Kenndal McArdle (2+0), who netted the only goal in five rounds of the shootout, and Michael Duco (1+0) powered the Amerks tonight. McArdle’s third-period tally broke a 1-1 tie and before scoring the eventual game-winner in the skills competition as Duco put his team on the scoreboard in the second. Rochester netminder Tyler Plante, making his 11th straight start, made some tremendous stops throughout the contest. He finished with 31 saves and stopped all five Binghamton attacks in the shootout to bring about the win.
Leading the Senators tonight were Corey Cowick (1+0) and former Amerk Andrew Sweetland (1+0), who each scored one goal apiece. Binghamton goaltender Pascal Leclaire posted 30 saves and stopped four of five shootout attempts by the Amerks in the losing effort.
Neither team was able to deliver a goal in the first period. Plante came up with some huge saves for the Amerks, including two shorthanded attempts by Binghamton.
The Senators got on the scoreboard just under the midway mark of the second stanza on their third power-play opportunity of the night. Cowick netted his first goal of the season as he slid one through the side of the net past Plante, who thought he had it, at 9:40. Jim O’Brien and Mike Hoffman assisted on the play.
Duco evened the score at one and got Rochester on the board 15:05 into the second. After Chris Taylor dished him a pass, Duco ripped a shot high over the left shoulder of Leclaire. The tally was Duco’s team-leading 16th of the year. Mike Kostka also picked up a helper, his fifth point in just two games.
Rochester grabbed the 2-1 lead 2:13 into the final period with a shorthanded goal by McArdle. With defenseman Mike Caruso penalized for hooking, Clay Wilson still managed to get the puck to McArdle, who then wristed it from the top of the right faceoff circle and it beat Leclaire short-side off the crossbar. The goal was McArdle’s 13th of the season.
Leclaire headed to the bench and Binghamton sent out an extra attacker late in the third to try and knot the score at two and force overtime. With 1:21 remaining in regulation, Sweetland popped one into the upper left hand corner of Plante’s net on the rebound, his third of the year. The Amerks were unable to break the tie, and an additional five minutes was added to the clock.
Neither club was able to score in the extra session, so they headed to a shootout. Both teams were scoreless in the first four rounds of shooters. After Plante denied the Senators’ O’Brien, McArdle headed to the ice for the Amerks and used his backhand to beat Leclaire just inside the right post, resulting in Rochester’s 3-2 triumph over Binghamton.
The team returns home on Sunday, February 27th for a 3:05 p.m. afternoon matinee against the Syracuse Crunch.