Buffalo Sports Day

SCHALLER LEADS AMERKS TO 4-3 OT WIN OVER GRAND RAPIDS

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(Grand Rapids, MI)… The Rochester Americans and Grand Rapids Griffins needed overtime for the second night in a row on Saturday at Van Andel Arena, but this time it was the Amerks coming out on top as Tim Schaller scored his second goal of the game in the extra session to give Rochester a 4-3 victory. With the win, the Amerks have now collected five out of a possible six points over their last three games and improve to 20-26-2-0 on the season.

Rochester trailed 2-0 and 3-1 at various points of the second period, but battled back and tied the game midway through the third period to force overtime for the second consecutive night. In the extra session, Schaller tipped in a shot from the point by Matt MacKenzie to give Rochester the win.

Schaller scored his team-leading 14th and 15th goals of the season and also added an assist to lead the Amerks with a three-point night. MacKenzie and Joel Armia each registered two assists while William Carrier and Jerry D’Amigo rounded out the scoring. Jake McCabe picked up an assist to extend his point streak to five games while goaltender Matt Hackett stopped 23 of 26 Grand Rapids shots to earn the win in net.

Landon Ferraro paced the Griffins with a goal and an assist while Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou each scored a goal. Netminder Tom McCollum made 28 saves on 32 Rochester shots in the losing effort.

Rochester carried the play through much of the first period, out-shooting the Griffins 13-4 during a scoreless opening 20 minutes as McCollum stopped several quality chances from the Amerks.

A scoreless first period gave way to a five-goal second frame as Grand Rapids took a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. Mantha opened the scoring just 1:23 into the period when his low slapshot from the right face-off circle was deflected in front and jumped over the shoulder of Hackett for the goal. Later in the period, Grand Rapids took a 2-0 lead when Mark Zengerle, a Rochester native, fed a cross-ice pass through the slot to Athanasiou, who buried a quick shot for the goal.

The Amerks responded just four minutes later when Schaller netted his 14th goal of the season. Schaller took a pass from McCabe at the Grand Rapids blue-line and split the defense, putting him one-on-one with the Grand Rapids netminder, and he was able to snap a shot past McCollum on the blocker side to put Rochester on the board.

Ferraro gave Grand Rapids its two-goal lead back at the 13:57 mark of the second period with his 20th goal of the season, but Carrier got the Amerks back to within one less than two minutes later when he knocked home a rebound off a shot by Schaller, giving Carrier his sixth goal of the season and Schaller his second point of the night. Armia also picked up an assist on the goal.

Trailing 3-2 in the third period, D’Amigo scored midway through the frame to eventually force overtime. A shot from the right point by MacKenzie went wide, but it bounced off the end boards and out in front on the opposite side, where D’Amigo quickly flipped the loose puck into the top of the net. Zac Dalpe also earned an assist on D’Amigo’s eighth goal of the season.

As the teams went to overtime for the second night in a row, this time it was the Amerks coming out on top as Schaller tipped in a wrist shot from the point by MacKenzie to give Rochester the 4-3 victory.

The Amerks bring the three-in-three weekend to a close on Sunday, Feb. 8 when they travel to the BMO Harris Bradley Center for their second and final meeting of the season against the Milwaukee Admirals. Game time is slated for 4:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1280 Rochester.