ROCHESTER (LGS) — After facing so many uncertainties in the off-season, there appears to be one certainty for the Rochester Americans. They are not a good hockey team.
Having ended the previous weekend with a loss to the Providence Bruins, Rochester lost all four of their contests this week. Three losses came from the hands of their division rival Manitoba Moose, while the other was to the Hershey Bears.
The Amerks opened their week with two contests at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In game one, Rochester put forth a solid effort, only to fall 1-0. The Amerks could not put any of the 32 shots they put on net past Moose keeper Drew MacIntyre.
Manitoba only managed 19 shots against the Amerks defense, but Luc Bourdon was able to slip one past Adam Dennis for the win.
Adding injury to insult, Rochester's Kendall McArdle broke his jaw while fighting with Jason Jaffray after time expired in the first.
"I was tangled with him and his jersey came off," McArdle slurred. "The league I played in last year, if a guy's jersey came off, the refs stopped the fight. I guess they don't do that here."
The Amerks must have used all of their energy in the first contest, because game two was not even close.
Jaffray powered the Moose with three points, as Manitoba stomped on the Amerks, 7-1.
David Shantz played between the pipes, making 25 stops.
Mark Mancari scored Rochester's only goal. Marc -Andre Gragnani and Kamil Kreps assisted.
The Amerks returned to their familiar surroundings of the Blue Cross Arena for a third straight contest against the Moose on Friday night.
Clarke MacArthur (2g, 1a) and Martin Lojek (2g) did what they could to pace the Red White and Blue, but the Amerks were once again unable to maintain a third period lead.
Holding a 5-3 lead with a little under 13 minutes to play, Rochester was once again plagued by a late game collapse. Manitoba's Brad Moran and Jozef Balej tallied third period markers to tie the contest and send it into overtime.
The game went to a shootout after neither team was able to net the game winner in the extra period.
Gragnani beat Cory Schneider with a twisted wrister from the slot to open the scoring in the shootout. It was the only time Schneider was beat in the challenge.
Manitoba received goals from Balej and Colby Genoway to earn the win.
"I like the way we battled," said Manitoba coach Scott Arniel. "We kept coming at them. You've got to win 6-5 sometimes."
"The boys played great," a dejected Adam Dennis said after the game. "I've got to come up with a save at the end. I guess it's the way it goes. It's the difference between one and two points."
"We knew coming in that we were going to have to work hard," Mark Mancari said. "We knew what we had to do, they just got the bounce at the end and the shootout goals."
Immediately following Friday's game, the Amerks headed for Hershey for a Saturday contest against the Bears, where they lost 3-1.
Scoring Rochester's only goal was Kamil Kreps. Stefan Meyer and MacArthur picked up the assists.
With the loss, the Amerks record dropped to 2-5-1-1, and have been outscored 36-24 in nine games.
- Clarke MacArthur – Keeps on scoring (3g, 7a, 10p thru nine games).
- Kamil Kreps – Solid play has earned a promotion to the Florida Panthers.
- Martin Lojek – two goals on Friday.
- It is clear that the professional game is getting the best of Marc-Andre Gragnani through the first eight games. He has the worst plus/minus on the team (-9), and has been beaten off the puck on numerous occasions in his own zone. "We're working at it, he's working at it," Amerks coach Randy Cunneyworth said. "He probably reached in at the junior level and was able to strip them of the puck. Here, he's finding it to be a different game."
- Patrick Kaleta played in his first two contests of the season on Friday and Saturday. The Moose were certainly aware of his reputation and looked to make the initial contact almost every shift the second year forward was on the ice.
- Kamil Kreps and Stefan Meyer were both recalled to the Florida Panthers on October 22. It marked the first time that Meyer has been recalled to the NHL.