(Belleville, ON) … After 40 minutes of play, it appeared the Rochester Americans (7-4-1-1) were going to complete the two-game sweep over the Belleville Senators (7-7-0-1) but the hosts scored three unanswered goals to complete the 5-4 comeback in overtime Saturday night at Yardmen Arena.
Despite the loss, the Amerks have earned 10 out of a possible 12 points in their first six road games while showing a record of 4-0-1-1 to begin the 2017-18 season.
Forwards Sahir Gill (2+0) and Kevin Porter (0+2) paced the Rochester offense with multi-point efforts while Steve Moses and Dalton Smith capped off the scoring. In his sixth appearance of the campaign, Adam Wilcox faced a season-high 40 shots but took the loss.
Belleville was led by rookie forward Jordan Murray’s first-career three-point performance (2+1) while Max McCormick and Francis Perron each turned in multi-point (1+1) nights in the overtime win. First-year defenseman Thomas Chabot opened the scoring in the contest as goaltender Andrew Hammond finished the night with 19 saves to improve his record to 4-2-1.
With 6:25 left in the second stanza, the Amerks had a three-on-one rush entering the offensive zone. Carrying the puck near the right-wing, Smith was looking to pass either Eric Cornel or Sean Malone, who were driving towards the net, but instead the 6-foot-2-forward fired home his first goal as an Amerk to put the visiting Rochester squad up 4-2.
Following the second period intermission break, the Sens seemed to carry the play the final frame of regulation as they outshot the Amerks 14-2.
After Murray trimmed the Rochester lead 2:42 into the frame, the home club kept pressing as Perron tied the game 10 minutes later and forced overtime as the matchup was tied at 4-4.
The Amerks got their best chance during the extra session as Brendan Guhle used his speed to dance around a Senators defender in the offensive zone and found a wide-open Kyle Criscuolo but the second-year pro was stunned on the door step by Hammond.
As the overtime period continued and was in its final minute, McCormick sent a saucer-pass from just inside the Amerks zone towards Murray, who was crashing the net. The rookie forward managed to redirect the puck just enough and it found its way behind Wilcox, giving the Sens a 5-4 victory with 56 seconds left in the extra period.
Chabot opened the scoring 6:24 into the game but the Amerks responded with a pair of goals and took a 2-1 lead into the dressing room following the first 20 minutes of play. The middle stanza started much as the first had concluded with the Amerks pressing.
Less than 2:30 into the period, Gill buried his second goal of the evening and eighth point (6+2) in the last eight games. Rookie C.J. Smith, who saw his five-game point streak end last night, and Stuart Percy each recorded helpers on the power-play goal that gave the Amerks a 3-1 lead.
The Sens countered Gill’s sixth goal of the season as McCormick made it 3-2 game with 9:14 left in the second period. Dalton Smith capped off the scoring for Rochester three minutes later as he plotted his first of the season from Cornel and Malone but Belleville responded with three unanswered goals, including Murray’s overtime tally while outshooting the Amerks 17-3 during the remainder of the contest to escape with a 5-4 victory.
Rochester returns home on Wednesday, Nov. 15 for its first meeting of the season against the Binghamton Devils, the newest affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Moses (3), Gill (5, 6), D. Smith (1)
BEL: Chabot (2), McCormick (3), Murray (1, 2 OT GWG), Perron (2)
RCH: Wilcox – 35/40 (OTL)
BEL: Hammond – 19/23 (W)
RCH: PP (1/3) | PK (3/3)
BEL: PP (0/3) | PK (2/3)