The Rochester Americans rode an explosive offensive performance to overpower the Texas Stars by a score of 9-4 in front of 5,675 fans at The Blue Cross Arena on Friday night. The Amerks scored five times in the second period en route to a season-high nine-goal performance.
Rochester received multiple-point efforts from eight different skaters, led by Travis Turnbull (2+1), Mark Voakes (1+2) and Corey Tropp, who each chipped in three points. Zack Kassian (2+0), Corey Fienhage (0+2), Brayden McNabb (0+2), Maxime Legault (1+1) and Derek Whitmore (1+1) all finished with two points apiece in the win.
Jonathan Parker and Paul Szczechura also scored for the Amerks, with Szczechura’s tally representing his 10th point in the past 11 outings and fifth goal in the last four games. Goaltender Drew MacIntyre turned aside 24 of 28 shots to earn his eighth victory of the season.
Several Amerks were able to extend point streaks in the game, with Marcus Foligno collecting an assist for the sixth straight game (0+8). Turnbull also extended his point streak to five games (4+3), while McNabb picked up his third consecutive multi-assist effort and Kassian netted two goals for the second straight game, giving him a total of five in the last three games.
“All the guys played well,” Legault said following the game. “It’s always fun to win and score goals which is what we want to do and is good for our confidence.”
Mike Hedden (1+2) contributed three points for Texas in the loss and Dan Spang (0+2) finished with two. Travis Morin, Matt Fraser and Mathieu Tousignant rounded out the Stars’ goal-scoring in the contest, while Andrew Raycroft and Tyler Beskorowany combined to make 26 saves between the pipes.
The Amerks opened the scoring midway through the opening frame as Kassian potted his 14th goal of the season. Upon gaining the offensive zone, the winger sent a wrister from the top of the left circle past the glove of Raycroft.
Legault doubled the Rochester advantage to 2-0 at 16:40 of the first when he deflected home a Shaone Morrisonn center-point slapper on its way to the net. The tally represented Legault’s second in as many games, while Tropp notched an assist for the second straight contest since returning from injury.
The Stars began the second period with a pair of goals less than a minute apart to even the score at two apiece. First, Fraser buried a centering pass from the goal-mouth for his team-leading 23rd of the season on the power-play at 2:05. Hedden then beat MacIntyre off the rush with a blistering slap shot from the high slot just 59 seconds later.
The Amerks immediately responded to the two Texas goals with one of their own to re-take the lead 3-2 at 3:51. Voakes deposited the rebound of a Fienhage wrister from the right half-wall for his seventh of the year.
Rochester followed up with three goals over a span of 3:34 midway through the second, two of which came with the man-advantage. Whitmore began the spree with his team-leading 18th, while Szczechura netted his 10th and Parker lit the lamp for the first time since October 16.
Kassian capped off an exciting second period with his second of the night and 15th of the year, beating Beskorowany, who had replaced Raycroft after Rochester’s sixth goal, between the five-hole to finish off a three-on-two rush shorthanded to give the Amerks a 7-2 lead.
Texas’s Tousignant jammed home a rebound from the top of the crease to make it a 7-3 Rochester advantage just 2:07 into the final frame, but Turnbull answered back to restore the Amerks’ five-goal cushion at 5:41, pouncing on a loose puck after a Tropp wraparound attempt rattled around in the crease before being put home.
The two teams then traded goals in the closing minutes of the contest, with Morin getting on the board for Texas and Turnbull scoring his second in less than ten minutes for Rochester.
The San Antonio Rampage make their first trip in over three years to Rochester when they visit The Blue Cross Arena on Saturday at 7:35 p.m. The game will feature the return of several former faces familiar to the Flower City, including Rampage head coach Chuck Weber and assistant coach Jason Cipolla, who shared the bench in the same capacity in Rochester last season. Several Rampage players also called Rochester their home in 2010-11, including Bill Thomas, Mark Cullen, Michal Repik, Colby Robak, Michael Caruso and Jacob Markstrom.