Trailing 6-3 in the third period, the Rochester Americans scored four straight goals to rally for a 7-6 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday. Mark Mancari tied the game at six before Alex Biega scored the eventual game-winning goal with just 3:04 remaining in the third period to cap off the comeback and give Rochester the win.
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Seven different Amerks players finished with two-point games, including Biega (1+1), Kevin Porter (1+1), Mancari (1+1), Marcus Foligno (1+1), Luke Adam (1+1), Nick Tarnasky (0+2) and Kevin Sundher (0+2). Goaltender David Leggio made 33 saves in net to earn the win while Jonathan Parker and Maxime Legault rounded out the scoring for the Amerks.
Lake Erie was led by the tandem of Bill Thomas (2+1) and Mike Sgarbossa (1+2), who each finished with three points on the night. Goaltender Sami Aittokallio made 20 saves in the loss.
Porter gave Rochester a 1-0 lead at the 3:40 mark of the opening period. With the Amerks cycling the puck in the Lake Erie zone, Mancari took a pass from Foligno at the top of the left face-off circle and quickly fed a pass down to the far post, where Porter was stationed to knock in the puck.
The Monsters responded less than two minutes later as they scored the first of three unanswered goals in the period. Thomas, a former Amerk, took a shot that was turned aside by Leggio, but Sgarbossa was there to knock in the rebound. Shortly after, with the Monsters on the power play, Thomas and Sgarbossa hooked up again. This time it was Sgarbossa finding Thomas with a pass from the left wing boards, and Thomas, who was streaking to the net, converted to give Lake Erie a 2-1 lead. Later in the first period, a goal that was initially waved off by the officials was reviewed and Thomas Pock was awarded with a goal to make it a 3-1 game. Pock gained control of a loose puck in the corner and threw it to the front of the net, where it bounced off a skate and narrowly crossed the goal line.
Lake Erie struck first in the second period when Mark Olver found a loose puck in the crease and swept it in for the goal. A slap shot by Karl Stollery was initially denied by Leggio, but the puck trickled off the goaltender and into the crease, where Olver was able to knock it in to make it 4-1.
Adam then extended his goal streak to three games midway through the period as the Amerks cut the deficit to 4-2. Porter intercepted a clearing pass in the high slot and took a quick shot that was stopped. Adam, however, gathered in the rebound, waited patiently for Aittokallio to make a move, and shot it over the netminder for the goal.
Thomas scored his second goal of the game in the final minute of the second period off a pinpoint crossing pass from Sgarbossa to make it 5-2 in favor of Lake Erie heading into the intermission.
Legault scored early in the third period to cut the deficit to two. Porter began the play by circling behind the net and passing back to Biega at the point. Biega’s slap shot was knocked down in front, but Legault was there to put it the rebound.
Stefan Elliott then put Lake Erie up by a 6-3 margin with his first goal of the season, but Foligno responded just over a minute later to make it 6-4 with his seventh of the campaign off assists from Sundher and Nick Crawford. Rochester’s rally continued when Jonathan Parker made it a 6-5 game. The goal was waved off by the referee at first, but after a video review, the call was reversed and Parker was awarded his third goal of the season.
The Amerks would then complete the comeback with goals by Mancari and Biega late in the third. First, Mancari swept in the rebound of a shot by Jerome Gauthier-Leduc during a power play as the Amerks tied the game at 15:41. Then with just over three minutes remaining, a long wrist shot from the right point by Biega found its way through traffic in front and got past Aittokallio for the eventual game-winning goal.
The win marked the second time this season the Amerks came back from a three-goal deficit on the road to win, a feat they also pulled off in Hershey back on Oct. 20.
Rochester returns home on Saturday, Dec. 15 as the Amerks host the defending Western Conference champion Toronto Marlies at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the third get-together in as many weeks between the North Division rivals and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK.