With a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Wolves last night, the Amerks are now on a five-game winning streak, something they’ll look to extend tomorrow when they host the Rockford IceHogs, farm club of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Chicago came out running last night, as Adam Cracknell made it a 1-0 game just 15 seconds in.
Not a great start – but things certainly picked up from there. Kevin Porter tallied his ninth goal of the season nearly five minutes later to tie the game at one.
Things would stay tied up until the 15-minute mark of the second period, when Alex Hutchings would score his fourth goal of the season – and 100th pro goal of his career – to give the Amerks the lead, and it only got better from there.
Chicago’s Cade Fairchild was served a high-sticking penalty just seven seconds into the third period. Ten seconds later, the Wolves got an unsportmanslike conduct “bench” penalty, giving the Amerks a 5-on-3 opportunity.
Defenseman Brayden McNabb took advantage of it, scoring his fourth goal of the season to up the Amerks’ lead to two. Finally, Colton Hillies would add an empty-netter late in the game to seal the victory for the Amerks.
Rochester went 1-for-5 on the power play, managing to stifle all four opportunities for the Chicago team. Nathan Lieuwen had 19 saves for the Amerks, while Jake Allen had 18 saves as the Wolves counterpart.
Not only did this mark the fifth consecutive win for the Amerks – it also marked the third straight game in which the Amerks won by a three-goal margin. The victory over Chicago was also the Amerks’ first home game since January 10, and the team’s first win at home since December 18 when the Amerks defeated Toronto 2-1 in a shootout.
I wrote several days ago about how not only are the Amerks streaking as a team, there’s some individual streaks going as well. After last night’s win over Chicago, some of those streaks remain intact, while others have come to an end.
Johan Larsson extends his point streak to five games, notching two goals and seven assists in that stretch. Jamie Tardif also extended his personal streak to five games; he has four goals and three assists in that time. Kevin Porter and Brayden McNabb both extended their point streaks to three games each. Porter has three goals and one assist, while McNabb has a goal and three assists.
The Amerks sit seventh in the Western Conference, three points shy of the Milwaukee Admirals.
Tied with Rochester for seventh are none other than the Rockford IceHogs, so tomorrow’s game will certainly be an interesting one. It’s important to note, however, that the Amerks have five games in hand, so they’ve got the edge for the time being, thanks in part to the break they took to go overseas to play the Spengler Cup. Of course – it will all even out in the end, so stay tuned!