The Rochester Americans fell to the Albany Devils by a score of 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon at the Times Union Center. Despite the loss, the Amerks have still managed to pick up points in four of their last five games and remain in a playoff position with 75 points heading into the final weekend of March.
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Defenseman T.J. Brennan tallied the lone goal for Rochester, with the assists going to Brayden McNabb and Paul Szczechura. Netminder David Leggio turned away 32 of 34 shots faced in what was his 14th straight start. The game also marked the 700th pro appearance for veteran defenseman Shaone Morrisonn.
Eric Gelinas and Steve Zalewski contributed a goal apiece for Albany in the contest, while Tim Sestito and Matt Anderson each chipped in an assist. Jeff Frazee and Keith Kinkaid combined to make 23 saves between the pipes in the winning effort.
After neither team was able to get on the board over the first 29 minutes of play, the Amerks capitalized on a two-man advantage for a 1-0 lead at 9:22 of the second period. McNabb setup Brennan for a one-timed blast from the top of the right circle that beat Frazee high to the glove side. The goal represented Brennan’s 15th of the season, matching the career-high he set during the 2010-11 season in Portland.
Gelinas, the AHL’s leader in goals by a defenseman, found the back of the net for the Devils just 43 seconds into the final frame to tie the game at one. The rookie blueliner pinched in from the right point to the low slot and sent a rebound bid past Leggio for his 16th of the season.
Albany netted the game-winning goal with 4:39 remaining in regulation as Zalewski buried his team-leading 17th of the season. After a turnover in the Rochester defensive zone, the fifth-year pro broke in alone on Leggio and deposited a quick backhander to the top shelf to make it a 2-1 game.
Rochester returns home on Friday, March 30 for the first of back-to-back tilts with the North Division rival Toronto Marlies at The Blue Cross Arena. The same two teams will meet again the following night to bring their season series to a close. Both games are slated for a 7:35 p.m. start with all the action being carried live on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk.