Amerks Lose on Road to Crunch and Senators

3-15-08 Mark MancariThe Rochester Americans were shutout 3-0 on Friday against the Syracuse Crunch, and then lost 4-3 in OT against the Binghamton Senators on Saturday.  Both losses were frustrating for different reasons.  The Crunch game featured an unconsistent team, the Senators game featured a hard working team.

On Friday night the Amerks started the game strong recording the first eight shots of the game and dominating play, but they weren’t able to put the puck past Syracyse Crunch goaltender Dan LaCosta.

The first period ended with the Amerks out shooting the Crunch 16-8 and also had four power play opportunities in the first period.  The eventual outcome of the game though was Amerks getting outshot 35-33 and going 0/9 on the power play.

Friday’s game was like many games this season where they started out strong, were unable to produce any goals, and the game went down hill from there.

It was disappointing to see ref Kyle Rehman call Tanner Glass and Jon Mirasty for unsportsmanlike conducts at 16:20 of the second period, both players were simply yapping back and forth and pushing each other.  Let the puck drop and let the players drop the gloves.

On Saturday night we traveled to Binghamton where the Senators beat the Amerks in OT by the final score of 4-3 in front of a sold out crowd.  The game was the opposite of Friday nights, the team started out slow, managed to keep playing hard, and made the game head into overtime.

Martin Lojek scored the first goal for the Amerks on the power play with assists from Mancari and Gragnani.

Dylan Hunter recorded the Amerks second goal on the power play goal to make it a one goal game.  It was assisted on by Mancari and Tifu.

Mark Mancari tied the game at three when he faked a shot, took a few more strides on net and took a slap shot and beat Brian Elliott.

The way the Amerks were able to rally from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits is something that has been almost unheard of this season.

Josh Hennessy was given a penalty at 19:45 of the third period for slashing which gave the Amerks a power play going into OT.

The Amerks sent a puck into the Binghamton zone that went straight to defenseman Matt Kinch’s stick. Kinch, in turn, sent a pass up the middle of the ice to Mauldin, who moved across the neutral zone to the left-wing side, then sped past Mark Mancari (who was just about to end his shift) toward the goal.  Mauldin collected his own rebound just off the right-side post, then flipped home the game winner over Adam Dennis at the 1:16 mark.

It was a frustrating end to a game that was hard fought, but it brings up the “what if” we had a full roster of healthy players.  What if we had a parent NHL team that was able to replace players after calling some up…

Even after smashing his face against a goal post, and getting slashed hard on the wrist, Mark Mancari put on a solid effort right up until the end of the game.  Hopefully his injuries aren’t anything serious.

The Amerks were with only four regular defenseman all weekend, those being Martin Lojek, Franklin MacDonald, Peter Aston, and Jordan Henry.  Marc-Andre Gragnani who has been playing LW was put back on defense.  Gragnani played much better Friday and Saturday on defense than he had earlier in the season.

The Amerks were with only 16 skaters on Friday, and 15 on Saturday.

Dan Collins was scratched both nights, no idea why.

Clarke MacArthur played on Friday night, but wasn’t with the team on Saturday in Binghamton.  He seemed to be fine on Friday, no one seemed to have an answer as to why he didn’t play Saturday.

In what must have been a cost cutting move by the Amerks, the team travelled by bus on Friday to Syracuse, back to Rochester after the game, and then drove to Binghamton on Saturday.  Binghamton is only an hour south of Syracuse.  At least the long drives didn’t effect play on Saturday.

Yannick Tifu was returned to the Dayton Bombers on Sunday.  In his first game back with the Bombers he scored 3:24 into the first period.  He left that game after the first period with a wrist injury.  No word on whether he’ll return to the Amerks like the last time he was sent back to the Bombers.  If he doesn’t, or his injury keeps him out, someone will need to be signed to the team to help.

The next three games: Thursday @ Lake Erie Monsters, Friday at home against the Grand Rapids Griffins, Saturday @ Binghamton Senators.

After spending the weekend in the arena’s in Syracuse and Binghamton, it makes us appreciate Blue Cross Arena.  Blue Cross Arena is big, clean, spacious, comfortable seats.. unlike the arena’s in those two cities, but we’ll still be taking another road trip next Saturday again to Binghamton.