(Binghamton, NY) … The playoff-bound Rochester Americans (33-20-11-6) scored four unanswered third-period goals to come away with a 5-3 victory over the Binghamton Devils (23-36-7-4). Saturday night’s contest from the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena was the 10th and final meeting between the North Division rivals this season.
The win also keeps Rochester one point ahead of the Utica Comets in the AHL’s North Division standings going into the final two weeks of the regular season.
Eric Cornel recorded his first-career multi-goal outing as he scored a pair of goals from Garret Ross. Colin Blackwell and Hudson Fasching each chipped in a goal and assist for Rochester, which has points in four straight. Rookie Sean Malone rounded out the scoring with his 10th goal of the season while first-year goaltender Jonas Johansson picked up his second victory in as many nights to even his record to 2-2-0 on the slate.
Blake Speers led the Devils, who entered with a four-game win straight against the Amerks, with his third multi-point (1+1) performance of the season. Defensemen Jacob MacDonald and Steve Santini rounded out the scoring while Eddie Lack made 22 saves but took the loss.
The Amerks began the final period of regulation facing a two-goal deficit but after goals from Cornel and Blackwell, the game was tied at 3-3 less than eight minutes into the frame.
Cornel received a pass on the doorstep of Lack’s crease before slipping in his ninth of the season while Blackwell blasted a shorthanded one-time feed from Fasching for his third goal in the last two nights. It was his team-leading third goal of the season.
After evening the score and the end of regulation looming, Rochester kept pressuring the Devils. While Binghamton had the puck in the offensive zone, Amerks defenseman Nathan Paetsch, who celebrated his 35th birthday yesterday, picked off a pass before he sprung Malone on a breakaway with 2:38 left to play.
The rookie raced in towards Lack all alone before slipping in a backhanded shot in-between the netminder’s left leg and the post to give the Amerks their first lead of the night.
With his assist on the eventual game-winning goal, Paetsch recorded his 200th career helper in the American Hockey League along with his 250th career AHL point.
Binghamton attempted to make one last push by pulling Lack but Fasching finished off the Devils as he fired the puck into a vacant net with 53 seconds left in the contest from Blackwell and Alexander Nylander.
Blackwell, who had a career-best four-point (2+2) effort last night against Charlotte, shows 15 points (6+9) over his last nine games, which includes nine points (5+4) in the previous four games. More impressively, the second-year pro has recorded five multi-point games dating back to Mar. 11. Meanwhile, Fasching and Nylander have seven points (2+5) and eight (2+6) over their last eight games, respectively.
Binghamton scored a pair of goals during the opening stanza before Cornel trimmed the lead prior to the end of the frame from Ross and Adam Krause.
The Devils regained their two-goal cushion going into the final frame, but the Amerks countered with four unanswered goals in the third period to earn the 5-3 come-from-behind win.
The Amerks usher in the final month of the regular season on Wednesday, Apr. 4 at 7:30 p.m. when they travel to Place Bell to close out their season series with the Laval Rocket. All the action can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Cornel (8, 9), Blackwell (12), Malone (10), Fasching (9)
BNG: Santini (3), Speers (12), MacDonald (19)
RCH: Johansson – 23/26 (W)
BNG: Lack – 22/26 (L)
RCH: PP (0/1) | PK (1/3)
BNG: PP (2/3) | PK (1/1)