Amerks win pre-season opener in overtime, 3-2.
C. J. Smith gave the fans something to be excited about tonight with a two-point night, including the overtime game winning goal, to help the Rochester Americans defeat the Toronto Marlies 3-2 at RIT’s Gene Polisseni Center. Smith’s (1 goal, 1 assist) earned tonight’s first star leading the team in scoring.
The first period was scoreless but the Amerks dominated offensively with a 17-8 advantage in shots. The Amerks were much more aggressive in the offensive zone which resulted in several scoring opportunities. The defense did a much better job on the blue line keeping the puck in the offensive zone, something that has been a problem in the past few seasons.
Hudson Fasching opened the scoring with about 6 minutes remaining in the 2nd period. Kyle Criscuolo soon added another to the Amerks lead. At the end of the 2nd the Amerks continued to show dominance with a 2-0 lead and a 30-13 shot advantage.
The 3rd period was a different story. The Marlies started the period in desperation mode and the Amerks seemed to take their foot off the accelerator. Late in the third the Marlies finally got on the board with a power play goal from J. J. Piccinich on a top-shelf sharp angle shot. With just over a minute left the Marlies pulled their goalie and scored with the extra attacker. Adam Brooks took advantage of an awkward bounce off the boards and beat Jonas Johansson to tie the game at 2.
The Amerks were able to take advantage of a 2 on 1 in overtime when C. J. Smith ripped a shot from the top of the face-off circle and beat Marlies’ goalie Matt Hackett for the win.
Overall this Amerks team looked energized and hungry for the win through the first two periods. Again we have to question whether or not they can keep up this high level of play for 3 full periods every game. Obviously many of the players on the ice tonight will not be assigned to Rochester so we can only hope that the players on our final roster will show this level of play or even more in our home opener on Friday, October 6.