It was a great night in Buffalo and Rochester – despite the NHL lockout, the Rochester Americans were playing at home, and the game was televised throughout the Western New York Region. The only problem was – the opponent was the Binghamton Senators – an offensive power house that the Amerks have problems beating.
The game started in quick fashion – as goals just 28 second apart by rookie Evan Rankin and Buffalo Sabres prospect Luke Adam halfway through the first period had the Rochester Americans in solid control of the game. The goals came at an opportune time – the B-Sens were outshooting the Amerks, and had the trend continued, would have figured out David Leggio before long.
Figure out Leggio the Baby Sens did- with just ticks under twenty seconds in the first, Hugh Jessiman put the Ottawa Senators farm club on the board to cut the lead in half.
Tyler Eckford tied the game for the Senators – and things looked like the Amerks were going to spiral out of control. Rochester Americans captain Kevin Porter made sure that wouldn’t happen, and put the Rochester Americans back up by a goal.
The turning point of the game could have been the save David Leggio made to keep the Rochester Americans in the game. Seemingly out of position – he dove across the crease and made a glove save a – la Dominik Hasek.
T.J. Brennan would spark another Rochester comeback – as he put in his eleventh goal of the season, creeping even closer to breaking Rick Pagunutti’s record. He is now just seven goals shy of the 40 year old mark. The only thing appearing to standing in his way of that record is the start of the NHL season.
Kevin Sundher gets his first professional goal as he crashed the net to knock a rebound past Ben Bishop.
The Amerks had apparently scored a goal earlier in the game that was called back. Despite the puck being clearly in view, the referee blew the whistle – just a second before the puck crossed the goal line.
Overtime continued the offensive shootout, as the goalies were struck with another barrage of shots, while only two shots were recorded for each team in the extra frame, both teams were teeing up attempts from everywhere on the ice, hoping one would get deflected past the goalie. The teams ended with a combined 80 shots on goal, Rochester having a slight advantage.
The shootout brought more hand wringing excitement, as David Leggio – who had been near perfect thus far in the season, couldn’t keep the puck out of his net – while his counterpart wasn’t facing difficult challenges and making easy stops.
Bring in once again, the services of T.J. Brennan. Down 2-0 in the shootout, and in a must save/must score situation, Brennan nets a goal, and Leggio remains up to the task. Marcus Foligno scores on his attempt, and Cody Hodgson makes his return to the ice known with the game winner in the shootout. Hodgson also assisted on Rankin’s goal to start the game back in the first period.
No rest for either team, after showering off tonights contest, both teams hit the road for Binghamton, where game two of the home and home series will take place tomorrow night. The Rochester Americans will then be off until a Boxing Day matchup.