The Amerks picked up a point again on the road against a tough Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins team which is better than nothing. It came down to the skills competition where Eric Tangradi scored in the eighth round scoring top corner glove side on Drew MacIntyre for the win. These one goal losses and one point games could come back to haunt the Amerks in April. A week ago they were only one point back of the first place Marlies and after tonight their seven back from first in the division but tied for eighth in the conference.
The game started with both teams skating back and forth for the first 10:48 before the first whistle of the game and then they finished the first period in under a half hour. At 17:11 of the first period Marcus Foligno put the puck on goaltender Brad Thiessen who tried to go for the glove side but it went off the edge of his glove. The puck landed to the side of the net where Phil Varone was skating in and scored for his third of the season.
Jason Williams tied the game at 11:07 of the second period with a shot from the slot beating MacIntyre low stick side. At 16:18 of the second period Alex Grant put the Pens up 2-1 with a shot from the left point that went five hole on MacIntyre. It was a low shot that somehow made it through a bunch of feet and MacIntyre couldn’t close his pads quick enough.
It only took a minute and 12 seconds into the third period for the Amerks to tie the game 2-2 thanks to a goal by Derek Whitmore. Shawn Szydlowski had taken the initial shot and Whitmore was there (like he always is) for the rebound and scored his 15th goal of the season.
If only this team had more goal scorers like Whitmore.
The game was tied 2-2 until Maxime Legault stole the puck from Penguins goalie Brad Thiessen and scored short handed to put the Amerks up 3-2. Thiessen had his back turned outside of the crease about to pass the puck behind the net but appeared to hesitate for a moment as Legault went in and Legault was able to steal it. Legault circled around and was able to put the puck into the net before Thiessen could get back into position.
The Penguins still had a five on three for 53 seconds but the Amerks were able to kill that off. Unfortunately as time was winding down on the second penalty the puck was loose in front of the Amerks net and no one was able to clear it out but Eric Tangradi swooped in and was able to put his stick on it and beat MacIntyre.
There was just over five minutes to play in the third with the game tied and the Amerks were going on the power play, perfect time of the game to put it away. The power play wasn’t meant to be though and the Amerks were called for what should be the most avoidable penalty in the game, too many men on the ice.
The shootout took eight rounds with only Paul Szczechura and Jonathan Parker scoring for the Amerks. Geoff Walker, Bryan Lerg and Eric Tangradi scored for the Penguins to win the game.
A questionable move was having Marcus Foligno and Nick Crawford take shots in the shootout before Jacob Lagace. It’s possible those two have some moves in practice but when it comes to game situations they aren’t too fancy. The loss can’t be blamed on choices made during the shootout but it’s questionable. Jonathan Parker can score in the shootout but he still can’t find the back of the net during regulation. One of these games the hockey gods will look upon Parker and Szydlowski and have something go their way.
Overall it was a close game back and forth but special teams were a factor with the Amerks going 0/4 on the power play meanwhile the Penguins were 2/6.
Rochester is getting on the bus and heading to Binghamton for a game on Saturday night and then heading to Hershey on Sunday.
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