While the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills were failing miserably in their tests against the Boston Bruins and Dallas Cowboys this weekend, the Rochester Americans were busy doing quite the opposite, thanks in large part to goaltender Drew MacIntyre.
Friday night, the Amerks downed the Binghamton Senators at Blue Cross Arena, 3-1. MacIntyre registered 35 saves in that game. Rochester entered the contest with a horrendous zero goals in their last 27 chances with the man advantage. Zack Kassian was able to end that drought with a power play goal in the second period, and Brayden McNabb added another power play goal in the 3rd period.
The Amerks began the game slowly and sloppily in the first period, which resulted in taking numerous penalties. Rochester killed off the first 3 power plays given to the Senators, but eventually surrendered a goal with 1:30 left in the period on Binghamton’s 4th power play chance.
In the second period, Derek Whitmore was able to atone for his 4-minute high sticking penalty earlier in the game, by tying up the score. MacIntyre provided solid goaltending the rest of the way, and the Amerks goals by Kassian and McNabb sealed the victory, moving to 6-5-2-1 on the season. Paul Szczechura continued to play well.
On Saturday night at the Blue Cross Arena, the strong play of MacIntyre continued, as he stopped 43 shots against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Goals by Zack Kassian and Colin Stuart helped propel the Amerks to a 2-1 victory, and puts Rochester on a 3 game win streak. The 7-5-2-1 Amerks next game is Wednesday night at home against the Syracuse Crunch.
– Due to the injury suffered to Ryan Miller on Saturday night, when he was deliberately and cheaply bulldozed by Bruin Milan Lucic, MacIntyre has been called up to Buffalo to back up Jhonas Enroth. MacIntyre is 3-4-1 on the season, with a 2.74 GAA and .909 save percentage. He has 2 games of NHL experience, posting 2.95 GAA and .864 save percentage in 2007-2008 with the Vancouver Canucks. It is expected the Jeff Jakaitis will be called up from Gwinnett to replace MacIntyre in Rochester.
– Kassian now leads Rochester in Goals (7) and Points (13) in 15 games. He continues to look better and better each game…
– Joe Finley leads the Amerks defensemen in +/- with a plus 6. He also leads the team in Penalty Minutes, with 38 in 13 games. I wonder where he now ranks among the Sabres defensive depth charts…His play has been tremendously solid.
– Marcus Foligno remains among the AHL leaders with a 35.7% Shooting Percentage. He has 5 goals on only 14 shots in 13 games. He probably should be shooting more…
– Rochester is now tied for the division lead. Chart below…