(Rochester, NY) … After allowing a season-high three power-play goals to the Syracuse Crunch (35-17-3-2) during Sunday afternoon’s contest at The Blue Cross Arena, the Rochester Americans (35-18-3-2) could not complete the home-and-home sweep against their North Division rival as they came out on the short end of a 4-1 decision.
Despite the defeat, the Amerks have collected 29 out of a possible 42 points in their last 21 games and have notched 37 points in their last 28 dating back Dec. 26. Rochester, however, did see the Crunch grab a share of the top spot in the AHL’s North Division standings while Syracuse also has a game in hand.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
For the second time as in many games, Alexander Nylander got on the scoreboard as he notched his 10th goal of the campaign for the Amerks, who have earned at least one point in seven of the first nine meetings this season against Syracuse. Starting in the Rochester crease for the second straight night and sixth time in the last seven games, goaltender Scott Wedgewood (22-10-2) took the loss while stopping 23 of the 26 shots he faced. Over his last 18 games, the sixth-year goaltender shows a 13-4-1 record dating back to Dec. 26.
Mitchell Stephens (1+1) recorded his second consecutive two-point night while Carter Verhaeghe and Cory Conacher both chipped in a pair of helpers in the win for Syracuse. Alex Barre-Boulet, Boris Katchouk and Andy Andreoff all rounded out the scoring as Martin Ouellette made 36 saves in his second start of the season for the Crunch.
WATCH: ALEXANDER NYLANDER POST-GAME
While being on the two-man advantage midway through the first period, the Crunch grabbed a 1-0 lead with 12:36 left in the first stanza. Seconds after being robbed by Wedgewood, Verhaeghe dished a pass to Andreoff to the right of the Amerks net and quickly fired a shot overtop the right shoulder and into the back of the net.
WATCH: TAYLOR LEIER POST-GAME
Early in the second period, the Amerks, despite being called for five penalties in the opening 20 minutes, tied the game at one as Nylander blasted a shot top corner near the right circle at the 3:57 mark. Matt Tennyson and Taylor Leier both were credited with the assists on the goal.
The game remained even at one for less than five minutes before the Crunch netted another power-play goal at the 6:38 mark of the frame. After being stopped on the initial shot, Verhaeghe sent a cross-ice pass to Barre-Boulet and the rookie connected on the feed for his 27th of the campaign and a 2-1 Syracuse lead.
WATCH: WILL BORGEN POST-GAME
Before the end of the middle frame, the Crunch tacked on their third goal the afternoon while on the man-advantage to take a 3-1 advantage into the intermission. Just 18 seconds after being whistled for interference, the Amerks thought they received a break as they knocked down a pass to the left of the net, but Stephens was there to roof the puck into the cage with eight minutes to go in the frame.
Rochester came out in the third period and tested Ouellette early and often during the final stanza as they trailed by a pair of markers, but the 27-year-old netminder stood tall as he turned aside all 17 shots he faced.
WATCH: CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME
Syracuse added a late empty-net goal to record the 4-1 win.
The Amerks return to action on Friday, Mar. 8 as the Amerks and Bridgeport Sound Tigers close out their season-series at 7:05 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. Following the matchup, the Amerks face the Binghamton Devils in the first of back-to-back meetings to conclude the weekend. All three games will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: Nylander (10)
SYR: Andreoff (22), Barre-Boulet (27 – GWG), Stephens (9), Katchouk (9 – EN)
ROC: Wedgewood – 23/26 (L)
SYR: Ouellette – 36/37 (W)
ROC: PP (0/5) | PK (5/8)
SYR: PP (3/8) | PK (5/5)
1. Martin Ouellette (SYR)
2. Carter Verhaeghe (SYR)
3. Alexander Nylander (ROC)