The Rochester Americans picked up their third consecutive win and sixth over the past seven games on Friday night, defeating the Binghamton Senators by a score of 3-1 at The Blue Cross Arena. The victory, which came in front of 6,299 fans, also extended Rochester’s home winning streak to a season-high five games.
Paul Szczechura, Luke Adam and Derek Whitmore tallied a goal apiece for Rochester, while David Leggio finished with 35 saves in what was another stellar performance between the pipes.
“Early on they were taking it to us and David gave us an opportunity to get our legs under us, re-focus, and open things up. He made a lot of good saves in the third, too.” said Head Coach Ron Rolston. “We knew that (the Senators) were a hard-working team, and it will be the same tomorrow night.”
Craig Schira netted the lone goal for Binghamton in the losing effort and netminder Robin Lehner turned away 26 of 29 shots on goal.
After a scoreless first period, the Amerks capitalized on a turnover by the Senators at 4:19 of the middle frame to take a 1-0 lead. Szczechura picked up a loose puck on the left wing boards and made a nifty drag move around a defender before lifting a backhander into the open side of the net. The unassisted goal was Szczechura’s 13th of the season.
Binghamton knotted things up at the 9:08 mark of the second period when a left-point wrister off the stick of Schira eluded a maze of bodies in the slot and beat Leggio high over his right shoulder, tying the game at one. Pat Cannone and Andre Petersson collected the assists.
Adam notched his second goal of the season with the Amerks in the closing minutes of the second period to restore Rochester’s one-goal advantage. The centerman corralled a bouncing puck just inside the offensive blue line, made his way past a defender in the slot, and finally slipped a backhander between the legs of the Binghamton netminder with 3:28 remaining in the period. Defenseman Matt MacKenzie, who was skating as a forward in the game and recently returned from an injury absence, earned the assist for his first point since Nov. 25.
Rochester extended its lead to 3-1 at 10:50 of the final period as Whitmore tipped home a Nick Crawford bid from the right-point for his team-leading 24th goal of the season. Travis Turnbull also picked up an assist on the insurance goal.
The same two teams get right back at it on Saturday night as the Amerks and B-Sens close out their two-game weekend set. Game time is slated for 7:35 p.m. with all the action being carried live on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester's Sports Talk.