(Rochester, NY) … The Rochester Americans (21-9-2-3) overcame a pair of one-goal deficits and forced overtime against the Binghamton Devils (14-17-4-0) before coming up short in the shootout by a 4-3 score Wednesday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Despite the shootout loss, the Amerks are sporting a 16-6-1-2 record over their last 25 games dating back to Nov. 1, earning points in 19 games over that span, and remain atop the AHL’s North Division standings. Additionally, Rochester has picked up points in 24 of the last 32 contests overall, going 19-8-2-3, while also earning 47 out of a possible 70 points through its first 35 contests of the season.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Zach Redmond registered his fifth multi-point game of the season with a two-assist effort. Forward Casey Mittelstadt scored his third goal in as many games, giving him five points (3+2) over his last six outings, while Eric Cornel tallied his seventh marker of the season. Andrew MacWilliam rounded the scoring for the Amerks, who have points in 21 of their last 27 contests against Binghamton dating to the start of the 2017-18 campaign while producing a 15-6-3-3 record.
Goaltender Jonas Johansson (11-2-3), who entered the contest riding a nine-game win streak, made 27 saves in addition to stopping one of two shooters he faced in the shootout, but suffered the loss.
Nick Merkley, Brandon Baddock and Brandon Gignac all scored in regulation for Binghamton, while forward Mikhail Maltsev capped off the shootout win. Netminder Gilles Senn improved to 6-5-2 on the slate as he made 26 saves before denying all three Rochester shooters in the skills competition.
WATCH: ZACH REDMOND POST-GAME
With the game even at 2-2 after 40 minutes of play, the Devils reclaimed the lead at the 9:16 mark as Baddock fired a shot past the glove of Johansson for his fourth of the season. The lead would be short-lived, however, as Rochester countered less than two minutes later.
Following a face-off win by Sean Malone inside the Binghamton zone, Redmond and Jacob Bryson exchanged passes before the latter fired a shot towards Senn. As the puck caromed its way to the net, Cornel steered it into the cage to even the game at 3-3 with 9:01 left in regulation.
As the third-period clock sounded, the game remained tied and the North Division rivals headed to overtime. The two teams traded chances in the extra stanza, but the shootout was needed to determine a winner as both netminders combined for seven saves, including Johansson stonewalling Binghamton’s Joey Anderson on a penalty shot opportunity with 1:39 remaining in overtime.
WATCH: CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME
“I think ‘J.J.’ played pretty well tonight,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “They didn’t get a lot of great scoring chances, but when they did he came up big, especially on the penalty shot. He gave us a chance to win, but as a group we have to be better.”
Rochester elected to shoot first in the skills competition. Senn denied Mittelstadt, C.J. Smith and Jean-Sebastien Dea while Maltsev sealed the win in the second-round.
The two teams opened the scoring in the first period as both Merkley and Mittelstadt capitalized on their respective team’s first power-play opportunity of the contest and the clubs went into the break even at one.
WATCH: CASEY MITTELSTADT POST-GAME
“Anytime you can get rewarded by getting points and scoring goals, it certainly is a good feeling,” said Mittelstadt, who pushed his goal-scoring streak to three games. “In my first few games, I was getting the chances, but they just weren’t going in. Normally, if you keep getting those chances eventually they will go in and that has been the case lately.”
During the second stanza, after successfully killing off a 5-on-3 for nearly a full two minutes, the Amerks took their first lead of the night at the 11:18 mark as MacWilliam blasted a shot from the left point from Will Borgen and Dalton Smith.
“Mugsy’ did a good job winning the face-off before ‘Smitty’ bumped it back,” described MacWilliam on his first goal of slate. “I had a bunch of time and ‘Mugsy’ provided a good screen. It was a full effort by everyone that was on the ice and I am just glad it went in.”
“It felt good to knock off the rust, a lot of rust,” MacWilliam joked.
WATCH: ANDREW MacWILLIAM POST-GAME
The Rochester lead was short-lived as Gignac responded to tie the game nearly four minutes later, setting up the final period of regulation.
Binghamton added its third goal of the night with 10:44 left in the third period only to have Cornel even the score and force overtime and the shootout.
The Amerks were unable to beat Senn on three attempts and would fall for the fourth time in five games.
“It’s part of the season,” said Taylor. “Every team goes through it and we have to step it up a notch.”
The Amerks remain at home on Friday, Jan. 10 when they host the Belleville Senators at 7:05 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. Friday’s matchup will be the third in seven games between the North Division rivals as Rochester looks for its third straight win over the Senators dating back to the final week of December. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: C. Mittelstadt (3), A. MacWilliam (1), E. Cornel (7)
BNG: N. Merkley (4), B. Gignac (2), B. Baddock (4), M. Maltsev (SO GWG)
ROC: J. Johansson – 27/30 (SOL)
BNG: G. Senn – 23/26 (W)
ROC: PP (1/2) | PK (2/3)
BNG: PP (1/3) | PK (1/2)
1. M. Maltsev (BNG)
2. Z. Redmond (ROC)
3. N. Merkley (BNG)