|CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME|
|ERIC CORNEL POST-GAME|
|MYLES POWELL POST-GAME|
|ZACH REDMOND POST-GAME|
(Rochester, NY) – The Rochester Americans (30-16-10-6) snapped a five-game winless streak to the Syracuse Crunch (36-19-3-4) and captured their 30th win of the season with a 5-4 shootout victory in the second meeting between the two clubs in less than 24 hours Sunday afternoon at The Blue Cross Arena.
With the shootout win, the first at home since Nov. 3, the Amerks have earned at least one point in 20 of their last 27 games dating back to Jan. 1, including six of the last seven. It was also the 26th game decided beyond regulation for Rochester, which has reached the 30-win mark for the third consecutive season.
Amerks forward Eric Cornel recorded a career-high three-point (1+2) while Colin Blackwell (1+2) and Zach Redmond (1+2) also turned in three-point outings with a goal and two assists a piece. Rookie center Justin Danforth completed the scoring as goaltender Linus Ullmark made 28 saves for Rochester, which has taken seven out of a possible 10 points through its first five games of March. The Swedish netminder, who also stopped all three Crunch shooters in the shootout, carries a 20-11-10 record in 42 appearances on the campaign, his second straight with 20 or more wins.
Eric Cernak and Oliver Archambault each posted a two-point (1+1) performance for the Crunch while Gabriel Dumont extended his point streak to seven games as he picked up a pair of helpers. Mathieu Joseph and Dominik Masin each lit the lamp while veteran netminder Peter Budaj took the shootout loss in his second appearance of a rehabilitation stint with Syracuse.
After seeing the Crunch tie the matchup late in regulation to force overtime, the two teams went to the overtime frame even at 4-4. In a back-and-forth extra session, Rochester recorded four shots while Syracuse fired three, but neither club could solve the other’s netminders, thus forcing the shootout.
The Amerks elected to shoot first during the skills event. Danny O’Regan, who was reassigned earlier in the day from the Buffalo Sabres, went first and beat Budaj. Kevin Porter and Redmond were turned aside but Ullmark stopped all three Crunch skaters, giving Rochester a 5-4 victory.
With the shootout win, it snaps Rochester’s five-game losing skid against the Crunch and give the Amers their first win over Syracuse since Oct. 7.
“I really liked the first two and a half periods,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “A couple of our mistakes led us going to overtime, but I thought we played well. It was a little disappointing that we gave them a point tonight, but I am pleased we got the win.”
Despite Syracuse scoring 15 seconds into the contest, the Amerks tallied a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission break.
“Other than the first five minutes, I thought we went back to playing the way we did towards the beginning of the season,” said Redmond. “The forwards and the defensemen were working well with getting the puck out of the zone and it’s something we need to continue to do with more consistency.”
The Crunch tied the game at 2-2 early in the second stanza but Cornel, who has seven points (1+6) during his career-long four-game point streak, and Redmond gave Rochester a 4-2 lead going into final frame.
“I am feeling really good,” said Cornel. “I am working hard and I think when you are working hard and feeling good, the bounces tend to go your way.”
Rochester, however, saw its lead disappear with a pair of Crunch goals 3:52 apart to even the score at 4-4 and setting up the overtime period.
During overtime, the clubs traded chances, but both Ullmark and Budaj made timely saves forcing the shootout.
O’Regan was the only skater of the six shooters to find the back of the net during the skills event to give Rochester a 5-4 win.
The Amerks make their way to New England for a three-game trek through the Atlantic Division beginning on Thursday, Mar. 15 when they meet up with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for a 7:00 p.m. matchup at Webster Bank Arena. All the action can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Blackwell (7), Danforth (2), Cornel (7), Redmond (13), O’Regan (SO GWG)
SYR: Joseph (14), Masin (9), Cernak (3), Archambault (7)
RCH: Ullmark – 28/32 (W) | 3/3 (SO)
SYR: Budaj – 31/35 (SOL) | 2/3 (SO)
RCH: PP (0/1) | PK (3/3)
SYR: PP (0/3) | PK (1/1)