|CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME|
|ERIC CORNEL POST-GAME|
|LINUS ULLMARK POST-GAME|
|MYLES POWELL MEDIA SCRUM|
(Rochester, NY) – A goaltending duel between two American Hockey League All-Star goaltenders in Linus Ullmark of the Rochester Americans (29-15-10-6) and Jordan Binnington of the Providence Bruins (36-19-3-2) lived up to its expectation. The Amerks opened their three-in-three weekend by dropping a 2-1 overtime decision Friday night at The Blue Cross Arena.
Despite the overtime loss, the Amerks, who have earned at least one point in 19 of their last 26 games since Jan. 1, while appearing in a league-high 25 games decided beyond regulation this season.
Amerks forward Sahir Gill scored his 15th goal of the season to force the extra session and now shares the team-lead with Kyle Criscuolo and Kevin Porter. Ullmark made 27 saves for Rochester, which has taken six out of a possible eight points through its first four games of March. The Swedish netminder carries a 19-11-10 record in 41 appearances on the campaign.
Ryan Fitzgerald tallied his fourth multi-point (2+0) effort of the slate for Providence, which has won five of its last six games, while Paul Postma chipped in his second two-assist performance in the last four games. Goaltender Jordan Binnington improved to 14-6-1 as he stopped 23 of 24 on the night.
As regulation was drawing an end, Gill blasted a one-time feed from Eric Cornel to knot the score at 1-1 at the 14:03 mark of the third period.
Cornel dug out a puck from the left corner and centered a pass to Gill atop the near face-off dot. In one motion, Gill fired a shot over the right shoulder of Binnington, spoiling his bid for a shutout and forcing the overtime period.
“I think we didn’t have the start we had liked,” said Cornel. “We had a strong second and third periods, and I think we deserved the point, but we would have preferred two points.”
The Amerks had their best chance of the extra session when they fired a shot that eluded the netminder, but it caromed off the crossbar at the 3:34 mark. Providence responded and ended the contest as Postma sent a backhanded shot on Ullmark before Fitzgerald slipped the rebound into the cage at the with 1:47 left in the frame for his second of the night.
Following a scoreless, penalty-free opening period where Providence held a 13-7 shot-advantage, the Bruins opened the scoring 3:10 into the second stanza. The Amerks outshot the Bruins 12-4 during the frame, but trailed 1-0 going into the second intermission.
“I liked our resilience as a group against a really good team,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “I thought we stuck with the game plan, had good chances on the power-play, had strong penalty-killing, but unfortunately it was one of those games that just did not go our way.”
Rochester and Providence each fired five shots apiece during the third period, but Gill’s tally set-up the overtime session before Fitzgerald sealed the Bruins 2-1 victory.
“We played a strong defensive game,” said Ullmark. “We stuck with the plan and guys did a great job tonight boxing out and allowing me to see a lot of their shots. They are good team, so to come out with one point is a good thing, but tomorrow we will look to get the extra point.”
The Amerks continue the weekend with a home-and-home series with the Syracuse Crunch that begins Saturday, Mar. 10 at the War Memorial Arena. Following the 7:00 p.m. clash, the series shifts back to Rochester for a 3:05 p.m. rematch at The Blue Cross Arena. Both of the matchups will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Gill (15)
PRO: Fitzgerald (14, 15 OT GWG)
RCH: Ullmark – 27/29 (OTL)
PRO: Binnington – 23/24 (W)
RCH: PP (0/3) | PK (2/2)
PRO: PP (0/2) | PK (3/3)