(Rochester, NY) … With multi-point efforts from Lawrence Pilut (1+2), Jean-Sabastian Dea (1+1) and Andrew Oglevie (1+1) – all of whom combined for the overtime game-winning goal – the Rochester Americans (9-3-1-2) grabbed sole possession of first place in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Cleveland Monsters (8-6-1-1) Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Rochester has now earned 21 out of a possible 30 points through its first 15 games of the campaign and has picked up points in 10 of the last 12 contests overall, going 7-2-1-2 over that span. The win also improves the Amerks to 27-7-3-3 against Cleveland since the start of the 2011-12 campaign.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
In addition to Dea turning in his team-leading third multi-point effort of the season, Pilut and Oglevie each registered their second of the campaign. Goaltender Jonas Johansson made his third straight appearance and ninth overall, earning his fourth win while making 25 saves.
Forwards Zac Dalpe and Ryan MacInnis each lit the lamp for Cleveland, who dropped their fourth straight contest while netminder Matiss Kivlenieks (5-1-2) stopped 20 of 23 shots he faced but took the overtime loss.
After taking a one-goal lead and outshooting Cleveland 12-5 in the second period, Rochester entered the final period of regulation riding a 2-1 cushion. The Monsters emerged from the dressing room and flipped the script as they tested Johansson 11 times during the third period compared to Kivlenieks’ two saves.
WATCH: ANDREW OGLEVIE POST-GAME
Still facing the one-goal deficit as the final minute approached, and with the Cleveland netminder making his way towards the bench for the extra attacker, MacInnis carried the puck into the Amerks zone. The forward used a Rochester defenseman as a screen before banking a shot that glanced off the inside of the left post and forced overtime.
In the first minute of the extra session, Rochester’s seventh of the campaign, Pilut sprung Dea into the offensive zone. With a Monsters defender in close pursuit, Dea shoot the puck off the blocker of Kivlenieks before Oglevie converted on the rebound just 56 seconds into the frame to seal the win for Rochester.
“Larry (Pilut) made a heads-up play as they made a line change and I saw J.S breaking for the net,” described Oglevie on his overtime-winning goal. “I thought I would trail a little to see if there was a rebound and it popped out and I was able to put it home.”
WATCH: JEAN-SEBASTIEN DEA POST-GAME
The first half of the opening period saw the two teams exchange chances before Rochester drew its initial power-play of the night. However, while on the Amerks man-advantage, Dalpe and Marko Dano teamed up on a 2-on-1 rush before Dalpe broke the scoreless game with his team-leading seventh goal of the season at the 11:45 mark.
The Amerks faced the one-goal deficit after the first period and turned it to a 2-1 lead with a pair of tallies less than three minutes apart from Pilut and Dea.
On Rochester’s first marker of the contest, Kevin Porter skated with the puck inside the Monsters zone and centered a pass to Pilut in-between the face-off dots 3:27 into the stanza. Moments later, just eight seconds into a power-play, Pilut and Zach Redmond connected with Dea for his seventh goal of the slate with 13:41 to go in the period.
WATCH: LAWRENCE PILUT POST-GAME
“It was a good pass by ‘Ports’,” Pilut explained. “Everyone was doing their job and I saw an opportunity to jump up on the play as the other team was changing. I was able to find a hole and just tried to get the puck on the net.”
The game remained a one-goal affair until MacInnis forced overtime as he scored with 1:05 to go in regulation. While in the extra session, Rochester controlled the puck for the entire 56 seconds until Oglevie capped off the 3-2 victory.
“It’s a little nerve-racking after giving up the lead,” said Dea. “It’s a great bounce-back to win the game. Everyone worked extremely hard, so to get the extra point, everyone is happy with the result, especially tonight as we had a weird lineup.”
WATCH: GORD DINEEN POST-GAME
Due to injuries and a pair of recalls to the Buffalo Sabres later in the week, the Amerks lineup featured eight defensemen, including Nathan Paetsch and Brandon Hickey as forwards with the other 10 skaters.
“As a former defenseman myself, you know they will be responsive on the defensive side,” said interim head coach Gord Dineen. “The IQ level on the bench rose tonight but they were really structured on the way they played. They put a lot of heart and soul into tonight’s game and they really added to the group.”
“It was a great team win in a crunch situation,” Dineen continued.
Rochester closes out a stretch of three games over four days on Saturday, Nov. 16 as they make their third trip of the season to the Adirondack Bank Center for a North Division matchup with the Utica Comets. Saturday’s opening face-off is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: L. Pilut (2), J. Dea (7), A. Oglevie (3 – OT GWG)
CLE: Z. Dalpe (7), R. MacInnis (3)
ROC: J. Johansson – 25/27 (W)
CLE: M. Kivlenieks – 20/23 (OTL)
ROC: PP (1/3) | PK (3/3)
CLE: PP (0/3) | PK (2/3)
1. A. Oglevie (ROC)
2. L. Pilut (ROC)
3. J. Dea (ROC)