Amerks Fall Short in Rematch with Checkers
(Rochester, NY) ... For the second night in a row, the Rochester Americans (0-2-0-0) dropped a contest to the high-powered Charlotte Checkers (2-0-0-0), falling 4-2 Saturday night at The Blue Cross Arena in the second game of the weekend between the two teams.
Eric Cornel and newcomer Wayne Simpson each tallied their first goals of the campaign while goaltender Scott Wedgewood made 28 saves in his second straight defeat.
Nicolas Roy led the Checkers to their second straight win as he posted a pair of goals and an assist to pick up his second three-point outing in as many nights against the Amerks. Andrew Poturalski and Morgan Geekie also found the back of the net for Charlotte while netminder Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 34 of 36 shots to earn his second win of the weekend.
Charlotte, who led the AHL in scoring last season, opened the scoring three minutes into the game with Geekie's first of the season before Cornel knotted the score as the teams went into the break tied at 1-1.
Rochester grabbed its first lead of the contest just nine seconds into the middle period as Alexander Nylander sprung Simpson into the offensive zone. The forward roofed a shot over the glove of the Checkers netminder to record his first point and goal as Amerk while Nylander was awarded his second helper of the night.
"We had a good forecheck to force a turnover," said Simpson when describing his goal. "Nyls hit me with a pass in stride and I just tried to find an opening on the net. It felt good to get the first goal."
Charlotte, however, countered back with three unanswered goals in the stanza to flip a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 advantage.
After seeing the Checkers even the game at 2-2 with 17:35 left in the period, the Amerks appeared to catch a break as they drew a pair of penalties 57 seconds apart to get a 5-on-3 advantage.
As the first infraction expired, Roy grabbed a loose puck just inside the Rochester blueline and raced in all alone towards Wedgewood. The second-year pro, who had two goals and an assist last night, tallied his first of two markers on the night with a shot under the crossbar to reclaim Charlotte's lead at the 5:06 mark.
"Every game can be a learning experience," said Zach Redmond, who earned a secondary assist on Cornel's goal in the first period. "It sucks to experience this right away as you would like to start off hot, but it's only two games. You don't want to get too down about it, but we know we have areas that we need to clean up."
Later in the period, Roy capped off the scoring on the night as he beat Wedgewood for Charlotte's second power-play goal of the night and made it a 4-2 contest.
Despite outshooting the Checkers 20-6 over the final 20 minutes of play, the Amerks were unable to find the back of the net and would drop the second game of the weekend series.
"In the third period, we were much better," said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. "I thought we played as a five-man unit. We were pinching at the right times, the forwards were backing up and we were on our toes. Guys started to look comfortable and it's going to take some time to get the results we're hoping for."
"We know it is going to take time and it is a process."
ROC: Cornel (1), Simpson (1)
CHA: Geekie (1), Poturalski (2), Roy (3, 4)
ROC: Wedgewood - 28/32 (L)
CHA: Nedeljkovic - 34/36 (W)
ROC: PP (0/5) | PK (2/4)
CHA: PP (2/4) | PK (5/5)
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