(Binghamton, NY) – After allowing a quick goal early into Saturday’s game against the Binghamton Senators (2-5-0-1), the Rochester Americans (5-4-0-0) answered for the next four goals to defeat the B-Sens by a 4-1 score at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Amerks were led by Cole Schneider’s fifth multi-point outing of the season as he added his sixth goal of the campaign and seventh assist. With his pair of points, the fifth-year pro moved into second place in the AHL in scoring, just one point shy of Toronto’s Brendan Leipsic. In addition to Schneider’s multi-point night, Cal O’Reilly also recorded his third of the season along with an assist to lift his season points total to 10. Brady Vail, Justin Vaive and Kyle Bonis, all of whom joined the team in the last few weeks, each recorded their first point in an Amerks uniform while Linus Ullmark improved his record to 4-2-0 after stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced in his second straight start of the weekend.
Andreas Englund scored his first AHL goal for Binghamton as Kyle Flanagan and Chris Rumble each got credit for the assists. Goaltender Matt O’Connor suffered the loss for the Senators, making 27 saves of 30.
The Senators scored two minutes into the contest as Englund flipped the puck over the shoulder of Ullmark on the first Binghamton shot of the game for a 1-0 lead. For the remaining 58 minutes, the former Swedish Goalie of the Year blanked the Sens, stopping all the other 29 shots fired in his direction.
The Amerks entered the second period down a goal but soon found themselves in front after scoring twice in a span of 76 seconds as Eric Cornel scored his second of the season followed by Vail finding the back of the for his first of the campaign.
With just over seven minutes left, forward Justin Kea won a faceoff in the Senators zone. Kea tied up his man, as Cornel scooped up the loose puck and fired it over the shoulder of O’Connor to even the score at one apiece. On the ensuing shift, newly signed Bonis dumped the puck into the Binghamton zone. Vaive tracked it down and slid a pass on to the stick of Vail, who flung the puck into the net for his first of the season to give the Amerks a 2-1 lead they would carry into the dressing room.
With the Amerks ahead by a pair of makers, Schneider extended the lead when he blasted his sixth goal of the season 12 minutes into the final period. The Williamsville native’s tally was his third goal in the last three contests and fourth in his last five games. O’Reilly picked up an assist as he won a face-off back to Schneider to the right of the Senators net.
Late in the frame and trailing by three goals, the Sens decided to pull O’Connor following an Amerks penalty in order to gain a 6-on-4 man advantage. Rochester, however, ended any hope of a comeback as O’Reilly and Schneider forced a turnover inside the Binghamton end before O’Reilly deposited it into the vacant net to seal the 4-1 victory with 27 seconds left.
For the third straight game, the Amerks penalty-kill unit was perfect in successfully killing off the opposing team’s power-play. The unit has gone 23-for-24 (95.8%) in the last five outings and currently ranks eighth in the AHL (86.8%).
The Amerks conclude their stretch of three games in three nights on Sunday, Nov. 6 when they travel to Giant Center to face the Hershey Bears. The 5:00 p.m. matchup will renew the AHL’s oldest rivalry, marking the 452nd all-time meeting between the two clubs, and will be carried live on the Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Cornel (2), Vail (1), Schneider (6), O’Reilly (3)
BNG: Englund (1)
RCH: Ullmark – 29/30 (W)
BNG: O’Connor – 27/30 (L)
RCH: PP (0/2) / PK (2/2)
BNG: PP (0/2) / PK (2/2)