(Rochester, NY) - For the seventh time in eight games this season, the Rochester Americans (4-4-0-0) were the first to open the scoring, but were unable to hold onto the lead as the visiting Syracuse Crunch (5-4-0-0) scored three times in the third period to rally from a 2-0 deficit and left The Blue Cross Arena Friday night with a 3-2 victory. The game was the first of three on the weekend for each of the two teams.
|DAN LAMBERT POSTGAME|
|LINUS ULLMARK POSTGAME|
|CAL O'REILLY POSTGAME|
The Amerks were led by Cole Schneider’s fifth tally of the season. Rookie forward Alexander Nylander chipped in with his second while Evan Rodrigues and Taylor Fedun each picked up an assist.
Yanni Gourde scored the game-winning goal and picked up an assist on the first Syracuse goal to lead the Crunch to victory. Erik Condra scored his first marker of the slate and Kristers Gudlevskis improved his record to 2-1-0 after making 16 saves for the win.
The Amerks led 2-0 entering the final period, but the Crunch forced some untimely turnovers and chipped away at the deficit before taking their first lead of the night with just 76 seconds remaining in regulation.
“We knew entering the final 20 minutes, Syracuse was going to come hard,” said Head Coach Dan Lambert. “They forced us to made unforced errors and capitalized on them by scoring three goals.”
The Crunch scored 1:36 into the period as former Amerk Cory Conacher beat Linus Ullmark on a 2-on-1 line rush with Condra entering the Amerks zone. With the Amerks defenseman sliding to block a would-be shot, Condra slid the pass to Conacher, who beat Ullmark blocker-side for his third of the season.
The visitors continued to hound the Amerks throughout the final period as Condra snuck behind the changing defenseman. As he found his way behind the left defenseman, he slipped a backhand between the right arm and body of Ullmark to even the score at two with 4:36 remaining in the third period.
“I knew Condra was going to shoot the puck despite the angle he had,” explained Ullmark. “He shot the puck and it squeezed through my arm and body and that is a goal. I feel I should have made the save but unfortunately did not.”
As the final stanza was coming to an end, Matt Taormina fired a shot from the top of the point. With traffic in front of Ullmark, Gourde was able to redirect the puck into the net with 1:16 left on the clock, giving the Crunch a lead they would ultimately not give up.
Things started well for the Amerks, as Schneider redirected his fifth goal of the season from the top of crease in front of Gudlevskis. The initial blast came off the stick of Fedun before making its way to Schneider.
The Amerks doubled their lead in the middle stanza when Nylander picked up a loose puck by the benches and raced in on 2-on-1 with Justin Vaive. The rookie ripped a shot from the hash marks, beating Gudlevskis to his left side less than five minutes into the second period.
Ullmark took the loss in the cage, making 29 saves of the 32 shots he faced. The loss snapped his two-game win streak after returning from his back-up role with the Buffalo Sabres last week.
The Amerks continue their stretch of three games in three nights on Saturday, Nov. 5 as they travel to the southern tier for a North Division showdown against the Binghamton Senators at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be just the second of eight meetings between the two teams this season and will be broadcast live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Schneider (5), Nylander (2)
SYR: Conacher (3), Condra (1), Gourde (3)
RCH: Ullmark – 29/32 (L)
SYR: Gudlevskis – 18/20 (W)
RCH: PP (0/3) / PK (3/3)
SYR: PP (0/3) / PK (3/3)