ROCHESTER (LGS) — LGS.com's Stephen Sickles recaps the week that was for the Rochester Americans.
Friday, November 10, 2006 vs. Binghamton Senators
Rochester opened its six-game homestand with an impressive 4-2 win over a struggling Binghamton Senators team. Michael Ryan netted two goals, and Dan Paille and Rob Globke scored the other two markers for Rochester.
"It was a pretty hard fought battle," said Amerks' head coach Randy Cunneyworth. "We know Binghamton is tough to handle. They work pretty hard night in and night out, but I thought we matched everything they had."
Jean-Marc Pelletier made 28 saves. "We got some great play tonight from Jean-Marc." Cunneyworth said. He was understating just a tad. Faced with a 5 on 3 penalty kill in the first, Pelletier held off a fury of Binghamton shots to keep it 1-0 Rochester. Pelletier made 12 saves in the first alone.
When asked about his goals, Ryan was more in the mood to dish out assists than talk about his scoring. "The first one was just a tip-in from Smitty's shot from the point," said Ryan describing how he tipped Brandon Smith's slapshot from the point.
"The second was all Anthony Stewart," Ryan said about his second tally. Working from the left-wing boards, Stewart did his best Lance Armstrong impersonation as he cycled behind the B-Sens' net. As he came to the right wing side he spotted Ryan on the doorstep and shoveled a one-handed pass which Ryan snuck past Binghamton stopper Jeff Glass.
Despite the win, Cunneyworth still felt that there was room to improve, "I think at times we're a little too predictable. We look to make a pass, trying to find a seam instead of shooting." It's not all doom and gloom for Coach however. "Overall I was pleased with the effort and I can't say enough (good things) about it."
Sunday, November 12, 2006 vs. Chicago Wolves
This was the proverbial "something's gotta give" game. Entering Sunday night's home game against the Wolves, Rochester was 6-0 at home. Chicago on the other hand was 7-0 on the road. Something had to give, and it did. What "it" was, was an third-period offensive explosion.
Paille opened the scoring when he ripped home a slapshot from the half boards on the left-wing side with just :02 remaining on the power play. "Time was dying down on the power play, Smitty gave me a great pass, I saw an opportunity to shoot and it went in," said Paille.
Clarke MacArthur netted his first career hat trick. Down 6-3 with just over a minute to play in the third, Chicago pulled veteran goalie Fred Brathwaite. It was all MacArthur needed to get the trick as he buried a shot from center ice into the top righthand corner of the net. "I certainly wasn't aiming there," Clarke laughed after the game. "I got great passes from my linemates all night long. It gives me a bit of a lift. I've been getting five to six shots a game but nothing was going in."
Rochester plays two games this coming weekend. They are at home on Friday night versus Manitoba as the Moose come to town for the first of three meetings at the BlueCross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial. Saturday night the team takes on former Amerk and Sabre prospect Norm Milley and the Springfield Falcons.
The Three Stars of the Week:
1. Daniel Paille – 2 goals, 1 assist. Should be just what the doctor ordered to get the ball rolling offensively.
2. Anthony Stewart – 1 goal, 1 assist. Finally finding his game after wrist surgery.
3. Clarke MacArthur – hat trick and an assist on Sunday night against Chicago.
► Dylan Hunter left Friday night's game with what Cunneyworth described as an "upper body injury." He has a deep bruise on his arm from receiving a check into the boards as the Binghamton bench door was opening.
► After Friday's game Ryan spoke of the team's great start and how the team has come together. "Coming out of camp we weren't too sure how were going to start. There are a lot of guys who could be playing but aren't because of the dual affiliation. Guys have been making the most of their opportunities and stepping up."
► Being a history teacher, and the son of a military veteran, I was pleased to see that Amerks' goalie Jean-Marc Pelletier has the words "Semper Fidelis" and a depiction of the flag-raising at Iwo Jima on the back head plate of his mask. Amerks' spokesman Craig Rybczynski said that Pelletier is a big history buff.
► Drew Larman was recalled by the Florida Panthers after Sunday night's game.