Despite scoring two third period goals to rally from a 2-0 deficit, the Rochester Americans’ bid for a comeback was cut short after Louis Leblanc’s overtime winner 2:28 into the extra frame lifted the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 3-2 win tonight at Copps Coliseum. The loss was the third straight to the Bulldogs this season and extends Rochester’s current winless streak to four games.
Colin Stuart and Derek Whitmore each provided single tallies for the Amerks, who have now collected points in six of their last seven games. David Leggio made 26 saves in the losing effort for Rochester.
Hamilton netminder Nathan Lawson turned away 35 of 37 shots in his sixth straight starts between the pipes for the Bulldogs.
Leblanc capped off a three-point night with his first goal of the season in overtime after setting up Hamilton’s first two regulation tallies to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage through the first 45 minutes of play.
Andreas Engqvist also had his hand in every goal for Hamilton, starting with the Bulldogs’ first goal of the night as he deflected newly acquired Garrett Stafford’s point shot past Leggio on the power-play just 4:18 into the opening frame. Leblanc also picked up an assist on Engqvist’s first of the season.
Andrew Conboy provided a two-goal cushion for Hamilton 3:46 into the second stanza as he sent a high-rising wrister over the shoulder of Leggio off a 2-on-1 fast break for his first of the season. The goal came just moments after Rochester’s Phil Varone rang his shot off the post to be denied a scoring chance and cut the Bulldogs lead in half.
After failing to find the net through the first two periods, team captain Colin Stuart gave the Amerks some life early in the final frame with his third goal of the season to make it a 2-1 game. Entering the Bulldogs zone, Amerks forward Marcus Foligno absorbed a hit at the Hamilton blueline, but in doing so, found a trailing Stuart who corralled the loose puck and put it past Lawson. Foligno would record the only assist on the goal at 5:05.
Whitmore knotted the game at two apiece just over three minutes later with a diving effort to swat in T.J. Brennan’s rebound for his team-leading fourth goal of the season at 8:49.
The game would remain in a 2-2 deadlock until Leblanc’s game-winner midway through the extra frame deprived the Amerks of completing their comeback.
The Amerks visit the southern tier on Saturday, October 29 as they take on the defending Calder Cup Champion Binghamton Senators in the first of eight gatherings this season between the intrastate rivals. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. Fans can tune in for the live broadcast on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk.