(Syracuse, NY) … After a back-and-forth battle throughout regulation, the Rochester Americans fell in overtime, 6-5, to the North Division rival Syracuse Crunch in a game that saw goals from 11 different players. Of the 17 games this season, Rochester has seen seven go beyond regulation play, two of which have been against the Crunch.
The night was full of firsts on Rochester’s end with Amerks forward Sean Malone scoring his first professional goal, defenseman Conor Allen netting his first goal as an Amerk and Evan Rodrigues picking up his first point of the season with an assist. Linus Ullmark, who entered the game on a career-long five-game win streak, turned in a solid 43-save effort as Rochester was able to gain a point for the eighth time in its last nine games.
For Syracuse, Matthew Peca and former Amerk Mat Bodie tallied their first goals of the year, and Reid McNeill notched his first point. Multi-point nights were had by Colin Blackwell (0+2), Nick Baptiste (1+1), Dominik Masin and Matthew Peca.
The Crunch began firing on all cylinders and opened scoring just 1:18 into the pre-Thanksgiving Day matchup, as Alexander Volkov tallied his third of the season with assists from Peca and McNeil.
Just over the midway point of the first period, Dennis Yan went to the box for slashing, followed by Rochester’s Kevin Porter for tripping. Just 30 seconds into the four-on-four action, Zach Redmond fired the puck off the post and in, tying up the game for the first of five times on the night.
A few minutes later, Steve Moses passed the puck to Porter, who had his original shot denied before collecting his own rebound to give the Amerks a 2-1 lead heading into the break. Rodrigues’ helper on the goal was his first point of the year after spending the first seven weeks of the season injured. Despite a 2-1 advantage for the Amerks, they were outshot 18-8 after 20 minutes of play.
The Crunch knotted the game at two 7:39 into the middle frame with their first of two shorthanded goals on the night from Peca, who intercepted a pass near center ice and beat Ullmark with a shot inside the left post on the ensuring breakaway.
Malone restored the 3-2 lead for Rochester less than four minutes later off a slick individual effort. The rookie forward weaved his way down the left wing before picking the upper corner for his first professional goal.
The Amerks would lose the lead again later in the frame on goals from McBain and Masin, only to even the score on the power-play with 10 seconds remaining in the period. After Hudson Fasching and Stuart Percy were both stopped by Crunch netminder Louis Domingue, Baptiste converted the third attempt from the top of the crease for his first goal since his reassignment from the big club.
The third period saw the teams exchange goals from defensemen, with Bodie putting the hosts back up by one at 10:14. A face-off win in the right circle made its way back to Bodie, who outwaited Ullmark as he skated across the slot before firing a shot past his former teammate to give Syracuse a 5-4 lead.
The lead proved to be short-lived, however, as Allen answered less than three minutes later to tie the game yet again and ultimately force overtime. Just 1:48 into the extra session, Yan cruised down the ice and fired the puck past Ullmark to seal the 6-5 win for Syracuse.
The Amerks conclude the holiday week with a home-and-home set with the Binghamton Devils beginning on Friday, Nov. 24 at The Blue Cross Arena. The action then shifts back to Binghamton the following night for the fourth meeting in 11 days between the two teams. Both contests are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Redmond (2), Porter (5), Malone (1), Baptiste (4), Allen (1)
SYR: Volkov (3), Peca (1), McBain (2), Masin (3), Bodie (1), Yan (3, OT GWG)
RCH: Ullmark – 43/49 (OTL)
SYR: Domingue – 30/35 (W)
RCH: PP (2/6) | PK (2/2)
SYR: PP (0/2) | PK (4/6)