Rochester Americans Open Season With a Win and a Loss

By Matt Clouden
Kevin Hoffman – US PRESSWIRE

Hockey is back, and although it may not be on NHL rinks, as the Buffalo Sabres’ affiliate Rochester Americans showed Friday night, it certainly is in the AHL.

The Amerks opened at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY against the Syracuse Crunch, whose roster is the defending Calder Cup Champions who also won 28 games in a row last season. In a game where momentum played a huge part, the Amerks eventually downed the Crunch 6-5 in a shootout.

Some highlights of the game:

Amerks coach Ron Rolston wanted to come out flying, and his starting lineup did not fail him. Cody Hodgson took the opening draw with Corey Tropp and Luke Adam on the wings, and Tropp tapped in a Hodgson pass only 24 seconds into the first period. Tropp ended the game with two goals, Hodgson and Adam both had one assist.

Rookie defenseman Mark Pysyk started his career on a high note, scoring his first professional goal early in the second period. Pysyk also ended the game at plus-one.

The Amerks took a 4-1 lead on Pysyk’s goal, but eventually let up four in a row to the Crunch and found themselves down 5-4. Mark Mancari tied the game up just past the midway point of the third period.

Marcus Foligno scored a goal and added an assist on Mancari’s tying goal to keep the momentum going from the end of last season.

Rookie Zemgus Girgensons was held without a point in his first pro game, but did rack up two penalty minutes on a tripping call in the second period.

Reigning AHL MVP Cory Conacher, who played his college hockey in Buffalo at Canisius College, had a goal and two assists to pick up right where he left off leading the AHL in scoring last year.


On Saturday the Amerks made the short trip up the QEW to Toronto to take on the Toronto Marlies, the affiliate of the Toronto Maple LeafsAfter a roller coaster win the night before, the Amerks came out slow against the Marlies and eventually dropped the game 3-1.

The highlights of the Marlies game included:

Every goal in the game came on the powerplay. The Amerks ended the night 5/8 on the penalty kill.

Foligno scored the Amerks only goal earlier in the second period to make the game 2-1 at the time. Hodgson and Brennan had the assists.

Amerks goalie David Leggio, the team’s reigning MVP, made 33 saves in the loss.


The Amerks’ next game is tomorrow in Rochester against the Binghamton Senators.




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