4/11 Recap: Makarov the man; Knights bounced

The Rochester Americans continued their fight to get into the playoffs Friday with a 3-1 home-ice victory over the rival Toronto Marlies. Andrey Makarov was excellent in his seventh straight start, stopping 26 of 27 shots for his fourth win in a row and the game's number one star. The victory puts the Amerks back into seventh place in the AHL's Western Conference with five games remaining on the regular season schedule.

The teams traded goals in the opening frame, with Kevin Porter getting the Amerks on the board first at 13:22 thanks in part to a nice shift from Joel Armia, who earned a helper on the play. Armia's assist gives him 26 points (7+19) through his first 52 games of North American hockey.

The teams were unable to produce any goals in the second period, but they would continue the night's parade to the penalty box. Johan Larsson earned his share when he dropped the gloves late in the frame with Marlies forward Kenny Ryan.

With the teams deadlocked at 1-1 in the third period, the Amerks would capitalize on the power play as Luke Adam tipped a Phil Varone shot for his 28th goal of the year, and 16th with the man advantage. The game's second star, Adam's goal total ranks eighth overall in the league.

Minutes later with the Amerks again on the power play, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc connected on a slapper to give the Amerks the 3-1 lead. The insurance marker in the game's 44th minute was Gauthier-Leduc's third of the season and sixth of his two-year AHL career.

Mikhail Grigorenko went without a point for the first time since being assigned to Rochester after getting on the score sheet in his previous three outings. Phil Varone, the game's number two star, notched two assists while contributing five of the Amerks' 21 shots on goal.

The Amerks will get right back at it Saturday when they visit the Hamilton Bulldogs.

In the OHL, Nikita Zadorov and the London Knights were eliminated from the playoffs with a 5-4 loss to Guelph in Game 5 of their Western Conference Semifinal series. Zadorov, who started to show signs of fatigue after logging major minutes through the first four games, finishes the postseason with four goals and nine points in nine contests. London now gets a long break before hosting the 2014 Memorial Cup, with the club opening the festivities Fri., May 16 against the QMJHL representative.

William Carrier remained out of action as Drummondville dropped a 5-2 decision at Val-d'Or in Game 5 of their QMJHL quarterfinal series. The defeat puts Drummondville into a 3-2 series hole with the clubs resuming action on Sunday. Carrier, who has missed seven of the Voltigeurs' 10 postseason games with a lower body injury, has one goal and four points despite the limited duty.

The USHL playoffs kicked off on Friday, with all three Sabres prospects playing in the league this season getting in on the action.

Cal Petersen got the start for top-seeded Waterloo, stopping 25 of 29 shots as the Black Hawks opened the Western Conference semifinal round with a 7-4 triumph over Sioux Falls. Petersen entered the playoffs with 27 wins (t-1st in league), a 2.50 GAA (6th) and a .915 save% (8th) in 38 regular season appearances. The Black Hawks will look to keep the momentum when they host Saturday's Game 2.

Connor Hurley (-1, 3 SOG) was unable to point as Green Bay was blanked by Indiana 2-0 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal. The best-of-five series continues Saturday in Indianapolis.

On the other half of the Eastern Conference bracket, Judd Peterson (-1, 2 SOG) came up empty as Cedar Rapids was edged by Dubuque 2-1. The Roughriders will go for the home-ice split on Saturday before heading to Dubuque next Friday for Game 3.

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