(Albany, NY) – The Rochester Americans (32-41-0-3) could not find a way to solve rookie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood of the Albany Devils (39-32-2-3) Saturday night as the Amerks concluded their 61st season with a 3-0 loss at the Times Union Center. The contest was the second-half of a home-and-home split that each team won on home ice.
After picking up his 26th win of the season last night between the pipes for Rochester, goaltender Linus Ullmark, who made his 55th appearance of the campaign, took the loss despite turning aside 31 of the 33 shots he faced. Rookie forward Hudson Fasching registered a team-high three shots for Rochester, which finished the season with an 8-4-0-1 record in its last 13 games.
First-year pro Blake Coleman paced the Devils with his 19th goal of the season and a pair of assists for his 10th multi-point effort of the season while Brian Gibbons and Vojtech Mozik closed out the scoring on the night. Blackwood recorded his third shutout of the season as he made 17 saves and closed out the regular season winning four of his last five appearances.
Less than seven minutes into the first period, Gibbons tried a cross-ice centering pass to linemate Nick Lappin. The puck, however, redirected off the stick of an Amerks defenseman and found its way into the back of net. The goal with 13:04 to play in the opening stanza held up as all the help the home squad needed.
The Devils doubled their lead to 2-0 in the sandwich stanza at the 5:18 mark of the period. With the puck behind Ullmark, Mozik came around the left side of the cage and tried to jam the puck short side, but it popped up in the air and rolled over the top of the netminder’s shoulder and into the net.
The Amerks trailed after 40 minutes, but appeared to catch a break in the final period as they drew penalties in succession of one another but were unable to find any luck. During the second of infraction, Rochester pulled Ullmark for the six-on-four advantage with under five minutes to play. After a face-off in the Albany zone, the puck was cleared out in front of the visitor’s bench. As Evan Rodrigues collected the puck, he was pressured from Coleman and the puck trickled into the vacant net to seal the 3-0 win for the Devils. The goal was his 19th of the season and tied Ben Sexton for the team-lead.
Tonight’s game in Albany marked the sixth straight in which the Amerks concluded the regular season on the road. Rochester shows a 3-3-0-1 record in the last seven games to close out the year dating back to the 2011-12 campaign.
ALB: Gibbons (16), Mozik (11), Coleman (19)
RCH: Ullmark – 31/33 (L)
ALB: Blackwood – 17/17 (W)
RCH: PP (0/4) / PK (3/3)
ALB: PP (0/3) / PK (4/4)