The Rochester Americans played the second game of their three-game road trip on Sunday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, where the Lake Erie Monsters defeated the Amerks by a score of 3-0. With the loss, the Amerks fall to 30-24-6-4 on the season and, despite being winless in their last six games, remain in eighth place in the AHL’s Western Conference standings.
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Lake Erie, which defeated the Amerks 5-0 on Friday night to start the two-game set, received goals from Guillaume Desbiens, Stefan Elliott and Mike Sgarbossa while goaltender Sami Aittokallio stopped all 23 shots he faced to shutout the Amerks for the second consecutive game.
Rochester netminder Connor Knapp, who made his season debut with the Amerks in Friday’s loss to Lake Erie and got the starting nod for the second straight game on Sunday, turned aside 21 of 24 shots. Forward Luke Adam finished with a game-high four shots on goal.
Moments after Jerome Gauthier-Leduc nearly put the Amerks on top when his one-timer beat Aittokallio but rang off the post, the Monsters jumped out to a 2-0 lead by scoring a pair of goals just 43 seconds apart in the latter stages of the first period. First it was Desbiens scoring his sixth of the season at the 16:04 mark of the opening period. Desbiens gained control of a loose puck just inside the blue-line after it was poked away from teammate Colin Smith by a Rochester defender, then took a stride toward the net and fired a shot high to the left corner that found its way past Knapp for the goal. Smith and Duncan Siemens were credited with assists on the goal.
Less than a minute later, Lake Erie made it a 2-0 game when Elliott scored his 12th goal of the season and third against Rochester. Moving down from his post at the blue-line, Elliott accepted a pass in the high slot out of the corner from Mark Olver and beat Knapp to the blocker side for the goal. Andrew Agozzino also picked up an assist on the goal.
Lake Erie increased its lead to 3-0 with a power play goal at the 14:51 mark of the second period. Sgarbossa gained control of the puck in the neutral zone and sped up the left wing side before cutting in toward the net and slipping the puck past Knapp for the goal. Troy Bourke and Matt Hunwick each collected an assist on the goal, and the Monsters would hold on for the 3-0 win.
The Amerks close out their three-game road swing on Tuesday, March 25 when they head north of the border for a North Division showdown against the first-place Toronto Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum. The 11:00 a.m. special school day game will be the sixth of 10 meetings between the two teams this season and will be carried live on WBER 90.5 FM.