The Rochester Americans entered their fourth road game in five nights on Saturday when they lost to the Rockford IceHogs by the final score of 4-3. The Amerks started a comeback in the second period when they were down 3-0 but were unable to get the go ahead goal before Rockford did. The common denominator for the first three goals was the simple fact that the Amerks were unable to keep the net free of opposite players to help out Mike Brodeur.
We’ll pick up the scoring with the IceHogs second goal of the game when Dan Bertram tipped in a shot glove side corner. Former Rochester American Doug Janik took a shot from the point that Bertram tipped in. There was a big crowd in front of the Amerks net consisting of four Amerk players that looked like they were discussing where to get a post game meal instead of playing defense.
Evan Brophey gave the IceHogs a three goal lead with his power play goal only 1:38 into the second period. Michael Caruso of the Amerks had stopped an incoming shot by Tim Hambly and the puck fell right on the stick of Brophey who easily put it past Brodeur. Jordan Henry appeared to be standing around picking his nose or something leaving the front of the net open for Brophey.
At that point Benoit Groulx made the goaltender change by pulling Mike Brodeur in favor of Tyler Plante. Brodeur made 9 saves on 12 shots playing in the first 21:38 of the game.
Shortly after the change in goal Dan Collins got the offense a jump start when he went into the IceHogs end on a fast break letting a wrist shot from the top of the face off circle that went wide left. It may not have been the best shot, or even an official shot, but from that point forward the team seemed to have some extra interest in the game.
Shawn Matthias made a great play as well shortly after that when he made a great drop pass to Michal Repik rushing towards the net, but again was unable to score…but deserves a mention at some offensive attempts.
The power play abilities of the Amerks is something that has haunted them all season and again Saturday night as they went 0 for 6, including two different five on three advantages.
Stefan Meyer finally got the Rochester Americans on the scoreboard at 11:59 of the third period for his 12th goal of the season. The play started when Peter Aston took a shot from the point..the rebound landed near Jacob Micflikier who fed an excellent pass across the mouth of the goal to Meyer to beat IceHogs goalie Corey Crawford on the far side.
Shortly after the third period started Jordan Henry got the Amerks within one goal at 3:52 of the period. Michal Repik started the play when he took the puck into the ‘Hogs end, behind the net, was unable to get a clean shot off and pased it to Henry at the point who put the puck in the net with a great shot from the point.
The comeback would stop at three goals when only four minutes later Michal Repik scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game at three. Keaton Ellerby had knocked the puck out of the Amerks zone and Repik raced down the ice getting to the puck first, went in on a breakaway and beat Crawford with an awesome backhand shot. That was the 12th goal of the season for Repik.
Unfortunately the game came to and end when Keaton Ellerby and Shawn Matthias allowed Adam Hobson to get only his second goal of the season to put the IceHogs ahead 4-3. As Hobson raced towards Plante with the puck Ellerby hooked him to try and slow him down, the ref put the arm up to call a penalty, Hobson continued in on net and flipped the puck up and over the glove side shoulder of Plante.
Besides the first goal of the game, which I didn’t see, the final three goals by the IceHogs were scored by simply rushing towards the front of the net.
Tyler Plante finished the game with 17 saves on 18 shots, again he made some key saves and is playing much better than when he was here before being sent to the Dayton Bombers.
The Amerks finish their five game road trip on Sunday afternoon when they play the Peoria Rivermen at 4:05pm EST. The Amerks will have a tough game ahead of them as they try to score on goaltender Manny Legace who has been sent down by the St Louis Blues.