Amerks blanked by Marlies

Courtesy of Amerks.com

TORONTO, ON — Despite nearly 40 shots, including 17 in the first period alone, the Rochester Americans (27-15-2-4) were unable to solve Toronto Marlies (23-20-3-2) goaltender Joseph Woll as the Amerks concluded the weekend with a 4-0 loss north of the border Saturday afternoon at Coca-Cola Coliseum.

The defeat was Rochester’s first road loss after winning the previous four games outside the Flower City dating back to a 3-2 overtime victory at Cleveland on Jan. 22. The Amerks also remain in second place in the AHL’s North Division standings behind only the Belleville Senators.

Playing in his 400th career game in the American Hockey League, Amerks veteran defenseman and assistant captain Andrew Hammond shared the team lead with Rasmus Asplund as they both registered four shots each. Both Asplund and blueliner Lawrence Pilut were reassigned by the Buffalo Sabres prior to the game. Eyeing his fourth straight win in the crease, goaltenderAndrew Hammond (13-10-2) earned the start but took the defeat despite making 21 saves on 23 shots he faced.

Forward Mason Marchment scored his fourth and fifth goals in his last two outings – and ninth and 10th of the season – to help the Marlies snap their three-game losing skid while Joseph Duszak (1+1) and Matt Read both added an empty-net goal in the win. Woll (8-11-3) turned aside all 38 shots he faced to record his second shutout of the campaign and eighth win overall.

In the opening minute of the contest, Toronto controlled the puck in Rochester’s zone before Nic Petan backhanded a pass from behind the net out in-front to Marchment. Standing on the doorstep, Marchment quickly snapped a shot past the glove hand of Hammond to give the Marlies a 1-0 lead just 52 seconds in.

Toronto had a pair of chances to add to its one-goal advantage as they had 3-on-1 odd-man rush as well as a breakaway opportunity, but Hammond kept the hosts off the board for the remainder of the stanza. Rochester went into the intermission break trailing by a goal despite holding a 17-11 lead in shots.

The goaltending duel continued into the middle frame beginning with Woll denying a Kevin Porter and Jean-Sebastien Dea odd-man rush prior to Hammond again stopping Andrew Agostino on a breakaway, only this time on penalty shot midway through the period.

Appearing as if the Amerks were going into the final period of regulation trailing by a goal, a late elbowing penalty gave the Marlies their fourth power-play of the frame. While on the man-advantage, Agostino sent a shot towards Hammond, but Marchment steered the puck into the net with 39 seconds left for his second of the contest.

Rochester tried to crack Woll in the final 20 minutes of play, and despite registering another 15 shots and pulling Hammond twice, the rookie netminder did not budge as he earned the shutout victory.

Hammond was pulled twice in the final minutes of the third for an extra skater, but Read and Duszak sealed the 4-0 win with back-to-back empty-netters 3:04 apart.

The Amerks continue their four-game road swing on Tuesday, Feb. 11 with the first of back-to-back meetings against the defending Calder Cup champion Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles’ Coliseum.  Game time is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.

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