|CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME|
|ALEXANDER NYLANDER POST-GAME|
|C.J. SMITH POST-GAME|
|EVAN RODRIGUES POST-GAME|
(Rochester, NY) – Much like Wednesday’s contest, the Rochester Americans (9-4-1-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals 2:21 apart and never gave it up as they would go on to a 4-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack (6-8-2-1) at The Blue Cross Arena Friday night.
With the win, the Amerks improved to 7-1-1-1 in their last 10 games overall while collecting 16 out of a possible 20 points dating back to Oct. 25. They also hold a record of 5-0-1-1 through their first seven games in the month of November.
Rookie forward C.J. Smith took over the team-lead in scoring as he notched a career-high four points with his third and fourth goals of the season and a pair of helpers. The first-year player is now third among all AHL rookies in scoring with 15 points (4+11) through 15 games to begin his professional career. Colin Blackwell tallied two assists on the night as Brendan Guhle and Hudson Fasching added their third and fourth markers of the season, respectively. Goaltender Linus Ullmark pushed his win streak to a personal-best five games as he made 36 saves on the night. The Swedish netminder is now tied for league-lead for in wins (8) and has won seven of his last eight outings.
Ryan Sproul collected his third multi-point outing of the campaign as he led the Wolf Pack with a goal and assist while defenseman John Gilmour bagged his second marker of the slate in the loss. Rookie goalie Alexandar Georgiev made 27 saves of 30 but took the loss as he now shows a 3-4-2 record.
After Gilmour trimmed the Amerks lead to 2-1 at the 5:17 mark of the second period, Rochester reclaimed its two-goal cushion as Smith found the back of the net for the second time on the night. The power-play tally was assisted by Stuart Percy, who pushed his point streak to four games as he shows seven points (2+5). Alexander Nylander, who returned to Amerks lineup after missing the first 14 games due to injury, also picked up an assist on the play.
“I think it was a big addition for Nylander and Evan Rodrigues both to return to the lineup with our team playing as well as we have for the last few weeks,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “Our team has played well as of late but we are building on each day and only getting better and better.”
As the Amerks carried a 3-2 lead into the dressing room after two periods, Hartford pushed during the last 20 minutes while outshooting the home squad 16-5. Sproul made it a one-goal game in the final minute but Fasching capped the scoring as he delivered an empty-netter with four seconds left in regulation.
Rochester opened the scoring with a pair first-period goals to take an early 2-0 lead as Smith and Guhle were each set up by Blackwell. Additionally, Arvin Atwal, who made his Amerks debut after signing an AHL contract with the Amerks on Thursday, notched his first AHL assist on the Smith goal.
“We were able to jump out to an early lead,” said Smith. “I do not think we played as hard as we had hoped and we’re looking to regroup tomorrow.”
Rochester closes out its stretch of three games in four nights on Saturday, Nov. 18 as they travel to the southern tier for a rematch with the Binghamton Devils at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Smith (3, 4), Guhle (3), Fasching (4, EN)
HFD: Gilmour (2), Sproul (2)
RCH: Ullmark – 36/38 (W)
HFD: Georgiev – 27/30 (L)
RCH: PP (1/5) | PK (4/5)
HFD: PP (1/5) | PK (4/5)