ROCHESTER, NEW YORK – The Hamilton Bulldogs made yet another valiant third period comeback attempt, but it wasn’t enough on Wednesday evening as the ‘Dogs (5-3-0-3) fell to the Rochester Americans (5-2-1-1) 5-3 at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial in Rochester, New York.
Rochester forward Mike Zigomanis opened the scoring at 3:30 of the first period, with assists to defenceman Alexander Sulzer and forward Luke Adam.
Americans Captain Matt Ellis made it a 2-0 game on the power play with less than three minutes to go in the first period, with assists to Zigomanis and forward Kevin Sundher.
Midway through the second period, Rochester rookie defenceman Chad Ruhwedel scored his first career American Hockey League goal with a wrist shot on the power play to extend the Amerks’ lead to 3-0, with assists to defenceman Brayden McNabb and forward Phil Varone.
At 11:13 of the second period, forward Sven Andrighetto got Hamilton on the board by tapping in a rebound off forward Louis Leblanc’s shot on goal. Leblanc and defenceman Drew Schiestel earned assists on the play.
Less than one minute later, Ruhwedel notched his second goal of the game, this time unassisted, to put Rochester ahead 4-1.
Just over two minutes into the third period, Bulldogs forward Joonas Nattinen cut the Americans lead to 4-2, with assists on the play going to defenceman Nathan Beaulieu and forward Justin Courtnall.
With less than four minutes remaining, Hamilton forward Maxime Macenauer won an offensive zone faceoff and dropped the puck back to Leblanc, who fired a wrister past Amerks goaltender Matt Hackett to narrow the game to 4-3.
With under one minute remaining, the ‘Dogs pulled goaltender Dustin Tokarski for the extra attacker, but with 42 second left, Americans forward Frederick Roy potted an empty netter to seal the victory for Rochester, 5-3.
Tokarski made 22 saves on 26 shots for the Bulldogs in the loss. Matt Hackett made 24 saves on 27 shots for the Americans in the win.
The Bulldogs went 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Americans went 2-for-6.