Rochester has been down several times in the last few weeks, but they keep getting back up again. On Wednesday, it meant a dramatic win to open their Calder Cup postseason.
Arttu Ruotsalainen got a piece of Josh Teves’ point shot and deflected home the winning goal with 16:54 gone in overtime as the Amerks completed a late-game comeback and stunned Belleville, 4-3, in Game 1 of their best-of-three North Division first round series.
Game 2 is set for Friday night in Belleville.
Rochester, which needed a win over conference-leading Utica last Friday night along with a Toronto loss to Belleville the next afternoon just to qualify for the playoffs, trailed 3-0 at the second intermission before rallying.
Lukas Rousek got the Amerks on the board at 3:13 of the third period, before defensemen Jimmy Schuldt and Casey Fitzgerald scored 2:44 apart to tie things up with less than four minutes to play in regulation.
The Senators, making their debut in the Calder Cup Playoffs, opened the scoring with goals from Cole Reinhardt and Dillon Heatherington in the first period. Rourke Chartier made it 3-0 at 12:58 of the second.
Filip Gustavsson stopped 28 shots for the Senators.
The victory was Rochester’s first postseason overtime win since May 1, 2004, a Game 7 victory at Syracuse.
North Division First Round – Series “C” (best-of-3)
N4-Belleville Senators vs. N5-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Wed., May 4 – ROCHESTER 4, Belleville 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., May 6 – Rochester at Belleville, 7:00
*Game 3 – Sun., May 8 –Rochester at Belleville, 3:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern