The Rochester Americans (7-7-0-0) fell behind the Albany Devils (9-4-0-0) and could not find the equalizer as the Amerks dropped a 3-1 decision Wednesday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Tyson Strachan found the back of the net for the first time this season to lead the Amerks, as Cole Schneider and Cal O’Reilly each picked up their league-high 17th point in the defeat. Linus Ullmark stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced, including 14 in the first period alone.
|DAN LAMBERT POST-GAME|
|TYSON STRACHAN POST-GAME|
|COLE SCHNEIDER POST-GAME|
The Devils received goals from Miles Wood, Joe Blandisi and Rod Pelley as Scott Wedgewood made 20 saves to improve his record to 5-3-0.
The Amerks were outshot during the first 20 minutes of play by a 15-2 margin and trailed 1-0 after the horn sounded.
“We were fortunate to be trailing by a goal after looking at the shot count in first period,” said head coach Dan Lambert. “We put ourselves behind the eight-ball after the first period and we could not dig ourselves out of the hole.”
Albany pushed its lead to 2-0 with nine minutes left in the second period when the Devils forced a turnover just inside their own defensive zone and forced a 3-on-1 rush. From the top of the right circled, Blandisi fired a shot towards the cage that found its way past the outstretched blocker of Ullmark.
“As a team, we responded during the second period, but it was the way we should have started the game,” said Strachan. “When we play the way we should, we get the chances and can make it tough on teams, but we failed to do that tonight. We are good team, but when we look at the tape from the season in the losses we have, it’s us beating ourselves with turnovers and penalties. We need to be more consistent and come to the rink everyday ready to play the full 60 minutes.”
The Amerks were able to cut the deficit in half in the last minute of second stanza, as Strachan snuck behind the Albany blueliners to the right of the crease. Schneider picked up a pass from O’Reilly in the middle of the ice near the boards, and after drawing the attention of both Albany defensemen, sent a cross-ice pass onto the stick of Strachan. The veteran defenseman ripped a one-timer past Wedgewood with 24 seconds on the board for his first of the campaign.
Schneider and O’Reilly each earned a helper on the marker to up their season point total to 17, which is tied for the league-best.
Trailing by a goal in the final period of play, the Amerks could not find the game-tying marker despite controlling most of the play over the final frame. In an attempt to even the game, the Amerks pulled Ullmark for the extra skater, but Pelley iced the game when he cleared the puck out of the defensive zone and into the vacant net.
The Amerks remain home on Friday, Nov. 18 when the St. John’s IceCaps make their way over the border for a North Division showdown at The Blue Cross Arena. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Strachan (1)
ALB: Wood (1), Blandisi (4), Pelley (3)
RCH: Ullmark – 28/30 (L)
ALB: Wedgewood – 20/21 (W)
RCH: PP (1/5) / PK (6/6)
ALB: PP (0/6) / PK (4/5)