The Rochester Americans wrapped up third place in the American Hockey League's North Division Saturday the final night of their regular season.
The Amerks defeated the Syracuse Crunch, 4-2, before 6,347 at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse but as it turned out they didn't need the victory to take third place ahead of the Utica Comets.
That's because Utica was eliminated in the battle for third place by its 3-1 loss on the road to the Belleville Senators. It meant the Comets (86 points) could not mathematically catch the Amerks in the points race. Rochester finished with 91 points with a 37-22-11(OTL)-6 (SOL) record.
Justin Bailey (power play), Alexander Nylander, Garret Ross and Sean Malone (empty net) scored the Rochester goals.
Alexander Volkov scored both of the Syracuse goals.
Volkov gave the Crunch the lead with a power-play tally at 11:13 of the opening period, but Bailey matched that less than two minutes later with assists by C.J. Smith and Seth Griffith.
Adam Wilcox made 24 saves in goal for Rochester. Olivier Mantha need 39 saves as the Crunch was outshot by a wild margin. The shots were 32-18 after two periods and 43-26 overall.
Syracuse is the No. 2 seed in the North Division and will face the No. 3 Amerks in the best-of-five opening round series.
The first two games will be at the Onondaga County War Memorial on Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The series moves to Blue Cross Arena in Rochester on Wednesday, April 25, and Friday, April 27. If a fifth game is necessary it will be in Syracuse on Saturday night, April 28.