(Rochester, February 13)… Three different goal scorers found the back of the net and goaltender Tyler Plante turned aside a season-high 46 saves as the Rochester Americans defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 3-1 in an afternoon tilt at The Blue Cross Arena. With the win, Rochester improves to 23-26-3-2 (51 points), while Grand Rapids fall to 23-24-1-6 (53 points).
Clay Wilson led the Amerks with two assists, while Bill Thomas
, Chris Taylor and Eric Selleck
all provided goals. Plante had an impressive day in goal, making 46 saves and earning the game’s first-star honors. Plante has now allowed only six goals in his last four starts.
Logan Pyett scored Grand Rapids’ lone goal, while netminder Thomas McCollum stopped 21 Rochester attempts.
Thomas struck first for Rochester, connecting while on a shorthanded breakaway to give the Amerks a 1-0 lead 13:06 into the first period. he goal, scored five-hole on Grand Rapids’ McCollum, came just seconds after Michael Caruso
received an interference penalty.
Assisting on Thomas’ tally were A.J. Jenks and Wilson. The goal was the 10th of the season for Thomas, who spent the last four days in South Florida on NHL recall with the Florida Panthers.
The Amerks had another breakaway opportunity earlier in the period, as Hugh Jessiman took McCollum one-on-one. However, the Grand Rapids netminder was able to get a pad on the puck and deflect the backhand attempt wide.
In the second, the Amerks found themselves on the power play after a cross-checking penalty to Brendan Smith. On the special teams’ attempt, Wilson had a great opportunity, but hit the post on a power-play snipe from the blueline.
Shortly after, Grand Rapids responded with a shorthanded goal of their own, this one coming from Pyett at the 13:24 mark. After collecting a neutral-zone turnover, Ilari Filppula fed the puck to Pyett, who rifled a shot off the crossbar and over the glove of Plante. The goal was the 13th shorthanded score allowed by Rochester this season, the most surrendered by an American Hockey League team.
Despite being outshot 22-4, Rochester was able to hold Grand Rapids to one goal in the period and enter the final stanza tied 1-1.
In the third period, Rochester scored two goals just 17 seconds apart to build a 3-1 lead on the Griffins. Taylor notched first for Rochester, putting home a rebound from a Wilson slap shot. Michal Repik
was also given an assist on the play.
Then, at the 6:56 mark, Selleck scored his second of the year as he snapped a shot past McCollum for the two-goal lead. PJ Fenton assisted on the goal, giving him his first two-game point streak of the season (0+2).
The Amerks remain home on Wednesday, February 16th as the Worcester Sharks make their first-ever visit to The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the second of two meetings this season between the non-divisional foes and will be carried live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester’s Sports Talk.
Fans can purchase the “Wednesday Facebook Fan Pack” for the game exclusively through the Amerks Facebook page. Fans can get a ticket and a T-shirt for just $15! Click on the 'Amerks Nation' tab to purchase the pack. It’s also a Business Person Special, featuring the Buy One, Get One ticket offer for best available seating.