(Rochester, December 18)... The Rochester Americans earned a two-game sweep over the Toronto Marlies this afternoon following a 6-5 shootout win over their divisional rivals earlier today at Ricoh Coliseum. The Amerks have now won back-to-back games for the first time in two months since a three-game run in late October to improve to 14-14-2-1 and move within three points of third place in the American Hockey League’s North Division.
Michael Duco led the Amerks with a pair of goals and assisted on another as Tyler Plante earned the win with a 41-save effort.
Four different skaters tallied multi-point games for the hometown Marlies, while Ben Scrivens made 17 stops in the losing effort.
The Amerks jumped out to a 2-0 lead with first-period tallies from Duco and Scott Timmins
, starting with Duco’s team-leading 10th goal of the season just 5:17 into the contest. Rochester’s lead was cut in half in the final minute of the opening frame as Juraj Mikus potted his first of the season to make it a 2-1 game.
Rochester regained its two-goal cushion again very early into the second stanza, just 51 seconds to be exact, with Duco’s second of the game on the power-play. The lead would be short-lived, however, as Toronto reeled off three straight goals in the latter part of the second period with goals coming from Danny Richmond, Christian Hanson and team captain Alex Foster to a turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead.
The Amerks opened the final frame with two quick goals from Paul Baier and newcomer Jeff LoVecchio just 69 seconds apart to put Rochester back on top 5-4. The Marlies answered right back and evened things up at five apiece as Brayden Irwin capitalized on the power-play at 16:09 to send the game into overtime.
After a scoreless extra session, it was Rochester’s AJ Jenks’ lone goal in the shootout that proved to be the deciding factor to lift the Amerks to a 6-5 win. The game-winning tally was Jenks’ second in the last five games, where Rochester has been tested three times in the shootout during that stretch. With the goal, Jenks is now a perfect three-for-three in his shootout attempts, good enough for second in the AHL.
The Amerks return home on Sunday, December 19th to exchange pleasantries with the Binghamton Senators at The Blue Cross Arena. The 5:05 p.m. contest will be the second in as many weeks between the intrastate rivals and will be carried live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK. The game will also be telesvised live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet Channel 26.