The Rochester Americans power-play unit erupted for three goals while on the man-advantage Friday night at The Blue Cross Arena to secure a 5-2 victory against the previously unbeaten Toronto Marlies (2-1-0-0).
“I thought the penalty kill unit did an outstanding job tonight successfully killing all four penalties,” said Amerks head coach Dan Lambert. “While our PK unit was great in limiting their chances, I think our power-play team was huge tonight in getting us the three goals on seven chances.”
The Amerks were led by Taylor Fedun (1+1), Cal O”Reilly (0+2) and Cole Schneider (0+2) as they each recorded two-point nights while Linus Ullmark stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faces to improve his record to 2-1-0.
|DAN LAMBERT POSTGAME|
|TAYLOR FEDUN POSTGAME|
|HUDSON FASCHING POSTGAME|
The two Northern Division foes traded chances during the first 20 minutes of play but they went into the locker rooms with the score still showing zeros.
Despite being held without a shot for the first half of the second period, Ullmark kept the Marlies high-powered offense to just one goal in the frame, stopping 14 of the 15 shots he faced.
The Marlies scored the first goal of the contest 4:14 into the middle stanza as Kasperi Kapanen tipped in a shot in between the pads of Ullmark, but the Amerks responded for the next three to quickly gain control of the game.
After the teams traded penalties, Toronto took two in a row, giving the Amerks a 5-on-3 man-advantage for 1:55 with under eight minutes to go in the period. Controlling the puck for most of the penalty, Fedun opened the power-play goal scoring for the Amerks.
As O’Reilly and Schneider passed the puck from the point to the left of the Marlies cage and back to Schneider again, Fedun positioned himself for one-timer from O’Reilly. The captain got the pass back and sent a no-look-pass to Fedun with 5:33 remaining.
Less than four minutes later, Hudson Fasching, who was one of three reassigned earlier in the day from the Buffalo Sabres, chased down a loose puck in the neutral zone before skating the length of the ice and putting a shot over the shoulder of Toronto netminder Garret Sparks to give the Amerks a 2-1 lead.
“I had a lot of space coming into the zone,” said Fasching on his first goal as an Amerk. “I knew it was late in the period and saw room in the top corner, so I just went for there and it went into the net.”
The Amerks used the Fasching tally and carried the energy into the final period of play as Justin Bailey scored just 53 seconds into the stanza.
Just like the first goal for the Amerks, the power-play unit came up huge again. With Fedun managing the point, the veteran defenseman sent a wrist shot towards the net with bodies in front. Bailey used his lengthy reach and tipped the puck into the net. Fedun and Alexander Nylander each picked up an assist, giving them each four points through their first four games of the young season.
Down 3-1 early in the third period, Toronto was able to cut the lead to 3-2, but the Amerks were able to keep the visitors off the board for the remaining 15:16 of the tilt.
Just like Fasching, Casey Nelson was reassigned earlier in the day and he too was able to find the back of the net for his first professional goal with 2:32 to go in regulation after he ripped a one-timer from the point, making the score 4-2.
With time running out and down by a pair, the Marlies pulled Sparks for an extra skater, but Dan Catenacci sealed the game as he tracked a puck that was sent out of the Amerks end and deposited it into the vacated net with 15 seconds on the clock.
The Amerks begin a three-game road swing on Saturday, Oct. 22 in Binghamton against the Senators at 7:05 p.m. at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. The contest can be heard live on the Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Fedun, Fasching, Bailey, Nelson, Catenacci
TOR: Kapanen, Froese
RCH: Ullmark – 32/34 (W)
TOR: Sparks – 16/20 (L)
RCH: PP (3/7) / PK (4/4)
TOR: PP (0/4) / PK (4/7)