The Rochester Americans defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs by a 4-1 score on Wednesday after a special 10 a.m. start time at Copps Coliseum. Rookie forward Brian Flynn recorded a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to five games while the Amerks improved to 8-4-1-0 on the season.
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Goaltender David Leggio stopped 26 of 27 shots on net while Kevin Porter collected two assists in the game. In addition to Flynn, Nick Tarnaksy, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc and T.J. Brennan also scored for the Amerks.
Rochester opened the scoring just 2:27 into the contest as Tarnasky swept in a rebound to put the Amerks up 1-0. After Brayden McNabb’s shot from the left point caromed off Rick Schofield’s skate, the puck bounced laterally across the goal-line to the left post, where Tarnasky was stationed for a one-handed tap-in to the back of net. The goal was the fourth of the season for Tarnasky, who has now scored in back-to-back games for the Amerks.
Rochester doubled its lead 4:12 into the second period off a well-executed odd-man rush that resulted in Flynn’s fifth goal of the season. Porter collected a loose puck deep in the Rochester zone and proceeded up ice along the left-wing boards. Upon gaining entry into the Hamilton zone, the Amerks captain feathered a cross-ice pass to a streaking Flynn, who finished the play with a shot over Hamilton goalie Robert Mayer’s left shoulder from the right circle to make it a 2-0 game. The goal, which was also assisted by Alex Biega, gives the rookie Flynn three goals in the last two games against the Bulldogs this season, including his pair of tallies versus Hamilton back on Nov 3. Flynn has also recorded eight points (4+4) during his current five-game point streak.
Gauthier-Leduc’s first professional goal gave Rochester a three-goal cushion at 12:35 of the second stanza. In an effort to maintain possession in the offensive zone, the first-year defenseman, who was making his pro debut, corralled the puck off the side boards and threw a quick shot through traffic. On its way to the net, the puck took an awkward bounce, handcuffing Mayer in the process and trickling just under the Hamilton netminder’s left arm for the goal. Porter and Flynn would each earn their second points of the contest with assists on the play.
Just minutes later, Rochester took a commanding 4-0 lead as Brennan finished off a nifty tic-tac-toe set up from Evan Rankin and Marcus Foligno for his team-leading seventh goal of the season. After eluding a defender, Rankin slid a pass to the left circle to Foligno, who found Brennan across the way and Brennan snapped a quick one-time shot to the back of net to put the Amerks ahead 4-0. The goal would mark Brennan’s third in as many games and puts him in a tie for the league lead in goals by AHL defensemen.
Hamilton broke the shutout with just 2:25 remaining in the game when Joonas Nattinen knocked in a rebound to make it a 4-1 game. Antoine Corbin and Gabriel Dumont recorded the assists on the goal.
Rochester returns to action on Friday, Nov. 16 as the Abbotsford Heat make their first of four visits to Western New York for a 7:05 p.m. matchup at The Blue Cross Arena. As the newest members of the North Division, the Heat and Amerks will face off eight different times this season, which includes back-to-back sets in Abbotsford in January and February. This Friday's game will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.