Amerks End Lousy Road Trip Losing 5-2; Special Teams Needs Work

The Amerks ended a four game road with a 5-2 loss against the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night and as mentioned elsewhere, it’s a game they shouldn’t forget and likely a low point in this early season.  The two teams play against each other Sunday evening at 6:05 in Rochester.  The Amerks also play eight of their next nine games on home ice if there was ever a time to turn things around it’d be now.

The Crunch were playing to redeem themselves after losing their previous game 6-2 against the Norfolk Admirals and they did just that.  Sunday night it’ll be the Amerks chance to do that themselves and come out with a strong performance.

The biggest issue the team needs to work on is their special teams, the Amerks have failed on 25 straight power play opportunities over the past six games.  Over the course of those six games the opposing team has scored eight times out of 27 opportunities.  There’s also been a number of 5 on 3 chances for the Amerks that they’ve failed on, including one Saturday night.  Those numbers point to two big holes in this team, an offense with the ability to score goals and a defense that is easily broken down.

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This Rochester Americans team is hard working and has potential but is also missing some key pieces and is playing inconsistently.  Those are the struggles of a young development team.  There’s still a long season ahead but slow starts can quickly come back to haunt a team in March and April when the playoff battles start tightening up.

By all accounts from some people at the game, Drew MacIntyre didn’t play horrible in net for the Amerks so the loss can’t be pinned on him, he stopped 37 out of 42 shots faced.  A soft Amerks defense can’t allow that to happen, they gave the Crunch way too many opportunities and the Crunch were able to score.

On the other end of the ice the Amerks had some early chances but failed to score at which point the Crunch slowly took control.

The same two teams finish out the weekend Sunday night at 6:05pm in Rochester.  The Amerks will be closing out a three in three weekend, the Crunch had Friday night off.  Based on the comments after the game it’ll be up to the Amerks to want this win and go out and earn it.  The Crunch have all of the momentum and will be taking advantage of known weaknesses to go up early in the game.

Oh yea, Jacob Lagace scored his fifth goal of the season at 8:49 of the first period and Marcus Foligno also scored his fifth of the season with 15 seconds left on the clock, with an assist to Paul Szczechura.  A meaningless goal but a goal.  Szczechura has now played in two games and has two assists.

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We hope you guys don’t either and deliver what’ll likely be a small home crowd a solid win.

Puck drops at 6:05pm Sunday evening at Blue Cross Arena.  The game will also be televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and on the radio dial at WHTK 1280AM and 107.3FM in Rochester.

Below is the Amerks recap along with the box score:

Rochester Americans 2 at Syracuse Crunch 5 – Status: Final
Saturday, November 5, 2011 – Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter

Rochester 1 0 1 – 2
Syracuse 1 2 2 – 5

1st Period-1, Syracuse, Cumiskey 1 (Bell, Sexton), 5:51 (PP). 2, Rochester, Lagace 5   8:49. Penalties-Foligno Rch (high-sticking), 4:09; Turnbull Rch (cross-checking), 16:45; Jacques Syr (hooking), 16:54; Clark Syr (cross-checking), 18:57; Jacques Syr (cross-checking), 19:27.

2nd Period-3, Syracuse, Sexton 3 (Maroon, Rodney), 10:56 (PP). 4, Syracuse, Rodney 1 (Bell, Sexton), 14:31 (PP). Penalties-Cumiskey Syr (interference), 3:41; McNabb Rch (hooking), 8:58; Schiestel Rch (tripping), 14:22; Bodie Syr (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:32.

3rd Period-5, Syracuse, Bell 4 (Sexton, Cumiskey), 12:28 (PP). 6, Syracuse, Clark 1 (Maroon, Sexton), 16:24. 7, Rochester, Foligno 5 (Szczechura), 19:45. Penalties-MacKenzie Rch (cross-checking), 5:57; Bodie Syr (cross-checking), 5:57; McNabb Rch (tripping), 10:52; Voakes Rch (slashing), 11:58; Biega Rch (goaltender interference), 13:39; Voakes Rch (hooking), 14:14.

Shots on Goal-Rochester 11-7-6-24. Syracuse 11-14-17-42.
Power Play Opportunities-Rochester 0 / 5; Syracuse 4 / 8.
Goalies-Rochester, MacIntyre 1-4-1 (42 shots-37 saves). Syracuse, Tarkki 2-2-1 (24 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86), Tim Mayer (19).
Linesmen-Jeff Walker (28), Fraser McIntyre (94).



(Rochester, NY)… The Rochester Americans and Syracuse Crunch met for the first of two straight meetings Saturday night in Syracuse, and round one of the home-and-home series went to the Crunch, who skated to a 5-2 victory at the War Memorial at Oncenter.

The Syracuse power play was the difference in the game as the Crunch scored four of its five goals with the man advantage. Overall, the Crunch went 4-for-7 on the power play. The same two teams will meet again Sunday in Rochester at The Blue Cross Arena at 6:05 p.m.

Drew MacIntyre got the start in goal for Rochester as he and David Leggio continue to alternate in the crease. MacIntyre made a season-high 37 saves while facing 42 shots on goal from Syracuse. Jacob Lagace and Marcus Foligno scored for Rochester as both players found the back of the net for the second night in a row and now share the team goal-scoring lead with five apiece on the season.

Each team struck in the opening period of play, with Syracuse getting on the board first on a power play goal. Kyle Cumiskey was set up by Mark Bell and beat MacIntyre with a slap shot from the slot at 5:51 of the period. Dan Sexton was also given an assist on the play on his way to a five-point night (1+4).

Just under three minutes later, Lagace struck for the second night in a row to even the game at 1-1 when he found a loose puck in the corner and brought it to the net where he knocked it home. That would be all the scoring in the first period, which saw the teams each fire 11 shots on goal.

In the second period, the Crunch power play continued to produce, scoring twice in a four-minute span to take a 3-1 lead. First, Bryan Rodney found Dan Sexton streaking to the net and fed him with a pass that allowed Sexton to tuck the puck just inside the post for his second point of the game. Minutes later, Rodney and Sexton were at it again, combining to give Syracuse a 3-1 lead. With Drew Schiestel off for tripping, Rodney tipped in a shot just nine seconds into the man-advantage opportunity. Sexton and Bell were credited with the assists on the goal.

Syracuse scored again on the power play in the third period as Bell made it a 4-1 game at 12:28 with the Crunch on a two-man advantage. MacIntyre stopped the initial two shots, but Bell was able to get his second attempt at the rebound just past the outstretched arm of the Amerks’ netminder. Mat Clark tacked on Syracuse’s fifth goal of the game later in the third period before Foligno notched his fifth goal of the season and second in as many nights off an assist from Paul Szczechura with 15 seconds to go in the game to make it 5-2, which is how the game would end.

Notes: Sunday’s game between the Amerks and Crunch will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and broadcast on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk… The game will mark the completion of Rochester’s second set of three-games-in-three-nights on the season… Szczechura and Maxime Legault were both in the lineup for the second straight game after each player made his season debut Friday night in Binghamton… Szczechura now has an assist in each of his first two games with the Amerks.