Amerks Stun Marlies
The Rochester Americans stunned the north division leading Toronto Marlies 6-2 in their first of a three game weekend. All six of the Amerks goals came from different goal scorers and four of the six goals had screens on the goalie. Vinnie Hinostroza and Jiri Kulich each notched a goal and an assist in the game while Jeremy Davies and Lukas Rousek both had two assists on the night to lead the team. Michael Houser was the standout on the ice, in goal he had 24 saves on 26 shots from the Marlies and kept the Amerks in it when the score was only 3-2 in the early second period.
The PGA Championship Trophy was in attendance as Rochester hosted their PGA themed night in honor of the Championship returning to Oak Hill in Rochester. It was shown off in the lobby pregame and brought out for the opening puck drop as well as each period intermission.
In the first period the Marlies came out with a dominance one could expect from the top team in the standings. They scored the first goal of the game just after their first power play ended, Max Ellis putting it behind Houser. Following the goal, Toronto was called for high sticking and a four-minute power play ensued for Rochester. Brett Murray found the back of the net in the third minute of the power play while standing on the far post. Lukas Rousek sent in a perfect pass after finding the rebound.
In the closing minutes of the period Isak Rosen was sent to the box for tripping. Quickly after Tyson Kozak was sent to the box for a face off violation and Rochester faced a 3-5 situation with just over three minutes left in the period. It took Toronto 43 seconds to score in 5-3 play, Bobby McMann found the back of the net with a screen on Houser. Just as the period was coming to an end and Rochester looked like they would go into the locker room down by a goal. Davies and Hinostroza had other ideas. The former queuing up the latter for a one timer to tie things up with eight seconds left.
The first half of the second period truly felt like a 2-2 hockey game, neither unit could gain an inch on the other. That all changed when Sean Malone deflected Ethan Prow's shot into the back of the net and put the Amerks in the lead 3-2. Six minutes later, Priskie found the back of the net from the blue line with a screen on the goalie. Just two and a half minutes after that Houser made a perfect outlet pass to Rosen in between the blue lines. Rosen found a wide open Kulich streaking into the offensive zone and he found the back of the net for the fast break score to send Rochester into the second intermission up 5-2.
Rochester picked up right where they left off in the third period. Lawrence Pilut scored a long shot that once again had a goalie screen and Rochester was up 6-2. The Amerks went on to hold that score, not for lack of trying by the Marlies. Just after the nine minute mark Rochester would go into their first penalty kill of the period, making easy work of the kill. Just two minutes later they found themselves on the penalty kill once again following a hooking call on Pilut. Once again Rochester killed off the penalty and they ended the night 6-2.
With that win the Amerks move to 23-19-2-1 and they will have to take on the Marlies once again on Saturday in Toronto then come home on Sunday to host the Syracuse Crunch.