(Binghamton, NY) … Looking to extend their win streak to four games, the Rochester Americans (18-5-2-2) were unable to find the offensive spark they needed on Wednesday, dropping a 2-1 decision to the intrastate rival Binghamton Devils (9-15-4-0) in the first of back-to-back meetings between the two teams at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. The loss was the first time in 10 meetings Rochester failed to come away with a point against Binghamton dating back to last season.
Despite the defeat, however, the Amerks maintain a three-point lead over the Toronto Marlies for first place in the AHL’s North Division standings and have earned points in 15 of their last 17 games dating back to Nov. 1, showing a 13-2-1-1 record over that span. Additionally, Rochester has picked up points in 20 of the last 24 contests overall, going 16-4-2-2, while also earning 40 out of a possible 54 points through their first 27 contests of the season.
Rookie forward Brett Murray scored his fourth goal of the campaign near the end of the second period with Tyler Randell earning his first assist of the season. Forward Casey Mittelstadt, who was reassigned to Rochester on Sunday from the parent Buffalo Sabres, made his highly anticipated American Hockey League debut, registering two shots on goal. Goaltender Andrew Hammond (10-3-2) stopped 23 shots he faced but suffered the loss. Over his last 10 appearances, the veteran netminder shows a remarkable 7-2-1 record with four shutouts, a 1.40 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage.
Binghamton’s leading point-getter, Ben Street, led the Devils to their second straight win as he collected his third consecutive two-point night with a pair of assists. Joey Anderson scored his eighth goal of the season while Ben Seney added the game-winning goal for his 12th on the year. Goaltender Cory Schneider (1-4-0) earned his first win of the campaign since being reassigned from New Jersey as he made 23 saves.
With the game scoreless near the end of the second period, it appeared the two clubs were going to go into final 20 minutes deadlocked at 0-0. However, the contest took a drastic turn all in a span of 1:53 late in the middle frame. After allowing the game’s opening goal to Rochester, Binghamton responded by scoring twice in less than a minute before the period ended to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission.
On the first tally of the night, Jarrett Burton and Tyler Randell kept the puck below the left face-off dot of Binghamton’s end. Randell stripped a Devils skater and took the puck towards the net before stopping atop the goal-mouth. As Murray entered the zone from a line change, the rookie forward accepted the pass from Randell and snapped a shot that glanced off the goal post and in with 3:07 left in the frame for his fourth of the season.
The Devils responded back immediately as Anderson redirected his eighth of the campaign 61 seconds later before Seney finished off a one-time feed out in-front of Hammond to give Binghamton a 2-1 lead at the 18:46 mark of the second period.
Much like the first period, neither team generated many scoring chances during the final 20 minutes of play, but the Amerks attempted one final push as they pulled Hammond in favor of extra attacker for the last 90 seconds. Rochester had a pair of shots during the 6-on-5 advantage, however, Schneider thwarted the Amerks’ bid to force overtime and preserved the 2-1 victory for Binghamton.
The Amerks return home for their final two games leading up to the Christmas Break beginning on Friday, Dec. 20 at 7:05 p.m. with a rematch against the Devils at The Blue Cross Arena before hosting the Utica Comets on Saturday. Both games will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: B. Murray (4)
BNG: J. Anderson (8), B. Seney (12)
ROC: A. Hammond – 23/25 (L)
BNG: C. Schneider – 23/24 (W)
ROC: PP (0/0) | PK (1/1)
BNG: PP (0/1) | PK (0/0)
1. B. Seney (BNG)
2. J. Anderson (BNG)
3. C. Schneider (BNG)