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Game Recap: Lake Erie Monsters @ Amerks, 12.26.2012


“Could you be any more of a comfort to me?” Carbon Leaf, Comfort

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The Rochester Americans pay tribute to fallen West Webster firefighters. Photo credit: Todd J. Clausen, Democrat & Chronicle

The Rochester Americans pay tribute to fallen West Webster firefighters. Photo credit: Todd J. Clausen, Democrat & Chronicle

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking over the last several days, which can be a dangerous thing for me. While I know that most who read this follow me on Twitter, are a Facebook friend, or is my Canadian (and my Mom), I need to say some things before I jump back into my first recap in … too long. On Monday, December 24, Webster, NY, was rocked by tragedy. This quiet community, whose motto is “Where Life Is Worth Living,” responded to a fire alarm, and first responders were met with a different kind of fire. Two volunteer firefighters – Webster Police Lieutenant Mike “Chip” Chiapperini and Thomasz Kaczowka, who spent his whole life wanting nothing more than to be a fireman – were shot dead, simply doing their job, responding to a house fire. In the fallout of this incident, I have learned that, more so than ever before, Rochester is a small community. I have not met one person who has not been effected by this tragedy in some way, shape, or form. And, in hearing stories of the life of one of these heroes, I remembered that it’s so important to do what you love, and what makes you happy. I know it’s been a long time, y’all. I know that I went out, made friends, got a life, and stopped writing, but I love this. I love that I’m still a member of the BBG, and that I can share my Amerks experiences with you all. You know, the whole 12 of you who read this (not counting my Canadian and my Mom). So, without further adieu …

The Amerks welcomed the Lake Erie Monsters to blustery, snowy downtown Rochester Wednesday night for a post-Christmas match up. The last time these two teams met, Rochester pulled out a come-from-behind 7-6 win on December 13, on Lake Erie ice. In 2011-12, the Amerks went 5-1-0-0 against LEM, including a 3-0-0-0 record in Rochester. It didn’t take long for Lake Erie to strike, scoring their first goal a mere minute and seven seconds into the first period. It was a relatively dull next few minutes, until Nick Tarnasky decided he wanted to tangle with Patrick Bordeleau. Bordeleau, who is four inches and nine pounds bigger made quick work of Tarnasty, and both would sit five for fighting. Rochester got the equalizer on the power play, while LEM’s Stollery was sitting for high sticking. Evan Rankin put the puck behind goaltender Pickard, with helpers going to TJ Brennan and Brayden McNabb. Stollery got his revenge 3:30 later, as he assisted Mike Connolly on LEM’s second goal of the night, on a bad fumble by both David Leggio and Mark Mancari. Around the fourteen and a half mark, Marcus Foligno took a questionable boarding call, but it turned out ok, as it lead to Cody Hodgson scoring a beauty of a shorty to tie the game again. TJ Brennan’s power play goal sent the Amerks into the first intermission with a 3-2 lead.

Second verse, same as the first? Except the Amerks decided to stay in the locker room for the second. Lake Erie’s van der Gulik opened scoring and tied the game at 3-all a mere twenty-six seconds into the second period. They followed up with their fourth goal three minutes later, on a MacQueen goal, regaining the lead. One of the interesting things about the second period, however, was a non-call on FOligno that actually lead to a fighting penalty. Yeah, because that sentence made sense. Ok. So, FOligno got tangled up with Bordeleau and, as he pulled away, made the “What do you MEAN I’m getting a penalty” arm raise. It probably should’ve been a rough, at the very least. However, neither referee had the arm raised, and Foligno was going to get away with it. LE’s Pock had other ideas, however, and instigated a bit of a skirmish with Foligno, which a hesitant Foligno handily won, and both would go for fighting. Lake Erie would put one more away with :35 left in the period, to take a 5-3 lead into the second intermission.

The third period kicked it up a notch, and that was OK for us. In keeping with the theme of the night, scoring started at 1:13, only this time it was Cody Hodgson, with his second goal of the night, with the assists going to Flynn and McNabb. Brennan had the follow up, re-tying the game at five, on HIS second goal of the game. Lake Erie didn’t want the Amerks to have all the fun, however, and van der Gulik scored HIS second goal of the night, a short handed tally, giving the lead back to LEM. Mark Mancari would score Rochester’s sixth goal, getting a helping hand from Brennan, and the game would, amazingly enough, go to overtime. I say amazing because I wish I had words for the last three-ish minutes of this game, guys. I couldn’t even make words to yell at the teams as Lake Erie kept immense pressure on goaler Leggio and the Amerks sorry-ass defense. Marcus Foligno would save the day, scoring half way through overtime, giving the Amerks their second 7-6 win over this Lake Erie club.

Game Notes: In 122:40 of play in two games between these two teams, 26 goals have been scored. That works out to about .213GPM (goals per minute). At one point during this game, Drop The Puck’s Rob Sanderson quoted it at .24GPM. That’s cray, guys. CRAAAY … Three stars of this game were 1) TJ Brennan (2+3=5 on the night) 2) Cody Hodgson (2+1=3) 3) David van der Gulik (2+0=2) … Luke Adam came into this game with the longest active points streak in the AHL, of eight games. No, really. I’ll let that soak in for a minute. That’s NINE points in eight games for him. The streak came to an end tonight, as Luker returned to his normal, dopey self … The Amerks went 2-for-5 on the power play, with LE going 0-for-3. All told, 36 minutes of penalties were served on 12 infractions between the two teams.

These two teams will meet again on Friday, moving slightly west into the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Now, if you DO follow me on Twitter, you know all of my ranting, whining, and whatnots about MY TEAM being in Buffalo. I wasn’t going to go to this game. I wasn’t. I was boycotting it. I sold my ticket back to the Amerks. And then I gave in. I’ll be joining BBG’s Phil, some of our friends from DGWU Sports, and various other miscreants in the 300 level of F’N Center because this rematch is almost guaranteed to be a gong show.. Let’s go Amerks and, as always, see you at the game! I’m back, guys!!

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