Amerks stun Laval again with 4-3 OT comeback win


(Rochester, NY) … Trailing 3-0 entering the final period, the Rochester Americans (4-3-0-0) responded with four straight unanswered goals, including two in the final 1:35 of regulation, to stun the Laval Rocket (4-3-2-0) with a 4-3 win in overtime Friday night at The Blue Cross Arena.

Amerks forward Nick Baptiste notched his second straight multi-point (2+0) game to help Rochester to its second consecutive victory against Laval while rookie defenseman Brendan Guhle collected his first two-assist outing of his professional career in addition to extending his point-streak to three games. Kyle Criscuolo capped off the scoring for the Amerks with his second tally of the season while Sahir Gill jumpstarted a four-goal run with his second goal in as many games. Linus Ullmark stopped 33 of 36 for his second straight victory in the crease and third overall on the season.

The Rocket were led by defenseman Stefan Leblanc (1+1), and forwards Daniel Carr and Kyle Baun, as they each would notch a pair of helpers in Laval’s first visit to Rochester. Bryon Froese and Peter Holland rounded out the scoring for the Rocket as goaltender Charlie Lindgren dropped his record to 2-2-2 despite making a season-high 44 saves. Coming into tonight, Lindgren had a 6-0-0 career record against the Amerks in six games, including a pair of shutouts.

Midway through the final period trailing 3-0, the Amerks drew a pair of penalties 34 seconds apart to hold a five-on-three man-advantage for 1:26. Rochester was unable to find the net on the power-play, but four seconds after the second infraction, Gill started the comeback for the Amerks as he made it a 3-1 with 12:54. Hudson Fasching and Criscuolo recorded helpers on the play.

The Amerks continued to push the play and drew their sixth power-play of the contest with 1:53 remaining. Ullmark was pulled for the sixth attacker for Rochester, and with the traffic in front of Lindgren, Baptiste jammed the puck over the shoulder of the netminder to pull the Amerks within one goal at the 18:25 mark.

“Despite being down to enter the third, we talked as a group that we were only three shots away from tying the game,” Baptiste said. “We knew if we got back to our game and played the right way, we could come back and win the game.”

On the ensuing offensive zone face-off, the Amerks were able to pin the puck inside the zone and Guhle, who raced to the point to keep the puck from escaping, hit Kevin Porter with a pass near the left dot. Porter fired a shot that Lindgren kicked to his left and Guhle, once again displaying his speed driving down the wing, centered a pass to a wide-open Baptiste standing in front of the net. The third-year pro make no mistake, slamming it home to knot the game at 3-3 and force overtime.

Despite taking a penalty just 54 seconds in to the extra session, Rochester carried the momentum and held the Rocket without a shot before Barry Goers and Criscuolo skated into the Laval zone on a two-on-one rush. Criscuolo flung a shot towards the cage that Lindgren stopped but the Amerks forward followed his initial shot and made good on his second opportunity to give Rochester the 4-3 win.

Goers and Ullmark each were credited with the helpers 2:29 into the extra period. With Ullmark’s assist, it marked his first professional point and gives the Amerks their second straight win.

“After winning the puck-battle behind the net, I saw no one was pressuring me,” Goers said. “I noticed their defensemen were flat-footed, so I figured I try to make a play. Criscuolo recognized what I saw and we had an odd-man rush.”

“A win like this brings the group together,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “It was a good win but we have to bring it tomorrow night. We have to be ready to play tomorrow and that is what good teams do, they bring it every night on a consistent basis.

The Amerks close out the first month of the 2017-18 campaign on Saturday, Oct. 28 when they host the Syracuse Crunch for the third meeting of the season. Rochester looks to improve to 3-0-0-0 against the Crunch after completing the two-game sweep to begin the season. 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.

Goal Scorers:

RCH: Gill (2), Baptiste (2, 3), Criscuolo (2, OT GWG)

LAV: Leblanc (2), Holland (3), Froese (2)


RCH: Ullmark – 33/36 (W)

LAV: Lindgren – 44/48 (OTL)


RCH: 48

LAV: 36

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