The Amerks heroic comeback was cut short by the Baby Pens in overtime, but the loser point was still enough to move them into first place in the Western Conference
A loss is never as good as a win, but when it moves you into a tie for first place, it ain't all that bad.
The Rochester Americans scored twice in the final 1:08 to tie the game at 4-4, but had their hopes of winning swiped away when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scored with just 0:14 seconds left in overtime to take a 5-4 OT win. Still, the victory (and their recent four-game points streak) was enough to bump Rochester into a tie for first place in the Western Conference with three other teams, each with nine points apiece.
Mark Mancari and Amerks captain Kevin Porter scored 43 seconds apart to send the game into overtime after falling behind 4-2 with just five minutes left in the third period, and both men finished with a goal and an assist. TJ Brennan and Alex Biega also had multi-point nights, while the other Rochester goals came from Evan Rankin and Luke Adam, his second of the year.
The Amerks have already played seven games, and are giving up at least one game in hand to the other three teams tied for first place, so expect this to be a short-lived celebration. However, with their late game heroics last night coming hot on the heels of their wild 8-7 comeback win earlier in the week, this team is starting to show the same sort of never-say-die attitude and exciting play that helped Sabres fans fall back in love with hockey after the last lockout.
If any of that attitude and excitement can translate to the NHL, Buffalo fans should be very happy with what the future will hold.
Notes: It was a quiet night for the Amerks top line of Hodgson, Foligno, and Rankin, which has been the engine powering much of the Amerks' offense over their four-game point streak. Foligno and Hodgson finished with 7 combined shots, but little else. Zemgus Girgensons notched his second assist of the season on Rankin's goal.