(Rochester, NY) … A three-goal second period and five different goal-scorers propelled the Rochester Americans (4-2-0-1) to a decisive 5-1 win over the Hershey Bears (4-3-1-0) in a battle between the American Hockey League’s cornerstone franchises Wednesday at The Blue Cross Arena. The matchup was the 459th all-time meeting between the league’s two oldest teams.
With their first two-point outings of the season, C.J. Smith (1+1) and Andrew Oglevie (0+2) helped the Amerks push their home point streak to three games as they improved to 2-0-0-1 at The Blue Cross Arena. Kevin Porter and Scott Wilson both tallied a goal while rookie forward Brett Murray added his first professional marker to close out the scoring. Netminder Jonas Johansson (1-1-0) nearly had his first AHL shutout, stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced on the night to earn his first victory of the campaign.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby scored the lone Hershey goal during the third period to extend his point streak to four games while goaltender Pheonix Copley (2-2-1) suffered the loss despite making 24 saves.
During the second period of a scoreless game, Tage Thompson drew Rochester’s third power-play of the night at the 7:58 mark. The Amerks kept the puck inside the Bears zone for the first half of the infraction before Smith fired a shot towards the Hershey net from the left point. As the puck was nearing Copley, Porter, stationed atop the crease, redirected it under the crossbar to give Rochester the 1-0 lead.
WATCH: ANDREW OGLEVIE POST-GAME
Exactly five minutes later, Thompson stripped a Hershey skater of the puck near the center-ice dot before sending Rasmus Asplund and Malone into the offensive zone on an odd-man rush. After Asplund dished a cross-ice pass in behind the Bears defense, Malone’s backhanded attempt was eventually knocked in by Hershey’s Connor Hobbs, whose momentum following a last-ditch slide carried the puck across his own goal-line for a 2-0 Amerks advantage.
Less than three minutes following Malone’s goal, Curtis Lazar attempted to blast a shot from just inside the Hershey zone, but the puck caromed off a skate and towards the high slot. In one swift motion, Wilson whipped a spinning shot just past the left leg of the Copley to give Rochester a 3-0 cushion going into the final 20 minutes of play
Zach Redmond, who has recorded seven points (1+6) in his last 11 games dating back to last season, collected the secondary assist on Wilson’s second goal of the campaign.
WATCH: GORD DINEEN POST-GAME
“Tonight we were not one and done,” said interim head coach Gord Dineen. “That has been one of our problems so far this season in getting one shot or opportunity but I thought tonight even when we missed the net, we retrieved the puck and found a way to have a lot of puck possession.”
The Amerks made it a four-goal game during the final period as Smith neatly tucked a shot past the glove midway through stanza from Oglevie and Lawrence Pilut.
“We had a really strong start,” Oglevie said. “Yes, we did not capitalize on our chances, but I think if we keep coming out with the same effort, the goals will come eventually during the season.”
WATCH: C.J. SMITH POST-GAME
As the clock was ever so slowly ticking down for Johansson, the Bears spoiled his first potential AHL shutout as Jonsson-Fjallby picked the corner for a shorthanded tally with 4:56 left in regulation
“It was a tough one for us to give up towards the end of the game,” said Smith when talking about the lone Hershey goal. “J.J. played a really good game for us and it was still nice to see him play well and get the win.”
Rochester closed out the scoring in the final minute of play to regain the four-goal lead as Murray recorded his first professional goal from Oglevie and Casey Nelson.
WATCH: JONAS JOHANSSON POST-GAME
“It feels great,” said Johansson of his first win of the slate. “It was a huge comeback win after last weekend’s game and it was a great effort by all the guys in the room to get the two points.”
The Amerks hit the road again as they square off against the Syracuse Crunch in a North Division showdown at The War Memorial Arena on Saturday, Oct. 26. After the 7:00 p.m. tilt with the Crunch, Rochester closes out the weekend with a 5:05 p.m. clash with the Springfield Thunderbirds on Sunday. Both games can be heard live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester.
ROC: K. Porter (2), S, Malone (1 – GWG), S. Wilson (2), C.J. Smith (2), B. Murray (1)
HER: A. Jonsson-Fjallby (4)
ROC: J. Johansson – 19/20 (W)
HER: P. Copley – 24/29 (L)
ROC: PP (1/6) | PK (2/2)
HER: PP (0/2) | PK (5/6)
1. C.J. Smith (ROC)
2. J. Johansson (ROC)
3. A. Oglevie (ROC)