(CP) — Jerry D’Amigo‘s late-game heroics are becoming routine for the Toronto Marlies.
D’Amigo scored his second game-winning goal late in the third period to lead Toronto to another 4-3 win over the Rochester Americans in American Hockey League playoff action Saturday.
Toronto now has a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series after taking Game 1 by the same score on Thursday.
"Frats made a good play to keep the puck in and we did a little scissors play that we’ve been working on," D’Amigo said. "I was yelling loud for the puck in the slot and he gave it to me and it went in."
It was D’Amigo’s second goal of the game and his fourth of the short post-season.
"We were just working a little cycle, trying to keep the puck in their zone and get it on net," Frattin said. "I saw Jerry roll off the wall, beat his defender to the net and, though it’s a risky play, Jerry got it on net and past the goalie."
The Marlies have given up 3-2 leads in the third period in both games of the series before D’Amigo has bailed them out.
"He’s just a hardworking kid," said head coach Dallas Eakins. "He’s passionate about the game and he’s a hard kid to play against right now. He’s a great checker and his offensive play is coming through pure, hard determination."
"He’s had a great season for us so far and he’s off to a great, great start in the playoffs."
"That’s about as emotional a game as I can remember for a long, long time," Eakins said. "There were some non-calls, a goal called back and a lot of stuff going on after the whistle. But we just kept preaching what we preach on the bench – settle down, stick with the program, take a breath – and it’s those little reminders that help you keep your focus.
"When you can pull out another one-goal win again a team that’s playing so desperate and so well, that’s a good thing."
Toronto took a 2-0 to the dressing room in the first intermission after a chippy opening period in which seven minor penalties were handed out by the officials.
"It’s playoff hockey," Frattin said. "It’s physical, with intense battles, even more so today than the first game."
Toronto nearly made it a 3-0 game 4:39 into the second period. Nazem Kadri deked around Leggio, but his backhand shot drifted along the goal-line and bounced off the post before being cleared by the Americans.
But Rochester came back to tie the game midway through the period with a pair of goals less than two minutes apart by Foligno and Varone.
Toronto regained the lead before the period was out. After dishing out a big hit inside the Rochester blue-line, Frattin picked up the puck and fired a shot that Leggio kicked out, but it went right to Deschamps who had a wide open net to score.
"That’s when you know if Matt Frattin‘s going or not," Eakins said. "If he’s throwing his weight around, you know he’s in for a good, good night. He was physical early and he continued that right through to the end of the game.
"He was in hard on the forecheck, caused a turnover and we put it into the net. That’s the kind of hockey he’s got to play."
Rochester tied the game 3:21 into the third period. Deschamps tried to clear the zone through the middle, but Brennan picked it off and tucked a shot inside Scriven’s blocked side arm.
The American’s pulled Leggio as they pushed for the tying goal, but were never able to set up in the Marlies zone in the final minute.
The series shifts to Rochester, N.Y., for Game 3 on Monday and Game 4 if necessary on Wednesday.
And the hero of Games 1 and 2 will be ready to go again.
"I feel the confidence," D’Amigo said. "I feel like I can make plays, work hard, chip in and score goals now. I’m in a groove now and I hope I can keep it. The big thing is now just for me to get the team going.
"We have a lot of confidence and we need to bring that to Rochester on Monday."
Notes: All 12 games between the two clubs this season have been decided by one goal…Announced attendance was 7,816.