Amerks Score Five in a Road Win at Syracuse

The puck dropped on Saturday night in Syracuse with Rochester and Syracuse tied for first place with each team at 73 points in the standings. It’s not the first time they’ve been tied for first but just like previous ties the night ends with Rochester back in possession of first place.

An overall dominating game for the Amerks carried them to a 5-3 win against a Syracuse team that hasn’t been easy to play against. Taylor Leier (2), CJ Smith (1G+1A), and Alex Nylander (1G+1A) each finished the game with multiple points in the win.

Taylor Leier scored the first goal of the game at 3:40 of the first period with a short handed breakaway goal. Will Borgen moved the puck up the words, CJ Smith poked it out of the zone on the boards, and Leier took off and beat Eddie Pasquale to score his 14th goal of the season.

The second period started off hot for the Amerks when Alex Nylander scored his ninth goal of the season just 10 seconds into the period. Rochester won the face off, Tennyson sent it down the boards, and Syracuse was unable to control the puck as Nylander picked it up inside the blue line and scored high from the slot.

Syracuse got on the board at 14:04 of the second when Mitchell Stephens had an open shot from just above the crease. Lawrence Pilut allowed him to get too low and Syracuse made it a one goal game.

It took less than two minutes for Rochester to regain the two goal lead when Taylor Leier scored his second of the game and 15th of the season by redirecting a shot from Pilut. The puck was cycled up the boards to Zach Redmond, pass to Pilut, puck thrown to the net, and Leier got a stick on it.

Syracuse did put a puck in the net but it was waived off as the ref put an arm up as Andy Andreoff took out Andrew MacWilliam in front of the net.

After 40 minutes the Amerks had a 3-1 lead and 31-15 advantage in shots. In just the second period they had a 21-5 advantage. The Crunch only had 15 shots but they still had a handful of quality chances that relied on Scott Wedgewood to make the saves.

Mitchell Stephens scored his second of the game at 9:37 of the third period to get the Crunch within one. The Amerks were caught on a line change and as they scrambled for position the loose puck down low was picked up by Stephens to score.

Syracuse gained some momentum in the game down by only a goal and started to really pressure for the first time all game. They didn’t have any big scoring chances but started to push the Amerks on their heels.

It only took a span of 62 seconds for Rochester to regain control of the game with two quick goals to take a 5-2 lead.

Rasmus Asplund passed the puck up to Andrew Oglevie who got his stick on the puck to send it over to Victor Olofsson. As Olofsson carried the puck down the boards he sent a shot towards the net that either found a hole or went in off of a Crunch defender.

Moments later Zach Redmond cleared the puck off the glass from the defensive zone, Alex Nylander chased the puck down, and spotted CJ Smith going to the net. The quick pass allowed CJ to beat Eddie Pasquale and that was the lead the Amerks needed.

Syracuse scored one more time on the power play with 76 seconds left to go int the game but it was too little too late.

Scott Wedgewood finished the night with 23 saves for his 22nd win of the season, second best in the American League.

That’s second straight road win for this Amerks team and another big win at that. Rochester moves back into sole possession of first place with the two point regulation win. These same two teams play again Sunday afternoon in Rochester.


CJ Smith now has 28 points (14G+14A) in his last 23 games with the Amerks.

Alex Nylander had his first multiple point night since November 24 when he also had a goal and an assist that night.

Wayne Simpson and Kevin Porter were out again with injuries and are still considered day to day.

Rochester didn’t have any 20 goal scorers last season. They currently have three w/ Victor Olofsson (22), Zach Redmond (21), and CJ Smith (20).

Getting close are: Wayne Simpson (19), Danny O’Regan (18), Taylor Leier (15).


Here’s the game in gifs as they were sent out in Tweets:

Highlights provided by the Crunch: