|CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME|
|LINUS ULLMARK POST-GAME|
|SAHIR GILL POST-GAME|
|ZACH REDMOND POST-GAME|
(Rochester, NY) … Sahir Gill scored a pair of goals to break a scoreless game less than five minutes into Wednesday night’s third period with the Belleville Senators (11-15-0-3) to lead the Rochester Americans (17-6-3-3) to a 3-1 win at The Blue Cross Arena.
With the victory, Rochester has notched points in 18 of its last 20 games and 32 points since Nov. 1 while improving to 6-1-1-2 in the last 10 games. Additionally, the win moved the Amerks to within two of the first-place Toronto Marlies.
Gill scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season while defenseman Zach Redmond bagged his third multi-point effort of the campaign as he tallied his seventh marker of the season along with an assist. The veteran blueliner is one goal shy of tying his career-high of eight and his currently tied for third in the AHL for goals by a defenseman. Goaltender Linus Ullmark made 31 saves to record his league-best 13th win of the season. The Swedish netminder shows a record of 10-1-3 his last 14 starts.
Joining the Senators on recall prior to tonight’s game, Daniel Ciampini scored his third goal of the season to spoil Ullmark’s bid for his second shutout while Belleville goaltender Danny Taylor took the loss after stopping 21 of 24.
After the two clubs played 40 minutes of scoreless hockey, Gill redirected an Andrew MacWilliam shot from left point past Taylor to give the Amerks a 1-0 lead at the 3:20 mark of the final period.
Just 62 seconds later, Gill doubled Rochester’s lead as he jammed in his second of the night from in front of the netminder. Redmond and Colin Blackwell were the recipients of the assists on the play with 15:38 left in regulation.
“At this point in the season, we have certain expectations amongst ourselves to go out there and perform,” said Gill, whose last two-goal game earlier this season also came against Belleville. “Linus gave us a chance to win going into the final period, so we felt we were in a good spot despite not playing our best two periods.”
The Amerks completed their scoring at the 12:36 mark of the stanza with Redmond’s blast from the right face-off dot. The blueliner picked off an ill-advised pass from a Belleville player and fired a one-timer over the blocker of Taylor to cushion Rochester’s lead to a 3-0 advantage.
As it was appearing Ullmark was on his way towards his second shutout of the season, Ciampini spoiled the bid with one minute left in the contest. The Amerks, however, would hold off the Sens for the final 60 seconds to come away with the 3-1 victory.
“I liked the way we played tonight,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “I thought our penalty kill was strong and Linus played really well. Belleville is a good team, but we found a way to get the win tonight.”
Rochester travels north of the border for the first of back-to-back meetings against the Laval Rocket on Friday, Dec. 22 at Place Bell. The two teams will play each other a total of four times over the next five games with two more get-togethers slated in Rochester following the Christmas break. Friday’s matchup is set for a 7:30 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Gill (8, 9), Redmond (7)
BEL: Ciampini (3)
RCH: Ullmark – 31/32 (W)
BEL: Taylor – 21/24 (L)
RCH: PP (0/6) | PK (5/5)
BEL: PP (0/5) | PK (6/6)