TORONTO - For six power plays, the Toronto Marlies just couldn't catch a break. Then came lucky No. 7.
Matt Frattin scored the winner on Toronto's seventh extra-man opportunity to lift the Marlies to a 4-3 win over the Rochester Americans in a matinee Wednesday.
In the previous six power-play chances, the Marlies watched a number of shots clang off posts and crossbars.
"I just thought if our guys stuck with it that they would be rewarded," said Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins. "I thought they stuck with it to get one when they needed it."
The Marlies are now six points up on the Americans, who are chasing Toronto for first place in the Western Conference's North Division.
Frattin’s goal came just seconds after Rochester's Corey Tropp took a tripping penalty. After Mike Zigomanis won the ensuing faceoff, Korbinian Holzer passed it to Frattin, who beat Americans goaltender David Leggio with a quick shot.
Toronto captain Ryan Hamilton opened the scoring just after the halfway mark of the first with Kelsey Wilson adding their second just a few minutes later. Joe Colborne scored early in the third period for the Marlies (26-17-3-2).
"We’ve been playing well as a team," Colborne said. "We have a pretty deep team right now so we’ve been rolling our lines and it seems like everyday someone else is stepping up and that’s good."
Zach Kassian scored twice and Maxime Legault added one for the Americans (21-18-6-3).
Ben Scrivens made 17 saves to pick up his 13th win of the season while David Leggio made 21 in a losing effort.
"Today was the best I’ve felt in probably a month so it just happened that three goals go in," said Scrivens. "I’m more worried about the process than the outcome. I’m definitely glad we won."
After Toronto needed almost half a period to get a shot on goal, Hamilton scored from close range when Marcel Mueller fed him a pass from the right side.
Wilson had to have some good reflexes to get Toronto's second at 14:11. Philippe Dupuis threw a hard pass towards the goal that Wilson alertly redirected past Leggio.
Rochester got one back just under two minutes into the second period. After a scramble in front, the puck came to Kassian on the left side and he snuck a shot past Scrivens from a tight angle.
The Marlies went ahead 3-1 early in the third period when Colborne threw the puck towards the goal off the rush and Leggio wasn't able to handle the shot.
Rochester closed the gap to one goal again when Legault snapped home his fourth of the season from the slot after Tropp fed him a pass from the left.
After Frattin's goal, the visitors continued to press as they carried a lot of the play in the third but Kassian’s second of the game with just over three seconds left was as close as they would get.
Wednesday’s game was the first of three home dates where the puck drop is at 11 in the morning so that children from local schools can take in a game. The attendance of 7,894 was almost 3,000 fans more than the season average.
"I try to make myself get up early so I wasn’t groggy but definitely you could tell when we got here it was pretty quiet," said Colborne. "We had an extremely hard warm-up to try to get the legs going. It feels like you’re coming for a pre-game skate not for the actual game and I think we did a pretty good job of coming out and being ready."