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Cullen's Four-Point Night Lifts Amerks Over Moose 5-3

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 11:26 PM ET / Recap
Rochester Americans
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Cullen\'s Four-Point Night Lifts Amerks Over Moose 5-3
Mark Cullen
(Rochester, February 25)… Rochester Americans forward Mark Cullen had his hand in four of Rochester’s five goals this evening, scoring two goals and assisting on two others to send the Amerks past the first place Manitoba Moose 5-3 in the second leg of a two-game set tonight at The Blue Cross Arena. With the win, the Amerks (27-27-3-3) reach the .500 mark for just the second time this season and have now picked up points in four of their last five games, while also winning two of their last three.

Cullen (2+2), who in addition to scoring his first goal of the season and as an Amerk, reached the 400-point plateau in his professional career with his second goal of the game and fourth point of the night. The nine-year pro also finished with a plus-one on-ice rating en route to first star honors. Defensemen Mike Kostka (1+2) and Clay Wilson (1+1) also turned in multi-point efforts to claim second and third accolades, respectively. Cullen also skated on the ice during all three power-play goals, contributing in each, while Kostka and Wilson were also a factor on two of those shifts.

Netminder Tyler Plante, who was between the pipes for his 10th straight start, posted 27 saves in the winning effort. He picked up his 11th win of the season in the victory.

Guillaume Desbiens (1+1), Bill Sweatt (1+0) and Mark Flood (1+1), who kept the Moose lurking throughout the game, scored the goals for visiting Manitoba tonight. Goaltender Eddie Lack also made 27 of 32 saves in his 14th loss of the season.

The Amerks got on the board first with less than two minutes remaining in the opening period on the man-advantage. Lack denied Koskta’s initial shot from the blueline, but Cullen was able to tip it in on the rebound after a scramble in front of the net. The power-play tally was Cullen’s first goal of the season and as an Amerk. Wilson was also credited with an assist.

Manitoba knotted the score at one just 45 seconds into the second stanza. Desbiens put a rebound past Plante for his seventh of the year, with help from Flood and Sergei Shirokov.

The Moose extended their lead by two with a tally by Sweatt, scoring his 14th of the year. A little more than five minutes into the period, Jordan Schroeder sent a cross-ice pass to Sweatt, who then managed to pop the puck over Plante’s left shoulder for the goal.

Rochester wouldn’t let Manitoba have the edge for long though, evening things out at 2-2 at 13:17 of the period. PJ Fenton found a streaking Colby Robak in the high slot with a pass from behind the net that surprised the Manitoba defensive corps. Robak, who left his post at the blueline to join the play, slipped by the Moose defenders in the slot and beat Lack low on the glove-side of the net.

Then after a hooking penalty from the Moose’s Mario Bliznak, the Amerks used the power-play to their advantage to take the lead for the second time tonight. After Cullen and then Kostka both made the decision to give the puck to Wilson at the top of the point, Wilson sent the puck sailing between the circles and through traffic to the back of the net for the 3-2 go-ahead. On the play, Wilson, Kostka and Cullen all earned their second point of the night.

The Amerks opened up a two-goal advantage with their third power-play goal of the night just 1:31 into the final frame. After some tic-tac-toe passing between Wilson, Cullen, and Chris Taylor, Kostka crept in from the right point to slam home a backdoor feed that came off the stick of Taylor. The goal was Kostka’s third point of the game, and Cullen also picked up his third point with an assist.

Manitoba responded to pull within one less than three minutes later, capitalizing on a fortunate bounce. After Desbiens missed high and wide with a wrister from center point, the puck ricocheted off the glass behind the Rochester net right to Flood at the top of the crease. Flood quickly gloved it down and stuffed it between Plante’s five-hole for his eighth of the season.

Rochester quickly regained the momentum at 7:57 when Cullen once again found the back of the net for the second time in the contest, lifting him to his 400th career point, to put the home squad on top 5-3. After Keaton Ellerby’s long shot from the left point was turned away by Lack, Cullen was all alone at the right circle to deposit the rebound. Hugh Jessiman also factored in on the play, picking up the second assist.

The Amerks head to the Southern tier on Saturday, February 26th to exchange pleasantries with the Binghamton Senators at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the seventh of eight scheduled meetings between the intrastate rivals this season and can be heard live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester’s Sports Talk.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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