|CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME|
|ADAM WILCOX POST-GAME|
|NICK BAPTISTE POST-GAME|
|TAYLOR FEDUN POST-GAME|
(Rochester, NY) – The Rochester Americans (25-12-6-5) played host to the Belleville Senators (20-25-1-3) for just the second time in franchise history tonight at The Blue Cross Arena, but the visiting Senators left the Flower City with a 2-0 victory. The regulation loss was Rochester’s first in the eight-game season series between the North Division rivals after holding a 3-0-2 record coming into the night.
Despite the shutout loss, the Amerks have earned points in 31 of their last 38 games dating back to Nov. 1 and suffered just their second regulation loss at The Blue Cross since Dec. 30.
Rookie forward Sean Malone and veteran defenseman Matt Tennyson each had a game-high five shots for the Amerks, who are winless in their last three games for just the third time all season. Goaltender Adam Wilcox made his second consecutive start but took the loss as he stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced. The South St. Paul, Minn., native carries a record of 8-4-5 through 19 appearances.
Kyle Flanagan scored his first marker of the slate while Max Reinhart tallied his eighth to seal the Senators’ first-ever shutout. Goaltender Marcus Hogberg snapped a four-game losing streak as he made 33 saves and earned his first-career shutout in North America. In seven appearances this season, the rookie shows a 3-4-0 record.
As the midway point of the first period approached, Vincent Dunn dumped the puck towards the cage and Wilcox directed it to the right corner. Chasing the puck down, Flanagan exchanged a give-and-go with Tyler Randell before the winger picked the upper left-hand corner of Wilcox to give the visitors the 1-0 lead at the 7:06 mark of the stanza.
“I think tonight was a story we have been fighting all year,” said Wilcox. “We come out in the first and second periods and do not really play our game until the final period. It is something we have to improve on and work on as a group. While we are in a good spot in the standings, a lot of the wins have come from games when we have come from behind. I think the last stretch of games we have not had the starts we had hoped.”
The Amerks faced the one-goal deficit going into the final period and tested Hogberg often throughout last frame of the night as they finished with 17 shots. However, despite pulling Wilcox for the extra attacker during the last 90 seconds, the Senators tacked on an empty-netter and escaped with a 2-0 victory when the horn sounded.
“It was a terrible game,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “We did not win many, if any at all, puck battles, 50-50 pucks. Overall I did not like anything about our game, except for Wilcox. I thought Adam played well and gave us a chance to win.”
The Amerks head to the Keystone State this weekend for a pair of matchups beginning on Saturday, Feb. 10 when they meet up with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the second and final meeting of the season between the two teams and can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
BEL: Flanagan (1), Reinhart (8)
RCH: Wilcox – 23/24 (L)
BEL: Hogberg – 33/33 (W)
RCH: PP (0/1) | PK (3/3)
BEL: PP (0/3) | PK (1/1)