For the first time in 17 years, the Rochester Americans are moving onto the second round of the American Hockey League (AHL) Calder Cup Playoffs after completing a two-game sweep of the Belleville Senators with Aaron Dell of Airdrie posting both wins by the Amerks.

Even though Rochester took the series in two straight games, it was anything but easy with both games needing overtime to resolve them, including last night (March 6) in Belleville.  The Senators came back from being down 3 - 1 in the third period, connecting for two goals to force overtime for the second straight game.  Brett Murray scored for the Americans 17:39 into the extra frame to give Rochester the win and the series.

Dell was in the Rochester goal last night as well as in the opener on Wednesday night when it looked as though Belleville were on their way to a 1 - 0 lead in the series after they took a 3 - 0 lead into the third before the Americans stormed back with three third period goals to force overtime.  Arttu Ruotsalainen netted the game-winner in extra time.  Ruotsalainen was a force in the series, scoring three goals and adding a pair of assists, including being in on all four Americans' goals last night with two goals and a pair of assists.

Dell blocked 34 of the 37 shots he faced in the win last night after stopping 24 of 27 in the opener.  Dell continued his dominance over Belleville as he improved to 5-0-0 over five combined appearances opposite the Senators between the regular season and playoffs.

Dell split his time this year between Rochester and their NHL parent team the Buffalo Sabres.  He played 22 games with the Americans, compiling a 12-7-1 record and a .909 save percentage.  Dell was called up by the Sabres and in 12 games played he compiled a 1-8-0-1 mark with a .893 save percentage.  Dell was suspended for three games without pay when he was called for interference against Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson.  It was the first suspension of his NHL career.  

Rochester will now face another team from the state of New York, the Urrican Comets, in the North Division semi-finals of the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs.  That best-of-five series begins in Utica on Tuesday, May 10th.  Game two of the series won't be played until Saturday, May 14th, again in Uttica.  Rochester will host game three on Sunday, May 15the, and, if necessary, Game four on Tuesday, May 17th.  A fifth game if needed is set for Thursday, May 19th back in Uttica.  

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to