Courtesy of Amerks.com
BELLEVILLE, ON — The Rochester Americans (22-8-4-3) were 15 seconds away from coming out with a 2-1 win against the Belleville Senators (15-20-0-3) at Yardmen Arena Wednesday but the Sens tied the game late before escaping with a 3-2 overtime win.
Despite the loss in the extra frame, the Amerks have compiled points in 24 of their last 28 games and have collected 43 points dating back to Nov. 1. Additionally, the overtime loss keeps the Amerks as the only team with one regulation loss away from The Blue Cross Arena as they show a 12-1-4-2 record in 19 road games this season.
The Amerks were led by Hudson Fasching (1+1) and Colin Blackwell (0+2) as they each turned in a multi-point performance while Taylor Fedun bagged his first goal of the season as he appeared in just his third game since returning from an injury that kept him out nearly two months. Goaltender Adam Wilcox made 32 saves but took the overtime loss to drop his record to 5-3-4 in 14 appearances this season.
Ethan Werek notched his ninth goal of the slate to go along with an assist as he grabbed a hold of the team lead in points for Belleville. Max Reinhart and Jordan Murray each found the back of the net while goaltender Andrew Hammond stopped 21 of 23 to earn his eighth win of the season in the blue paint.
Late in the contest, the Amerks pressured the B-Sens to keep Hammond in the net as they held a 2-1 lead inside the final minute of play, but Belleville evaded the press before entering the Rochester zone.
As Hammond made his way to the bench for the extra attacker, Reinhart fired a shot off the end boards that somehow made its way past Wilcox to even the score at 2-2 with 15 seconds showing on the third-period clock.
The contest went beyond regulation, similar to the previous meeting at Yardmen Arena back on Nov. 11 when the two North Division clubs required an overtime period.
Rochester controlled the puck for the first half of the extra frame, but was whistled for a slashing infraction with 2:27 left in the overtime, giving Belleville a 4-on-3 man-advantage.
After entering the Amerks zone with the puck by the right face-off dot, Chris DiDomenico slipped a pass to Murray atop the right point. The rookie defenseman, who provided the overtime winner back on Nov. 11, corralled the pass before sniping a shot past the blocker of Wilcox to give the Sens a 3-2 overtime win.
Murray’s fifth tally of the season came at the 3:18 mark and snapped a string of 10 straight games that the Amerks had not allowed a power-play goal. Rochester’s shorthanded unit had successfully killed off 40 consecutive infractions dating back to Dec. 15.
Belleville opened the scoring and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission break despite outshooting Rochester 16-6, but Fedun tied the game with 1:26 left in the second period with his first goal of the season.
Fasching broke up a B-Sens pass to enter the Amerks zone and sprung Blackwell and Fedun on a 2-on-1 rush towards Hammond late in the second stanza. Blackwell drifted to his left, forcing the defender to lose his angle, before sending a pass to Fedun. The blueliner fired the puck past the glove-hand of the netminder to even the game at 1-1.
Rochester carried the momentum of Fedun’s tally as Fasching redirected a Blackwell shot to give the Amerks their first lead of the night with 10:56 left in the contest. Both Blackwell and Garret Ross each factored in on Fasching’s seventh goal of the year.
The Sens would not go away quietly, however, as Reinhart evened the score with 15 seconds remaining before Murray sealed the 3-2 win for Belleville.
The Amerks return to The Blue Cross Arena Friday, Jan. 12 when they host the Binghamton Devils for a 7:05 p.m. showdown in Rochester. Friday’s matchup will be the fifth of 10 meetings between the North Division rivals this season and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester. The game will also be televised on MSG.
RCH: Fedun (1), Fasching (7)
BEL: Werek (9), Reinhart (7), Murray (5, OT GWG)
RCH: Wilcox– 32/35 (OTL)
BEL: Hammond– 21/23 (W)
RCH: PP (0/2) | PK (3/4)
BEL: PP (1/4) | PK (2/2)