|DAN LAMBERT POST-GAME|
|NICK BAPTISTE POST-GAME|
|KYLE BONIS POST-GAME|
(Rochester, NY) – The Rochester Americans (7-9-0-1) responded with the final three goals of the night, but it was too little too late as the Providence Bruins (6-6-3-2) scored six straight between the first and second periods to hand the Amerks their fourth straight loss by a 6-4 score Wednesday at The Blue Cross Arena.
For the Amerks, Nick Baptiste extended his point streak to five games (7+1) after he scored a pair of third-period goals and Justin Bailey collected his fourth multi-point (1+1) outing of the season. Newcomer Mike Aviani finished the night with two assists, marking his first points with the Amerks this season. Alexander Nylander pushed his point streak to a career-best three games (1+3) as he assisted on a pair of power-play tallies. The rookie forward has seven helpers on the man-advantage this season, which leads all AHL rookies. Linus Ullmark earned his ninth start in 10 games, finishing with 15 saves before being replaced by John Muse midway through the second period.
Wayne Simpson earned a season-best three assists on the night and Anton Blidh scored a goal and helped set up another to lead the Bruins to the 6-4 win. Making his third straight start on a conditioning assignment, goaltender Anton Khudobin made 20 of 24 saves to improve his season record to 2-0-1.
After Bailey scored just 65 seconds into the first period, Providence responded exactly two minutes later to even the game before taking the contest over.
With the score at 1-1, the Bruins broke the tie late in the first period to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room after the opening 20 minutes.
“I liked our first period despite being down by a goal,” said Amerks head coach Dan Lambert. “I thought we played with them for the first 20 minutes, but then in the second, we had a bad change and everything crumbled from there over the next period.”
The Bruins pushed their lead to make it 6-1 game by the 10:30 mark of second period.
Despite the score, the Amerks did not quit as Kyle Bonis scored his first of the campaign with 9:03 on the board. Eric Cornel and Mac Bennett each gathered an assist on marker.
“It was great to get that first goal,” said Bonis. “It was a nice play by Bennett to keep the puck inside the blueline and then a give-and-go with Cornel before I was able to get it back and fire the puck into the net.”
Less than six minutes later, the Amerks drew a penalty and were able to capitalize on the opportunity for the second time of the night.
Baptiste forced a turnover to keep the puck inside the Bruins end of the rink, then was set up for a slap-shot near the half-wall as he blasted his seventh of the season past Khudobin to make it 6-3 game with 1:57 left in the period.
The Amerks, down by three goals in the final frame, drew another penalty near the midway point and Baptiste again found the back of the net to cut the Bruins lead to 6-4 with 8:21 left in regulation.
The Baptiste goals finished off the scoring on the night as the Amerks power-play unit was able to score three times on four opportunities, giving them nine tallies in the past seven games (9-for-31, 29.0%), including four straight contests.
The Amerks host their annual Black Friday matchup as they welcome the Utica Comets to The Blue Cross Arena for the first time this season. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. and all of the action will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Bailey (7), Bonis (1), Baptiste (7, 8)
PRO: Cave (3), Bartkowski (2), Cehlarik (7), Blidh (5), Grant (5), Mueller, (4)
RCH: Ullmark – 15/20 (L) / Muse – 11/12
PRO: Khudobin – 20/24 (W)
RCH: PP (3/4) / PK (3/4)
PRO: PP (1/4) / PK (1/4)