Rochester was abuzz for the Americans home opener on Friday night. The best way to explain how the game went is as simple as – welp. Friday night’s game is not how many envisioned the Rochester Americans would return to the Blue Cross Arena ice, following a playoff appearance last season.
Charlotte jumped on the ice and scored early and often. At some points, it felt like the Checkers could score at will.
The Checkers jumped out to a 2-0 lead a little over halfway through the first period. It would take Rochester more than just a few minutes to respond.
With the deficit at two goals heading into the second, Rochester wanted to come out fast and make a statement.
CJ Smith would do his part to pull the Americans back within one, as he picked up where he left off last season. Smith’s first of the season came just 32 seconds into the second period.
Rochester would tie things up later in the period on Lawrence Pilut’s first career AHL goal and first goal scored in North America.
Victor Olofsson grabbed his first career AHL point with an assist on Pilut’s goal.
Unfortunately for the Americans, that is where the excitement came to a screeching halt.
Following Pilut’s goal, Charlotte would score four unanswered goals and take this game handily, 6-2.
“We were not ready to play and it’s on me and the leadership team,” Americans captain Kevin Porter told Amerks.com post-game.
Thankfully for the Rochester Americans, they get a chance to rid themselves of the ugly home-opening, season-opening blowout loss.
Tonight’s game marked the first game of a back-to-back - the Americans host the Checkers again on Saturday night. If Friday was any preview, Rochester is going to want to throw away the tape and get themselves right before their second game of the season on Saturday night.
Final: Charlotte 6, Rochester 2
Shots on Goal: Charlotte - 39 | Rochester - 24
Rochester Goals: Smith (1), Pilut (1)
Charlotte Goals: Kuokkanen (1, 2) McKeown (1), Roy (1), Poturalski (1), Roy (1, 2)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Janne Kuokkanen (2 goals, 2 assists)
2. Andrew Poturalski (1 goal, 2 assists)
3. Lawrence Pilut (1 goal, 1 assist)