Buffalo Sports Day

Amerks Lose To Milwaukee In OT, 6-5


(Milwaukee, WI)… The Rochester Americans fought back from two separate one-goal deficits in the third period, but ultimately fell to the Milwaukee Admirals 6-5 in overtime following Austin Watson’s winning goal late in the extra session Sunday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The loss closes out a three-in-three weekend for the Amerks, who were playing in the seventh game of a season-long eight game road swing, as well as their third straight overtime game. Following Sunday’s game in Milwaukee, Rochester has collected six out of a possible eight points and finished the Midwest portion of the road trip with a 2-0-2-0 record, marking the first time this season the Amerks have earned a point in four straight games.


Zac Dalpe scored twice and added an assist for the Amerks, and Jake McCabe scored the game-tying goal in the late stages of the third period to extend his personal scoring streak to a season-long six games (2+5). Phil Varone and Mark Pysyk each finished with a goal for the Rochester, while Jerry D’Amigo contributed two assists to round out the scoring. Andrey Makarov and Matt Hackett shared time in net for Rochester, and combined to make 25 saves.


Alongside Watson’s winner, Brendan Leipsic scored twice with Ian White, Mark Van Guilder and former Amerk Triston Grant potting goals for the Admirals. Magnus Hellburg made 24 saves in net for the win.


Pysyk’s goal to open the scoring just 4:40 into the contest came on a seemingly harmless shot from the left circle that snuck through a defender’s screen and found the back of the net before Hellburg could react. Despite the early lead, the Amerks surrendered the next two goals, each on a Milwaukee power-play, to exit the first period with a 2-1 deficit.


The first came at the 14:02 mark of the period, when White’s shot found its way through traffic in front of Makarov to even the score at 1-1. Just 3:05 later, Grant positioned himself in front of the net and cleaned up a rebound on Kevin Fiala’s bid to provide the Admirals with a one-goal advantage.


Milwaukee added its third goal just 3:36 into the second period on another power-play opportunity with Leipsic on the finishing end, but the Amerks responded shortly thereafter. As the puck swung around the boards, Jerome Leduc gained possession and whipped the puck on net with a number of players crowding the goaltender Hellburg. Dalpe, while fighting off a defender, got in position and deflected the puck into the net to bring the Amerks within one score less than a minute after Leipsic’s goal.


The Amerks tied the game on fancy passing play eight minutes later following an Admirals turnover when Dalpe slid a cross-ice pass to D’Amigo at the left circle. D’Amigo one-touched a pass over to a wide-open Varone, who buried his 12th goal of the season to tie the score at 3-3.


A turnover in the Amerks zone late in the second period provided a golden opportunity for Leipsic, who used a fancy move to regain Milwaukee’s lead and chase Makarov to the bench in favor of Hackett.


Rochester tied the game with 9:55 left in the third period on Dalpe’s second of the night when the veteran forward crashed the net and knocked the puck out of mid-air to tie the score 4-4.


The Admirals would again retake the lead with just 3:02 left in regulation when Viktor Arvidsson’s slap-shot bounced off the glass behind the net right to Van Guilder in front, who put the puck into the empty cage.


The Amerks forced overtime for the third consecutive night thanks to McCabe’s game-tying goal just 48 seconds later. The rookie defenseman held the puck at the top of the offensive zone before firing a shot on net that bounced off of a Milwaukee defender and past Hellburg to even the score 5-5 and force an extra session.


Following a face-off in Rochester’s end as the three-on-three portion of overtime commenced, Watson grabbed the puck and swung around the top of the zone and hammered a blast to the top of the net to win the game for Milwaukee.


The Amerks conclude their season-long eight-game road swing on Wednesday, Feb. 11 when they travel to Utica for a North Division showdown with the Comets. The game marks Rochester’s first visit to Utica since Dec. 10 and is just the second of five scheduled visits to the Utica Memorial Auditorium on the season.