The Rochester Americans and Binghamton Senators completed their season series Wednesday night at The Blue Cross Arena, where the Amerks scored twice in the second period en route to a 3-1 win over their intrastate rivals. With the win, Rochester improves to 32-22-3-1 and has collected points in six straight games since opening the month of March.
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Luke Adam finished with a team-high two points (1+1), including the game-winning goal, while Matt Ellis and Maxime Legault rounded out the scoring for the Amerks, who have now won five of their last six games and moved into fifth place in the American Hockey League’s Western Conference. Goaltender David Leggio stopped 18 of 19 shots to extend his personal win streak to five games while picking up his AHL-leading 31st win of the season.
Derek Grant scored the visitors’ lone goal and Nathan Lawson made 36 saves in the loss, which snapped Binghamton’s three-game winning streak and prevented the Senators from climbing atop the league standings.
After a scoreless opening period that saw the Amerks outshoot the B-Sens 16-6, the teams combined for three goals in a span of 3:42, beginning with the red-hot Ellis putting Rochester ahead 1-0 with his third goal in as many games at 13:48 of the middle frame.
Mark Mancari stole the puck away from an attacking Binghamton player and sent a long stretch pass from deep inside the Amerks zone to spring Cody McCormick free up the right wing boards. McCormick gained the Senators’ blueline and rifled a shot from the top of the right circle that was knocked down by Lawson, but McCormick gathered his own rebound and found Ellis streaking in from the left side. With the assist, Mancari extended his current point streak to a season-long seven games, showing 10 points (3+7) over that span.
The B-Sens countered just 1:30 later as Grant converted Wacey Hamilton’s cross-ice feed to make it a 1-1 game. Hamilton came in wide of Leggio looking to shoot, but he instead found Grant left all alone in the high-slot, where he one-timed the offer past the Amerks netminder for his team-leading 17th goal of the season.
The Amerks would soon regain the lead, though, with Adam taking a Matt MacKenzie pass and burying it past Lawson at 17:32 to put Rochester back on top, 2-1. Adam, nearing the end of his shift, circled through the neutral zone, and with an open lane to the net, broke in all alone and snapped a shot under the right pad of Lawson for the go-ahead goal. Also earning an assist on the play was veteran defenseman Adam Pardy, who was playing in his first game back in the lineup after being reassigned to the Amerks earlier in the week.
Rochester increased its lead to 3-1 just 2:18 into the third period when Legault slammed home Nick Tarnasky’s rebound, giving the Amerks their largest lead of the night. Tarnasky had his initial bid turned aside by Lawson, but the rebound kicked out to the bottom of the right circle to Legault, who picked up the loose puck and flipped it to the back of the net for his fourth goal in five games. Adam recorded his second point of the night with an assist.
The Amerks are back in action on Friday, March 15 when they host the Albany Devils on Irish Night at The Blue Cross Arena. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and can be heard live on Sports 1280 WHTK. The game will also be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel 26.