(Rochester, NY) … While the Rochester Americans (12-3-2-2) extended their point streak to a season-long nine games (7-0-1-1), it was the Toronto Marlies (14-2-2-1) who took the extra point as they left The Blue Cross Arena Friday night with a 3-2 overtime win.
Despite the loss in overtime, Rochester has earned 28 out of a possible 38 points through its first 19 games of the campaign and has picked up points in 14 of the last 16 contests overall, going 10-2-2-2 over that span, including earning at least one point in every game in November.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Forwards Scott Wilson and Brett Murray each recorded their sixth and fourth goals of the season, respectively, while netminder Andrew Hammond (7-1-2) stopped 28 shots but was dealt the overtime loss. Kevin Porter earned primary assist on Murray’s goal during the first period, pushing his current point streak to six games while skating in his 500th career American Hockey League contest.
Pontus Aberg, who entered the contest leading the Marlies in points, turned in a three-point effort (1+2) to push Toronto’s win streak to seven games. Darren Archibald and Tanner MacMaster rounded out the scoring as goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo made 33 saves to improve to 7-1-1 on the campaign.
WATCH: KEVIN PORTER POST-GAME
The Marlies faced a 2-1 deficit near the midway point of the final period of play but drew their third penalty of the night to gather an extra skater. During the man-advantage, Teemu Kivihalme darted into the offensive zone with the puck and fired a shot from the left of Hammond. The initial shot clanked off the right post before Archibald bunted it into the net to even the score at the 8:43 mark.
“They have a good power-play,” said Porter. “We have to do a better job of staying out of the penalty box while also getting in front of their goaltender. We have to play a simpler game and not turn so many pucks over.”
In the final 10 seconds of regulation, Rochester entered the Toronto zone with a 3-on-1 odd-man rush, but Dalton Smith just missed the potential game-winner and the overtime period followed.
WATCH: NATHAN PAETSCH POST-GAME
During the first 30 seconds of the extra session, Porter and Lawrence Pilut nearly teamed up for another potential game-winning-goal, but the blueliner’s shot rang off the outside of the crossbar.
“We had a lot of Grade-A chances,” said Nathan Paetsch. “We did a lot of things right and the only time we did run into trouble is when we overhandled pucks and did not get them as deep a few times. I thought we played a really solid game overall, though.”
Later in the frame, the puck made its way to the left corner inside the Amerks end of the ice before Aberg stepped out into the slot. The forward wasted little time and quickly fired in his 10th goal of the season to give the Marlies a 3-2 win with 3:24 left in overtime.
WATCH: CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME
“It was a really good game,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor, who returned to the Rochester bench after spending the first two months of the season with the Buffalo Sabres. “I thought we had a lot of good chances to win the game but we missed four or five good scoring chances.”
Rochester opened the scoring for the third consecutive game as Porter scooped up his own rebound and traded a give-and-go with Andrew Oglevie at the 13:24 mark of the first period. After getting the return pass, Porter centered the puck to Murray in-between the face-off dots for the rookie’s third of the season.
“They understand where everybody is (on the ice),” described Taylor of the chemistry between Porter, Oglevie and Murray. “They have played a long time together and that’s what we want as guys get that continuity. The three guys read off each other and they all three bring something different to add value to the line.”
“Ports’ and ‘Ogs’ made a great play getting on the forecheck,” explained Murray, who entered the contest tied for 14th in the AHL in scoring amongst rookies with 11 points (2+9) in 13 games. “I was lucky enough to enter the zone and ‘Ports’ had great vision getting me the puck in the slot.”
WATCH: BRETT MURRAY POST-GAME
The Amerks carried the one-goal lead into the locker room after the first period of play. In the middle stanza, the North Division rivals traded tallies less than three minutes apart to enter the final frame with a 2-1 score.
Toronto tied the game at two goals apiece before Aberg sealed the comeback win just 96 second into the overtime period.
The Amerks bring the month to a close on Saturday, Nov. 30 when they make their first trip of the season to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for a North Division showdown against the Cleveland Monsters. The matchup will be the third meeting of the season between the two teams with each side having earned a win beyond regulation, the most recent of which came on Nov. 15 in Rochester. Game time is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: B. Murray (3), S. Wilson (6)
TOR: T. MacMaster, D. Archibald (4), P. Aberg (10 – OT GWG)
ROC: A. Hammond – 28/31 (OTL)
TOR: K. Kaskisuo – 33/35 (W)
ROC: PP (0/3) | PK (3/4)
TOR: PP (1/4) | PK (3/3)
1. P. Aberg (TOR)
2. B. Murray (ROC)
3. T. MacMaster (TOR)