(Laval, Quebec) … The Rochester Americans (18-4-2-2) scored three times on the power-play and received another flawless performance from goaltender Andrew Hammond to complete the weekend sweep with a dominating 5-0 win over the Laval Rocket (15 -12-3-0) Saturday afternoon at Place Bell.
It was with the fifth shutout win of the season for the Amerks, who became just the third AHL team this season to reach the 40-point mark and maintain a three-point lead over the Toronto Marlies for first place in the North Division standings.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
With the win, the Amerks have earned points in 14 of their last 15 games dating back to Nov. 1, showing a 13-1-1-1 record over that span. Additionally, Rochester has picked up points in 20 of the last 23 contests overall, going 16-3-2-2, while also earning 40 out of a possible 52 points through their first 26 contests of the season.
John Gilmour (1+1), Zach Redmond (1+1) and C.J. Smith (1+2) all had multi-point efforts for the Amerks, who have now won three straight. Jean-Sebastian Dea lit the lamp for the 10th time this season, tying Andrew Oglevie for most on the team, while Brandon Hickey finished the scoring with his first goal of the year.
Hammond (10-2-2) stopped all 27 shots he faced in the crease and is now tied for first among all netminders after notching his fourth shutout of the season, a new career-high for the veteran netminder. In his last nine games, Hammond boasts a remarkable 7-1-1- record with four shutouts, a 1.33 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage. More impressively, with four shutouts through just 15 games this season, he’s on pace to match the franchise record for most shutouts in a season of eight set by Ryan Miller during the 2004-05 campaign.
Rocket goaltender Cayden Primeau (7-5-2) allowed five goals for his third straight game in the net, stopping only 27 of the 32 shots he faced against the Amerks.
Just 14 seconds into the final frame with Rochester up by a pair, Dea began the three-goal scoring frenzy that put the Amerks up 5-0. Assists from Gilmour and Jacob Bryson put Dea in the perfect position to take the puck around the back of the net and tuck the puck away for the Amerks third marker of the night during power-play action.
Another man-advantage opportunity arose in the third, and with a rocket of an assist from Redmond, Smith found himself to the right of the net able to knock one in, giving him his second multi-point effort of the year. Hickey closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal 11 minutes into the final frame.
Redmond began his fourth multi-point effort of the year in the first period when he took a pass off the boards from Lawrence Pilut and sniped home his fourth goal of the season in the upper right corner of the net.
In the second period, the Amerks doubled their score when Gilmour snuck behind the Laval defense after a perfectly executed give-and-go with Smith for his first goal as an Amerk.
The Amerks close out their three-game road swing in search of their fourth straight win as they make their way to the southern tier on Wednesday, Dec. 18 for a North Division showdown with the Binghamton Devils at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: Z. Redmond (4 – GWG), J. Gilmour (1), J. Dea (10), C. Smith (5), B. Hickey (1)
ROC: A. Hammond – 27/27 (W)
LAV: C. Primeau – 27/32 (L)
ROC: PP (3/5) | PK (3/3)
LAV: PP (0/3) | PK (2/5)
1. J. Gilmour (ROC)
2. C. Smith (ROC)
3. Z. Redmond (ROC)