The Rochester Americans played a very important Divisional game on 12-13-12, at the Quicken Loans Arean in Cleveland Ohio. The Amerks Visited The Lake Erie Monsters, who had a 2 point advantage on the Amerks heading into the game. After a huge win over Abbotsford earlier in the week, Rochester looked to steal points on the road from a team in front of them.
Rochester Jumped out to an early lead, scoring 3:40 into the first period on a goal by Kevin Porter, his eighth of the season. Rochester put heavy pressure on the Lake Erie net early on, only to see The Monsters completly turn things around shortly after this first goal.
Lake Erie would score four consecutive goals, three in the first by Mike Sgarbossa at 5:18, Bill Thomas at 7:03 on the power play, and Thomas Pock at 16:44. The Monsters poured it on at the end of the first, and continued with the scoring, netting the first goal of the second at the 4:15 mark by Mark Olver.
Rochester would battle back with a goal at 10:21 by Luke Adam, his third consecutive game getting on the score sheet. This cut the lead to 4-2. Lake Erie again poured it on at the end of the second, squeaking a goal by Leggio to make it a three goal lead once again at 19:07 by Bill Thomas, his second of the game.
The third period stated early for Rochester, with Maxim Legault sending a shot past the Lake Erie goalie at 1:41 of the third to again cut the lead to two goals at 5-3. Short lived momentum was again snatched back by The Monsters, with Stefan Elliot firing one past David Leggio 5:15 into the third period. The score was 6-3, and looked out of reach.
The Amerks at this point, ran the rest of the period. Starting at the six minute mark, the play was nearly entirely in the Lake Erie zone. Marcus Foligno reached out and tipped a Nick Crawford shot from the point at 6:26 to make it 6-4. Just over 2 minutes later on a scrum in the crease, Jonathan Parker was credited with his third of the year after a brief video replay. Lake Erie was clearly reeling at this point, as the Amerks drew within one at 6-5.
David Leggio made an outstanding save near the 15 minute mark on a rebound shot in the crease, and the Amerks took the puck the other way on the Power Play, with Mark Mancari blasting one from the point past Lake Erie goalie Sami Aittokallio to tie the game at 6 with just under 5 minutes to play at 15:41. The teams went back and forth, with Leggio making a few good saves to keep the game at 6-6.
On a break out play from the Amerks zone, Nick Tarnasky took the puck over the Monster blue line, fed in across the ice to Alex Biega on the point who ripped the puck past the Lake Erie netminder at 16:56 to take the lead 7-6 with only 3:04 to play. At this point, the Amerks played keep away, and were able to withstand a late game charge by Lake Erie to hold on for a very exciting 7-6 win.
- Unfortunately for the 4,484 Monster Fans in attendance, they saw thier home town blow its biggest lead of the season to Rochester.
- Alex Biega, who scored the game winner, was the first star. Rochester Captain Kevin Porter was second star with one goal and one assist, and Lake Erie Forward Thomas was third star with 2 goals and 1 assist.
- Rochester Goalie David Leggio faced a high number of shots again, giving up 6 goals on 39 shots. His night was not as bad as the netminder for Lake Erie. Sami Aittokallio gave up 7 goals on just 27 shots.
- With big wins over Abbotsford Heat and The Lake Erie Monsters this week, 4 out of 4 points in the division is huge.
- Up next is another divisional matchup with the Toronto Marlies on Saturday December, 15th in Rochester, NY. All divisional points are important, even this early in the season.