Courtesy of Amerks.com
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Rochester Americans (21-11-2-3) took a two-goal advantage going into the second intermission Saturday night at Upstate Medical University Arena, but the Syracuse Crunch (18-16-2-1) scored four times during the third period, including three unanswered goals over the final 11:24 of regulation, to escape with a 5-4 win. The contest was the fourth between the two clubs this season and all four have been one-goal outcomes.
Despite the loss, the Amerks show a 16-8-1-2 record over their last 17 games dating back to Nov. 1, earning points in 19 games over that span.
Forward C.J. Smith chipped in a pair of assists for Rochester, which coming into tonight had prevailed in each of the first three meetings of the season against the Crunch. Tyler Randell, John Gillmour, Brett Murray and Jean-Sebastien Dea all found the back of the net while goaltender Andrew Hammond (10-8-2) suffered his sixth straight loss for the Amerks.
Taylor Raddysh helped Syracuse to its second win in the last seven games as he netted a goal to go with a pair of assists. Ross Colton (1+1) and former Amerk Cory Conacher (0+2) also had a multi-point outings while Boris Katchouk, Patrick Sieloff and Daniel Walcott all rounded out the scoring. Netminder Spencer Martin made 20 saves in the victory to push his record to 7-8-1 on the season.
Four minutes after Dea gave the Amerks a 4-2 lead 4:14 into the final period of play, Katchouk pounced on a loose puck to the left of Hammond to bring Syracuse within a goal. The hometown team continued to pressure in hopes of tying the game and they were successful as Conacher setup Sieloff atop the blueline for a one-time blast with 8:15 left in regulation.
As overtime was looming, and with the puck behind the Amerks net, Syracuse’s Gemel Smith put the puck out in front of the goal crease at the 17:32 mark. Nearly all 10 players crashed the blue paint to locate the puck, but Walcott spotted it amid the scramble and jammed it behind Hammond, giving the Crunch their first lead of the evening.
In an attempt to even the score, Hammond was pulled for the extra attacker, but Martin held off the effort, including Zach Redmond’s shot in the dying seconds of the contest to hand Rochester its sixth loss in the last seven games.
The Amerks carried a 2-0 cushion going into the first intermission thanks to Randell and Gilmour’s fifth and fourth goals of the season, respectively, in addition to holding a 10-7 advantage in shots through the opening frame.
The score remained the same until Colton brought Syracuse within one with 10:35 left in the middle stanza before Murray countered back to restore the Amerks’ two-goal advantage just 67 seconds later.
After serving a slashing penalty, C.J. Smith provided an outlet pass out of the Rochester zone toCasey Mittelstadt to send the club in transition. Pulling up along the half-wall to wait for help off the bench, Mittelstadt centered a pass to Murray in-between the face-off dots. Murray collected the puck and snapped it into the net to give the Amerks a 3-1 lead they carried going into the final 20 minutes of regulation.
The two clubs emerged from the break and Syracuse outscored Rochester 4-1 in the third period to earn a 5-4 victory.
The Amerks embark on their final three-in-three of the season on Friday, Jan. 17 when they welcome the Cleveland Monsters back to Rochester for a North Division showdown at The Blue Cross Arena.