Amerks Suffer Season-High Seventh Straight Loss in Shootout
(Rochester, NY)... The Rochester Americans suffered their season-high seventh straight loss tonight after coming out on the short side of things in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Manitoba Moose at the MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg. After losing 3-2 in heartbreaking fashion last night, the Amerks second straight loss in Game 2 of back-to-back tilts with the Moose continues to bury the team in the North Division with a (30-36-4-4) record, good for last. The Moose, who now are holding on to a two-point lead in the division (90) over the Lake Erie Monsters (88), improve to (42-27-1-5) and have now won four in a row and five of their last six.
Marco Rosa (1+3), who appeared in only his fourth game back since being sidelined for 29 games with a long-term injury, earned top star honors for the Moose's squad tonight and was a factor in all three of Manitoba's power-play goals. His three points give the veteran forward three goals and three assists, extending his point streak to four games. Nolan Baumgartner (1+1), the third star of the game, and Mark Flood (0+2) also had multi-point games in the contest.
Acting as the playmaker for the second time in as many nights and scoring the evener midway through the third was the Amerks' Bill Thomas (1+0). The goal, which was almost identical to last night, caused the extra frame, but wasn't enough to secure a victory for the red, white and blue. Hugh Jessiman (0+1) also reached a milestone, earning his 200th career point with an assist and is now just four shy of 100 in his career.
Rochester netminder Marc Cheverie also had over 40 saves in the losing effort and has continued to progress after taking over the starting role in goalie Tyler Plante's departure to the big club despite what his record shows.
With less than five minutes to go in the opening frame, Rochester came up with a huge break after Cheverie lost his footing, leaving the net wide open for the Moose. Cheverie, who slipped and wasn't able to regain his position in front of the net, faced a shot that just hit the crossbar, denying Manitoba of the goal.
Cheverie wouldn't be so lucky when the Moose's offense came back into the zone only seconds later, this time on the power-play. After P.J. Fenton took a cross-checking penalty at 15:07, Manitoba's Rosa used the man-advantage to add the first tally of the night 20 seconds later at 15:27. Upon passes from Flood and Baumgartner, Rosa took the long shot from the right side, making its way past Cheverie just inside the post for his 10th goal of the season.
The Amerks would then respond with two goals of their own nearly two minutes apart to take a 2-1 lead early in the second period. The first goal came at 5:49 after Tyler Weiman, who got the start between the pipes for the Moose tonight, thought he had come up with a clean save after defenseman Mike Kostka's initial shot, but the puck managed to dribble to the back of the net between Weiman's right leg and the post. In the goal, Jessiman eclipsed the 200-point plateau with an assist, while Kostka's goal is good for his ninth point (4+5) in his last 10 games. Center Tim Kennedy also picked up an assist in the game-tying goal.
Winger Triston Grant would then help Rochester gain momentum and the edge at 7:48 with a long shot from the point. After Grant drilled the shot, the Amerks' offense forced the net, causing a pile-up and a confused Weiman, which left him unable to man the crease. Before Weiman was pushed into the net, the rebound was dished into the net by Grant, good for the 2-1 lead and his seventh of the season. Paul Baier also earned a helper.
The Amerks couldn't hold onto the lead for long though as Manitoba answered back at 12:45 of the second with Flood's second point of the night and first goal of the game. Cody Hodgson dropped the puck off in the top of the slot, but Cheverie was able to block the shot with his pads. The puck then went wide to the left and was picked up by Flood, who finally finished the play with his 11th goal of the season, flipping the puck past Cheverie's catching glove.
Bringing the puck back into the Moose's zone, Rochester took multiple jabs at the net, but Weiman was able to deny all of the shots on the offensive attack. In two noteable attempts, Eric Selleck, who earned a goal in last night's contest, took the first shot, which then bounced off the pads of Weiman and to the stick of Jeff LoVecchio. LoVecchio drilled another attempt, but the Moose goaltender came up with the block, leading to Selleck and Guillaume Desbiens exchanging pleasantries at 14:35. Both Selleck and Desbiens received a five-minute major for fighting.
After being denied just minutes earlier, LoVecchio would help Rochester regain the lead for the second time in the game at the close of the second period at 17:24. LoVecchio sent a pass from the left side of the net to Colby Robak who was setup in front of the net. After stopping Lovecchio's first shot, Weiman kicked the rebound right back to Robak who scored the go-ahead goal on his second try at the net for the 3-2 lead at 17:24. Fenton, who earned an assist in last night's get-together with Manitoba, earned another in the goal.
Just 25 seconds into the closing period, Baumgartner found himself able to capitalize on another power-play opportunity, this time getting the goal and evener for Manitoba. Robak, who was serving the final minute and a half of a minor he received at the end of the second, left the Amerks shorthanded and gave Baumgartner the opportunity to send a one-timer past Cheverie for the 3-3 tie.
Again, the power-play helped the Moose regain the lead only three minutes into the third after a Kennedy delay of game penalty. The goal at 2:40 came from Yann Sauve upon passes from Sergei Shirokov and Rosa.
Thomas, who helped the Amerks stay alive last night, managed to produce the same outcome at nearly the same time tonight. Thomas was able to come up with the breakaway and the shorthanded score for Rochester, earning him his second goal in as many nights on the man-down. Thomas' crucial 15th goal of the season locked things at four at 5:02 of the last period.
A scoreless extra period led to the final decision being determined in the shootout. Through five rounds, the Amerks and the Moose found things again tied at two goals each after Jordan Schroeder and Hodgson scored in rounds two and three for Manitoba, while Mark Cullen and Kennedy kept Rochester alive with goals of their own in the third and fifth rounds. Going into sudden death, Sweatt and Mike Duco were unable to capitalize on their goals, but Garth Murray managed to sneak one past Cheverie in the seventh, while Jessiman couldn't, resulting in a 3-2 shootout decision and 5-4 final in Manitoba's favor.
The action shifts to Western New York on Friday, April 1st as Rochester and Manitoba meet for the third time in four days as both teams usher in the final month of the regular season and bring their season series to a close. The 7:35 p.m. contest will be the final get-together between the two teams this season and can be heard live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester's Sports Talk.
The first 5,000 fans through the arena doors Friday night will take home a 2010-11 Rochester Americans team photo.The game also falls on the next installment of the "Dollar Dogs 'N' Drinks" promotion, presented by Molson Coors. Friday, and now during every Friday night home game for the rest of the season, fans can purchase Zweigle's Hot Dogs and select draft products for just $1.00. Starting this season, however, fans will also have the opportunity to enjoy any fountain Pepsi products for $1.00.
Further, the game features the Mark's Family Value Night special, offering fans four tickets, four T-shirts, one large one-topping pizza, two orders of jumbo wings and one two-liter bottle of soda for just $69.00 from any area participating Mark's Pizzeria location. Fans can purchase the package online at ticketmaster.com or in person at The Blue Cross Arena Box Office.
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