(Rochester, NY) - A two-goal first period and multi-point efforts from both Justin Bailey and Casey Nelson were not enough as the Rochester Americans (7-7-0-1) took a 4-3 shootout loss to the St. John’s IceCaps (8-7-1-0) Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
The Amerks were led by rookie defenseman Nelson’s first multi-point night as he notched a goal and an assist. Bailey also recorded his third multi-point (1+1) outing. Goaltender Linus Ullmark suffered the loss, stopping 28 of 30 shots. The 23-year-old now shows a record of 6-4-1 on the campaign. After being reassigned earlier this afternoon, Nick Baptiste tallied the lone goal in the shootout for the Amerks.
|DAN LAMBERT POST-GAME|
|JUSTIN BAILEY POST-GAME|
|CASEY NELSON POST-GAME|
“I thought Casey (Nelson) played a strong game tonight,” offered head coach Dan Lambert. “He looked good and poised while making some plays and I think he also looked like a young professional tonight and that’s obvious when you see he had a goal and an assist.”
Mark Barberio, Jeremy Gregoire and Markus Eisenschmid all found the back of the net for the IceCaps in the victory while rookie netminder Charlie Lindgren picked up his eighth win of the season after making 25 saves. The Lakeville, Minn. native’s eight wins are tied for the league lead (Jared Coreau, Grand Raoids).
With the Amerks leading 3-2 to begin the third period, the IceCaps wasted little time to even the score as Gregoire redirected a shot past Ullmark with an Amerk defender draped on his back just 2:16 into the final period.
The two teams traded chances during the remainder of the final period, but after the horn sounded, 60 minutes was not enough to decide the winner.
The Amerks got called for a late penalty with 25 seconds left in regulation, but St. John’s would not be able to capitalize on the 4-on-3 man-advantage to begin the overtime period thanks to some timely saves from Ullmark, including one that was originally ruled the game-winning goal on the ice. However, after video review, the referees waved off the tally with 1:22 remaining in the extra session.
St. John’s scored twice during the five-round shootout to earn the extra point.
Things started out well for the Amerks as they found the back of the net when Alexander Nylander and Bailey each scored during the first period.
“We had a really good first period,” explained Bailey. “While there were penalties for both team, it slowed the game down, but both teams had to play through that. During the first period, we showed ourselves what can happen when we get pucks deep and we execute offensively. Unfortunately, we let them back in the game by taking the penalties and St. John’s was able to gain some momentum from it to climb back into the game.”
St. John’s was able to cut the deficit in half to make it 2-1 prior to the first period horn, but Nelson extended the Amerks lead early into the middle stanza.
With the puck on the side boards and four skaters around him, Baptiste found a streaking Nelson all alone to the left of Lindgren. The Amerks blueliner fired the puck over the glove hand of the netminder 4:56 into the period. Baptiste and Erik Burgdoerfer each picked up an assist on the marker.
Like in the first period, the IceCaps were able to cut the lead in half when Eisenschmid found a loose puck in front of Ullmark and fired a shot in the top right corner with 9:46 showing on the clock.
The two teams clamped down defensively for the remainder of the period after they combined for 28 shots during the first period compared to 31 over final 45 minutes.
“I thought we had a really strong game,” said Lambert. “During the second period both teams played a close defensive game and it was a really good game. We can take a lot of positives from this game and I was very happy with our guys’ performance tonight.”
Despite the loss, Amerks captain Cal O’Reilly picked up his league-leading 15th assist and moved atop the AHL’s scoring leaders with 18 points (3+15) overall.
The Amerks conclude a stretch of three games in four nights on Saturday, Nov. 19 when they make their first trip of the season to Utica Memorial Auditorium for a North Division showdown against the Utica Comets. The 7:00 p.m. contest will be the first of eight meetings this season and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Nylander (4), Bailey (6), Nelson (2)
STJ: Barberio (3), Eisenschmid (2), Gregoire (3)
RCH: Ullmark – 28/31 (L)
STJ: Lindgren – 25/28 (W)
RCH: PP (1/6) / PK (6/7)
STJ: PP (1/7) / PK (5/6)