Rochester managed to hold off the Bulldogs and escape with a 3-2 shootout victory on Friday night.
The Amerks showed early power play troubles in the first period. The Bulldogs took two penalties in the early minutes of the game, with no success. Hamilton was great on the penalty kill, getting in the passing lanes and blocking most of the shots from the point. The Bulldogs had a hard time getting going on offense, as they spent over a third of the period on the penalty kill. Surprisingly, Captain Kevin Porter lead the Americans in ice time in the first period with 8:14.
The Amerks scored first wthZemgus Girgensons getting his first professional goal at 6:31 of the opening period. He was able to deflect the shot from the right point by Alex Biega, with the second assist going to Bryan Flynn. Girgensons was one of the best players on the ice for the Amerks, next to Marcus Foligno.
Foligno was all over the front of the net, and hit the post mid way through the first period.
Bulldogs goaltender Robert Mayer was the reason why Hamilton was still in the game during the second period. Frederick Roy had a fight with Brendan Gallagher, and took the bout. At 160 pounds, it would be hard to call it a heavyweight bout, but all the same. He handled his own against a larger player.
David Leggio made some huge saves on the penalty kill, and the Amerks continues to struggle on the power play. They were a combined 0-5, at that point in the game. Good hustle being shown by the Amerks defense in front of the net, and behind digging out pucks, contributing to the Bulldogs also being 0-4 on the power play. TJ Brennan took the ice time lead from Porter, with a total of 16:35 logged through 2 periods. No goals were scored, ending with the Americans still leading 1-0.
The third period was full of some big saves at both ends, and more penalties. Both Leggio and Mayer made saves on the penalty kills, keeping the game close. Rochester scored its second goal at 2:02, by Kevin Porter. A few seconds after, Hamilton was on the board to cut the lead back down to one with a goal by Gallagher.
Hamilton came on strong throughout the period, and outscored the Amerks 2-1 in the period. The hard work paid off, and with the Amerks defense taking a nap with 4:19 left, Leggio bit on a back hand move in the front of the net, and Darryl Boyce tied the game at two. Game went into overtime tied 2-2. Shots through three periods were 29 for Hamilton, and 31 for Rochester.
Overtime was back and forth with neither team getting quality shots on net. Mayer and Leggio didn’t have to stand very tall, and with the game tied after 65 minutes, the game headed to the shootout.
In the shootout, Leggio stopped three of four shooters, with Darryl Boyce scoring the only goal. The Amerks scored three, including Phil Varone, Brian Flynn, and the game winner by Marcus Foligno. TJ Brennan actually had the goaltender beat cleanly, and missed the net wide. Leggio finishes the game with 29 saves in the game and three in the shootout.
Rochester improves to 6-2-1 on the season, and Hamilton falls to 3-3-1 with the loss.
- Adam looked lost, passing to areas of the ice devoid of players, took bad penalty for hooking. Gave up at the blue line in both ends. He just overall still looks like he trying to find himself. He may find himself in another uniform, or on a lower line if this continues.
- Girgensons playing best game of year by far to this point in the first, however minutes dwindled once the game remained close. He scored his first professional goal, played tough around the net, and was the third star of the game.
- Three stars 1st:Leggio, 2nd: Foligno, 3rd: Girgensons.
- David Leggio made his 34th consecutive start for the Amerks
- Attendance was 6,026.
- Ice quality was horrible, as seen by the bouncing pucks all night. Bruce played at the arena last night, a day late. You can tell why they normally do not play hockey the day after an event here if they can help it. It is havoc on the ice surface. Thank you Hurricane Sandy!
Overall, a good performance by the Rochester Americans. They beat a team they should beat, despite a late meltdown. Leggio stood up in the shootout, and the goal-scoring came in the form of three shootout goals for the Amerks.