(Providence, RI) … Justin Bailey scored twice in less than seven minutes to give the Rochester Americans (10-4-2-0) a 2-0 lead at the halfway point, but the Providence Bruins (6-8-2-0) responded with three straight unanswered goals, including the game-winner from Ryan Donato just 1:09 into overtime, to come away with a 3-2 win Saturday at Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The setback keeps the Amerks winless through the first two games of their weekend trek through the Atlantic Division which wraps tomorrow afternoon in Hartford against the Wolf Pack.
Despite seeing their second loss of the weekend, the Amerks remain atop the AHL’s North Division standings with 22 points through 16 games this season.
Bailey (2+0) scored both goals for Rochester, his fourth and fifth of the season, marking his second two-goal outing in the last four games. Bailey, who had just three points through his first 11 games of the season, now shows five goals in his last four appearances. Brendan Guhle (0+1), C.J. Smith (0+1), Sean Malone (0+1) and Lawrence Pilut (0+1) all notched assists. Pilut’s helper nudged him past fellow blueliner Zach Redmond for the team’s overall scoring lead while also making him the AHL’s top scoring defenseman with 20 points (2+18) through 14 games this season. He also leads the AHL with 18 assists. Scott Wedgewood made 27 saves on the night in what was his ninth start in the last 11 games.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
In addition to providing the game-winner, Donato also notched an assist for a two-point night (1+1), while Jordan Szwarz (1+0) and Cameron Hughes (1+0) rounded out scoring for the Bruins. Zane McIntyre made 27 stops between the pipes for Providence, which has claimed five of its six wins this season on home ice.
Following a scoreless first period, the Amerks drew first blood 5:20 into the second period, when Smith brought the puck down the ice on the left wing side and made a drop-pass to Bailey. Streaking down the middle of the ice, Bailey fired it in, marking the fourth straight game that the Amerks scored first.
Later in the sandwich stanza, Malone carried the puck from behind the net, and brought it to the right wing, where he fired to off to Pilut. From the blueline, Pilut shot the puck through traffic, and a net-front Bailey tipped it in for his fifth goal in the last four games.
Less than a minute after the Amerks second goal, Brendan Guhle went to the penalty box, followed shortly after by the Bruins’ Joel Messner and Rochester’s Jack Dougherty, who returned from a 10-game injury absence, giving Providence a 4-3 man-advantage. Donato came down the right wing and passed to Szwarz, who took Wedgewood down with him as he snuck the puck into the back of the net with 5:28 remaining in the second to cut the Amerks lead in half.
Just under two and a half minutes into the final period, Peter Cehlarik brought the puck down the ice, alongside Karson Kuhlman and Hughes. Cehlarik lunged to the net, but passed the puck to Hughes, who notched his sixth goal of the season which tied the game at two apiece.
The score remained knotted at two through the end of regulation and into overtime. Just over one minute into the extra period, Donato took the puck up the left wing side, looking as if he was going to skate it behind the net. Donato, however, pulled it back towards himself and tucked it under the crossbar, giving the Bruins the 3-2 victory.
Rochester puts the finishing touches on its first three-in-three of the season Sunday afternoon at XL Center against the Hartford Wolf Pack in the final stop of a three-game trek through the Atlantic Division. The 3:00 p.m. matinee will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/ 95.7 FM ESPN Rochester and can be viewed on AHLTV.
ROC: Bailey (4, 5)
PRO: Szwarz (2), Hughes (6), Donato (4 – OT GWG)
ROC: Wedgewood – 27/30 (OTL)
PRO: McIntyre – 27/29 (W)
ROC: PP (0/5) | PK (4/5)
PRO: PP (1/5) | PK (5/5)
1: Ryan Donato (PRO)
2. Justin Bailey (ROC)
3. Cameron Hughes (PRO)