The game started out very well for the Toronto Marlies but in the end they were unable to hold onto a three goal lead as the visiting Rochester Americans downed the Marlies 4-3 in overtime.
The Marlies came out playing physical early on and were able to get ahead of the visiting Rochester Americans 3-0. Richard Hamilton got it all started scoring early on a power play marker with his first of the year with assists from Tyler Bozak and newly signed goaltender Adam Munro.
Towards the end of the period the Marlies scored two goals in 1:30. On another power play, Andre Deveaux tipped in a Juraj Mikus point shot to put the Marlies ahead 2-0 with Hamilton drawing the other assist. Alex Foster scored the third goal ninety seconds later assisted by Richard Greenop.
The Marlies dominated the play in the first period getting the majority of the scoring chances and outshooting their opponents 18-9.
The Marlies continued to outshoot the Americans in the second but a couple of quick late goals by Michal Repik, 1:05 apart, changed the momentum in favour of the visitors. The Marlies stopped playing physical and were complacent which allowed the Americans to get back into the game.
The third period didn’t start out well for the Marlies either as Clay Wilson tied the game on a shorthanded goal at 1:22. As play continued the Marlies looked like a much different team than the one that had built up a three goal advantage. The Americans had the better scoring chances in the third but the game remained tied after regulation.
Less than a minute into overtime, the Americans’ Jeff Taffe was called for a hooking penalty to give the Marlies a four-on-three advantage. The power play started out well and the Marlies came close to winning the game after a flurry of chances around the Americans net.
But upon clearing the puck, David Brine went the other way on a one-on-one short-handed rush and fired a quick wrist shot past Munro to complete the come-from-behind victory.
The Marlies fired a lot of rubber at the Americans goaltender Tyler Plante who was very sharp after the first period, stopping 40 of 43 shots. The Marlies’ Munro finished with 20 saves.
The Americans swept the home-and-home series and are now 4-1-1. The Marlies dropped their third game in-a-row and after a quick 2-0 start to the season now find themselves at 2-2-1.
After the game, Marlies coach Dallas Eakins commented on how the game started out so well but ended in disappointment.
“Early on we were a physical team and made the most of our chances. But we came off our game. Three or four players started to play the easy way and it snowballed from there. And when teams score that quickly, it can turn the momentum of the game.”
Marlies forward Andre Deveaux echoed the coach’s sentiments.
“I think we got a little complacent which happens with a young team sometimes. I think you get nervous when you’re up by a few goals with taking penalties and we sat on our heels a bit.”
Coach Eakins summed up how the team felt after the game.
“They are very upset about the way they gave up the lead the way we did.”
Deveaux also stressed that it is only five games into the season and that the team still has time to correct their play and work on their ability to hold onto a lead.
The Marlies now head out west for the start of a three-game road trip on Tuesday when they play the first of two games versus Abbotsford Heat before travelling to Grand Rapids.
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