Amerks Split Weekend Set with Checkers
(Rochester, NY) ... For the first time in 14 games and 39 days, the Rochester Americans (15-4-2-2) suffered a regulation loss as they come up short in a 3-1 setback to the defending Calder Cup champion Charlotte Checkers (10-11-3-0) Saturday night at The Blue Cross Arena to split the two-game weekend set.
Prior to tonight's loss, the Amerks produced a 12-game point streak, showing a 10-0-1-1 record dating back to Nov. 1. Rochester, however, has picked up points in 17 of the last 20 contests overall, going 13-3-2-2 over that span, while also earning 34 out of a possible 46 points through their first 23 contests of the season.
Forward Jean-Sebastien Dea scored the Amerks lone goal during the second period for his eighth of the campaign from Jacob Bryson and John Gilmour while netminder Andrew Hammond (8-2-1) made 27 saves.
Charlotte forwards Julien Gauthier and Morgan Geekie both scored a power-play goal during the first period while Max McCormick capped off the win with an empty-netter. Goaltender Anton Forsberg stopped 32 of 33 shot he faced to improve to 6-4-2 on the season.
On their first power-play of the night, Gauthier entered the Amerks zone with the puck along the boards. As he neared the face-off dot, he quickly snapped a shot over the left shoulder of Hammond to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The tally with 12:33 left in the first period was the first goal allowed by Rochester in 127:27 of game action.
With seconds remaining on another Amerks penalty, Forsberg caught Rochester in the midst of a line change and sent a long stretch pass to Charlotte captain Roland McKeown for a 2-on-0 breakaway opportunity. McKeown stopped just inside the blueline and centered a pass to Geekie, who roofed a backhander to the top of the net after being all alone in front of Hammond for his sixth of the season at the 17:14 mark.
The Amerks countered back with their own goal on the man-advantage during the second period as Gilmour raced up the ice with the puck before handing it to Bryson. The rookie blueliner attempted to center a pass in-between the face-off dots, but Dea chipped it over the left leg of Forsberg to bring Rochester within one going into the third period.
Rochester tried to force overtime during the final 20 minutes of regulation, and despite pulling Hammond for the extra attacker for the final few minutes, Forsberg denied any comeback attempt. While Hammond was on the bench, McCormick sealed the two-goal victory as he tapped in his fourth goal late in regulation, handing the Amerks their first regulation loss since Oct. 30.
The Amerks close out their season-long four-game homestand on Wednesday, Dec. 11 as they welcome the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to The Blue Cross Arena for the only time this season. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: J. Dea (8)
CHA: J. Gauthier (10), M. Geekie (6 - GWG), M. McCormick (4)
ROC: A. Hammond - 27/29 (L)
CHA: A. Forsberg - 32/33 (W)
ROC: PP (1/5) | PK (3/5)
CHA: PP (2/5) | PK (4/5)
1. M. Geekie (CHA)
2. A. Forsberg (CHA)
3. J. Dea (ROC)
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