(Rochester, December 10)… Despite a two-goal rally by the Rochester Americans from a 2-0 deficit, it was Max Pacioretty’s overtime game-winner at 2:47 of the extra frame that lifted the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 3-2 win tonight at The Blue Cross Arena. Tonight’s game was the second of back-to-back tilts between the North Division rivals this week. With the loss, the Amerks fall to 11-13-2-0 on the season and drop to 4-9-1-0 at home. The win snaps a three-game skid for the Bulldogs, who improve to 15-7-1-3.
Leading the Amerks tonight were Jeff LoVecchio (1+0) and Michael Duco (1+0) who both had a goal apiece. Jordan Knackstedt, Clay Wilson, Joe Callahan, and Chris Taylor all had assists in tonight’s matchup. Netminder Tyler Plante got his second straight start in net tonight, stopping 37 of 40 shots.
Aaron Palushaj (1+1) led the Bulldogs with a two-point night as Andrew Conboy and Pacioretty each provided single tallies. Robert Mayer stopped 29 of 31 as he garnered his sixth win tonight.
Conboy put Hamilton on top 1-0 late in the opening frame as he converted on a pass from Palushaj for his fifth of the season at 17:01. Palushaj picked up the loose puck behind the Rochester net, snuck around the near side and found an open Conboy in the high slot to give the Bulldogs the upper hand.
Hamilton went up by two at 10:20 on a power-play goal by Palushaj. Andreas Engvist and Brendon Nash were each credited with helpers on the man-advantage tally. Engqvist took the original shot when, Palushaj, who was stationed on the right side of the net, played the rebound and deposited it into the empty net for his fifth of the season and second in as many games.
Rochester quickly answered back with two goals in a matter of seconds. Newcomers LoVecchio and Knackstedt registered their first points in their Amerks debuts since joining Rochester earlier today. LoVecchio was assisted by Knackstedt and Callahan.
As LoVecchio hit center, he dumped the puck hard into the right corner and Knackstedt got there first as it caromed up the right wing. He centered and LoVecchio redirected it past Mayer for his first goal of the season. Forty-nine seconds later, Wilson and Taylor helped Duco tie things up 2-2. Wilson’s short-side attempt was blocked by Mayer when Duco came dashing in to jam the puck across the goal line for his team-leading eighth goal of the campaign.
The Hamilton Bulldogs closed out tonight’s game in overtime when Pacioretty scored the game-winning goal at 2:47, his team and league-leading 16th goal of the season. Alex Henry and David Desharnais were credited with the assists.
On Saturday, December 11th, the Amerks hit the road for a rare December away game, one of just three this month, as they take on the Binghamton Senators at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the first leg of a home-and-home series between the intrastate rivals. Binghamton makes its way upstate the following night to close out the two-game set at The Blue Cross Arena on Sunday, December 12th. Fans can hear all the action live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester’s Sports Talk.