Coming off of a weekend where the Rochester Americans got fed their lunch - for lack of a better explanation - a three-game stretch looked to calm the nerves.
Within the American Hockey League, most games take place from Friday to Sunday. Mid-week games can certainly shake things up a bit but Rochester used it as an opportunity to right their ship.
Rolling into the weekend, Rochester found themselves in a wide-open, back-and-forth shootout style matchup against Syracuse, while things were much calmer against Syracuse the next night.
Six points were available this past week and Rochester walked away with five. A very good bounce back effort after an ugly loss to Utica a little over a week ago.
October 23 – Rochester 5, Hershey 1
ROC: K. Porter (2), S. Malone (1), S. Wilson (2), C.J. Smith (2), B. Murray (1)
ROC: J. Johansson – 19 saves (W – 1-1-0-0)
October 26 – Rochester 7, Syracuse 6 (OT)
ROC: C. Lazar (1, 2), C. Fitzgerald (1), S. Malone (2), J. Dea (3, 4), L. Pilut (1)
ROC: J. Johansson – 3 saves (W – 2-1-0-0)
October 27 – Springfield 2, Rochester 1 (OT)
ROC: T. Thompson (4)
ROC: J. Johansson – 35 saves (L – 2-1-1-0)
Three Big Things
1: Welcome Back Offense
Rochester’s offense was declawed against a very talented Utica Comets team in their last game before this set of three.
How do they respond?
The Americans scored 13 goals in three games.
Even better than those 13 goals in three games? Ten different players scored a goal in those three games.
If the Americans were looking for scoring throughout their lineup, they certainly seem to have found it after these three games.
2: Johansson Steps Up Big
On Wednesday, Jonas Johansson had his number called and he was very much ready for the job.
Johansson stopped 19 of 20 Hershey Bears shots and helped propel the Americans to a 5-1 victory.
Saturday’s slugfest rolled around and Johansson again played a smaller, yet just as important role.
After giving up six goals on 21 shots, Andrew Hammond was pulled in favor of Johansson. In 15:37 of playing time, Johansson stopped all three shots he faced.
Not to take a rest too soon, Johansson’s number was called again on Sunday.
NEWS | We have signed goaltender Christian O'Shea to a Professional Contract (PTO).— Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey) October 27, 2019
Goaltender Andrew Hammond will miss tonight's game at Springfield due to an illness. pic.twitter.com/iRqNPDwgum
Despite falling in overtime, Johansson stopped 35 of 37 shots.
Taking everything in consideration, Johansson’s final line from the week looks good: Three appearances (two starts), three goals allowed on 60 shots and a record of 2-0-1-0.
With Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen rehabbing with the Americans, Johansson has proved his worth in the backup role this past week.
3: King Curtis
Curtis Lazar was a standout with the Buffalo Sabres throughout training camp, impressing enough to be considered the first man out when cut-down day arrived.
For what it is worth, Lazar was the first Americans forward recalled this year and spent four days with the big club.
Lazar has yet to appear in a game for the Buffalo Sabres but it is clear that the franchise is willing to give him a great shot at a second chance.
Since his return to Rochester, Lazar has tallied six points (two goals, four assists) in four games. While Lazar did tally five of those points against Syracuse on Saturday, his hockey ability is hard to miss when he is on the ice.