The Rochester Americans defeated the Syracuse Crunch 4-1 at the War Memorial at Oncenter on Saturday night as four different players scored goals for the Amerks. With the win, the Amerks are now 3-1-0-0 against the Crunch this season.
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T.J. Brennan led the way for the Amerks with a goal and an assist, while Rick Schofield, Nick Tarnasky and Kevin Porter also scored for Rochester, which won for the third time in its last five games. Alex Biega added two assists and goaltender David Leggio, making his eighth consecutive start, turned aside 41 shots to earn the victory.
Brett Connolly scored the lone Syracuse goal while Crunch goaltender Riku Helenius made 27 saves.
The teams traded scoring chances during a scoreless first period, with the best chance coming off the stick of Amerks forward Maxime Legault, who rang a shot off the crossbar. The play went to video review by the referee, who confirmed that the puck never crossed the goal line.
Rochester took a 1-0 lead at the 5:11 mark of the second period when Schofield, who played for the Crunch last season, scored his fourth goal of the year. After Helenius stopped a shot by Kevin Sundher, Schofield found the rebound in the slot and backhanded it into the top left corner of the net.
Tarnaksy gave the Amerks a 2-0 lead later in the second period when he scored on the power play to extend his point streak to four games. Nick Crawford battled for the puck on the right half-wall and fed a pass to Tarnasky, who skated in on Helenius and fired from the bottom of the face-off circle through the goaltender’s five-hole for his eighth of the season. Brian Flynn also assisted on the goal.
Brett Connolly got Syracuse on the board at 6:34 of the third period. With the Crunch skating on a power play, a scramble in front of the Amerks net resulted in Connolly knocking in a loose puck. Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat collected the assists on the power play goal.
After Syracuse cut the deficit in half, the Amerks responded with two goals to give themselves a three-goal cushion and would hang on for the 4-1 win. First, Porter beat Helenius for his 11th goal of the season off assists from Brennan and Biega. Later in the period, with the Amerks skating on a two-man advantage, Brennan blasted a one-timer over the goaltender’s left shoulder for his 14th goal of the season. Mark Mancari and Luke Adam assisted on the insurance goal.
The Amerks return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 16 as Rochester heads to the southern tier for the sixth of eight meetings with the Binghamton Senators this season. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. and will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.