The Rochester Americans three-game winning streak came to end Saturday night as they lost to the Syracuse Crunch in OT, the final score being 3-2.
With a total of 23 penalties called between the two teams, the Amerks stood up to the hard-hitting Crunch by not backing down and playing a full 60 plus minutes of hockey.
At 13:29 of the second period, a shoving match started in the corner between Drew Larman and Derek Dorsett.
Aaron Rome of the Crunch was the third man in and pulled Larman away from Dorsett, punches were then tossed around. The fight was one-sided, in favor of Dorsett, but it was great to see Larman not back down.
Dorsett was given a game misconduct for being third man in.
Franklin MacDonald was given two minutes for hooking and was in the penalty box, when at 6:48 of the first period, The Crunch opened the scoring with a goal from Adam Pineault.
Andrej Sekera scored the first Amerks goal halfway through the first period on the power play. The goal was assisted by Zagrapan and Gragnani. The three players did an excellent job passing the puck around and getting Crunch goaltender LaCosta out of position, at which time Sekera shot the puck in the net.
The second period was scoreless and each team recorded 10 shots on goal. The second period was also filled with all sorts of penalties, including Crunch player Trevor Frischmon when he put a knee up and hit Mark Mancari.
Anthony Stewart scored a mere 16 seconds into the third period to put the Amerks in the lead 2-1. The goal was assisted by Stefan Meyer and Marek Zagrapan. I just barely sat down in my seat after returning from intermission, so I apologize for not giving more description of the goal.
Derek MacKenzie scored a power play goal for the Crunch to tie the game at two, halfway through the third period. Mike Funk had been called for a holding the stick penalty.
Marc Methot scored the game-winning goal at the 2:25 mark of overtime.
Moments before the goal was scored Marc-Andre Gragnani was elbowed in the head, which sent his helmet flying off, but there was no call on the play. As he was slow to get back up the Crunch came on strong and won the game.
While that’s an instance where there should have been a penalty called, there was also a couple of instances where calls could have been made against the Amerks that weren’t made. One of those instances included Adam Dennis, at one time, taking out a Crunch player.
Mike Funk was given a game misconduct after the final whistle had blown. We saw him take his stick and slam it against the glass, as he appeared to either be yelling at a ref or another Crunch player, presumably about the hit on Gragnani.
The Amerks saw a three-game winning streak come to an end, but they have now recorded points in seven of the last nine games.
A big part of this current streak can be attributed to Adam Dennis finding his game and improving drastically between the pipes. He made 30 saves in the losing effort tonight.
As a whole, the entire Amerks team has been playing as just that, a team. They’ve been playing a full 60 minutes of hockey, and also have been sticking up for each other a lot more. Ever since Randy Cunneyworth publicly made comments about the team needing to stick up for each other, they have been, as proven Saturday night against the Crunch.
Even though the Amerks lost, it was well worth the trip down the 90 to the Oncenter Complex in Syracuse for the game.
If you’ve been staying away from games because of the lackluster play, you may want to come back, they’ve been playing some decent hockey again.
The Amerks are back at home on Sunday night at 6:05 p.m. to play against the Hamilton Bulldogs.