Glens Falls, NY – The Adirondack Flames dropped their franchise debut, 6-1, to the Rochester Americans on Friday evening at Blue Cross Arena.
Kenny Agostino scored the first goal in Adirondack Flames franchise history, his first career AHL goal, while Ben Hanowski collected his first point of the season with an assist. Joni Ortio made 28 saves in defeat.
The Flames and Americans skated to a scoreless first period despite 19 shots fired between the two sides, which ended 10-9 in favor of Rochester. Josh Jooris had perhaps the best chance of the period for either team just over five minutes into the stanza, but he was denied by a fine save from Nathan Lieuwen.
The Americans opened the scoring for the evening 3:55 into the second period as Tim Schaller scored the first goal against Adirondack. Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel and winger William Carrier picked up the assists on the play as Rochester took an early 1-0 lead.
Adirondack evened the score just under eight minutes later, however, as they put together a bit of history of their own. Agostino capitalized on a turnover created by Hanowski and put a silky backhand shot up and over Lieuwen.
Rochester regained the lead just five minutes later at the 16:19 mark of the second as Mikhail Grigorenko beat Ortio. Grigorenko, a 2012 first round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres, collected his first career AHL goal on the play. Joel Armia had the lone assist on the play for the Americans.
The home side doubled its advantage less than two minutes later as Chad Ruhwedel took a pass from Johan Larsson in his wheelhouse and put a one-timer past Ortio for Rochester’s third of the evening. Ruhwedel’s goal, the first power-play tally conceded by the Flames, was also assisted by Phil Varone, who led the Americans a season ago with 43 helpers.
Captain Matt Ellis made it 4-1 Rochester just 3:10 into the third period as his strong second effort forced a rebound past Ortio. The Finnish netminder turned aside the original effort from Drew Bagnall but Ellis was on hand to bury his first of the season. Carrier collected his second assist of the evening on the play with the secondary helper.
Armia collected his first tally of the evening courtesy of a penalty shot with 9:07 to play in the game. The Finland native put on a nice series of moves to get the puck past Ortio and extend the Rochester advantage to 5-1. A collection of late penalties led to a five-on-three situation for Rochester and the Americans cashed in through Varone to make it 6-1. Varone’s goal, his first of the season, was assisted by Ruhwedel and Larsson, the second assist of the evening for each.
The end of the action was marred by fights and penalties as the two teams closed out the contest.
The Flames are back in action tomorrow evening as they host the Albany Devils in their home opener. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Tickets are still available to become a part of Glens Falls hockey history with the home debut of the Adirondack Flames.