Amerks snap skid, top B-Sens 3-2
(Rochester, NY) – After allowing the first goal of the game, the Rochester Americans (21-29-0-2) responded with three straight tallies against the intrastate rival Binghamton Senators (23-26-2-1) and held on for a 3-2 win at The Blue Cross Arena. The victory marks the Amerks first win on home ice since Jan. 6 and also ends a four-game losing skid overall.
Amerks forward Tim Kennedy paced the Amerks with his fourth multi-point effort of the season as he notched a pair of assists. Meanwhile, for the third time in as many games, which established a new career-long, Patrick Mullen lit the lamp in the win and rookies Alexander Nylander and Vaclav Karabacek capped off the scoring for the Amerks. Goaltender Linus Ullmark returned to the cage after a night off last night and made 20 saves to improve his record to 19-19-2.
Forwards Jason Akeson and Mike Blunden each chipped in their ninth tallies of the campaign for the B-Sens while netminder Chris Driedger turned aside 31 of 34 in a losing effort.
Trailing by a goal midway through the first period, Mullen sprinted through the neutral zone and exchanged a give-and-go with Kennedy before sniping his third goal of the season over the glove of Driedger to tie the game at the 13:23 mark. Eric Cornel also recorded an assist on the play.
“Patrick is an offensive guy,” said Amerks head coach Dan Lambert. “He has the ability to make plays and he certainly has a great shot to go with his play making ability, so those two things are big for us.”
After emerging from the intermission break, the Amerks wasted little time to grab a 2-1 lead when Nylander danced past a Binghamton defender and fired a shot that snuck under the left pad of Driedger. The goal was Nylander’s sixth of the campaign and first since Dec. 10. Cole Schneider and Taylor Fedun, who was reassigned earlier in the day, helped set up Nylander’s sixth of the season.
“It feels really good to get that goal,” Nylander said. “I have been getting a lot of chances over the last several games but just have not been able to capitalize, so tonight’s goal was big for my confidence.”
Less than six minutes later, Karabacek scored the eventual game-winning goal. The rookie was denied on his initial shot but tracked his own rebound and flicked in his second of the slate from Kennedy and Brady Austin with 12:15 left in regulation.
Binghamton was able to pull within a goal with five minutes remaining in the home-and-home series but Ullmark held off the visitors to preserve the 3-2 win for the Amerks.
“I liked a lot of things tonight,” said. Lambert “I felt when we were down a goal it was off an unlucky bounce but we stuck to the game plan and tied the game. While we did not score on the power-play, we had a lot of shots on the goalie and our penalty kill unit had a very timely kill later in the game.”
For the fifth straight year, the Amerks make the trek down the New York State Thruway to play in the home of the Buffalo Sabres when they host the Utica Comets in a North Division showdown at the KeyBank Center. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be broadcast live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester and will also be televised on MSG.