The Marlies started their weekend back-to-back road-home series against the Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres affiliate) with a big win on Friday, scoring three goals in the third period to earn a come-from-behind 5-3 victory.
The Amerks turned that story on its head at Saturday’s game, scoring five goals in the third period on the way to a 7-4 victory over the Marlies.
Marlies Lines Saturday
Andreas Johnsson - Miro Aaltonen – Dmytro Timashov
Trevor Moore - Marcel Mueller – Ben Smith
Kerby Rychel - Frederik Gauthier – Colin Greening
Mason Marchment - Adam Brooks – Jeremy Bracco
Andreas Borgman – Martin Marincin
Calle Rosen – Vincent LoVerde
Andrew Nielsen – Timothy Liljegren
Not playing: Rinat Valiev, Rich Clune, Jean Dupuy
Injured: Justin Holl
The Amerks roster has two familiar names to Marlies fans in Seth Griffith and Stuart Percy. No surprise they played a key role in the game. Adam Wilcox started in net for the Amerks.
Eleven goals were scored in this game, and none were in the first period. In my notes I wrote down “for so much happening, not much is happening.” Obviously that’s a bit of rhetorical nonsense, but there were scoring chances, there were notable plays; nothing came of them.
I noted some great scoring chances by Timashov, and Johnsson set up other players to score several times, but the goalies wouldn’t allow anything in. Andreas Borgman had a really unfortunate giveaway in the Marlies zone, but he got lucky and the Amerks did pretty much nothing with it.
The Marlies had two power-play opportunities, but couldn’t convert. They were actually the only two power plays of the night.
The scoring was finally opened up by Seth Griffith, who also got the first goal in Friday's game.
Seth Griffith opens up scoring for the second night in a row pic.twitter.com/JmbPfTqq4U— Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey) February 24, 2018
This happened right after Mueller set up Rosen for a nice shot on goal which missed. The puck got back to the Amerks so quickly the Marlies were unprepared to stop the breakaway by Blackwell, with only LoVerde in place to do something.
The next 15 minutes of the game, however, was all Marlies.
Let’s just get right to the GIFs.
I don’t have a GIF, but Gauthier had a great chance that looked to fly off a post across the net too.
The period ended with an odd argument between Percy and Johnsson. They got in each other's faces in front of the Marlies net, started screaming and shoving, and then sort of both fell down. But, they weren’t actually fighting, so the officials let the play continue. It actually went on for a good ten seconds, and the puck had made it all the way to the other end of the rink before the referee finally decided to call a roughing penalty.
Liljegren started the period with an odd interference call I couldn’t pick out, but the Marlies killed it off.
The Amerks got back on the board after a flubbed pass to lead to Gill getting the puck and passing it over to Percy who scored.
Stuart Percy's 5⃣th goal of the season pic.twitter.com/IpYlkd3AK0— Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey) February 24, 2018
A bad turnover in the Marlies zone by the Amerks lead to Brooks getting a rush up the ice and a pass to Bracco, who passes it further to Marchment, who scored his eighth goal of the season.
The Marlies were up 4-2 with 11 minutes left in the game. That’s when it went off the rails.
The Amerks would score five goals over the final six minutes of the game. It was a mess.
I'll put only this one GIF in, which was the game winning goal. The Marlies all collapse down to the net, yet the Amerks still find a hole through which to shoot the puck and score. Watch carefully what happens.
You can see Kevin Porter (11) swing around behind the net with almost no attention paid to him by the Marlies or where he is going. A very similar play happened at the game Wednesday last week with a Devils player swinging around behind the net, and no one on the Marlies covering him or noticing he is at that same spot and left open to score.
Aaltonen was shoved by Griffith in the middle of third period, lost his balance, and then fell hard to the ice head first.
He was clearly woozy, took a long time to get back up and immediately left the game. Marlies staff helped him walk back to the dressing room, carrying some of his weight. Keefe said he had not yet had an update after the game, but it would likely take some time to find out how bad it was. How there wasn’t at least an interference call on Griffith I don’t understand.
Including the goal in this game, Aaltonen has 15 goals and 20 assists in 50 games this season. That’s third on the Marlies for scoring. If he is out for an extended time, it will be a blow to the offence, especially with little depth available for the center position.
“We got a little taste of our medicine here today.” said Keefe about the game where they were on the receiving end of a late third-period surge. “The regular season is all about lessons, and it was a good opportunity for us to take something out of this one here today in terms of just not stopping the play and continuing to take care of the game.”
We’re exactly seven weeks away from the end of the regular season, but this is a good time for a reminder of the playoff format. For the first round, the team in first place in a division plays the team in fourth place in the division. It’s possible the Amerks could be the team faced by the Marlies in the first round. Games like Saturday’s are a reminder the Marlies' great record of the regular season goes out the window for the playoffs, especially in the ever dangerous best-of-five format used for the first round.
Here’s the game highlight pack.
I hope you’re ready for more morning hockey! The Marlies have another school day game on Wednesday at 11:00 AM where they face another top division rival, the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate).