The Rochester Americans received multiple-point efforts from
five different players on their way to a 5-2 victory over the longtime
rival Hershey Bears at The Blue Cross Arena on Wednesday night. The
victory, which came in front of 4,473 fans, snapped
Rochester's two-game losing skid and moved them back to within two
points of a playoff spot.
Tropp led the way offensively for Rochester with two goals and an
assist, giving him nine points (3+6) in the last seven games. Dennis
Persson (1+1), Derek
Whitmore (1+1), Nick Crawford (0+2), and Colin Stuart (0+2) each
contributed a pair of points while Marcus Foligno also chipped in a goal
and netminder David Leggio turned away 32 of 34 shots against the AHL's
second-highest scoring team.
this past weekend, tonight was a really big bounce-back for us," said
Persson following the game. "We have to get back on track again and
this was a step
in the right direction and hopefully we can keep it going now."
Amerk Graham Mink contributed a goal and an assist for Hershey, who
also saw Matt Pope light the lamp in the loss. Braden Holtby finished
with 26 saves
between the pipes.
Bears got on the board to take a 1-0 lead just 5:22 into the contest,
capitalizing on a fortuitous bounce in the midst of a goalmouth
scramble. Pope centered
the puck from below the goal line to the crease area and it popped up
in the air over Leggio and into the net.
Whitmore buried his team-leading 22nd
goal of the season with the man-advantage at 15:37 of the first to even
the score at one apiece. Persson sent
a slap-pass toward the net from the left half-wall which found its way
to the stick of Tropp before quickly bouncing to Whitmore, who finally
deposited the puck into the open side. Once the puck was in the net,
the Amerks fans in attendance tossed hundreds
of Teddy Bears onto the ice surface to celebrate. The bears will be
donated to Monroe Ambulance.
Amerks grabbed their first lead of the night with less than a minute
remaining in the opening period. On a two-on-one rush, Tropp accepted a
pass from Colin
Stuart that sent him in alone and beat Holtby with a nifty move to the
backhand. Stuart's assist on the play represented his first point since
December 4 after missing two months because of an injury.
potted its second power-play goal of the game to take a 3-1 advantage
at 5:46 of the second period. Luke Adam found Persson creeping in from
and set him up with a slick cross-ice pass at the left circle, and
Persson fired a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Holtby for his
second goal of the season and second point of the night.
Amerks built their cushion to three goals midway through the second
period when Foligno, who was stationed at the top of the crease, jammed
home a Whitmore
pass from below the goal-line.
scored his second of the game 3:10 into the final period to open up a
5-1 lead for Rochester. Varone feathered a pass around a sliding
looking to break-up the two-on-one rush and Tropp slid the puck around
Holtby into the empty side.
Bears responded to cut their deficit to 5-2 with a power-play tally at
4:08, as Mink cleaned up the rebound of a Chris Bourque bid. The Amerks
killed off a pair of additional power-plays for the Bears in the late
stages of the third period to preserve their 5-2 triumph.