|CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME|
|GARRET ROSS POST-GAME|
|MATT TENNYSON POST-GAME|
(Rochester, NY) … For the fourth time in the last five games, the Rochester Americans (11-5-3-2) needed to go beyond regulation time to decide the outcome. Friday night, the Hartford Wolf Pack (8-12-2-1) erased 3-1 Amerks lead to pick up a 5-4 shootout win and snap a four-game losing skid at The Blue Cross Arena.
Despite falling in the shootout, the Amerks have notched points in 12 of their last 13 games and have collected 23 out of a possible 32 points dating back to Oct. 25.
Seth Griffith, Steve Moses, Garret Ross and Evan Rodrigues all lit the lamp for the Amerks, who have not suffered a loss in regulation on home ice since Oct. 28, going 4-0-0-1 since. Netminder Adam Wilcox, who made his second start in the last three games, made 24 saves but took the loss.
Hartford defenseman Vince Pedrie recorded his first multi-point game of the season as the rookie tallied a goal and assist while fellow first-year blueliner Brandon Crawley chipped in a pair of helpers in the shootout win. Ryan Gropp, Scott Kosmachuk and Adam Chapie all scored for the Wolf Pack while goaltender Alexandar Georgiev snapped a seven-game winless skid, stopping 34 of 38 shots.
The Amerks held a 4-3 lead entering the final period but were dealt a pair of tripping infractions midway through the third and forced to play two skaters short for an entire two minutes. The Amerks killed off the penalties before drawing their own power-play, their sixth of the night.
Rochester controlled the puck for nearly the entire two minutes on the man-advantage until former Amerk Cole Schneider carried it out of the zone as the penalty had expired. Schneider exchanged a give-and-go with Kosmachuk, who joined the play after stepping out of the box, and slipped his fourth goal of the season to tie the game at 4-4 with 4:23 to play to ultimately force overtime.
During the extra session, the two teams each generated multiple scoring opportunities as they combined for eight shots but the shootout was required as the game remained tied.
Rochester elected to shoot first in the skills competition but only C.J. Smith, who celebrated his 23rd birthday, would be the lone Amerk to score while newcomer Peter Holland, having been acquired by the parent New York Rangers just the day before, and Kosmachuk each scored to lift the Wolf Pack to the 5-4 win.
Making his first appearance in Rochester and playing in his just second game as an Amerk overall, Griffith scored the lone goal during the first period as the forward scored 6:30 into first from Stuart Percy and Smith. Percy found the former AHL All-Star with a back-door pass to the far post that Griffith converted for the easy tap-in for his first as an Amerk.
“After the strong start, we sort of let off the gas pedal,” said Ross, who scored in back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 8 and 11, 2015 as a member of the Rockford IceHogs. “When we are dominating a team and keeping them on their heels, we need to find a way to close them out.
During the second period, the two clubs combined for six goals in a span of just over 12 minutes to set-up a 4-3 lead for Rochester going into the final frame.
“Tonight was one of those games where we had a lot of chances but unfortunately we just could not capitalize on,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “When you have a game like that and are not able to score on those chances, sometimes it comes back to bite you. Tonight was one of those games.”
Hartford tied the game late in the third before capping off the five-round shootout to earn the extra point.
The Amerks set out on a four-game, eight-day road swing beginning on Saturday, Dec. 2 when they travel to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza to face Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, last year’s Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy winners, for the only time this season. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Griffith (1), Moses (6), Ross (3), Rodrigues (3)
HFD: Gropp (3), Chapie (1), Pedrie (2), Kosmachuk (4, SO GWG)
RCH: Wilcox – 24/28 (SOL)
HFD: Georgiev – 34/38 (W)
RCH: PP (1/6) | PK (5/5)
HFD: PP (0/5) | PK (5/6)