(St. John’s, NL) – A night after coming out on the losing end of a 5-3 decision to the St. John’s IceCaps, the Rochester Americans were quick to return the favor in Saturday’s rematch at Mile One Centre, where the Amerks scored three times in the second period to cruise to a 5-2 win. The weekend split in Newfoundland gives Rochester three wins in its last four games, moving the Amerks into sole possession of fourth place in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings.
It was a two-point game for William Carrier (2+0), Nick Baptiste (2+0) and Cole Schneider (1+1), while the Amerks finished the night 2-for-4 on the power-play. Veteran netminder John Muse, called up from the Elmira Jackals on Thursday, was stellar in his season debut, stopping 32 of 34 shots he faced to pick up his first win as an Amerk. Cal O’Reilly collected an assist to stretch his point streak to five games while Schneider recorded his fourth multi-point outing in seven games to move within two points of Toronto’s Brendan Leipsic for the league lead in scoring.
Daniel Audette, the son of former Amerk Donald Audette, led the IceCaps offense with two points, including his first pro goal. Nikita Scherbak rounded out the scoring for St. John’s after finding the back of the net for the second straight game while veteran netminder Yann Danis turned aside 26 saves in the losing effort.
For the second straight night, the Amerks took control early, as Carrier kicked off the scoring with a shorthanded goal in 6:55 into the opening frame. Audette answered for St. John’s nearly 10 minutes later with his first pro goal to send the teams into the intermission knotted at 1-1.
Schneider restored the lead for Rochester just over a minute into the second period on the power-play before Carrier added his second of the night to make it a 3-1 game. Scherbak brought the IceCaps within a goal just 2:45 later, but the Amerks were quick to answer again as Baptiste converted a goal-mouth feed from O’Reilly to put Rochester up by a pair.
Despite being outshot 14-8 in the third period, the Amerks were able to hold off the IceCaps before Baptiste added his second of the night with an empty-netter in the final minute of regulation to secure the 5-2 win for Rochester.
The Amerks return home on Friday, Nov. 4 when they begin a three-game weekend against the North Division rival Syracuse Crunch on Military Appreciation Night at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the third of 10 meetings between the two teams this season and will be broadcast live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Carrier (2, 3), Schneider (4), Baptiste (2, 3-EN)
STJ: Audette (1), Scherbak (3)
RCH: Muse – 32/34 (W)
STJ: Danis – 26/30 (L)
RCH: PP (2/4) / PK (5/5)
STJ: PP (0/5) / PK (2/4)