Right wing Mark Mancari and left wing Clarke MacArthur provided Rochester with its two goals, while David Shantz made 18 saves in his first start of the season.
Hamilton was led by Lapierre who ended the night with two goals and one assist, earning himself first star honors. In net for the ‘Dogs was Jaroslav Halak who made 27 saves.
“We certainly moved it around, but we didn’t get the result,” said Amerks Head Coach. “Third game in three nights. We were probably a little tired, but I’d like to point out that I thought we had more energy tonight then we did in game two of the weekend.”
Rochester dropped a 4-1 decision just one night ago in Toronto.
“I was proud of the effort. I thought we were smarter with our positioning.”
The chance for Hamilton’s game-winning goal was created by a 2-on-1 break with Lapierre and Bulldogs right wing Sergei Kostitsyn crashing into the Amerks’ zone. Lapierre seemingly jumped onto the ice early as a teammate came to the bench for a change, but no whistle was blown and the play – and goal – stood.
“It was a long change,” said Cunneyworth. “He went out the front door. It was marginal. It could have been blown dead. Had we converted on our chance earlier though it wouldn’t have come to that.”
Rochester had chances early on in the game, and it was MacArthur who was the first to capitalize. Second-year Amerk Marek Zagrapan made a cross-ice pass at the Bulldogs’ blue line to MacArthur. The Amerks captain walked in on Halak and deked to his backhand before pulling the puck around the sprawled goalie and putting in an easy forehand shot.
“It was a great pass by Zags and I was lucky enough to get it in,” MacArthur said.
Hamilton evened the score at one when Matt D’Agostini squeaked an acute shot between Shantz’s left pad and the post for the Bulldogs’ first goal of the night. Shantz, a prospect of the Florida Panthers saw no preseason play with the Amerks’ affiliate before being assigned to Rochester on October 3rd. The Amerks’ preseason play had already ended.
“As a team I thought we had a really solid effort,” said the 21-year-old Shantz. “They’ve got a lot of quality guys. It’s frustrating to say the least, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
With just 16 seconds left in the opening period, Mancari lit the lamp with a blast from the right face-off dot. The goal was the London, Ont., native’s first of the season.
In the second, Hamilton evened the line with Lapierre’s first goal of the contest at 11:52 of the period.
Both teams had several chances late, but it was Lapierre’s tally in the extra frame that eventually was the final factor.