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by Jourdon LaBarber / Buffalo Sabres
(Photo Credit: Micheline Veluvolu)

Things went awry quickly for the Rochester Americans when they began their three-game road trip against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday. The Phantoms scored two first-period goals in what eventually turned into a 7-1 Amerks loss.

The loss set the stage for the rest of the weekend as Rochester went on to lose 3-1 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday and fell by the same score to the Hershey Bears on Sunday. The Amerks had entered the road trip on a three-game winning streak.

They’ll look to get back on the winning path when they return to The Blue Cross Arena to host the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday night. The Amerks will then host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday followed by a visit to Toronto to face the Marlies again Saturday.

It didn’t take Lehigh Valley long to grab a lead over Rochester on Friday, as forward Chris Conner put the Phantoms on the board 3:47 into the opening period. The Amerks already trailed 3-0 when Colby Robak scored a power-play goal for the second-straight game 3:13 into the second.

Robak’s marker was all the offense Rochester could muster. Lehigh Valley scored twice more in the second period and then added two in the third to seal the blowout victory. Nathan Lieuwen, who entered the game on a personal three-game winning streak, allowed seven goals on 35 shots.

Phantoms center Nick Cousins scored a season-high four points (1+3) on the night and forward Danick Martel added two goals and an assist to lead the way for Lehigh Valley.

Andrey Makarov made a season-high 39 saves and Phil Varone added his team-leading sixth goal, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Penguins form earning their 10th-straight win on Saturday.

After a scoreless first period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton beat Makarov twice in the second period.

Varone briefly offered hope for Rochester when he scored his goal with 19 second left to play in the contest, but Oskar Sundqvist scored an empty-netter seven seconds later to clinch the win for the Penguins.

Against Hershey, Lieuwen rebounded nicely in a game that the Amerks had a chance to win in the third period. Trailing 1-0 in the second, forward William Carrier scored his second goal of the season when an attempted backhand pass deflected off the skate of Bears defenseman Travis Boyd into the net.

The game remained tied 1-1 until there was 3:47 remaining in the third period when Hershey forward Garrett Mitchell beat Lieuwen with a shot to the top-left corner to regain the lead for the Bears.

Rochester pulled Lieuwen to gain the extra attacker with 1:30 remaining, but Zach Sill scored an empty-netter for Hershey to seal the victory 44 seconds later.

Lieuwen made 28 saves in the loss.

Rochester’s game against Toronto on Wednesday can be heard live on Fox Sports 1280 in Rochester. Check after the game and throughout the season for the latest news on the team.

The Amerks will also be holding a Food Drive to benefit Open Door Mission and its Thanksgiving Basket program during the next three Amerks home games at The Blue Cross Arena. The games are scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 18 versus Toronto; Friday, Nov. 20 versus Bridgeport; and Wednesday, Nov. 25 versus Syracuse.

Fans are encouraged to donate non-perishable, canned food items by dropping them off in the Open Door Mission collection bins located in front of The Blue Cross Arena Box Office prior to any of the next three Amerks home games. The items will then be donated to Open Door Mission and will contribute toward the Thanksgiving Baskets they are assembling.

Any fan that donates two unopened, non-perishable canned food items in the Open Door Mission bins at the Box Office will be eligible to receive a complimentary ticket voucher to either the Amerks game on Wednesday, Nov. 18 or Wednesday, Nov. 25. 

In addition, Amerks forward Patrick Kaleta and his HITS Foundation (Helping Individuals To Smile), will donate Thanksgiving turkeys to the Open Door Mission to assist with their Thanksgiving Basket effort.

1. Phil Varone 10 points (6+4)
2. Jason Akeson 8 points (3+5)
3. Jean Dupuy 7 points (1+6)
4. Cal O'Reilly 6 points (2+4)
5. Matt Ellis 5 points (3+2)
William Carrier
5 points (2+3)
Justin Bailey
5 points (2+3)
Jerome Leduc
5 points (2+3)
Nicholas Baptiste
5 points (1+4)
Chad Ruhwedel
5 points (0+5)

1. Nathan Lieuwen 4-3-0-0, 3.72 GAA, 197 saves, .887 save percentage
2. Andrey Makarov 1-3-0-0, 4.14 GAA, 136 saves, .883 save percentage

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