AMERKS FALL TO CRUNCH IN OVERTIME IN WEEKEND FINALE
Hinostroza, Kulich provide the scoring in 3-2 overtime loss to SyracuseFeb 19, 2023
The Rochester Americans (23-20-3-1) forced overtime to earn one point against the Syracuse Crunch (23-18-3-4) but were unable to complete the comeback as fell 3-2 in the extra frame in the weekend finale Sunday at The Blue Cross Arena.
The game, which marked Rochester’s final contest of a three-in-three weekend, was also the eighth game of the season between the intrastate rivals. The Amerks, who went 1-1-1-0 on the weekend, have earned at least one point in six of the eight games in the head-to-head series with the Crunch.
Forward Vinnie Hinostroza scored his fifth goal of the season and third against Syracuse from Sean Malone while Jiri Kulich notched his 12th. Anders Bjork and Isak Rosen both recorded an assist on Kulich’s marker.
Goaltender Michael Houser (5-5-1) made consecutive starts at home for the first time since making three straight starts between May 14-16 to close out the condensed 2020-21 season. Over his last three appearances, Houser, who made 26 saves, has posted a 2-0-1 record.
Alex Barré-Boulet tallied his team-leading 20th multi-point effort as he registered a goal and an assist while Shawn Element and Darren Raddysh, who scored the game-winner, completed the scoring for Syracuse. Goaltender Max Lagace turned aside 29-of-31 shots to record back-to-back wins on the weekend.
Facing a 2-1 deficit in the final four minutes of regulation, the Amerks pressed to even the game.
Kulich scooped up a loose puck inside the Rochester zone and sprinted through the center of the ice. As he reached the far blueline, he handed the puck to Rosen and continued towards the net. Rosen dished a one-time feed for Bjork and Kulich swept the loose rebound behind Lagace.
With the goal, Kulich has tallied 10 points (5+5) over his last 10 outings dating back to Jan. 25, while Bjork has 13 points (4+9) in his last 19 games. Rosen has logged 11 points on four goals and seven assists over his previous 16 outings.
Kulich’s tally with 2:53 remaining in the third period sent the game to overtime, but the Crunch took the 3-2 win as Raddysh finished off a feed from Barré-Boulet 3:06 into the extra frame.
During the opening period, Syracuse drew a high-sticking penalty to earn its second power-play of the stanza.
On the infraction, Gage Goncalves had the puck inside the right point before sending a shot-pass in-between the face-off dots. As the puck reached his stick, Felix Robert steered it to Element along the goal-line. Element was initially denied but made good on his second attempt to notch his ninth of the campaign.
Rochester went into the intermission trailing by a goal but countered back 4:26 into the second period when Hinostroza completely fooled an unsuspecting Lagace with a snipe to the upper corner of the net following a clean face-off win by Malone.
Four minutes after Rochester tied the contest, Syracuse responded to reclaim its lead at the 8:15 mark of the second period.
Tracking down a loose puck along the boards to the left of Houser, Simon Ryfors slid a pass atop the zone for Philippe Myers to hammer a slapshot towards the cage. The Amerks netminder appeared to absorb the shot, however, the puck slipped out for Barré-Boulet to push across the line.
Kulich tied the score at two late in the third period before Raddysh netted the game-winner in overtime.
The Amerks begin their second straight weekend of three games in as many nights on Friday, Feb. 24 when they welcome the Laval Rocket back to The Blue Cross Arena. All the action from the 7:05 p.m. contest will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Tonight was the 11th game this season decided beyond regulation for Rochester, which is 6-3 in overtime and 1-1 in the shootout ... With the lone assist on Vinnie Hinostroza’s goal, Sean Malone has totaled six points (2+4) in eight games during the month of February ... After appearing in his 100th professional game yesterday in Toronto, Brandon Biro skated in his 100th game as an Amerk this afternoon.
SYR: S. Element (9), A. Barré-Boulet (16), D. Raddysh (13)
ROC: V. Hinostroza (5), J. Kulich (12)
SYR: M. Lagace – 29/31 (W)
ROC: M. Houser – 26/29 (OTL)
SYR: PP (1/4) | PK (3/3)
ROC: PP (0/3) | PK (3/4)
1. SYR - D. Raddysh
2. SYR - M. Lagace
3. ROC - M. Houser