C.J. Smith scored 3:32 into overtime Saturday night to give the Rochester Americans a 2-1 American Hockey League victory over the Cleveland Monsters at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
The sweep of the two-game series against the Monsters, along with Laval's 4-0 victory over second-place Syracuse left the Amerks (18-7-2) six points ahead of the Crunch (15-7-2) in the North Division standings of the AHL. Cleveland (13-10-4) is third.
Brendan Guhle's third goal of the season, on the power play, gave Rochester a 1-0 lead at 17:12 of the second period. That stood up until former Buffalo Sabres Nathan Gerbe scored on the power play at 16:49 of the third, just 5 seconds after Rochester began serving a delay of game penalty against C.J. Smith.
With the teams skating three aside, Smith got the game winner with assists from Danny O'Regan and Justin Bailey. It was the eighth of the season for Smith, who was the 2017-18 AHL Rookie of the Year.
Adam Wilson (7-2-1) had 30 saves for Rochester, including 13 in the third period. Matiss Kivlenieks had 37 saves for Cleveland through three period. Jean-Francois Berube took over in overtime and gave up the game winner among the four shots he faced.
Rochester has three home games this week, against the Belleville Senators on Wednesday and Friday and Saturday against the Hartford Wolf Pack.