(amerks.com) – Zac Dalpe scored in the fourth round of the skills competition while Andrey Makarov denied all four shooters he faced as the Rochester Americans topped the league-leading Oklahoma City Barons with an 8-7 shootout win in the final meeting of the season between the interconference rivals Sunday night at the Cox Convention Center. With the win, the Amerks remain unbeaten at the Cox Convention Center since Oklahoma City’s inception, improving to a perfect 5-0-0-0 record with all five matchups being one-goal games decided either in overtime or via the shootout in Rochester’s favor.
The Amerks set a new season-high for most goals scored in a game with eight while also matching the mark for the most goals in a period with four tallies in the final frame, including two just a dozen seconds apart that would erase a 7-5 deficit and force overtime.
Seven different players finished with multi-point games for the Amerks, who improved to 17-23-1-0 on the season with the win. Johan Larsson
(1+2), Dalpe (1+1), William Carrier
(1+1), Dan Catenacci
(1+1), Joel Armia
(1+1), Mikhail Grigorenko
(0+2) and Chad Ruhwedel
(0+2) each finished with multi-point games for Rochester while Makarov stopped 41 of 48 shots to earn his second straight win in goal. Tim Schaller
and Matt Tassone
also finished with goals to round out the scoring while Brodie Reid
and Jake McCabe
recorded assists in the win for the Amerks, who after going winless in 10 straight road games have won two of their last three away from The Blue Cross Arena.
After allowing the first goal in each of the first two games of the road trip, it was Rochester opening the scoring in this one with Tassone giving the Amerks a 1-0 lead just 3:11 into the first period. Reid collected a loose puck at the left circle and wasted no time with a quick pass to a streaking Tassone, who released a shot from between the hashmarks that eventually trickled past Brossoit for his first as an Amerk.
Oklahoma City answered just over three minutes later when Pakarinen connected on a centering feed from Andrew Miller
for his 15th of the season. Miller took a long stretch pass from Jordan Oesterle
in the neutral zone and raced up the left wing boards into the Rochester zone. As Pakarinen continued to the net, Miller caught his teammate in stride with a slick pass to the far post that Pakarinen tapped past Makarov to make it a 1-1- game.
Rochester regained the lead at the 10:23 mark of the period, needing just four seconds on its first power-play opportunity of the game to move in front of the Barons. The play began and ended with Schaller, who started the series by winning the ensuing face-off following a too many men penalty to the Barons. Ruhwedel moved the puck along the blueline to Larsson and his one-timer from the right point was redirected inside the right post by Schaller for the go-ahead goal. Larsson also recorded the 100th assist of his pro career with the primary helper on Schaller’s team-leading 13th goal of the season.
The Barons added their second of the frame with 2:12 left to play in the first as Jujhar Khaira skated up the middle of the ice and picked the upper corner with a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Makarov. David Musil
earned the lone assist on the goal, sending the teams into the first intermission tied at 2-2.
The Amerks took their third lead of the night just 1:31 into the middle frame when Catenacci connected on a nifty, no-look drop pass from Carrier. Carrier skated the puck wide behind the Oklahoma City net, drawing the attention of both a Barons defenseman as well as Brossoit, who left Catenacci open in the slot for an easy one-timer to the back of net.
Rochester carried the 3-2 advantage until the 14:03 mark, when Jones made it a 3-3 affair after capitalizing on a superb individual effort. Jones accepted a long pass from his twin brother, Connor
, outside the Amerks blueline, drove to the net and chipped the puck through the legs of Makarov.
Oklahoma City took its first lead of the night with just a second remaining in the middle stanza with a power-play goal from Curtis Hamilton
. The goal was sent to video review, where it was determined the puck fully crossed the line just as time expired, sending the Barons into the break up 4-3.
The teams combined for seven goals in a wild third period, beginning with Larsson finishing off a perfect setup from Dalpe at 5:01 before back-to-back goals from Pakarinen and Ford just 34 seconds apart cushioned the Barons’ lead to 6-4. Carrier brought the Amerks to within a goal at 9:44, but another tally from Bogdan Yakimov
increased Oklahoma City’s advantage to 7-5 at 13:06.
Nearing the final minutes of regulation, the Amerks pulled Makarov for an extra attacker and were rewarded with a pair of goals from Dalpe and Armia just 12 seconds apart to knot the game at 7-7 and force overtime.
A back and forth overtime session featured several scoring chances for both teams, including several during the three-on-three portion that saw Makarov deny Hunt before Armia and Larsson were stopped by Brossoit. After neither the Amerks nor the Barons could end the game in overtime, the teams went to the shootout, where the goaltending was the story from that point on. In the deciding fourth round, Makarov stonewalled Miller before Dalpe ended it much as he did earlier this season, zipping a low wrist-shot past Brossoit to win the shootout, and the game, for Rochester.