(amerks.com) – Johan Larsson scored the game-winning goal with just 1:33 remaining in the third period to cap a 6-5, come-from-behind victory for the Rochester Americans over the defending Calder Cup champion Texas Stars on Wednesday night at Cedar Park Center. Five different players finished with multi-point games for the Amerks, who improved to 16-22-1-0 on the season with the win.
Trailing 4-1 in the second period, Rochester scored four straight goals to take a 5-4 lead. Texas tied the game in the third period, but Larsson’s late goal sealed the victory for the Amerks, who were playing the first of a three-game road trip.
Tim Schaller (2+1), Mikhail Grigorenko (1+2), Jerry D’Amigo (0+2), Jake McCabe (0+2) and Dan Catenacci (0+2) each finished with multi-point games for the Amerks while Andrey Makarov stopped 20 of 25 shots to earn the win in goal. Brayden Irwin, Jerome Leduc and Larsson each notched a goal in the win to round out the scoring for Rochester.
Texas also had five players finish with multi-point outings as Travis Morin (2+1), Greg Rallo (1+2), Justin Dowling (2+0), Curtis McKenzie (0+2) and Brendan Ranford (0+2) led the way offensively. Goaltenders Jussi Rynnas and Jack Campbell combined for 27 saves on 33 Rochester shots in the loss.
Texas opened the scoring just 3:56 into the game as an attempted pass by Dowling deflected in off a Rochester defender. Dowling skated through the neutral zone and carried the puck into right corner before sending a centering feed to the goal-mouth intended for Derek Meech, but the puck deflected in off an Amerks player and into the net to give the Stars a 1-0 advantage.
The Amerks tied things up later in the period when Schaller notched his 11th goal of the season. Schaller accepted a long stretch pass from D’Amigo in the neutral zone and flew up the middle of the ice to create a 2-on-1. Schaller elected to shoot and beat Rynnas low to the stick side to even the game at one goal apiece.
The Stars regained their one-goal lead just minutes later by capitalizing on a tricky bounce off the glass. Rallo took a long shot that hit the end glass behind Makarov and bounced back over the net into the slot, where Morin collected the loose puck and wired a shot into the top right corner to give the Stars a 2-1 lead.
A wild second period began with Texas extending its lead to three goals by scoring twice in the first 2:23 of the frame. Just 18 seconds in, McKenzie fed a pass from behind the net to Rallo in the slot, and Rallo quickly snapped it home to give Texas a 3-1 lead. The Stars took a 4-1 lead when Dowling netted a power play goal off a slick feed from Ranford.
Facing a 4-1 deficit, the Amerks hit the comeback trail and responded with three straight goals to tie the game heading into the third period. First, Irwin scored on a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle when he connected on a no-look pass from below the goal-line from D’Amigo at the 6:42 mark of the period. Three minutes later, Grigorenko streaked down the left wing boards and went top-shelf with a wrist shot to cut the deficit to one.
Before the second period came to an end, Rochester tied the game when Grigorenko found Leduc entering the offensive zone, and the defenseman beat the Texas netminder with a shot from the top of the left circle.
The Amerks took their first lead of the night just over three minutes into the final frame when Schaller tipped in a point shot by McCabe, putting the visitors ahead 5-4. The goal was Schaller’s second of the night and team-leading 12th of the season. The lead was short-lived, however, as Texas tied the game at five later in the period on a power play goal from Morin.
As the game appeared headed for overtime late in the third, Larsson scored the game-winning goal during a scramble in the slot with just 1:33 remaining in regulation. Texas would pull its goalie in favor of an extra attacker, but Rochester held on for the come-from-behind road victory.