Amerks "Knockout" Senators in OT
ROCHESTER, N.Y. --- The Rochester Americans hosted The Belleville Senators in what proved to be nothing less than a continuation of their playoff series earlier this year. In a match that saw 14 total penalties, the physicality of playoff hockey seemed back in effect in Rochester as they took home the victory 4-3. Lukas Rousek lead The Amerks in points notching a game tying third period goal and an assist while Lawrence Pilut led the way as a defensive standout notching an assist on the day as well. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was between the posts for Rochester for his third start in a row, notching 20 saves on the night.
The first period was one for the books, totaling 20 shots and five penalties. The first of which came from Belleville just two minutes into the game, leading to Brandon Biro's first goal of the season, assisted by Lukas Rousek and Jiri Kulich, notching his second AHL assist. Not long after going back to even power, the momentum shifted into the hands of The Senators as Angus Crookshank put Belleville on the board. While tied at one both teams continued to play physical and aggressive hockey, eventually leading to a boarding penalty by Belleville's Kristians Rubins on Rochester Captain Michael Mersch. following the penalty a fight ensued that ended in Sean Malone being added to the box for roughing. While playing 4-4 hockey the next goal came, 10:24 in the period, Viktor Lodin put a snipe into the top right corner to give The Senators the lead.
The Amerks needed an answer as they were trailing, who else would take the shot other than Sean Malone, Assisted by Michael Mersch at 13:52. The Senators weren't done just yet though, Rourke Chartier scored from in close off the rebound 16:14 into the period and gave Belleville the lead 3-2 to end the first. In contrast to the first, the second period was not so exciting, resulting in zero goals scored. The Amerks continued to appear shaky when in even play but were often dominating on the power play, although they didn't come away with anything to show for it in the second.
In the third, the physicality continued as Rochester went onto the power play less than two minutes in. The Amerks thought they tied things up thirty second into the power play but instead they went to 4 on 4 hockey as Linus Weissbach entered the box for roughing. Both those penalties cleared and the game continued with momentum on Belleville's side. That was until Ethan Prow put a shot off the pads of Senators net minder Kevin Mandolese and Lukas Rousek was there to pop it into the back of the net for The Americans 6:58 into the period. that score carried and neither team looked to gain momentum until a double penalty sent both teams a man down with less than three minutes left in the period. both teams killed and the teams ended regulation all tied up.
Overtime was not as long as the last time The Amerks went past regulation, lasting 38 minutes and 22 seconds less than their last. The man to win it was the new face to the crew, Anders Bjork, although he said he wasn't up to par throughout the entire game, he came through in the end to win it for Rochester 4-3. The same scoreline and the same number of periods as the last two times they played The Senators. The Amerks are now 1-1-1-0 and their next game will be at home, Friday October 21st against The Syracuse Crunch, puck drop at 7:05 p.m.