Amerks make it five wins in last six, 2-1 in Albany
(Albany, NY) – The Albany Devils (35-30-2-3) got the lead early in the first, but were unable to get anything more than that as the Rochester Americans (29-38-0-2) rode a stellar 27-save effort from rookie goaltender Jonas Johansson to come away with a 2-1 win in the last of a three-game weekend Sunday afternoon at Times Union Center.
Paul Geiger opened scoring for the Amerks with his third on the season and second against his former club, and Derek Grant notched the game-winner with his seventh goal in six games. Mat Bodie assisted on both tallies while Johansson, who despite allowing the game’s first goal just 5:05 into the contest, remained perfect the rest of the way in helping Rochester to its fifth win in the last six games.
Hours after being sent down from New Jersey, Albany's point leader John Quenneville notched his 13th goal of the season on the Devils only tally of the afternoon. Rookie netminder Mackenzie Blackwood made 15 saves while falling to 1-4-1 over his last six starts.
An early Amerks penalty gave Albany the man-advantage and the Devils would capitalize for a 1-0 lead. Five minutes into the first period, veteran forward Carter Camper led a rush from his own blueline and attempted to maneuver through the Rochester defense. Casey Nelson was able to poke-check the puck from Camper only for it to end up on the stick of Quenneville, who turned and fired it directly under Johansson’s crossbar.
Albany carried the lead for most of the opening frame while doubling Rochester in shots until Geiger answered for the Amerks at the 14:32 mark. After a failed clearing attempt was kept in by Bodie at the right point, Bodie settled the puck and sent a cross-ice pass to Geiger. The former Devil took two more stripes before picking the upper right corner from the top of the near face-off circle to even score at 1-1.
The second stanza began with a high sticking double-minor to Albany’s Andrew MacWilliam, but the Amerks would only need 25 seconds on the ensuring double-minor to take the lead for good. A centering pass from Cole Schneider saw its way through traffic and was tipped behind Blackwood off the stick of Grant, giving the Amerks a lead that they would hold until the end of the game.
An empty net and a one-man advantage for the final two minutes of play was not enough for Albany to fire back, as Johansson and the Amerks were able to hold off the Devils for a 2-1 win.
The Amerks return home to kick-off a busy stretch of four games in five nights this week, beginning on Wednesday, April 5 against the Binghamton Senators at The Blue Cross Arena. All the action will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Geiger (3), Grant (8)
ALB: Quenneville (13)
RCH: Johansson – 27/28 (W)
ALB: Blackwood – 15/17 (W)
RCH: PP (1/5) / PK (4/5)
ALB: PP (1/5) / PK (4/5)