(Syracuse, NY) … After scoring twice in the final 6:35 of regulation to erase a two-goal third-period deficit, the Rochester Americans (5-2-0-1) completed the 7-6 come-from-behind win in the final minute of overtime to stun the Syracuse Crunch (2-2-2-0) Saturday at the War Memorial Arena.
With the win in the extra session, their second of the campaign against the Crunch, the Amerks have earned 11 out of a possible 16 points overall through the first eight games of the season. Dating back to the 2018-19 slate between the two teams, Rochester is 8-4-1-1 in the previous 14 get-togethers against Syracuse.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Amerks forwards J.S. Dea and Curtis Lazar both posted a pair of goals and two assists in the comeback, with Dea’s second of the night coming with only 13 seconds remaining to force overtime. Casey Fitzgerald (1+1), Lawrence Pilut (1+2) and C.J. Smith (0+2) all recorded multi-point efforts on the night as well. Sean Malone netted his second marker of the campaign in the second period to close out the scoring. Goaltender Andrew Hammond (3-1-1), who made his sixth appearance of the year in the crease, notched 15 saves before Jonas Johansson (2-1-0) came in and finished the final 12:38 of regulation and the overtime period with three saves on all three shots he faced to earn his second straight win.
Gemel Smith (2+1) recorded his second multi-point performance of the season while Luke Schenn and Cameron Gaunce both tallied a pair of helpers. Cory Conacher and Alex Barre-Boulet each found the back of the net for the Crunch, while Boris Katchouk and Ben Thomas both scored their first goals of the season. Former Amerk Scott Wedgewood (1-1-1) made 21 saves in the overtime loss.
Trailing 6-4 with less than seven minutes to play in regulation, Lazar capitalized on Rochester’s fourth man-advantage of the contest, making it a one-goal game from Smith and Scott Wilson.
Rochester pushed for the equalizer and would eventually find it as they pulled Johansson in favor of the extra attacker inside the final minute. Dea converted a loose rebound to the left of Wedgewood with just 13 seconds to force overtime off the initial offering from Pilut from just inside the Syracuse blueline.
With the game tied at 6-6 after 60 minutes of play in a back-and-forth affair, Lazar and Dea exchanged passes inside the Crunch zone before Dea handed Pilut the puck atop the right face-off dot. Taking a few strides towards Wedgewood, the second-year blueliner ruang a shot off the inside of the right post to give the Amerks 7-6 victory with 41 seconds left in overtime.
The two teams traded power-play goals in the opening 20 minutes to go into the locker rooms knotted up at one-goal apiece.
Syracuse grabbed a 2-1 lead less than five minutes into the middle stanza before Fitzgerald and Malone turned a one-goal deficit into a 3-2 lead just 21 seconds apart at the 11:43 mark. The Crunch, however, countered as they scored two twice in a span of 1:25 to take a 4-3 lead going into the final period.
Following the opening face-off of the frame, and despite the Crunch grabbing the puck inside their own zone, Wilson forced a turnover and Dea tied the game yet again just 10 seconds in.
The scoring frenzy continued as Syracuse took a two-goal advantage midway through the period before Rochester stormed back with two goals, including the game-tying goal from Dea with 13 seconds left.
As a shootout was looming late in the overtime period, Pilut completed the comeback for Rochester with his first of the season to seal the 7-6 victory.
The Amerks close out the weekend on Sunday, Oct. 27 with a return trip back to Springfield to take on the Thunderbirds at 5:05 p.m. at the MassMutual Center. Rochester claimed the first matchup between the two teams earlier this month by a 2-1 score during the team’s annual trek through New England. Sunday’s contest can be heard live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester.
ROC: C. Lazar (1, 2), C. Fitzgerald (1), S. Malone (2), J. Dea (3, 4), L. Pilut (1 – OT GWG)
SYR: G. Smith (1, 2) B. Katchouk (1), B. Thomas (1), C. Conacher (1), A. Barre-Boulet (4)
ROC: A. Hammond – 15/21 (ND) | J. Johansson – 3/3 (W)
SYR: LS. Wedgewood – 21/28 (OTL)
ROC: PP (2/5) | PK (1/3)
SYR: PP (2/3) | PK (3/5)
1. G. Smith (SYR)
2. C. Lazar (ROC)
3. L. Pilut (ROC)