AMERKS COMEBACK IN DRAMATIC FASHION TO TAKE GAME 1 FROM SENATORS IN OVERTIME THRILLER

May 5, 2022

Trailing 3-0 entering the third period, the Rochester Americans (1-0) erupted for three goals over the final frame before Arttu Ruotsalainen redirected home the game-winner with 3:06 remaining in overtime to cap a thrilling come-from-behind win over the Belleville Senators (0-1) in Game 1 of their best-of-three first round series Wednesday at The Blue Cross Arena.

 

                                                                    GAME SUMMARY  PHOTO GALLERY  POST-GAME REPORT

 

Game 2 between the two teams is set for Friday in Belleville with the Amerks now one win away of winning their first playoff series for the first time since the 2005 postseason.

 

AMERKS COMPLETE THE COMEBACK IN OVERTIME

220504_OT_winner.gif

The overtime win was Rochester’s first beyond regulation in the postseason since a 4-3 Game 7 win in the Amerks’ first-round series against Syracuse on May 1, 2004 and first playoff victory since the team’s 7-2 win in Game 4 of the opening round series against Chicago on May 2, 2014. During the regular season in the head-to-head series with the Senators, the two teams played in three games decided beyond regulation with Rochester showing a 3-3-1-1 record.

 

Defenseman Casey Fitzgerald (1+1) recorded his first career multi-point effort in the playoffs while rookie forwards JJ Peterka and Peyton Krebs both tallied a pair of helpers in the win. Lukas Rousek and Jimmy Schuldt both added third period goals before Ruotsalainen completed the comeback at the 16:54 mark of overtime. Ethan Prow, Brandon Biro and Josh Teves all registered an assist.

 

Goaltender Arron Dell made 24 saves in eighth career AHL Calder Cup Playoff appearance. The veteran netminder allowed Belleville’s final goal at the 12:58 mark of the second before shutting out the club the final 30-plus minutes of the game.

 

 

Forward Andrew Agozzino collected two assists while Dillon Heatherington, Rourke Chartier and Cole Reinhardt all scored in the overtime defeat. Netminder Filip Gustavsson made his postseason debut, and despite stopping 28 of the 32 shots he faced, he suffered the loss.

 

After successfully killing off its second penalty of the night, Rochester got on the board 3:13 into the third as Rousek found himself alone in front of Gustavsson. The rookie forward gathered a centering feed from Peterka and Biro before flipping a shot past the blocker of the netminder.

 

 

Facing a two-goal deficit, Schuldt buried a pass from the left circle with 6:41 left to make it a 3-2 score. 

 

Three minutes after Schuldt’s goal, Fitzgerald received a backdoor pass from Krebs to the left of Gustavsson. Prior to firing in the game-tying goal to force overtime, Fitzgerald toe-dragged around a Senators skater as he made his way towards the front of the crease.

 

 

In the extra frame with the score even at 3-3, the Amerks had the puck in the offensive zone before Mark Jankowski slid a pass around the wall to the top of the point for Prow. The veteran blueliner gave the puck to Teves at the left point, who after walking the line, snapped a shot towards the cage where Ruotsalainen steered it behind the netminder to give Rochester the 4-3 win.

 

The lead was the Amerks first and only of the contest as Belleville scored twice in the first period and once again in the second to take a 3-0 advantage before Rochester scored four straight unanswered goals to stun the Senators and take Game 1.

 

 

The series shifts north of the border for Game 2 on Friday, May 6 at CAA. Opening face-off is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV. If necessary, a decisive Game 3 is slated for Sunday, May 8 at 3:00 p.m.

 

 

BELLEVILLE

GAMECENTER

ROCHESTER

Reinhardt (1), Heatherington (1), Chartier (1)

GOAL-SCORERS

Rousek (1), Schuldt (1), Fitzgerald (1), Ruotsalainen (1 – OT GWG)

Gustavsson – 28/32 (L)

GOALTENDERS

Dell – 24/27 (W)

0-2

POWER-PLAY

0-2

2-2

PENALTY KILL

2-2

27

SHOTS ON GOAL

32