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Amerks stumble in opener at Toronto

TORONTO -- The Rochester Americans have started the Calder Cup playoffs in a hole.

The Amerks took an early lead and came back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game in the final minutes, but the Toronto Marlies owned the third period in a 4-3 victory in Game One of the teams' American Hockey League Western Conference quarterfinal.

Jerry D'Amigo scored two goals for Toronto, including the game-winner with 4:17 left. Mark Fraser came out of the penalty box to spark a two-on-one and he found D'Amigo driving to the net for the goal.

That goal came after Rochester tied the game at 3-3 on TJ Brennan's goal with 8:36 to play. Playing four-on-four, Brennan converted a pass on a two-on-one from Evan Rankin.

A crowd of 6,244 at the Ricoh Coliseum saw Rochester score first on Phil Varone's goal 4:55 into the game.

The Amerks owned the lead until D'Amigo scored 4:51 into the second period.

The game was tied at one entering the third, but Toronto appeared to take control when it scored twice in the first 4:40 of the period. Matt Frattin scored at the 1:01 mark and Mike Zigomanis added a power-play goal 3:49 later.

Rochester rallied back on the power play with Marcus Foligno scoring on a quick wrist shot from the slot at the 7:02 mark before Brennan's goal tied it.

The tight game follows the script of the season series between the teams. Rochester went 3-4-3 against the Marlies during the year, with all 10 regular season contests between the North Division rivals having been decided by one goal.

The best-of-five series returns to Ricoh Coliseum at 3 p.m. Saturday for Game Two.

The series hits Rochester's Blue Cross Arena for Game Three at 7:05 p.m. Monday.