Amerks run into a Wahl

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Hamilton Bulldogs overpowered the Rochester Americans to earn a 5-4 victory in a back-and-forth contest between division rivals in American Hockey League play.

Andreas Engqvist scored the first goal of the game at 5:56 in the first period when he pushed Aaron Palushaj’s rebound past Amerks starting goaltender Drew MacIntyre. Engqvist’s power play goal was his team-leading ninth of the season, and his fifth goal in four games.

Rochester would retaliate just 1:08 later when Mark Voakes beat netminder Robert Mayer shortly after exiting the penalty box. And with 3:56 left in the first period, Phil Varone converted a Marcus Foligno’s power play pass to give Rochester a 2-1 lead.

The Bulldog, however, tied the game less than a minute later when Mitch Wahl scored his first goal of the season to snap an 18-game scoreless streak.

Derek Whitmore gave the Amerks a 3-2 lead with a power play goal 38 seconds into the second period, scoring his seventh goal in seven games against the ‘Dogs this season.

Gabriel Dumont tied the game again at 11:55, putting Brian Willsie’s pass past former teammate MacIntyre for his fifth goal of the season. Paul Szczechura’s unassisted goal at 15:16 made it 4-3 for Rochester but the lead would last only 36 seconds as Wahl scored his second goal of the game.

Rochester made a goaltending change to start the third period but Palushaj would beat Amerks’ netminder David Leggio at 7:14. Palushaj’s 5-on-3 go-ahead goal cemented the Bulldogs victory.

Hamilton was outshot, 39-30, before a crowd of 9,771.

The Bulldogs return to Copps Coliseum on New Year’s Eve to take on the Lake Erie Monsters in a 3 p.m. matchup.