|DAN LAMBERT POST-GAME|
|PAUL GEIGER POST-GAME|
|LINUS ULLMARK POST-GAME|
(Rochester, NY) – After tying the game with just over two minutes left in regulation, the Rochester Americans (20-26-0-2) allowed a late goal to fall 3-2 to the North Division-leading Albany Devils (27-20-1-1) Friday night at The Blue Cross Arena. The teams were scoreless after two periods before combining for all five goals in the final frame.
Cole Schneider’s early goal in third period goal was his 18th of the campaign while Paul Geiger wrapped up the scoring with his second marker. Goaltender Linus Ullmark made 32 saves in his eighth straight start. The Swedish netminder’s record now stands at 18-16-2 on the season.
The Devils were paced by Karl Stollery’s third multi-point effort as he scored his first goal of the season and earned an assist on Albany’s first goal of the night. Nick Lappin and Ben Thomson closed out the scoring while Ken Appleby stopped 28 of 30 to pick up his 14th win of the campaign.
With the score of 2-1 in favor of the Devils late in the final period, Cal O’Reilly scooped up a loose puck in the center of the ice. Rochester’s captain flung the puck to the left wing as Geiger joined the rush. The defensemen fired a shot near the corner past Appleby to knot the game with his first goal since Nov. 12.
“I saw an opportunity to join the rush when I saw Cal with the puck,” Geiger said. “He sent a nice pass to me and I saw Baptiste crashing towards the net, so I shot the puck and hoped for the best. It worked out well as I think the puck hit off their defensemen’s skate but it worked.”
However, on the ensuing shift, the Devils drew a high-sticking penalty with 1:51 left in regulation. Albany applied pressured on the Amerks penalty kill unit before Yohann Auvitu fired a shot from the point. Lappin reached out his stick in front of Ullmark and redirected the shot into the cage with 45 seconds left in the contest to snap the Devils three-game winless streak.
Neither team found the back of the net during the first two periods before Schneider opened the scoring 1:35 into the final frame.
“It was a pretty good game,” said Ullmark. “Both teams had a lot of shots, hits and scoring chances. It was great that we tied the game, but sadly we just came up short.”
Trapped in the Amerks zone of the ice, Nick Baptiste cleared the puck of out of the zone with an outlet pass that Schneider flagged down near the left wing boards. Schneider took a few strides before wristing a shot past Appleby for his 18th marker of the season that gave the Amerks a 1-0 lead. Baptiste and Casey Nelson each recorded an assist.
Later in the period, Albany scored a pair goals less than two minutes apart to take a 2-1 lead near the midway point of the stanza. Geiger knotted the score with 2:06 left but the Devils scored with less than a minute remaining in regulation to escape with a 3-2 victory.
“I thought the guys’ compete level was pretty high tonight as we played against one of the top teams in the North Division,” said Amerks head coach Dan Lambert. “They are a team that knows how to win. When we tied the game, we have to find a win and get two points.”
The Amerks hit the road to face the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday, Feb. 11 for the first time since picking up a 4-3 shootout win over the Crunch on Jan. 6. The 7:00 p.m. contest will mark the eighth meeting of the season between the longtime rivals and can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Schneider (18), Geiger (2)
ALB: Thomson (4), Stollery (1), Lappin (5)
RCH: Ullmark – 32/35 (L)
ALB: Appleby – 28/30 (W)
RCH: PP (0/5) / PK (2/3)
ALB: PP (1/3) / PK (5/5)