Amerks Drop a Close One Against Bridgeport
(Rochester, NY) … The Rochester Americans (27-15-9-6) closed out the month of February with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (26-22-5-3) at The Blue Cross Arena Wednesday night. The contest was the 24th that has been decided after regulation for the Amerks this season and the 11th since the turn of the New Year.
The Amerks, who have earned at least one point in 16 of their last 22 games since Jan. 1 and 38 of the last 49 overall dating back to Nov. 1, have a 19-point lead on the fifth-place Laval Rocket in the AHL’s North Division heading into March.
Rookie Sean Malone netted his eighth goal of the season for Rochester to push his point streak (3+1) to a career-long four games while Alexander Nylander, who appeared in his 100th AHL game, extended his point streak to three games as he recorded the primary assist. Goaltender Linus Ullmark stopped 25 of 27 but took the overtime loss. The Swedish netminder carries a record of 18-11-9 in 39 appearances on the season.
The game also marked the Amerks debut of forward Daniel O’Regan, who was acquired by the Buffalo Sabres during Monday’s NHL Trade Deadline from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Evander Kane.
Michael Dal Colle opened the scoring with his seventh marker of the campaign for Bridgeport, which snapped a six-game road winless stretch dating back to Jan. 16. Travis St. Denis sealed the 2-1 overtime victory as he notched his 14th goal of the season while goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis made 25 saves to improve to 8-10-5.
Following a scoreless second and third period, the two clubs entered the overtime period as the game was tied at 1-1.
After an Amerks shot was kicked to the corner early in the extra frame by Gudlevskis, Josh Ho-Sang gathered the puck and sprinted towards the Rochester netminder. However, Amerks defenseman Taylor Fedun was able to catch up to Ho-Sang and pushed the puck to the right of Ullmark.
Ho-Sang gathered the puck once again and sent a pass towards the slot, where a wide-open St. Denis fired it past the glove of Ullmark to give Bridgeport a 2-1 overtime victory.
The win was the Sound Tigers first of the season in the head-to-head matchup after Rochester claimed the first two games earlier this year.
Bridgeport opened the scoring at the 13:49 mark of the first period when Dal Colle buried a loose rebound in front of Ullmark. Rochester native Stephen Gionta and John Stevens each were credited with the helpers on the tally.
As the first-period clock was coming to an end, Nylander waved his way through Sound Tigers defenders and fired a tough-angle shot just outside the Bridgeport crease. Gudlevskis thought he made initial save, but the puck slipped through the netminder and was eventually nudged over the goal-line by Malone to tie the game at 1-1.
Nylander picked up the primary helper while Andrew MacWilliam recorded his sixth assist of the season on Malone’s tally with 39 seconds left in the stanza.
Despite holding a 16-8 shot advantage, the Amerks and Sound Tigers went into the break tied at 1-1.
The game remained tied until St. Denis’ overtime-winning goal 1:23 into the extra frame.