Amerks Lose Home Opener to Crunch

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Amerks Lose Home Opener to Crunch

It may sound like a familiar story, the Rochester Americans lose to the Syracuse Crunch, but what sets this one apart from last season is that the team put in a solid effort.  The Crunch had a few lucky bounces, and the Amerks appeared to have scored a goal but the light never went on.  The final score was 4-3.

Maybe someone can help out on that one.  I believe it was in the second period, a shot appeared to have went into the net and bounced right back out.  The goal light did not go on, and very few people seemed to have noticed.

The team put in a solid effort, never gave up.  There was one point in the second period where it seemed like the game was going south, but they picked up the slack.  The guys did well against a more talented and faster Crunch.  The team is still new (7 rookies, 2 second year players among 18 players), once they get a few games together and have more game play experience we’ll hope for better results.

It was impressive seeing Benoit Groulx and Jason Cipolla working hard behind the bench.  Benoit was constantly yelling from behind the bench, even animated at one point from a bad penalty that was called.  Again, something we rarely saw last year.

Neil Clark and Jon Mirasty started things early when they dropped the gloves at 2:44 into the first period.  Wasn’t much of a fight.  Mirasty got one solid punch in, and then did a great job at trying to throw jabs while holding back Clark where he couldn’t connect with anything.

At the start of the second period Mirasty tripped up Tanner Glass as they were both heading to the bench, Mirasty got off the ice after that.  We didn’t see much of him for the rest of the game.

Jason Garrison had an outstanding game with a goal and an assist.  If they can keep feeding him the puck at the point his shot should be able to handle the rest getting into the net.

Shawn Matthias is expected to be a big offensive threat, let’s just hope tonight was an off night.  He was virtually invisible on the ice.  We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he had a long day of travel yesterday and only had one practice with the team before tonights game.  Although at one point he was wide open on the left hand side of Crunch goaltender LaCosta but no one was able to get the puck to him.

Tanner Glass and Drew Larman were both very impressive.  Working hard, going after the puck.  Neither had any points, but they had a presence on the ice.

Janis Sprukts was solid with a goal and an assist, just as expected.

Rory Fitzpatrick was great on defense, he did his job.  With three other rookie defensemen on the team hopefully he’ll be a big presence in boosting our D.

Michal Repik also had a goal.  He’s going to be very good for us this year, assuming the Panthers stay healthy I’d like to make sure he sticks around.

Stefan Meyer is going to be out for what we’d expect is at least with a few games with an injured groin.

Chris Beckford-Tseu made 23 saves in the game.

Dan Collins, Keaton Ellerby, and Peter Aston were scratched tonight.  Ellerby is still injured, assuming the other two were healthy scratches.

We’d also like to thank Aaron Rome of the Syracuse Crunch for missing so many shots from the blue line.

The pre-game festivities were a good time as well.  It was impressive to see the effort that had gone into the event.  The music was good, although few people seemed to really pay attention to them.  All of the Mooses’ friends were there, food and drinks were available, the team store was open, bouncy house for the kids, as well as a few current and old players available signing autographs.

Amerks.com writeup:

(Rochester, October 10)… The Rochester Americans fell to the Syracuse Crunch 4-3 tonight at The Blue Cross Arena in their season opener despite great efforts from their rookies. Scoring for the Amerks in their professional debut were Jason Garrison and Michal Repik. Garrison’s two point (1+1) night earned him first star honors. Scoring the third goal for the Amerks was Janis Sprukts who got second star honors with his two point (1+1) performance. The Crunch was led by Derek MacKenzie with two points (1+1) earning him third star awards.

The Crunch got on the board first when Brian McGurik knocked in a rebound from the slot off a Trevor Frischmon shot at the 14:13 mark of the first. Also collecting an assist on the play was Clay Wilson.

At the 16:54 mark of the first period, the Amerks tied the game at one when Garrison netted his first professional goal off an one-timer from an nice pass by Doug O’Brien. The power play goal was also assisted by Sprukts.

The Crunch retook the lead at the 2:12 mark of the second when Nikita Filatov beat Amerks goalie Chris Beckford-Tseu stick-side. Assisting on Filatov’s first goal of the season was Adam Pineault and MacKenzie. On the power play, the Crunch extended their lead to two when MacKenzie scored to record his second point (1+1) of the night at the 9:52 mark of the second. Assisting on MacKenzie’s first goal of the season were Pineault and Andrey Plekhanov.

The Amerks cut the lead in half when Repik netted a wrist shot past Crunch goalie Dan LaCosta at the 16:05 mark of the second on the power play. Helping out on the play was Garrison who got his second point (1+1) of the night and Rory Fitzpatrick in his first game back in an Amerks uniform.

The Chunch regained their two-goal lead 12 seconds into the third when Mike Yoke netted his first goal of the season with the assists from Tom Sestito and Steve Kelly.

The Amerks pulled within one at the 10:27 mark of the third when Sprukts put in a Franklin MacDonald rebound past LaCosta. Sprukts’ second point (1+1) of the night was also assisted by Stefan Meyer.

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