The Rochester Americans defeated the Toronto Marlies 4-1 at Ricoh Coliseum on Saturday as the Amerks received a goal and an assist from each of their top two scorers, Luke Adam and Phil Varone. With the win, the Amerks improved to 4-2-1-0 this season and earned three of a possible four points on the weekend.
Adam’s first period power-play goal gave him a team-leading seven goals in seven games on the season, while Varone now has at least one point in every game this season. Goaltender Matt Hackett earned the win, stopping 28 of 29 shots. Mike Zigomanis and Alexander Sulzer each scored a goal as well for Rochester, which picked up its first win at Ricoh Coliseum since March 3, 2012.
Spencer Abbott scored the lone goal for Toronto, while Marlies netminder Garret Sparks turned aside 26 shots.
The Amerks opened the scoring late in the first period when Adam scored just four seconds into a power play opportunity. Jamie Tardif won a face-off cleanly back to Adam, who stepped into the right face-off circle and fired a wrist shot through traffic and into the back of the net. The goal was Adam’s seventh of the season and his third on the power play. Tardif collected the lone assist on the goal.
In the second period, Rochester opened up a 2-0 lead as Zigomanis, who was playing at Ricoh Coliseum as a visitor for the first time since spending the previous four seasons as a member of the Marlies, scored his third goal of the season. Brayden McNabb gathered in the puck and made his way toward the Toronto net before throwing a shot on goal. Sparks made the initial save, but Zigomanis was driving to the net and used his backhand to sweep the puck past the Toronto netminder to give the Amerks the two-goal lead at the 7:12 mark. McNabb and Varone were credited with the assists.
Rochester took a 3-0 lead later in the period when Sulzer converted on the power play. Adam gained control of the puck in the slot and wheeled a pass to Sulzer at the top of the right face-off circle, where he blasted a one-timer that snuck in just beneath the cross bar. The goal extended Sulzer’s point streak to four games and gave Adam his second point of the night.
Toronto had a chance to get on the board early in the third period when T.J. Brennan was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down on a breakaway, but the former Amerk hit the post on his penalty shot attempt to keep it a 3-0 game. Minutes later, Abbott cut the Marlies deficit to 3-1. Hackett stopped a shot from the left wing boards, but had the puck poked away as he was reaching out to smother it with his catching glove. The puck trickled to the far post, where Abbott was free to knock it in.
Varone added an unassisted, empty-net goal in the final minute to seal the Rochester win.
The Amerks conclude their three-game road swing on Friday, Nov. 1 as Rochester travels to nearby Syracuse to take on the Crunch at the War Memorial at Oncenter. The 7 p.m. contest will be the second of eight meetings between the longtime intrastate rivals this season.
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