Percy, Ullmark lead Amerks to 3-0 win
(Rochester, NY) – The Rochester Americans (8-4-1-1) took an early two-goal lead Wednesday night at The Blue Cross Arena as they hosted the Binghamton Devils (5-7-0-1) to begin a stretch of three games in four nights. After grabbing the lead, the Amerks never looked back as goaltender Linus Ullmark, who appeared in his 200th professional game, stopped all 31 shots he faced to record his second-career AHL shutout and helped the Amerks to a 3-0 victory.
With the win, the Amerks improve to 4-0-1-1 in the first six games in month of November and show a record of 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games overall while collecting 14 of 18 points dating back to October. 25.
Defenseman Stuart Percy factored in on all three Rochester goals, scoring twice while also adding an assist for a career-high three points to lead the Amerks. The blueliner pushed his point streak to three games as he shows six points (2+4) over that span. Eric Cornel notched his second tally of season in the opening period while Ullmark won his fourth straight start and sixth of his last seven to improve his record to 7-3-0 on the season. The Swedish netminder is now one win shy of Anders Lindback of the Milwaukee Admirals for the league-lead in wins.
Binghamton’s Nick Lappin tied Percy for a game-high five shots while goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 33 saves but dropped his second consecutive game.
The Amerks drew the game’s first two penalties 1:59 in and had a five-on-three man-advantage for 45 seconds.
Just 13 seconds into the two-man advantage, Percy blasted his first goal of the night from the left point to give the Amerks an early 1-0 lead 2:12 into the contest. In a continuation of the second power-play, Cornel banged home a rebound from the right of the netminder to cushion Rochester’s lead to a pair.
Steve Moses and Casey Nelson were credited with the assists on the first power-play tally while Sahir Gill, who notched his 150th professional point, and Percy recorded the helpers on the second goal.
“It was good to get the early lead tonight,” Amerks head coach Chris Taylor said. “We have not had the lead early in home games this season. Obviously with our two goals coming from the power-play, it was clicking, but I attribute the good start to our first shift. We began the game with a good fore-check and kept Binghamton in their own zone and drew a penalty.”
With Rochester’s two goals while on the man-advantage, the Amerks now show a success rate of 25.5% in their last eight games, going 11-for-43 during that span.
The Amerks took a two-goal lead into the third period for the third straight game before Percy capped off Ullmark’s shutout as he would score an empty-net goal with 1:34 left in regulation.
“After getting the shutout late last season, it is something I am aiming for every night,” said Ullmark. “To get another one this early in the year, it is a huge confidence booster going forward. The guys in front me have done a good job all year. They are boxing out, blocking shots and sticking to the system and it is evident we have a good team.”
The Amerks are back in action on Friday, Nov. 17 when they take on the Hartford Wolf Pack on Military Appreciation Night at The Blue Cross Arena. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Percy (1, 2), Cornel (2)
RCH: Ullmark – 31/31 (W)
BNG: Blackwood – 33/35 (L)
RCH: PP (2/5) | PK (1/1)
BNG: PP (0/1) | PK (3/5)