Olofsson Extends Amerks Winning Streak; Ends Crunch Streak

The Rochester Americans skated away with a 4-3 win over the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night on the road in what was the biggest game of the season through 24 games. Rochester extended their winning streak to three games, and fifth win in six games, while handing the Crunch their first regulation loss since October 27.

Syracuse was on a run of 11-0-2-0 since they last lost on October 27 against Charlotte and they were looking to topple the North Division first place Rochester Americans on home ice. Rochester has now won three straight and five of their last six games as they sent a message to the Crunch that they deserve to be in the position that they’re in.

Lacking toughness last spring in the playoffs the Amerks added Yannick Veilleux and Tyler Randell to the roster along with bringing back Dalton Smith and Andrew MacWilliam. Tonight, all four played in Syracuse in the win.

The Amerks were without their captain Kevin Porter due to a lower body injury from Friday night but that didn’t stop the top line from starting the game with a goal. Eric Cornel moved to the line with Wayne Simpson and CJ Smith and immediately had an impact. Only 78 seconds into the game Cornel found a loose puck, took a shot and Simpson was at the front of the net to score on the rebound.

Tyler Randell isn’t expect to score goals in his fourth line role but was able to put the Amerks up 2-0 early in the first with a wrap around goal on Connor Ingram. Dalton Smith had delivered a big hit at center ice that gave Randell the opportunity to skate it in. A tough guy scored. That’s the kind of contribution this team needs to win and the game started in the right direction.

That fourth line continued to have an impact in the first period when Dalton Smith initiated a hit in front of the Amerks bench and sent a Crunch player along with the linesman into the bench. We called that Dalton Smith doing Dalton Smith type things.

Andy Andreoff scored from the top of the circle with 3:47 left in the first period to get the Crunch within a goal.

Zach Redmond scored the only goal of the second period for his 14th of the season (4 away from the all-time Amerks record for goals by a defenseman in a season) and third of the night for Rochester. Wayne Simpson sent a pass behind the net to CJ Smith who went around the net to feed Redmond in the slot and Rochester went up 3-1.

Less than two minutes after Redmond scored there was a double minor assessed to Tyler Randell for holding and unsportsmanlike conduct. The penalty kill went to work instead of hanging their heads for four minutes. Throughout the kill the Amerks created more scoring chances for themselves than the Crunch had with an extra man advantage. This was one of those turning moments of the game in favor of Rochester.

It only took 63 seconds for Cal Foote to score in the third period to get Syracuse back into the game. It was another goal from the top of the circle.

For the second straight game the power play was able to score and it ended up being the game winner. While cycling the puck Rasmus Asplund sent a pass to Brendan Guhle who passed it to Victor Olofsson for a one timer and goal. The goal at 9:49 of the third period would turn out to be the fourth game winning goal for Olofsson.

With Tyler Randell in the penalty box again the Crunch were able to take advantage and get back to within one. Taylor Raddysh scored inside the face-off circle to create another close game for Rochester.

This game was different than the others as Rochester was able to play to win, hold their ground, and hand Syracuse their first regulation loss since October.

Amerks are now 12-0-2-0 when Leading after two periods, have won three straight, have won five of their last six, and keep their lock on first place in the North Division. That’s without their captain and without two starting defenseman in Lawrence Pilut and Matt Tennyson. A depth win at the right time. They’ll be back in action at home on Wednesday night vs Binghamton and Friday night at home vs Cleveland.

Here are the plays as they happened: