(Binghamton, NY) … The Rochester Americans (26-13-2-4) won their fifth straight contest to remain within four points of first place in the North Division with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the Binghamton Devils (21-20-4-0) Saturday at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
Brett Murray (2+0) notched his first multi-goal game of his pro career with two markers in the second period. Sean Malone (1+1) netted the go-ahead goal for the Amerks in the final stanza with both Eric Cornel (0+1) and Zach Redmond (0+1) getting the assists on the eventual game-winner. Malone would also add an assist for a two-point night while veteran goaltender Andrew Hammond (12-9-2) made 30 saves on the 32 shots he faced in net to pick up his 12th win of the season.
Michael McLeod (1+0) got the Devils on the board first with his sixth goal of the year and Marian Studenic (1+0) knocked in an unassisted marker in the second period for Binghamton. Cory Schneider (5-5-0) took the loss in the crease, stopping 24 of 27 shots on goal.
With the Amerks down 1-0 entering the second period, Murray’s first goal of the night evened the matchup at 1-1 just 5:05 into the middle stanza during a power-play opportunity. After taking a pass from Jacob Bryson (0+1), Casey Mittelstadt’s (0+1) initial net-front offering was denied by the post. Murray, however, corralled the rebound and poked it past Schneider amid the ensuing scramble for his sixth of the season.
The Devils retook the lead just 1:35 later on an unassisted tally from Studenic, but Rochester would answer back once more in the second period with yet another marker for Murray. The rookie forward tracked a loose puck behind the Binghamton net and converted off a fortuitous bounce as his wraparound attempt went up and over the left shoulder of Schneider for his second of the night to make it a 2-2 game.
Heading into the final frame all tied up at 2-2, it would be Malone with the go-ahead for the Amerks to cap his third multi-point game of the year. With 5:56 remaining in the third, Cornel sent a centering pass to Malone, who quickly unleashed a wrist shot to the top corner of the net through traffic to give Rochester its first lead of the night.
Despite outshooting Rochester 12-4 in the third period, the Devils pressed to the find the equalizer in the closing minutes, but Hammond was able to weather storm and preserve the 3-2 win for the Amerks.
Binghamton opened the scoring on a goal from McLeod with just six seconds to go in the first period to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Amerks make a return trip to Cleveland on Wednesday, Feb. 5 for a rematch against the Monsters as Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse at 7:00 p.m. Catch all the action live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: B. Murray (6, 7), S. Malone (9 – GWG)
BNG: M. McLeod (6), M. Studenic (3)
ROC: A. Hammond – 30/32 (W)
BNG: C. Schneider – 24 27(L)
ROC: PP (1/5) | PK (2/2)
BNG: PP (0/2) | PK (4/5)
1. B. Murray (ROC)
2. S. Malone (ROC)
3. M. McLeod (BNG)