The Rochester Americans returned to Binghamton Friday night to face the Senators and used a quick start to propel themselves to a 3-2 victory at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. With the win, the Amerks improve to 4-4-2-1 (11 points) on the season while having gained at least a point in seven of their last nine games.
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The Amerks got off to their quickest start of the season, scoring two goals in the first 2:33 of the opening period while David Leggio stopped 29 of 31 shots to earn his third victory of the year.
Rochester also welcomed two additions to the lineup tonight as forwards Paul Szczechura and Maxime Legault each made their season debuts after beginning the year on the injured list. Szczechura, who is coming off a 21-goal season with Norfolk last year, wasted no time getting on the score sheet with the Amerks as he picked up an assist on a first period goal by Zack Kassian.
Jacob Lagace got Rochester going with a goal just 1:09 into the contest for his fourth of the season. After collecting the puck behind the Binghamton net, Lagace skated out to the left faceoff circle and took a shot, which trickled past Senators goalie Robin Lehner. Drew Schiestel and Mark Voakes each registered an assist on Lagace’s goal.
Less than 90 seconds later, Kassian notched his fourth of the campaign when he jammed in a rebound. Phil Varone took the initial shot and was credited with an assist, as was Szczechura for his first point of the season.
Binghamton’s Pat Cannone cut the Amerks’ lead in half midway through the period with a power play goal as he beat Leggio low to the stick side. The score remained 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes with Rochester out-shooting Binghamton 13-12.
Rochester struck quickly again to start the second period as Marcus Foligno notched his fourth goal of the season 1:39 into the frame to give the Amerks a 3-1 lead. The rookie walked out of the corner and tucked the puck just inside the post to beat Lehner. Voakes was awarded the lone assist on the goal for his second point of the game. Just under six minutes later, Francis Lessard drew Binghamton back within one when he re-directed a cross-ice pass from Mark Borowiecki past Leggio to make it a 3-2 game. Lessard also had a pair of fights in the game, both against Rochester’s Joe Finley.
The teams played a scoreless third period with Rochester out-shooting the Senators 12-6 in the frame and finished the game with a 35-31 edge in shots. With under a minute to go, Alex Biega was whistled for high-sticking, sending the Senators to a power play, but Rochester was able to hold on for the win.
Notes: Tonight’s game followed a five-day layoff for the Amerks, who hadn’t played since Saturday in Binghamton... Lagace, Kassian and Foligno each scored their fourth goals of the season tonight; those three players are now tied for the team-lead in goals with Derek Whitmore and Corey Tropp… The Amerks return to action on Saturday for the second of three consecutive games on the weekend when they travel to Syracuse to face the Crunch… The Amerks and Crunch will play a home-and-home series, which concludes Sunday in Rochester at 6:05 p.m.