Amerks move into 7th with stunning rally

( — Facing a 3-0 deficit heading into the third period, the Rochester Americans scored four unanswered goals over the final 15:57 of regulation time — including two in the final minute — and used a natural hat trick from rookie forward Tim Schaller to stun the Toronto Marlies, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum.

The Amerks have now won three straight and have climbed back into seventh place in the American Hockey League’s Western Conference.

Schaller’s natural hat trick brought the Amerks back from a 3-0 hole, with his third goal coming with Rochester skating 6-on-5 and just 58 seconds remaining in regulation. Phil Varone completed the comeback just 15 seconds later to seal the win for the Amerks and deny Toronto the opportunity of capturing the North Division title.

Rookie goaltender Andrey Makarov made 13 saves for the win in his sixth straight start, and former Marlies forward Brayden Irwin assisted on all four Amerks goals. Mikhail Grigorenko also collected two assists in the win and now shows 0-4-4 in three games since being assigned to Rochester earlier this week.

Josh Leivo scored twice to lead the way offensively for Toronto, while Brad Ross rounded out the scoring behind a 39-save effort from goaltender Christopher Gibson.