Arttu-D2 on May the Fourth
Updated: May 21, 2022
ROCHESTER, N.Y. --- The force was with The Rochester Americans on May the Fourth, as they took down the Belleville Senators in overtime, 4-3. Arttu Ruotsalainen scored the game winner 16:54 into overtime after the Amerks completed a three goal, third period comeback.
The First period was a slow affair for Rochester fans, each team only posted 5 shots but Belleville had a major edge, having scored 2 in the period. "Playoff Hockey" was clearly in full effect as interference and tripping calls saw the other cheek from the referees, including a hit on Linus Weissbach early on that took him out for the remainder of the game. The Senators jumped out to a three goal lead in the middle of the second period thanks to Rourke Chartier at 12:58. The second period looked much better for the Amerks as they had almost double the shots of Belleville but they seemed like they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.
The third period rolled around and people started to head out of the upper decks. Lukas Rousek seemed to take that personally as he controlled a pass from JJ Peterka and slotted it around Filip Gustavsson from point blank range to put the Amerks on the board just three minutes into the third. After that, a switch seemed to flip for everyone in Blue Cross Arena. The atmosphere was buzzing and the scent of a second goal was thick in the air.
Time started to pull away from Rochester until the 13th minute when Casey Fitzgerald and Peyton Krebs decided to show the Flower City what they learned in Buffalo. The two were responsible for the assist to Jimmy Schuldt for the second goal. The Krebs to Fitzgerald connection flowed to tied the game up in the 16th minute.
Playoff overtime was next, five on five hockey for almost 17 grueling, scoreless minutes thanks to four major Amerks blocks. First it was Josh Teves getting between the puck and the net covering behind Aaron Dell. The second two were remarkable reaction saves from Dell which came in a game with very few shots over 80 minutes of Hockey. The last block, by Brandon Biro, was "World Class" per Head Coach Seth Appert, and was likely what secured the game. Then it was Teves, from the point, he got it to Ruotsalainen in the blue paint, and a scoop behind Gustavsson was all that was needed to give the Amerks their first playoff win since 2014.
Rochester will travel to Belleville for games two and three of the series. If they get out of the play in game round they will move on to fight through the Utica Comets.