Rochester was down 3-0 after two periods in Toronto, but Tim Schaller scored three goals in a row. The third tally tied the game with just under a minute to play. Phil Varone followed with the game winner 15 seconds later and the Amerks had an unlikely two points.
"You had to look back on it at the end and ask yourself 'Did that really happen'?" head coach Chadd Cassidy said. "The reality of the situation was we were playing a lot better than the score had indicated. Sometimes, you sneak one out like that and you're not sure if you deserved it or not. We certainly deserved that win."
"It was the most fun I've had in a game in a while," Schaller said. Before scoring three goals in one period, Schaller had found the net only four times in the previous 65 games. "I think if we can feed of that energy going into our next game, we should have an awesome run here."
The win was the third straight for the Amerks following a nine game losing streak. "As quick as it went poorly for us, it went really well and it can turn either way. That was the message today in practice," Cassidy said.
The Amerks can not afford another 180-degree swing in fortune. Rochester leads Rockford by just one point for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Both teams have six games to play, but Rochester will play their six in a nine-day span starting Friday. There wouldn't be time for the Amerks to pull out of a potential nosedive.
However, Rochester is in the thick of the playoff race and should remain there right up until the final day of the season. "This is when you want to play," Varone said. "You feel good about your game. You feel good about the team. This is when the boys rally together. This is fun. This is where you want to be."
The Sabres did call goalie Andrey Makarov up to Buffalo on Tuesday, but this is one call-up that shouldn't hurt Rochester. Sabres head coach Ted Nolan told a Buffalo radio station that he thought Makarov would be back in Rochester before the Amerks' next game on Friday. Cassidy could not confirm that Tuesday morning.
Buffalo also yanked up defenseman Mark Pysyk. He is likely to stay with the Sabres until their season ends on Sunday.
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