Andrey Makarov made 26 saves Thursday as the Rochester Americans were shut out by the Chicago Wolves 4-0 in Game Three of the AHL Western Conference quarterfinal. The loss puts the Amerks in a 2-1 deficit in the best-of-five first round series.
Joel Armia showed some emotion early, dropping the gloves for the first fight of his North American career against veteran defenseman Joe Corvo. Armia, 20, missed on a straight punch at the start before testing his youthful wrestling skills versus the old-man strength of the 36-year old Corvo.
Adam Cracknell, fresh off a solid five-game showing in the NHL playoffs, scored a short-handed goal and a power play marker less than two minutes apart late in the first period to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.
After no goals were scored in the middle frame, the Wolves closed it out with another two goals in the final frame. Keith Aucoin banged a power play rebound into a wide open net at 2:16. Ty Rattie scored his first of the series at 7:36 with a redirect down low to make it a 4-0 game.
He only had to make 18 saves, but Jake Allen showed why the St. Louis Blues have already handed him a spot on their NHL roster next season with some excellent point-blank stops to capture his first-ever AHL playoff shutout and the game's number two star.
For the Amerks, it's clear that their forwards are going to need to do more, as defenders Rasmus Ristolainen and Nick Petrecki led the way with three shots on goal each, comprising 33% of the club's 18 total shots. Phil Varone and Jamie Tardif (2 SOG each) were the only Amerks forwards with more than one shot on net.
The Amerks now face elimination Friday when the team's meet again in Chicago for Game Four.