|DAN LAMBERT POST-GAME|
|JOHN MUSE POST-GAME|
|HUDSON FASCHING POST-GAME|
(Rochester, NY) – The Rochester Americans (16-20-0-1) could not find a way to overcome an early 1-0 deficit to the Hartford Wolf Pack (13-20-3-1) as they fell by the final score of 3-1 Wednesday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Cole Schneider scored his 15th goal of the season for Rochester during the final period while goaltender John Muse made his second straight for the first time all season, stopping 26 shots of the 29 he faced.
Nicklas Jensen recorded his fifth multi-point (2+0) night of the campaign and rookie John Gilmour (0+2) helped setup a pair of goals for his first two-assist game of his AHL career in the victory for the Wolf Pack. Matt Carey tallied his eighth goal of the slate to finish the scoring for Hartford while first-year netminder Brandon Halverson finished with 31 saves to improve his record to 4-6-0 with the win.
The Wolf Pack found the back of the cage on the game’s first shift as Jensen would get credit on the tally just 30 seconds into the contest. Later in the opening frame after an Amerks holding penalty Carey redirected a shot behind Muse to give the visitors a 2-0 they would carry into the intermission break.
“We came out on the first shift and gave up a goal early on a play that should not have happened,” said Amerks head coach Dan Lambert. “We then took a few penalties and found ourselves down a pair of goals and being outshot 10-1. We were better in the second and third periods, but Hartford kept us to the outside and did a nice job of checking. We just were not able to capitalize on the chances we did get.”
After a scoreless second period, the Amerks tried to claw their way back by drawing a power-play, but the Wolf Pack had other ideas.
After killing off the infraction, Pavel Buchnevich picked up a pass near the center-ice faceoff dot and rushed into the Amerks zone with Jensen. Jensen caught the pass in stride, eluded a sliding Rochester defenseman and fired a shot past the outstretched glove of Muse. Jensen’s second tally of the game was his team-leading 16th of the season and gave Hartford a 3-0 with just over 17 minutes left to play.
The Amerks kept pushing to get back in the game as they drew their fifth power-play of the contest with 14:25 showing on the clock. On the man-advantage, the Amerks controlled the puck in the offensive zone before Evan Rodrigues ripped a shot from the top of the point. It appeared Halverson made the stop but Schneider found the loose puck and jammed it into the net for his sixth power-play goal of the slate. Rodrigues earned an assist to push his home-point streak to five games (1+4) while Dan Catenacci also picked up a helper.
Rochester continued to try to cut into the deficit as it fired 18 shots on the cage over the final 20 minutes of play, but Halverson allowed just one goal to hang on for the 3-1 win for Hartford.
Despite the loss, Hudson Fasching returned to the Amerks lineup after missing the last 26 games with an injury. The 21-year-old recorded a pair of shots in his return.
“The first shift was tough to give up a goal that quick,” said Fasching. “While that is not the best start, we tried to get better as a line and a team. I felt pretty good, and as the game went on, I started to get back into the rhythm of a game.”
The Amerks are home again on Friday, Jan. 13 when they host the league-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in their only trip to Rochester this season. Opening faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. and can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Schneider (15)
HFD: Jensen (15, 16), Carey (8)
RCH: Muse – 26/29 (L)
HFD: Halverson – 31/32 (W)
RCH: PP (1/5) / PK (2/3)
HFD: PP (1/3) / PK (4/5)