Over the weekend, for the 9th time this season, the Rochester Americans played 3 games in 3 days.
On Friday night, in Grand Rapids against the Griffins, the Amerks entered the affair riding a 3-game winning streak. Rochester jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Brayden McNabb in the first period and Luke Adam in the second period. Grand Rapids then scored 3 consecutive goals to take the lead, until TJ Brennan notched a powerplay goal to tie up the game at 3-3. Francis Pare of the Griffins scored the game winner with only 3 1/2 minutes left in the game to seal the victory, leaving the Amerks with a record of 26-22-6-3. Rochester led in shots, 37-32.
Saturday night, the Amerks stayed on the road for the first half of a home-and-home series against the division leading Toronto Marlies. Evan Rankin gave the Amerks a 1-0 lead only 4 minutes into the game, putting home a rebound from Phil Varone. Just 3 minutes later, the Marlies tied it up on a goal by Greg Scott. From there, the 1-1 score stood until the third period. With 9 minutes to go in the game, Paul Szczechura took a pass from Brayden McNabb and buried his 12th goal of the season. The Amerks led in shots, 33-22, and the victory brought their record on the season to 27-22-6-3.
In yesterday’s rematch with the Marlies at Blue Cross Arena, following a scoreless first period, the Amerks fell into a 2-0 hole after two goals by the Marlies in the second period. TJ Brennan scored to cut lead down to 2-1, until Mark Voakes knotted the game at 2 with 7 minutes to go in the third period. In the shootout, the Amerks leading scorer, Phil Varone, was the lone shooter to get a goal, giving the Amerks a weekend sweep of division leading Toronto. Varone faked a slapshot, then quickly went to the backhand, and slickly slid the puck into the five-hole. The win brought Rochester within 6 points of first place. They now sit in 7th place in their division, with the top 8 teams making the playoffs.
The Amerks are off until Friday, when they host the Binghamton Senators in a 7:35pm matchup.