoff hockey is the most exciting time of the year. Being nervous is normal but we need to believe in ourselves and our abilities.��� Tage Thompson's thoughts going into tomorrow night's Game 3.

Game recaps

Game 1: Marlies 4 - Amerks 1

Watch: Youtube Video

Despite outshooting the Toronto Marlies 15-6 in the opening period of Friday night's Game 1 of the North Division Semifinals at The Blue Cross Arena, the Rochester Americans dropped the first contest in the best-of-five series to the defending Calder Cup champions by a score of 4-1.

Tage Thompson helped the Amerks avoid a shutout as he scored his first goal of the postseason with 1:08 left in regulation from Taylor Leier and Yannick Veilleux while netminder Scott Wedgewood stopped 19 shots he faced. Along with Wedgewood, 10 other players made their first postseason appearance with the Amerks, which included rookie defensemen Will Borgen and Kurt Gosselin, who both played in their first-career professional playoff game.

"We have to be able to capitalize on the chances," Amerks head coach Chris Taylor said about all the posts, missed empty-net shots and scoring chances. "If we can score on those chances, it might have been a different outcome.

"…We did not capitalize on the chances and they did. Ultimately, it was the difference in the game tonight."

Veteran forward Chris Mueller (1+2) and first-year blueliner Rasmus Sandin (0+3) both recorded three points to give Toronto a 1-0 series lead and a 15-5 record in the postseason dating back to the start of last year's Calder Cup Playoffs. Former Amerk Nick Baptiste and Adam Brooks rounded out the scoring for the Marlies while goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo made 29 saves in a winning effort.

Game 2: Marlies 3 - Amerks 2 (OT)

Watch: Youtube Video

The Rochester Americans built a two-goal lead going into the third period of Sunday's Game 2 of the North Division Semifinals at The Blue Cross Arena only to see the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies score twice in less than two minutes before stealing a 3-2 overtime win 2:20 into the extra frame.

The Amerks now trail the best-of-five series 2-0 as it shifts to Coca-Cola Coliseum for Game 3 Wednesday night in Toronto at 7 p.m.

Forward Wayne Simpson notched an assist on each of C.J. Smith and Kevin Porter's second-period goals while netminder Scott Wedgewood made 20 saves but suffered the overtime loss in the Amerks crease.

"It's disappointing," Simpson said. "To lose in overtime, and the special teams battle, and that sticks out. I think when we look back at the game, their power-play goal was the turning point in the game. We had chances on our power-play but we did not capitalize on it."

Much like in the regular season, Jeremy Bracco led the Marlies as he scored twice, including the game-winning goal, to go with an assist for Toronto, which boasts a 17-5 record dating back to the start of last year's postseason. Chris Mueller (1+1) completed the scoring with his third goal of the series while also chipping in a helper. Netminder Kasimir Kaskisuo drew the nod for Marlies and stopped a playoff career-high 40 shots to push the Amerks on the brink of elimination.

"It's one game at a time," Porter said. "We have to win three straight but we will not be able to do that without winning the first one. We need to win one before we can worry about what is next."

Scoring leaders

Player GP G A PTS
1. Wayne Simpson 2 0 2 2
2. Kevin Porter 2 1 0 1
C.J. Smith 2 1 0 1
Tage Thompson 2 1 0 1
Yannick Veilleux 1 0 1 1
Kurt Gosselin 2 0 1 1
Taylor Leier 2 0 1 1


Goaltending leaders

Player GP W L GAA SV%
Scott Wedgewood 2 0 2 3.45 .848
Adam Wilcox - - - - -


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