|CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME|
|BRENDAN GUHLE POST-GAME|
|LINUS ULLMARK POST-GAME|
|SAHIR GILL POST-GAME|
(Rochester, NY) … After seeing the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (16-12-4-1) tie the game at 2-2 in the final minute of regulation, Rochester Americans (21-8-3-3) rookie defenseman Brendan Guhle scored the game-winner for the Amerks just 1:01 into overtime Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
With the 3-2 victory in the extra session, the Amerks have compiled points in 22 of their last 26 games and collected 40 points dating back to Nov. 1. Additionally, the win gives the Amerks back-to-back wins for the first time in franchise history against the Sound Tigers.
With his two-point night (1+1), Guhle moves into second place among active rookies in the AHL with 20 points (7+13) on the season, while Kevin Porter, who tallied his 100th point as an Amerk tonight, finished the night with two assists. Garret Ross and Sahir Gill capped the scoring with their sixth and 12th goals of the campaign, respectively. Goaltender Linus Ullmark stopped 28 of 30 to record his league-leading 16th win of the season. The Swedish netminder also ups his record to 13-2-3 in his last 18 appearances.
First-year forward Anthony Beauvillier scored his first two goals of his AHL career, while Kristers Gudlevskis suffered his sixth straight loss despite making 25 saves in the blue paint for Bridgeport. The netminder is 0-3-3 in his last eight appearances and shows a 4-6-3 overall record in 15 games.
As the Amerks led 2-1 in the final minute of play, Beauviller buried a shot over the left shoulder of Ullmark from the left circle to tie the game with Gudlevskis on the bench for the extra attacker. Travis St. Denis and Mitchell Vande Sompel were awarded the helpers on the play with 36 seconds remaining in the contest.
In the opening minute of the overtime period, Guhle picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone before sprinting into the offensive zone on a 2-on-0 rush towards the Bridgeport cage. The rookie blueliner faked a forehand shot before tucking the puck past the left pad of Gudlevskis to give the Amerks a 3-2 overtime win.
“I saw the loose puck after ‘Ports’ battled along the wall,” said Guhle. “I turned on the after-burners and went towards the net. I made a move that I have made before and luckily the puck went into the net. It felt good to get the goal but the win is more important.”
Beauviller gave the Sound Tigers an early 1-0 as he opened the scoring just nine seconds into the contest after a turnover inside the Amerks zone. Bridgeport carried the lead into the first intermission.
“It was a tough goal,” Amerks head coach Chris Taylor said. “We won the face-off and made a D-to-D pass and the puck took a weird bounce. They made a pass and a good shot that unfortunately got behind us. Despite the goal, I liked our response tonight to get the win.”
As the teams emerged from the break, Ross tied the game with his sixth goal of the slate and 50th of his professional career at the 5:13 mark of the second period. Hudson Fasching forced Gudlveskis out of his crease before setting up Ross for a slick one-timer from the left of the Bridgeport net to earn the primary assist while Colin Blackwell tallied the secondary helper.
The game remained tied at 1-1 until the midway point of the final period when Gill banged in a rebound with 10:06 to play. The marker was his team-leading 12th of the season and assisted by Guhle and Porter. It also gave the Rochester its first lead of the night.
Bridgeport tied the game late in the final minute before Guhle’s overtime goal 61 seconds into the extra period.
“It has been fun,” said Gill talking about the team. “We have a great group of guys and we look forward to coming to the rink every day. We hang out a lot off the ice and I think that is big for our confidence in games like these when they are full of emotions.”
Rochester’s shorthanded unit finished the night by successfully killing off all six infractions and have not allowed a power-play goal in nine straight games dating back to Dec. 15 while going 34-for-34 during that span.
Rochester closes out the weekend at home again on Saturday, Jan. 6 as former Amerks Phil Varone and T.J. Brennan lead the Lehigh Valley Phantoms back to The Blue Cross Arena for the only time this season. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the first of just two meetings between the two clubs. All of the action will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
Tickets for all remaining 2017-18 Amerks home games are available here.
RCH: Ross (6), Gill (12), Guhle (7, OT GWG)
BRI: Beauvillier (1, 2)
RCH: Ullmark – 28/30 (W)
BRI: Gudlevskis – 25/28 (OTL)
RCH: PP (1/2) | PK (6/6)
BRI: PP (0/6) | PK (1/2)