ROCHESTER (LGS) — After splitting the first two games of their weekend series, the Rochester Americans looked to capitalize on the momentum they carried over from Saturday night’s thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Binghamton Senators. However, the Hamilton Bulldogs brought a little momentum of their own into the Boxing Day contest.
Sparked by three goals in the first two periods, the Bulldogs hung on to win 3-2 over the Amerks. The win pulled the Bulldogs within a point in the AHL Northern Division standings.
“We stole one tonight,” said Bulldogs coach Don Lever. “(Yann) Danis stole this game for us. We scored when we needed to, but Danis was real good.”
What made the outcome especially frustrating for the Amerks was that it was a questionable five-on-three power play that provided the Bulldogs the winning tally. Referee Chris Ciamaga allowed a bit more clutching and grabbing than the AHL rulebook allows. As the second period started it appeared that trend would continue as he allowed Hamilton’s Jean-Philippe Cote to hold up Rochester’s Daniel Paille. However, moments later Paille returned the favor and was whistled for hooking. Just 16 seconds later, Rochester’s Greg Jucina was also called for hooking.
Duncan Milroy put Hamilton ahead 2-0 when he banged home a Mikhail Grabovski rebound. Corey Locke put a wrist shot past Craig Anderson’s blocker side from the slot. Locke’s goal came as “Juice” was leaving the box.
The Amerks were understandably upset with Ciamaga’s decisions.
“It's an injustice,” Amerks coach Randy Cunneyworth said post game. “It goes on when you don’t know what they’re (the referees) are going to call.”
Rochester battled back with Mike Funk and Stefan Meyer goals in the third. A barrage of shots did not produce a tying goal, as Rochester lost to Hamilton for the third time in four meetings this year.
Friday, December 22, 2006 – Toronto Marlies 5, Rochester Americans 3
Powered by three first-period goals the Marlies came into Rochester and defeated the Americans before the holiday break. Toronto scored three times in less than 10 minutes and never looked back.
Scoring for Rochester were Brandon Smith, David Booth and Drew Stafford.
Saturday, December 23, 2006 – Rochester Americans 6, Binghamton Senators 5
Trailing 4-2 to the B-Sens on Saturday night, the Amerks scored four consecutive goals and then held on to win 6-4 in the Broome County Arena.
Andrej Sekera scored his first two goals as a professional, and Mike Funk also scored his first pro tally in the game.
All of the goals in the second were on the power play.
The Weekend’s Three Stars:
1. Andrej Sekera – excellent on the power play
2. Drew Larman – just keeps on producing
3. Kamil Kreps – best player on the ice for Rochester on Tuesday
► Mark Mancari missed his fourth straight game on Tuesday night against the Bulldogs. Mancari had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Mancari initially injured the knee in the early going of the season but aggravated it against Hamilton on the 15th. Mancari has already been cleared to engage in light activities. “I’ve been riding the bike the past couple of days,” Mancari said on Tuesday. The winger / defenseman is aiming to return to the ice when the Amerks travel to Manitoba on January 4 and 5.
► Clarke MacArthur missed Tuesday night’s contest as well. He sat out due to illness.
►Michael Ryan did not dress for the games against Toronto on Friday and Hamilton on Tuesday. He is still out with a groin injury. An Amerks spokesman said that Ryan is expecting to play on Friday night against the Binghamton Senators.
► Anthony Stewart was checked hard (and cleanly) with 12:30 remaining in the first period on Tuesday night. Stewart left the ice and went to the dressing room but returned after it was confirmed he did not have a concussion. “It just shook out some cobwebs,” Stewart joked afterwards.