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  • Aiden Locke

Frustration back at home

Rochester, NY, --- The Rochester Americans fall short in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals against Hershey, Goalie Hunter Shepard and the Bears defense were too much for them to handle.

After posting a shutout in game two the Amerks offense needed to answer and come back with a strong performance. After game three they may be left with more questions than answers after a 4-2 loss.

Photo Credit/Rochester Americans

Rochester came out strong in the first few minutes of the first period with the line displaying fluid, tape to tape passing and chance creation. Hershey's Hendrix Lapierre would get called for an early tripping penalty that would put Rochester on an early powerplay. No goal would come from the early chance thanks to strong defense and top notch goaltending. The first goal would come at 11:50 by way of Bears defenseman Logan Day. He ripped a quick shot from the point and it made it's way past Rochester goalie Malcolm Subban. Outside of that goal the first period was a bit of a slow burner with both teams struggling to generate shots and high quality chances.

Photo Credit/Rochester Americans

The second period would start four on four and see the game flow really be determined as Hershey's defense would smother the Amerks attack. Questionable officiating left the Amerks faithful frustrated as this contest had a lack of discipline overall especially from Hershey. Sam Anas who had a two point night would score the second period's opening goal to put the Bears up two and in control. Zach Metsa would light the lamp for Rochester in a similar fashion to Hershey's Logan Day's first period strike to keep Rochester in it. And in his post game press conference described his shot on that goal as "shooting for chaos" which ending up in the net.

Photo Credit/Rochester Americans

The goal of the night would come just minutes later as former first round pick Connor McMichael would find a way to sneak one in for Hershey after winning a puck battle out in front of the net. The rest of the second period would be a defensive and physical scrap led by Hunter Shepard's continued great play from the game two shutout. Late in the second period would see beverage cans tossed onto the ice by a couple of disgruntled fans after more potentially missed calls by the referees. Hershey's defensive effort in both the physicality and shot blocking would hold off the Rochester attack in the rest of the period.

Photo Credit/Rochester Americans

The third would see line adjustments from Rochester's head coach Seth Appert who decided to shake up his lines a bit to try and find some more offense. The Amerks young third line paring of Lukas Rousek, Jiri Kulich, and Matthew Savoie had a disappointing performance together as Kulich and Rousek would both finished with -2's on the stat sheet. Sean Malone however would open up the third period goal scoring with a huge goal to pull Rochester within one. However after that goal Shepard would shut the door for good making 31 saves on 33 shots. He coped with the Amerks pressure extremely well denying multiple solid scoring chances, making a couple highlight worthy saves, and allowing Hershey to hold on. An Aliaksei Protas empty netter in the final minute would seal the deal for Hershey to steal game three in Rochester.

Photo Credit/Rochester Americans

In the post game press conference you can hear the frustration from head coach Seth Appert after his side played a decent came but came out second best. He described some of the officiating like "tackle football" but iterated that it cannot be an excuse as his guys just need to play a bit better. Rochester will look to regroup and make adjustments as they prepare themselves for game four in Rochester on Monday.

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