|Jacob Markstrom & Mike Kostka defend the net during their game against Grand Rapids.
(Rochester, NY)… Despite facing a 2-0 deficit late in the second period, the Rochester Americans rallied back to defeat the Grand Rapids Griffins 3-2 in a shootout tonight at The Blue Cross Arena. The Amerks evened up the contest in the closing minutes of the final frame, which helped them pick up their first home victory since December 26th. With the win, Rochester improves to 19-23-3-2 overall (7-14-1-2 at home), while Grand Rapids drops to 20-21-1-5.
The Amerks were led offensively by Scott Timmins
(1+0) and Colby Robak
(1+0), each of whom notched goals in the winning effort. Netminder Jacob Markstrom
finished the night with 34 saves to pick up his 14th win of the season.
Francis Pare (1+1) and former Amerk Doug Janik (1+1) both scored for the Griffins, giving them both multi-point games. Jordan Owens (0+2) also earned a pair of points with two helpers. Jordan Pearce turned away 30 of 32 shots between the pipes.
After the scoreless opening frame, the Amerks held twice as many shots as the Griffins with 12.
With Rochester’s Michal Repik
penalized with a tripping infraction in the second period, Grand Rapids struck first on the man advantage. Upon a pass from Owens, Janik dished the puck to Pare. Pare then netted one high over Markstrom’s left shoulder from the left circle at 10:36. The goal was the winger’s 12th of the season.
The Griffins doubled their lead 15:23 into the second with another power-play goal by the same line of forwards. Pare obtained the puck from Owens and took the initial shot from the top of the point. Janik was parked right in front and finished the play, popping the loose puck behind Markstrom for his fourth tally of the year and his second point of the evening. Both Owens and Pare also earned additional points with the helpers.
Rochester answered back not even two minutes later with Timmins’ 10th goal of the season as he tipped in Repik’s shot from the top of the right circle that somehow eluded Pearce. Triston Grant also earned assists on the goal at 16:47 that brought the Amerks within one.
The Amerks would even things up with just over four minutes remaining in regulation time on a beautiful rush which featured all five Amerks skaters touching the puck. Chris Taylor started the play winning a defensive zone faceoff to Mike Kostka, who then chipped the puck to the neutral zone, finding the stick of Kenndal McArdle. McArdle then made a nifty drop pass to recently-recalled winger Ben Gordon, who found defenseman Colby Robak
driving down the slot with a feed from the right half-boards. Robak swiftly deposited the puck into the empty side of the net for his third goal of the season to force overtime.
After an uneventful and scoreless extra session, the Amerks scored three times on four opportunities in the shootout as Repik, AJ Jenks and Bill Thomas
each converted in the skills competition.
Rochester remains home on Friday, January 28th as the Manitoba Moose make their first visit this season to The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:35 p.m. matchup will be broadcast live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester’s Sports Talk. The game will also be televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet Channel 26. The first 3,000 fans will take home a Jason Pominville bobblehead. Prior to the game, the Amerks will induct former defenseman and assistant coach Doug Houda and longtime broadcaster Don Stevens into the franchise’s Hall of Fame as the Class of 2011.