(Hershey, PA) – The Rochester Americans (5-5-0-0) fell behind the Hershey Bears (6-2-2-0) early in the contest and were never able to recover as the Amerks closed out their three-game weekend on the losing end of a 5-3 decision Sunday at Giant Center. The loss also snapped a brief two-game road winning streak for Rochester while Hershey extended its win streak to five games in what was the 452nd all-time meeting between the AHL’s two oldest teams.
The Amerks were led by the high-scoring line of Justin Bailey, Cal O’Reilly and Cole Schneider, who combined for eight points (3+5) on the night. Bailey (2+1) and O’Reilly (0+3) each factored in on all three Rochester goals with three points apiece as the Amerks captain picked up his first three-assist game since Dec. 5, 2014. Schneider (1+1) extended his goal-scoring streak to four straight games and added an assist late in the third period as he registered his sixth multi-point outing in 10 games to up his season total to 15 points, tying him with Toronto’s Brendan Leipsic for most in the AHL.
Amerks goaltender Linus Ullmark made 26 saves in his third straight of the weekend.
Nathan Walker (1+1) and Zack Sill (0+2) led the Bears offense with two points each while goaltender Joe Cannata stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced to improve his season record to 4-1-1.
The Bears used an early goal in the first three minutes of the contest and then a later marker to take a 2-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play.
The Amerks, however, did not waste much time in the middle frame as Bailey scored his first of the night just 34 seconds after the puck-drop. Rochester’s reigning Rookie of the Year raced through the neutral zone with the puck towards Cannata. Bailey zipped by a Bears defenseman as he reached the bottom of the right faceoff circle before slipping a shot between the pads of the netminder to make it 2-1 Hershey lead. O’Reilly and former Hershey defenseman Erik Burgdoerfer each got credit with the assists.
Later in the period, the Bears reclaimed their two-goal lead when Walker scored at the 15:28 mark of the second stanza, but the Amerks would cut the lead in half again less than 70 seconds later.
On the ensuing shift, Bailey netted his second tally of the contest with 4:36 left in the period. O’Reilly and Schneider helped set up Bailey’s fifth marker of the campaign.
With the Amerks down by a goal to begin the third period, Hershey extended its lead with back-to-back scores just three minutes apart to blow the game open. Garrett Mitchell scored his first of the season at the 5:42 mark of the final stanza followed by Aaron Ness getting a power-play goal.
Ness’ power-play goal snapped a streak of four straight games without allowing a goal to the opposition with the man-advantage for the Amerks.
Schneider’s seventh tally of the year with 6:18 remaining moved the score to 5-3, but it would be as close as the Amerks would get.
The Amerks return home on Friday, Nov. 11 when they welcome the Hartford Wolf Pack back to The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. Veterans Day matchup will be the first of four meetings between the two teams this season and will be carried live on the Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Bailey (4, 5), Schneider (7)
HER: Thomas (4), Barber (3), Walker (2), Mitchell (1), Ness (2)
RCH: Ullmark – 26/31 (L)
HER: Cannata – 21/24 (W)
RCH: PP (1/3) / PK (4/5)
HER: PP (1/5) / PK (2/3)