May 6, 2022

For the first time in 17 years, the Rochester Americans (2-0) are heading to the second round of the American Hockey League Calder Cup playoffs after sweeping the Belleville Senators (0-2) in the first round. ) in a repeated performance. after a 4-3 overtime win in Game 2 on Friday at CAA Arena.


The Amerks needed overtime for the second straight game — the first time since Games 1 and 2 of their 2001 first-round series against Philadelphia which went beyond regulation in back-to-back games — this time withstanding a the Senators’ late push, duplicating Wednesday’s effort and winning their first postseason since the 2005 playoffs.

Arttu Ruotsalainen, whose overtime heroism sealed victory in Game 1, was an unstoppable force for the Amerks tonight, scoring twice and adding two assists to account for Rochester’s four goals. He will finish the series with five points (3+2) in two games.

Marc Jankowski scored his first of the playoffs while Brett Murraywho assisted Ruotsalainen’s game-winner on Wednesday, scored the series-clinching goal with 17:39 in Ruotsalainen’s overtime.

Sean Malone assisted on two goals while Casey Fitzgerald, Jimmy Schuldt and Peyton Krebs all the assists in the win. Goalie Aaron Dell continued his dominance over Belleville, stopping 34 of 37 shots he faced to go 5-0-0 in five combined appearances against the Senators between the regular season and playoffs.

After squandering a 3-0 lead in their Game 1 loss, the Senators nearly turned the script on the Amerks, pulling off their own third-period comeback in Game 2, forcing overtime on third-period goals. by Andrew Agozzino and Roby Jarventie. Zac Leslie scored Belleville’s other goal while Filip Gustavsson stopped 26 of the 30 shots he faced from Rochester.

Nine seconds into their first power play of a scoreless game, Rochester quickly capitalized to take a 1-0 lead at 6:47 of the first period.

With the game tied to the left of the offensive zone, Malone won the faceoff against Krebs at left point. As Krebs slid a centering pass to Malone high up on the blue line, the Buffalo native patiently waited before laying down a perfect single pass into the correct face-off spot for Ruotsalainen to head home for his first two overnight.

The power-play tally was the Amerks’ first in the playoffs and Ruotsalainen’s second after the Finnish forward scored the overtime winner in Game 1 on Wednesday night.

After holding the one-goal advantage during the intermission break, the Amerks doubled the lead at 5:41 remaining in the middle frame.

Jankowski took the face-off to the right of Gustavsson, but the puck made its way outside the zone and past the players’ bench. Ruotsalainen picked up the puck and returned it inside the blue line. A Senators skater tried to control the puck but couldn’t and Jankowski stole it before covering a shot over the goaltender’s glove.

Later in the period, Belleville cut the two-goal deficit in half as Leslie fired in a loose rebound past Dell’s right leg from Chartier and Greig.

Less than two minutes after Leslie’s count, Ruotsalainen restored Rochester’s cushion as he skated into the offensive zone alongside Murray.

Ruotsalainen surged into the area after receiving an out pass from Fitzgerald and Malone. Before scoring his third goal of the playoffs, the Finnish forward fought his way around a pair of Belleville skaters with 4:12 left in the middle.

Facing a 3-1 deficit to start the final 20 minutes of regulation time, the Senators came out and outscored the Amerks 8-0 in the first half of the period.

In addition to holding Rochester without a shot, Belleville tied the score at 3-3 as they downed a pair of markers at 5:19 from Agozzino and Jarventie, the second of which came on the strength of a 5 against 3 two-man advantage.

After Jarventie’s power-play goal, both clubs limited their chances and extra time was needed for the second game in a row.

As Ruotsalainen pushed his way through the Belleville defense, he tried to shoot the puck between his legs in an attempt to escape a poke check from a Senators defenseman. The puck headed towards Murray, who was attacking on the right side, and he fired a shot inside the right post past an unsuspecting Gustavsson to seal the 4-3 victory and send the Amerks into the second round for the first times in 17 years. years.

Rochester will meet the Utica Comets in the AHL North Division Semifinals, a best-of-five series slated to kick off in Utica on Tuesday, May 10 with Game 1 at the Adirondack Bank Center. Rochester will host Game 3 on Sunday, May 15 and, if necessary, Game 4 on Tuesday, May 17 at Blue Cross Arena.




Leslie (1), Agozzino (1),

Jarventy (1)


Ruotsalainen (2, 3), Jankowski (1), Murray (1 – OT GWG)

Gustavsson – 28/32 (L)


Dell – 34/37 (F)