Rookie forward Brian Flynn’s first career hat trick helped give the Rochester Americans a 5-2 victory over the Albany Devils on Friday night at The Blue Cross Arena in front of 8,781 fans.
Defenseman T.J. Brennan added two goals and an assist while Flynn also recorded an assist for a four-point night as the pair combined for seven points and all five Amerk goals. Goaltender David Leggio stopped 33 of 35 saves, including a shorthanded breakaway chance by Albany’s Adam Henrique, to pick up the win in goal. The Amerks leading goal scorer, Brennan buried two short-handed goals within a span of 6:35.
The Amerks struck first when Flynn scored his sixth goal of the season at 6:14 of the first period. Mark Pysyk was credited with the assist after his shot from the point rebounded off Devils goalie Jeff Frazee near the right circle. Flynn capitalized by flipping the puck over Frazee’s shoulder.
Flynn’s second goal of the night put the Amerks up 2-0 at 15:23 of the first period on a power-play. Marcus Foligno found a loose puck in front of the net and slid it over to Flynn, who was stationed near the left post for an easy tap-in goal. Brennan was also credited with an assist.
The Devils cut the deficit in half at 14:44 in the second period as Steve Zalewski banged home a loose puck for his first goal of the season to make it a 2-1 game. Mattias Tedenby attempted a centering pass from behind the net, but his bid caromed off Leggio’s left foot and came to rest in the crease, allowing Zalweski to poke it over the goal-line for the tally. Tim Sestito was also credited with an assist on the goal.
Rochester regained its two-goal lead with 24 seconds remaining in the second period on a short-handed goal by Brennan. Mark Mancari fed captain Kevin Porter, who had Brennan trailing for a 2-on-1. Porter moved it over to Brennan on the right side, and the defenseman deposited the pass past Frazee.
The Amerks took a 4-1 lead in the third period when Brennan scored his second short-handed goal of the game. Last year’s point leader, Phil Varone, stole the puck and found Flynn charging toward the net up the right wing wall. Varone made a pass to Brennan, who collected the puck and shot a wrister into the back of the net.
The Devils scored at 7:57 to make the score 4-2 when Raman Hraberenka scored his first goal of the season.
The Amerks put the game out of reach with 1:10 left in the game when Flynn completed his first professional hat trick on a empty net to make the score 5-2.