News | 9/30/2011 10:16:37 PM | Dan Peters

Colin Sturart (Photo: Micheline Veluvolu)

The Rochester Americans put together a dominating effort in their first game of the year together, defeating the University of Western Ontario Mustangs by a score of 9-1 at the Sports Centre at MCC in Rochester.

The Amerks were led offensively by Jonathan Parker who contributed two goals and an assist.  Shawn Szydlowski (2+0), Marcus Foligno (1+1), Phil Varone (1+1) and Brayden McNabb (1+1) also chipped in two points apiece in the win.  Between the pipes, Drew MacIntyre and Jeff Jakaitis combined for 12 saves as the Amerks out-shot the Mustangs, 51-13.

“It’s good to get a game under our belt before our opening weekend, and the confidence boost with the win was great for us,” remarked Parker.

Reflecting on his own performance, the right winger added, “You’re always happy when you contribute to the team, especially when you get a win.”  He also claimed that it was special being his first game in an Amerks uniform “unofficially”.

When asked to comment after the victory, Head Coach Ron Rolston said, “I liked our overall team effort in terms of how guys played.  Certainly when we get into league play next week it’s going to be a lot more difficult in terms of the competition, but I liked a lot of the habits we played with.”

Rolston also noted that the team still has work to do in preparation for the season opener in Hamilton next Saturday.

“We have to go back and look at the film and focus on all the areas we want to get better in.   We need to clean some things up offensively and have a good week of practice to be ready to go.”

Kevin Baker scored the only goal of the night for the University of Western Ontario, while Josh Unice and Alain Valiquette finished with 42 combined saves in the Mustang crease.

After holding much of the territorial advantage over the first half of the opening period, the Amerks opened the scoring at 10:17, when Szydlowski put home his own rebound.  After receiving a centering pass  from the right corner off the stick of Riley Boychuk and seeing his initial shot denied by Unice, Szydlowski shoveled the loose puck through the five-hole of the Mustang netminder.

With two goals in a span of 2:53, the Amerks quickly extended their lead to 3-0 before the conclusion of the period.

First, Mark Voakes deposited another rebound from the top of the crease at the 16:54 mark.  Corey Tropp drove the net down the left wide off the rush, and after Foligno’s initial shot was denied, Voakes was there to poke the rebound behind a sprawled Unice.

Rochester once again lit the lamp with just 13 seconds remaining in the frame, as Foligno tipped a left point shot from McNabb over the blocker of Unice.  Varone also picked up an assist on the goal, which came with the Amerks on the power-play.

The Amerks upped their lead to four goals 7:08 into the middle frame following a great individual effort by Parker.  After making a nifty move to gain entry into the offensive zone, Parker picked the top-corner with a twisted wrister from the left circle.

The Mustangs finally got on the board to make it 4-1 at 13:40 of the second period off a fast break.  Centerman Kevin Baker picked the right corner with a wrist shot over the glove of Rochester goaltender Jakaitis, who replaced MacIntyre at the halfway point of the contest.

Rochester-native Derek Whitmore responded for the Amerks less than three minutes later, sending a snapper from the left face-off dot to the back of the net.  Zack Kassian tallied the lone assist, as he fed Whitmore with a slick pass from behind the net.

Rochester picked up right where they left off in the final period, widening the gap in the score to 6-1 just 33 seconds in with the man advantage.  McNabb ripped a one-timed slapper from the right point through a screen past Mustang goaltender Valiquette, who also took over between the pipes at the midway point of the contest.

The Amerks netted two more goals midway through the period widening the gap in the score to 8-1, as Szydlowski and Parker both cashed in their second goals of the evening.  Szydlowski finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play from the top of the crease, while Parker followed it up with another great individual effort, dangling around a defenseman in the low slot before lifting a backhand just under the crossbar.

Varone added yet another power-play goal at 16:35 from Nick Crawford, leading to a 9-1 final.

The Amerks will be off for the remainder of the weekend and will resume practice at 10:30 a.m. on Monday at the Sports Centre at MCC.

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