The Rochester Americans are doing everything right at the right times and it’s paying off, the Amerks extended their win streak to three games with a huge shootout win against the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday night on the road. Tyler Plante was perfect in the shootout stopping four Bulldogs and Evgeny Dadonov and Maxime Gratchev to lead the Amerks to their third straight win.
This resurgence of the Amerks started last Wednesday and they have not shown any signs of letting up since then. Tyler Plante has been superb in net and Graham Mink is finally getting the puck to hit his stick.
Matt Duffy was called up from the Florida Everblades on Saturday and he wasted no time back in his role on the power play with an assist on the first goal. Duffy shot the puck from the blue line at Graham Mink tipped the puck past Cedrick Desjardins only 57 seconds into the second period.
The Amerks took a 2-0 lead at 3:42 of the second period when Andrew Sweetland took the puck down the right side boards and the shot he took was kicked out to the front of the net, off one of the Bulldogs sticks and onto the stick of David Brine who scored his 13th goal of the season.
Dany Masse chipped in a rebound at 8:05 of the second period to get the Bulldogs within one.
The Amerks took a 3-1 lead off a highlight reel goal scored by Jamie Johnson on the power play at 12:47 of the second period. Tyler Plante started the play by passing the puck to Michal Repik who raced up the right side boards. Jamie Johnson was trailing down the left side and Repik fed a perfect pass to Johnson who easily put it past Desjardins.
David Desharnais got the Bulldogs back within one goal at 15:45 of the second period when he back handed the puck past Plante after Carl Hudson had just missed it.
The Bulldogs scored at 19:10 of the third period to tie the game 3-3. Tyler Plante made the initial save on Max Pacioretty but Plante must have thought the puck went across the crease or behind the net. As Plante moved to the other side looking for the puck it had been stopped by his skate against the post and Brock Trotter was there to tip it in.
The game went into the shootout and as noted above Dadonov and Gratchev were the only two players to score which gave the Amerks a much needed two points in the standings to remain in second place in the North Division.
Another strong 60 minute performance by a team missing nine players expected back for the playoffs is a great sign of things to come. The Amerks have shown yet again this weekend they can play against the best teams.