Newcomer Evan Rankin scored both goals for the Rochester Americans, but it was not enough as the Amerks dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Adirondack Phantoms tonight at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
CLICK HERE FOR BOXSCORE
Rankin broke a 1-1 tie midway through the third period to give the Amerks a one-goal cushion, but Garrett Roe’s game-tying tally minutes later would force the extra frame and Ben Holmstrom would seal the victory for the Phantoms just 2:06 into the overtime session on the power-play.
The game was Rankin’s second two-goal outing this season since joining the Amerks on a professional tryout on November 25. He now shows four goals in his last five games and is currently playing at a point-per-game pace with seven points (4+3) in as many games. Phil Varone assisted on both Rankin tallies and Marcus Foligno extended his point streak to three games with an assist as well. Drew MacIntyre, making his fourth consecutive start between the pipes, finished with 25 saves for the Amerks, who have now collected points in back-to-back games this weekend.
Roe (1+1) and former Amerk Denis Hamel (0+2) led the way offensively for the Phantoms, each finishing with two-point nights. Former Rochester goaltender Michael Leighton, in the crease for the eighth straight game for Adirondack, stopped 29 of 31 shots en route to earning first star honors.
Adirondack would strike first 11:13 into the opening frame as Shane Harper converted Hamel’s pass for his fourth goal of the season to put the Phantoms up 1-0. After an offensive zone turnover, Hamel jumped on the loose puck and headed up ice on a 2-on-1 odd-man rush. With Harper skating parallel to him, Hamel sent a cross-ice pass through the high-slot to his counterpart, who beat MacIntyre to the left side of the net before the Amerk netminder could get in position for the save.
Rankin evened the game at one apiece 4:48 into the second stanza on the power-play, batting in Shaone Morrisonn’s rebound from the left faceoff dot for his first of the game. Varone started the play by retrieving the puck from the left half-wall and sent a pass to Morrisonn at the left point, where the veteran defenseman unloaded a blast through traffic. The rebound caromed out to Rankin, who quickly deposited a low shot past Leighton to put the Amerks on the board.
Rochester took its first lead of the game in the third period as Rankin would pot his second of the night, again off an identical goal-mouth rebound from nearly the same spot. Varone’s initial shot from the high slot was turned away by Leighton, but after two failed attempts, Rankin prevailed on his third as he tucked the puck just inside the post to give the Amerks a 2-1 advantage. Foligno also earned an assist on the play.
Roe’s deflection of Dan Jancevski’s shot at 13:06 made it a 2-2 game, and would ultimately force overtime, paving the way for Holmstrom’s game-winner exactly nine minutes later. With Rochester’s Drew Schiestel serving a double-minor for high-sticking, Holmstrom corralled Roe’s shot off the end boards and slipped in a low back-hander past MacIntyre for his sixth goal of the season, completing the Adirondack rally.
The Amerks head north of border on Sunday, December 11 as they take on the Hamilton Bulldogs for the third time in as many weeks at Copps Coliseum. The 3:00 p.m. afternoon matinee can be heard live on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk.