Sword Play: Rochester Americans Fall; Vanek Returns Home

By Matt Clouden

The Buffalo Sabres AHL affiliate Rochester Americans possibly played one of their worst periods of the season on Saturday night against the Hamilton Bulldogs, and it cost them.

Heading into the third period winning 2-0. the Amerks gave up four straight goals in the period to eventually fall to the Bulldogs 4-3.

Rookie goaltender Connor Knapp made his first start for the Amerks and looked great until the third, having stopped all 23 shots that found their way to him in the first two periods. He ended up stopping 30 of 34 shots.

Brian Flynn scored the first two of the Amerks goals, with Marcus Foligno assisting on the first, and Zemgus Girgensons and Mark Pysyk assisting on the second.

The Bulldogs scored three goals in just over four minutes about midway through the third period to take control of the game, with the insurance goal coming a few minutes later.

Despite getting shelled during the third, Knapp looked stellar for the majority of the game, including a few excellent saves to keep the Amerks up at the time.

This was the second game in a row against the Bulldogs that the Amerks allowed them to take over the game in the third period. Friday night, the Amerks entered the third with an identical 2-0 lead, only to have the Bulldogs tie it late in the third to push the game to overtime. The Amerks prevailed in a shootout, 3-2, but head coach Ron Rolston cannot be pleased with his team’s ability to close the past two games.

Zemgus Girgensons scored his first professional goal on Friday to put the Amerks up 1-0. Phil Varone, Flynn and Foligno scored in the shootout for the Amerks.

The Amerks play another doubleheader this weekend, facing off against the Adirondack Phantoms, who they handled 6-2 last week, on Friday, and the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday. The Amerks are now 6-3-1 on the year.


Thomas Vanek’s return to his native Austria has come to an end.

The Sabres star played his final game for the Graz 99ers of the Austrian pro league last weekend and will return stateside sometime this week.

The return has nothing to do with any injuries as far as anyone knows, so Vanek should be ready for the start of the season, whenever that may be.

Vanek ended up with five goals and ten assists in 11 games for the 99ers.


Some quick hits:

Tyler Ennis has been hot since returning from an injury that kept him out of seven games for Langnau in the Swiss A League. In the three games since his return, Ennis has a goal and three assists. Ennis has five points in five games for Langnau.

Tyler Myers has been playing good hockey with Klagenfurter AC of the Austrian pro league, posting four points in seven games.

Christian Ehrhoff has also continued his strong play, now having eight goals in 16 games in the German pro league.

Jhonas Enroth was victorious in his Huddinge IK debut, allowing two goals in the 3-2 victory.

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