(Rochester, December 8)… Despite being down 3-1, the Rochester Americans scored three unanswered goals in the second to upset the first place Hamilton Bulldogs and won 4-3 tonight at The Blue Cross Arena. The victory was the Amerks’ first this season against the North Division-leading Canadian club, which increased their home ice record to 4-9-0-0 and an overall record of 11-13-1-0. With the loss, the Bulldogs slide to 14-7-1-3.
Leading the Amerks tonight were AJ Jenks (1+0), Brady Calla (1+0), Mike Duco (1+0), and David Marshall (1+0), who all scored one goal apiece. Mike Caruso (0+2) also earned two assists, giving him a multiple-point game. With the win, goaltender Tyler Plante had 39 saves on 42 shots.
Aaron Palushaj, Max Pacioretty, and Mathieu Carle were all top performers for Hamilton tonight, each netting one. Netminder Curtis Sanford stopped 28 of 32 shots. This evening’s matchup also marked the first time of the 2010-11 season that Sanford has allowed more than three goals in a single contest.
Newcomer Bates Battaglia (0+1) registered his first point in his Amerks debut, as he and Caruso both assisted Jenks’ fourth goal this season 5:26 into the opening period. After picking up the original pass from Jenks, Battaglia slid it back to him, allowing Jenks to bury it past Sanford.
Hamilton answered back minutes later to even things up at one apiece. David Urquhart (0+1) gathered the puck at center ice, then passed to it Palushaj. Palushaj then split two Amerks defensemen and roofed the puck past Plante for his fourth goal of the 2010 campaign.
Hamilton gained a one-goal advantage just six seconds into the second period, when David Desharnais (0+1) won the draw and dished the puck straight to Pacioretty. Pacioretty then carried it up the left wing, and fired it past Plante for his team-leading 15th tally this season.
The Bulldogs took the lead by two nearly halfway through the second. In a two-on-one, Alex Henry (0+1) took the puck into Amerks territory, then dropped it back to Carle trailing right behind. Carle ripped one and beat Plante for his sixth of the year.
Rochester answered back with two unanswered to tie things back up at 3-3 a few minutes later at 11:36 with a goal by Calla, his second of the season. After the puck landed on his stick, Calla took a shot and beat Sanford. Caruso and Eric Selleck
(0+1) picked up the helpers, giving Caruso his second point of the evening.
Just a few minutes later at 14:19, Duco picked up Michal Repik
’s (0+1) rebound and netted his seventh of the season. Duco returned tonight in his first game since obtaining a rib injury last month. At 17:29, Rochester took the 4-3 lead when Marshall flew up the boards alone and blasted a one-timer past Sanford for his second this year. Hamilton was unable to respond, leaving Marshall’s goal as Rochester’s game winner for a 4-3 final decision.
The same two teams meet again on Friday, December 10th at The Blue Cross Arena to close out a two-game set. The 7:35 p.m. contest 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.