Lack of discipline was the name of the game at the Blue Cross Arena on Saturday night, as the Rochester Americans hosted the Utica Comets.
Rochester started off red-hot, dominating the first period against the Utica, with a 22 to 6 shot differential.
Only problem? Their undisciplined play led to four power play opportunities for Utica.
Simple mistakes would lead to three first period power play goals for Utica. Not an ideal way to start a game.
Rochester seemed to have Utica's number five-on-five in the first period but just could not stop Utica when they had been gifted the man-advantage.
The story wouldn't change for Rochester in the second period.
An early penalty to Andrew MacWilliam for tripping would lead to another Utica goal.
“We were doing some good things,” MacWilliam said postgame. “We need to tighten some things up on the PK. It’s just one of those nights. I don’t know if frustrated is the right word. We just need to stay focused.”
Utica would tack on one more goal throughout the remainder of the evening's proceedings, clearly for good measure.
Rochester would finally (if only briefly) crack Thatcher Demko late in the third period. It would take a sharp Steve Moses pass and a perfect CJ Smith tip past Demko. Whichever way it happened, Rochester got themselves on the board.
Aside from that pretty goal - just an absolutely ugly, forgetful evening for the Rochester Americans.
“We played well in the first period but again special teams are huge,” Kevin Porter said postgame. “It’s a big part of the game. You give up two on the penalty kill and you find yourself in the hole. That’s what happened tonight. A few break downs on the penalty kill and they capitalized.”
1. Rochester is feeling the pinch.
The injury bug has bit the Buffalo Sabres hard. Whenever this happens, the direct effect can be felt in Rochester.
The Americans are currently without forward Justin Bailey while missing defensemen Taylor Fedun and Zach Redmond.
We know that Rochester's purpose is to assist Buffalo in the process of developing prospects but that can be quite hard when you can't play winning hockey.
It also doesn't help that defenseman Nathan Paetsch is in a walking cast after breaking a bone from a shot block.
Paetsch said the time on the injury is roughly six weeks.
Rochester is feeling the pinch now but here is to hoping things even back out for the Americans sooner than later.
2. Where are the goals?
It is no secret at this point, the prospects are struggling out of the gate.
Justin Bailey led the Americans with two goals, before being recalled on October 15. Scratch his name out of your Americans scoresheet, looks like he might have an extended stay in Buffalo.
CJ Smith is the only "true" Sabres prospect that has scored a goal in Rochester to this point.
Nick Baptiste, coming off a 20-goal season, has yet to touch the score sheet this season.
Hudson Fasching, Casey Nelson and Brendan Guhle find themselves suffering the same fate.
Just like in Buffalo, it is too early to hit the panic button but clearly some worry is beginning to creep in the minds of Sabres and Americans fans.
3. Nylander still out.
If you've been patiently awaiting the season debut of top prospect Alexander Nylander, just wait longer.
No update on the status of the injured forward, which comes as a bit of a disappointment for Sabres and Americans fans.
It is unsure if Nylander will spend an extended amount of time in Rochester or if his time in the AHL will be treated as a mini-training camp before ultimately bring recalled to Buffalo.
Either way, Nylander's return from injury is highly anticipated.