The Amerks made some mistakes and learned a valuable lesson tonight but in the end got what mattered most, a win and two points in the standings. The Syracuse Crunch made a strong comeback after being down 3-0 heading into the third period and then scoring the tying goal with 14 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Chris Taylor saved the game scoring the game winning goal in overtime to extend the Amerks winning streak to nine games. The win tied the record from the 1999-2000 season, the last time the Amerks won nine games.
Alexander Salak showed tonight that he is human after all allowing three goals on 29 shots. He played a great game, the Crunch just found a way to finally beat him.
Mike Duco scored his first goal of the season at 9:15 of the first period. Jason Garrison fired a hard shot from the blue line and Duco was in front of the net to get the rebound and back hand it past Crunch goaltender Kevin LaLande.
The second goal was scored when LaLande had gone behind the net to play the puck when Duco came from one side and York on the other trapping him behind the net. Duco was able to take the puck and tried to wrap around it into the net, bounced off the post and York was there to put it in.
Graham Minks goal to give the Amerks a 3-0 lead assisted by Evgeny Dadonov was highlight material. Dadonov was leading the play with the puck going straight at Grant Clitsome. Dadonov took his stick off the puck to use his own stick to push Clitsomes’ up into the air, took Clitsome out of the play and left the puck for Mink who was somehow able to find an opening on the far side to beat LaLande stick side.
Jimmy Bonneau and Jon Mirasty fought each other for the sixth time this year (5 regular season + 1 preseason). Bonneau shows a lot more confidence now throwing punches at Mirasty. Video to be posted on Saturday.
The third period is when the game turned ugly, just as expected. When I say ugly I mean the Syracuse Crunch starting to play some dirty hockey to turn the game in their favor. It worked.
The game changing play was this vicsious elbow that Kevin Harvey landed on Luke Beaverson.
“We lost focus after the non call on Beaverson,” Benoit Groulx said after the game. “We seemed to lose our focus for quite a bit.”
The referee claimed to have not seen the play. If he didn’t see the play, where was he looking?
You can clearly see Harvey’s elbow up in the air as he follows through with the hit.
The Amerks will follow up with the league further. Groulx said, “It’s a sequence we’re going to send to the league.”
It’s interesting to read Harvey’s take on the hit (from Lyndsey Kramer):
That’s where Harvey came in. He set up the Crunch’s first goal by forcing a turnover along the left boards of the Rochester end by hammering Amerks defenseman Luke Beaverson. Replays seemed to indicate Harvey smashed his left elbow into
Beaverson’s head, and Beaverson crumpled to the ice, but Harvey was unapologetic.
“This team is our rival,” Harvey said. “I’m going to finish my check every time.”
After the hit Harvey was able to recover the puck and score a goal.
Trevor Frischmon scored the second goal of the game for the Crunch at 12:58 of the third by taking the puck into the Amerks zone, skating past and around Clay Wilson and found a way to put the puck in the five hole past Salak.
Just as we thought the Amerks would be able to hold on Jason Garrison made the worst play of the season. With about 16 seconds left in the game and the Amerks up 3-2 instead of clearing the puck off the boards he tried to keep the puck and it backfired on him.
Tom Sestito was all over him and was able to steal the puck and pass it over to Nick Holden who tied the game with 13.2 seconds left on the clock in regulation.
Garrison easily admitted his mistake after the game saying it was a mental mistake. A mistake he’ll never make again.
Chris Taylor said after the game the third period was very much a case of them playing not to lose instead of playing to win.
The game will be a lesson learned for the team. It’s a lesson better learned this early in the season instead of down the stretch.
“To me they (Syracuse Crunch) deserve a lot of credit for that point, they never quit,” Benoit Groulx.
Chris Taylor scored the winning goal at 3:54 in overtime. Graham Mink did a great job tying up some Crunch players in front of the net which allowed Taylor to move in and have a clear shot on net.
Benoit Groulx summed up the game saying, “It was a big win because it would have been a big loss.”
Luke Beaverson will be out indefinitly with a shoulder injury. With Taffe, Repik, McArdle, and Oreskovich currently called up this will leave the Amerks short a forward. It’ll be interesting to see on Saturday if they suit up Aston as a forward, sign someone to PTO, or play short handed.
There’s a lot more that could be talked about with this game, but that’s for after the weekend if needed. The Amerks are back on the ice Saturday night at 7:05pm to take on the Toronto Marlies in Rochester.
Syracuse Crunch 3 At Rochester Americans 4 (OT) – Status: Final OT
Nov 6, 2009 – Blue Cross Arena
Syracuse 0 0 3 0 – 3
Rochester 1 2 0 1 – 4
1st Period-1, Rochester, Duco 1 (Garrison, Ellerby), 9:15. Penalties-Frischmon Syr (hooking), 2:56; Salak Rch (tripping), 3:34; McBride Syr (hooking), 6:55; Roy Syr (boarding), 7:14; Matthias Rch (holding), 11:53; LaVallee-Smotherman Syr (slashing), 19:57.
2nd Period-2, Rochester, York 4 (Duco), 1:46 (pp). 3, Rochester, Mink 4 (Dadonov, Taylor), 17:02. Penalties-Taylor Rch (tripping), 2:09; Ellerby Rch (closing hand on puck), 6:15; Ferguson Syr (tripping), 10:02; Mirasty Syr (fighting), 13:09; Bonneau Rch (fighting), 13:09; Sigalet Syr (hooking), 13:30; LaVallee-Smotherman Syr (fighting), 17:33; Beaverson Rch (fighting), 17:33.
3rd Period-4, Syracuse, Harvey 1 (Reese), 5:26. 5, Syracuse, Frischmon 1 (Ferguson, Regner), 12:58. 6, Syracuse, Holden 1 (Fritsche, Sestito), 19:46 (sh). Penalties-Pelletier Syr (fighting), 4:20; Duco Rch (fighting), 4:20; Miller Syr (goaltender interference), 11:19; Salak Rch (slashing), 11:19; Roy Syr (hooking), 18:25.
OT Period-7, Rochester, Taylor 3 (Wilson, Mink), 3:54 (pp). Penalties-Holden Syr (holding), 2:09.
Shots on Goal-Syracuse 11-6-9-3-29. Rochester 14-8-9-5-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Syracuse 0 of 4; Rochester 2 of 8.
Goalies-Syracuse, Lalande 1-3-0 (36 shots-32 saves). Rochester, Salak 7-0-0 (29 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Nygel Pelletier (41).
Linesmen-Brian Lemon (25), John Murphy (71).