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AMERKS, RIDING 3-GAME WINNING STREAK, PREP FOR STAR WARS NIGHT

by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres

While the Rochester Americans may feel like they’re playing a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, they’ll actually be at The Blue Cross Arena on Friday for Star Wars Night.

The Amerks lost twice to the Toronto Marlies two weeks ago, but they’ve been on a roll since. They’ll enter Friday night’s contest on a three-game winning streak and as winners of four of their past five games.

The winning streak started last Wednesday night and was punctuated with a game-winning goal by Jean Dupuy. The end-to-end rush and jaw-dropping individual effort by Dupuy gave the Amerks a 4-3 overtime win at home over Syracuse.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

Chad Ruhwedel, Evan Rodrigues – the first of his pro career – and William Carrier also scored. Nathan Lieuwen stopped 30 of 33 shots.

Rochester had a 3-1 lead until midway through the third period when the Crunch then tallied twice. Syracuse’s Jeff Tambellini scored with 59 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

Then, 1:49 into the extra period, Dupuy finished them off on his 1-on-3 chance in front of the home crowd and his dad, who was in town from Ottawa to watch the game.

“I just closed my eyes and went up the ice,” he said after the game. “It was great. We gave the lead up in the third and I’m just happy we could come out of it with the two points. Those were huge.”


On Friday, the Amerks continued to roll with their flair for the dramatic. With 18 seconds left in regulation, defenseman Colby Robak tied Rochester’s game against St. John’s with his third goal of the season. Jason Akeson picked up the deciding goal in the shootout to secure a 4-3 win. Andrey Makarov made 29 saves.

Ruhwedel scored again for his second of the season and Nicholas Baptiste added his third goal of the year.

That game marked the fourth time in five games the Amerks had been in an overtime game and the fourth-straight time on home ice.

Patrick Kaleta, who missed the first 18 games of the year due to injury, made his season debut and recorded one shot in 9:43 of ice time.


To make it three in a row, the Amerks jumped out to a 6-0 lead against Binghamton on Saturday. The Senators did mount a comeback, but Rochester hung on for a 6-5 win on the road.

Akeson picked up a goal and two assists while Baptiste also had a two-point night with a pair of assists. Rodrigues, Philip Varone, Matt Ellis and Jerry D'Amigo scored as well. With a helper of his own, Cal O'Reilly extended his point streak to five games.

Makarov making consecutive starts on back-to-back nights, once again made 29 saves.


SCORING LEADERS
1. Cal O'Reilly 14 points (3+11)
2. Philip Varone 12 points (8+4)
Jason Akeson
12 points (4+8)
4. Jean Dupuy 10 points (2+8)
5. Nicholas Baptiste 9 points (3+6)

GOALTENDING LEADERS
1. Andrey Makarov 4-4-0, 3.47 GAA, 285 saves, .896 save percentage
2. Nathan Lieuwen 5-3-0, 3.61 GAA, 227 saves, .890 save percentage


After Friday night’s 7:05 p.m. home game, the Amerks will travel to Albany for a 5 p.m. faceoff against the Devils at Times Union Center. All Amerks games can be heard on Fox Sports 1280 in Rochester and be sure to check in on Amerks.com for complete coverage throughout the season.

For more information on Star Wars Night, click here.

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