For the second straight Sunday, the Rochester Americans used two third period goals to rally for a 3-2 victory over the Albany Devils at the Times Union Center. Mark Mancari’s team-leading 22nd goal of the season proved to be the game winner as the Amerks improved their record to 41-28-3-1 on the season, placing them in sixth in the Western Conference standings.
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Trailing 2-1 entering the third period, the Amerks scored twice in the final 20 minutes to seal the victory. Veteran forward Cody McCormick, who was named the game’s first star, scored to tie the game before assisting on Mancari’s game-winner. Goaltender Matt Hackett, who was making just his second start as an Amerk, finished with 36 saves in the game. Rookie Zemgus Girgensons rounded out the scoring for Rochester with a first period power play goal.
Albany’s David Wohlberg and Mike Sislo each scored a goal in the contest while goaltender Jeff Frazee turned aside 33 of 36 Rochester shots in the losing effort.
Rochester struck first when Girgensons scored a power play goal at 14:05 of the first period. As the Amerks went to work in the Albany zone, Evan Rankin sent the puck around the corner boards to Johan Larsson, who gained control along the right half-wall. Larsson then sent a pass to the slot where Girgensons perfectly re-directed the puck past Frazee for his sixth goal of the season, giving Rochester an early 1-0 lead.
Albany evened things up at one early in the second period with a great individual effort from Wohlberg. After Eric Gelinas and Mattias Tedenby were both denied by Hackett, Wohlberg was able to sweep in a rebound from his back after he had been knocked down by an Amerks defenseman. Gelinas and Tedenby were both credited with assists on Wohlberg’s third goal of the season.
Later in the second period, Sislo gave the Devils their first lead of the game with a power play goal. A scrum in front of the net resulted in a pair of penalties to the Amerks and one to the Devils, giving Albany the man-advantage. With the Devils moving the puck around the offensive zone, Sislo, who was stationed at the left face-off dot, took a pass from Joe Whitney and quickly snapped a shot past Hackett to give his team a 2-1 lead at 14:27 of the middle frame.
The Amerks were able to tie the game just over two minutes into the third period when McCormick converted on a centering feed from Nick Tarnasky. With the puck in the corner, Tarnasky and Rick Schofield battled with the Albany defensemen. Schofield dug out the puck and poked it to Tarnasky, who quickly sent a pass to the front of the net for McCormick, and McCormick made no mistake in firing a shot past Frazee to knot the game at two.
Mancari’s 22nd goal of the season gave Rochester a 3-2 lead at 11:06 of the final period. With the Amerks skating on the power play, Patrick Rissmiller took a pass from McCormick and then found a wide-open Mancari, who was set up a few steps inside the left point. Mancari wound up and blasted a one-timer past Frazee as the Amerks reclaimed a lead they would never relinquish, holding on for the 3-2 victory.
The Amerks return home on Friday, April 19 to host the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the 10th and final get-together of the season between the divisional rivals and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK.