A power play in hockey is pretty simple, you have the man advantage and pass the puck to get the other team out of position and then score. Especially when you’re given EIGHT opportunities in a game. Unfortunately the Amerks were not able to score and they even gave up a short handed goal in their 3-1 loss to the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday evening.
Brayden McNabb wasn’t able to stop a pass up the side boards to Eric Wellwood who skated into the Amerks zone untouched and put the puck through Drew MacIntyre’s five hole only a minute and 47 seconds into the game.
McNabb made up for it only 23 seconds later with a pass on the ice to the front of the net where Marcus Foligno was in perfect position to redirect it past Phantoms goaltender Jason Bacashihua.
The Amerks were on the power play late in the first period when Harry Zolnierczyk took the puck down the ice on a breakaway and scored shorthanded to give the Phantoms the 2-1 lead. It appeared to be a pass from Nick Crawford to Joe Finley that was intercepted.. or just a poor pass. He took the puck down the ice with Crawford trailing and faked out MacIntyre right the top of the crease and put the puck in behind his pads.
Whoever was in control of the video board tonight was doing something else at the time and there was no reply.
The Amerks had five of their eight power play chances in the second period and were dreadful on each of them. The team had more offensive opportunities playing full strength. That could have been the Phantoms game plan in the second, play shorthanded and hold on to the advantage. The failed power play attempts really showed the Amerks weakness at center. Mark Voakes, Phil Varone and Jonathan Parker are doing what they can but not quite up to being a #1 or #2 center in this league just yet, they could get there by the end of the season but for right now it’s the weakest position the Amerks have.
Zac Rinaldo put the Phantoms up 3-1 at 16:53 of the third period which appeared to be lights out for the Amerks. Garrett Roe was being covered by Shaone Morrisonn and dumped a simple back hand pass to to Rinaldo who skated in untouched and sniped a great shot along the ice to squeeze it just past MacIntyre on the far side.
With a minute and 15 seconds left in the game the Amerks finally put another puck past Bacashihua but referee Geno Binda waved off saying there was "contact with the goaltender." Watch the video below and decide for yourself. The puck went off of Bacashihua’s blocker into the air and then off of his blocker again and into the net.
That was the game.
After the final buzzer it was nice to see Ron Rolston hang out on the bench for a moment to have a few words with Binda as he skated off of the ice. The past four coaches in Rochester would’ve just took off into the locker room. There wasn’t anything he could say that would change the game but he shared an opinion on a game changing decision.
The team went 0 for 8 on the power play and they gave up a short handed goal. It was this young teams first weekend with three games in three days. They’ll have a few things to work on before heading to Hamilton on Thursday and then Binghamton on Saturday. The next home game is on Sunday November 6th against the Syracuse Crunch.