Despite outshooting the opposition 34-16, the Rochester Americans closed out their first three-games in three-nights stretch of the season with a 3-1 loss to the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday evening at The Blue Cross Arena. The loss extends Rochester’s winless streak to three games as it secured two out of a possible six points on the weekend.
"I thought the guys did a good job in the second and third periods, energy-wise,” said Amerks Head Coach Ron Rolston. “I thought the battle level was there; guys don't give up in that room. That's the way we're going to be and that's the identity we're going to have. We have to get better in some areas and one of them is producing offense. We'll get better as a team.”
The lone Rochester goal in the contest came off the stick of Marcus Foligno, with assists going to Brayden McNabb and Colin Stuart. Goaltender Drew MacIntyre stopped 14 of 16 shots sent his way by the Phantoms.
Adirondack’s offensive effort was paced by Eric Wellwood, Harry Zolnierczyk, and Zac Rinaldo, each of whom provided single goals to keep the Phantoms atop the American Hockey League’s Northeast Division. Netminder Jason Bacashihua turned away 33 Rochester shots between the pipes en route to his first victory of the season.
Both teams came out with jump early, as they each lit the limp before the game was even three minutes old. The Phantoms struck first at 1:47 after a quick neutral zone transition turned into a two-on-one and Wellwood beat MacIntyre under the arm to the blocker side with a wrister from the right face-off dot.
The Amerks responded quickly, however, knotting the score at one apiece less than 30 seconds later when Foligno, fresh off a two-game absence, tipped a drive from the left point, courtesy of McNabb, in the slot past Bacashihua.
Adirondack restored its lead with just under three and a half minutes to go in the opening period when Zolnierczyk capitalized on a breakaway with his team shorthanded. After intercepting an attempted pass across the middle of the ice at the point by the Rochester defense, Zolnierczyk found himself all alone from center ice in and tucked the puck around MacIntyre following a quick backhand-to-forehand deke.
After neither team was able to find the back of the net for nearly forty minutes of play, the Phantoms doubled their lead to 3-1 with just 3:07 remaining in regulation time. Rinaldo received a centering pass out of the near corner from linemate Garrett Rowe and let a shot go from the left face-off dot that beat MacIntyre to the far side.
Although the Amerks appeared to have drawn back to within one with just over a minute remaining in the game, it was waved off due to contact with the goaltender.
The Amerks kickoff a four-game road swing on Thursday, Oct. 27 when they travel to Hamilton to take on the Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum. The game will be broadcast live on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk.