(Hamilton, Ontario)... After scoring just one goal in their past three games, the Rochester Americans erupted for three goals this afternoon, including two on the power-play, to defeat the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2 at Copps Coliseum. With the win, the Amerks snap their three-game skid and increase their record to 22-26-3-2, while Hamilton falls to 28-19-1-4 with the loss.
Mike Kostka (1+1), Kenndal McArdle (1+1), and Jeff LoVecchio (1+0) powered the Amerks today, each netting one goal apiece. Kostka and McArdle also earned additional points with an assist each, as did Clay Wilson (0+2) with two helpers. In his third straight start for the Amerks, goaltender Tyler Plante posted 20 saves between the pipes en route to his sixth with of the campaign.
The Bulldogs received goals from Mathieu Carle (1+0) and Kyle Klubertanz (1+0), while Hamilton netminder Robert Mayer stopped 24 of 27 shots in the losing effort.
Coming off back-to-back home losses in which Rochester failed to score a goal, the Amerks struck first this afternoon 11:25 into the opening stanza. LoVecchio netted his fifth of the year on a backhanded screenshot past Mayer with help from teammates PJ Fenton (0+1) and Eric Selleck
(0+1) to give Rochester the early advantage on the scoreboard.
The Bulldogs let the Amerks enjoy their lead for the remainder of the first period and into the second, however, they couldn’t let it last too long. After the loose puck appeared in front of the Rochester net, Carle put it behind Plante for his ninth this season at 6:22.
With former Amerk Jimmy Bonneau penalized with a roughing infraction, Kostka’s ninth goal of the year put Rochester in the lead once again on the man-advantage 14:44 into the second period. The tally helps prove why the Amerks hold the AHL’s second best power-play while on the road. Wilson and McArdle assisted on the play.
Hamilton again didn’t allow Rochester hold its one-goal lead for long. With just minutes remaining in the middle period, the Bulldogs knotted the score at two with a goal by Klubertanz. The defenseman backhanded the puck past Plante, earning his seventh tally this year.
McArdle received his second point of the game 4:32 into the final frame when he gave the Amerks the advantage for the second time today on the power-play. After McArdle threw the puck in front of the Hamilton goal, it caromed off the leg of Mayer and somehow made its way past the goal line to make the score 3-2. Kostka and Wilson each tabbed their second points of the contest assisting on the goal. The Bulldogs were unable to respond, giving McArdle the game-winning goal and the Amerks just their second win over Hamilton this season.
The Amerks return home to Rochester for a 3:05 p.m. meeting with the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday, February 13th at The Blue Cross Arena. The afternoon matinee will be the third of six scheduled matchups this season between the North Division rivals and can be heard live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3 Rochester’s Sports Talk.
The first 3,000 fans will receive an Amerks folder, courtesy of Wendy’s. Fans can also take advantage of the Zweigle’s Family Four Pack and purchase four tickets to the game, four hot dogs and four sodas all for one low price of just $52.00. Fans can also purchase the “Sunday Funday Pack” for the game exclusively through the Amerks Facebook page. Fans can get a ticket, T-shirt and a pass to the Party Deck for just $25! Click on the 'Amerks Nation' tab to purchase the pack.