The Rochester Americans returned to their winning ways on Friday night as goaltender Drew MacIntyre stopped all 40 shots he faced to lead the Amerks to a 3-0 victory over the Albany Devils. The 5,635 fans in attendance at The Blue Cross Arena saw Rochester snap a three-game losing streak to kick off another three-game weekend.
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The Amerks got goals from Marcus Foligno, Alex Biega and Derek Whitmore to secure the win, but it was MacIntyre who stole the show in recording his first shutout of the season and the 15th of his AHL career. The nine-year veteran was particularly strong in the third period when he stopped 18 shots.
“(Albany) is a team that throws everything on net,” said MacIntyre. “When we play solid defensively we are a tough team to play against.”
While MacIntyre anchored the defense, eight different Amerks recorded points to contribute on the offensive end. Biega scored his first goal of the season and added an assist, while Whitmore scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season and Foligno netted his ninth. Evan Rankin, Phil Varone, Mark Voakes, Drew Schiestel and Jacob Lagace each collected an assist. The game also featured the return of Dennis Persson to the lineup following a 22-game injury absence and the Amerks debut of Rob Bordson, who was signed to a PTO from the ECHL’s Trenton Titans earlier in the day.
Rochester got on the board first when Foligno flipped a puck into the back of the net after going strong to the crease. Biega sent the puck down into the corner, where Folingo took the puck to the net and attempted to stuff it in the short side. The attempted poke check by Devils goalie Jeff Frazee sent the puck into the air before it dropped in behind him to give the Amerks the lead.
With 40 seconds to go in the opening period, the Amerks took advantage of a Devils penalty when Biega rifled a shot past Frazee from the top of the left circle. Voakes used some nifty stick work in the corner and got the puck back to Schiestel, who then slid it over to Biega for the one-timer, resulting in Rochester taking a 2-0 lead on the power play.
The Amerks gained a three-goal advantage midway through the second period when Whitmore capitalized on the power play. Rankin took a pass from Lagace and immediately slid a cross-ice pass to Whitmore, who buried it into a wide-open net.
MacIntyre, the game’s first star, then closed the door in the third period despite three Albany power plays, making 18 saves to clinch the win.
Rochester’s busy weekend continues on Saturday as it visits the Adirondack Phantoms for a 7 p.m. bout at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The matchup will be the second of four scheduled meetings this season between the Empire State foes and will be carried live on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk.