Rochester came into the series hot, with a run of 7 victories in their last 10 games and a ton of confidence. PAL knew they had a tough series ahead of them and handled it masterfully.
Saturday's game was opened with a Robby Marsanico goal, just his second of the season, which started a theme throughout the game. It wasn't the usual suspects scoring for the Islanders in this game--instead, Luciano Bucci and Will Rambin scored in the second period, each player's first goal of the season.
With the game tied at 3 going into the final period, an early goal by Shawn Knowlton went down as the game-winner. It was Knowlton's 5th goal of the season, but his 34th point in what has been a monster rookie year for the star winger. Justin Ketola shut the door in the 3rd, and the Islanders continued to roll.
Sunday's game was decided in the first period, as the Islanders run-and-gun offense put up four goals in the first fifteen minutes. Nick Mangone, Josh Haskin, James Anderson, and Billy Vizzo helped set the tone by just lighting up the Rochester defense.
Anderson scored his second of the game in the middle frame, and the Islanders took a 5-1 lead into the third.
In the final period, Vizzo notched his second of the day and Anderson finished off the hat trick. Captain Cory Gottfried got involved with his sixth of the season to give the Islanders their third 8-goal performance of the season.
Goaltender Joona Krigsman earned his 5th win of the season with a 33-save performance. Krigsman is now 5-2 on the season. Starter Ketola's win on Saturday improves his record to 17-8.
The Islanders improve to 23-10-0 on the season and 3rd place in the USPHL Premier, only 3 points out of first place. With this win, the Islanders have won 7 straight and 13 of their last 14 games.
Notably absent was the league's leading scorer Joe Duszak, who was called up to the USHL's Chicago Steel for the weekend. Duszak will return to the team after the holiday break.
James Anderson joined Billy Vizzo at the top of the USPHL's goal-scoring list with his 20th on Sunday. Vizzo still leads the league at 22.
PAL has an extended break coming up before returning to action on January 9th against the Junior Pirates at New England Sports Center for another USPHL Showcase.