(Rochester, NY) … Despite seeing the Syracuse Crunch (4-5-1-0) tie the game at 2-2 in the final second of Friday night’s game at The Blue Cross Arena, Zach Redmond scored the game-winning goal, his fifth game-deciding tally of the season, to give the first-place Rochester Americans (10-3-1-0) their 10th win of the campaign.
The 3-2 overtime victory widened Rochester’s hold atop the American Hockey League’s North Division standings to six points over the Cleveland Monsters while the Amerks also took sole possession of first place overall in the AHL with 21 points.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Alexander Nylander registered a pair of assists for the Amerks, who have collected 21 out of a possible 24 points in their last 12 contests and have won five of their last six contests. Along with Redmond, Justin Bailey and Andrew Oglevie each found the back of the net while goaltender Adam Wilcox finished the night with 30 saves to pick up his 50th career victory. Wilcox now boasts a 6-0-2 record in his last eight appearances dating back to last year, including a 4-0-1 this season.
Syracuse, which has five points in its last three games, was led offensively by Taylor Raddysh and Cory Conacher as the duo scored their fifth and fourth goals of the campaign, respectively. Netminder Eddie Pasquale stopped 22 of 25 in an overtime loss.
With the game tied at 2-2 after 60 minutes of play, the two North Division rivals required the extra time to decide a winner.
WATCH: ZACH REDMOND POST-GAME
Forcing a turnover inside the Crunch zone of the ice, Nylander centered a one-time feed to Redmond at the left face-off dot. The veteran blueliner fired a shot over the glove hand of Pasquale to give the Amerks a 3-2 win at the 2:37 mark of the overtime.
“Three-on-three can get wild,” explained Redmond, who leads all AHL defensmen with 10 goals and 18 points. “Their guy went back into their zone before he fumbled the puck away to Nylander. It turned out to be a quick 2-on-1 and those usually are successful when its three-on-three hockey.”
After a tight-checking period that saw the team’s combine for 10 shots, Bailey opened the scoring for the second consecutive game.
WATCH: JUSTIN BAILEY POST-GAME
Much like his pair of goals in Wednesday’s contest, the Williamsville native used his speed to dance around the opposing team’s defenseman before beating the goaltender with tucking the puck inside the far post.
“Justin did a great job driving into the zone and finishing the play,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “I think he needs to do it more and you can see his confidence growing with the recent success. He has the size and the speed but he needs to continue to trust himself to make the plays.”
Bailey’s third goal of the season was helped setup by Danny O’Regan and Lawrence Pilut with 6:38 left in the second period. Pilut leads all AHL skaters with 15 assists through his first 12 games in North America.
WATCH: ALEXANDER NYLANDER POST-GAME
While the Amerks carried a 1-0 lead into the final frame, Raddysh evened the game just 1:48 in as he tapped in a cross-crease pass behind Wilcox.
Six minutes later, Oglevie buried a loose puck into the net for his first pro tally to put Rochester back on top. Sean Malone, who registered a pair of helpers in his season debut on Wednesday, won a face-off back to Taylor Fedun to the right of Wilcox. Fedun lifted the puck out of the zone before Nylander tracked it down as he raced into the Crunch end of the ice. The third-year pro was shoved into Pasquale and left the puck for Oglevie, whose shot from the right circle made its way through to give the Amerks a 2-1 lead at the 12:55 mark of the regulation period.
WATCH: CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME
Trailing by a goal, the Crunch pulled their netminder inside the final two minutes and forced overtime, where Redmond delivered the game-winner to give Rochester its fifth win in the last six games.
After a rare weekend off, the Amerks embark on their first three-in-three of the young season on Friday, Nov. 16 when they visit the Springfield Thunderbirds at MassMutual Center. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/ 95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: Bailey (3), Oglevie (1), Redmond (10 – OT GWG)
SYR: Raddysh (5), Conacher (4)
ROC: Wilcox – 30/32 (W)
SYR: Pasquale – 22/25 (OTL)
ROC: PP (0/4) | PK (5/5)
SYR: PP (0/5) | PK (4/4)
1: Zach Redmond (ROC)
2. Cory Conacher (SYR)
3. Justin Bailey (ROC)