Criscuolo scores OT winner to beat Senators



Kyle Criscuolo scored 22 seconds into overtime as the Rochester Americans beat the Belleville Senators 4-3 at the Yardmen Arena Saturday night.

Nick Paul, Gabriel Gagne and Jim O’Brien scored for Belleville while Danny Taylor made 36 saves. Adam Wilcox stopped 21 shots in the Rochester goal while Criscuolo Eric Cornel and Taylor Fedun scored in regulation.

Heading into the third tied at 2-2, it took just 34 seconds for the Senators to take the lead as O’Brien skated onto a loose puck before going forehand, backhand to beat Wilcox blocker side high on his 11th goal of the season.

But with 2:40 to play, Cornel notched his second of the game as he found a rebound after Taylor had stretched to make a save on Sean Malone’s initial shot to send the game to overtime.

Criscuolo scored his second of the night 22 seconds into the extra frame to send the Senators to its first overtime defeat of the season.

In a back-and-forth first, that saw the teams amass 28 shots between them, saw the Americans strike first through Criscuolo at 4:13 as he buried his own rebound for his 11th of the year. Rochester thought it had doubled its lead at 6:37 but the goal was waved off immediately for a high-stick before the Senators found its equalizer with 42.3 seconds left as Paul’s backhand beat Wilcox on the power play after the Rochester goalie had originally stopped Ben Harpur’s drive from the slot.

Belleville took its first lead of the night just 1:27 into the second period as AHL All-Star Gagne went bar down on a wicked shot on the power play for his 15th goal of the season.

Fedun made it 2-2 at 15:10 as a puck bounced off a skate to him at the blue line and his blast beat traffic and Taylor to tie the game on his second goal of the campaign.

Senators forward Kyle Flanagan played in his 200th career AHL game tonight.

The Belleville Sens will get the next few days off due to the AHL All-Star break but return to action Feb. 2 as they travel to Binghamton. The Senators are back home Feb. 9 when they host Toronto and there are a very limited number of tickets remaining. Tickets are available by clicking here. 

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