After back-to-back losses interrupted a three-game winning streak for the Rochester Americans, they’ll look to right the ship against the Utica Comets on Wednesday night at Blue Cross Arena.
Rochester snapped its streak with a 4-0 loss to the Toronto Marlies at home on Friday night, followed by a 2-1 loss to the Albany Devils on Saturday at Times Union Center.
Making his first start of a conditioning assignment in the American Hockey League, Marlies goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped all 22 of the Amerks’ shots on Friday. It was the goalie’s first AHL game since 2010.
William Nylander, the eighth pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, scored twice for Toronto in the second period and Nikita Soshnikov added two markers of his own. Nathan Lieuwen made 34 saves in net for the Amerks, who were outshot 38-22.
“I think it got away from us when we stopped shooting some pucks, we tried to make a few plays too many where there’s one extra pass instead of a simple play,” Amerks coach Randy Cunneyworth said.
Playing in their first game without captain and leading scorer Cal O'Reilly, who was recalled to Buffalo after the loss on Friday, the Amerks were unable to reverse their fortunes against Albany.
Rochester trailed 2-0 when Brady Austin scored his first goal of the season 1:29 into the third period. Austin took a seeing-eyed shot from the blue line that evaded net-front traffic and beat Albany goaltender Yann Danis, who was heavily screened.
The defenseman’s goal was all the offense Rochester could muster in a game in which the Amerks went 0-for-4 on the power play. Both of the Devils’ goals in the 2-1 loss – from Max Novak and Mike Sislo – were scored with the extra man.
Rochester was outshot, 30-24. Andrey Makarov made 28 saves in 59:03 of ice time prior to being pulled in an attempt at tying the game late, but the Amerks were unable to find the back of the net.
1. Cal O'Reilly 14 points (3+11)
2. Jason Akeson 13 points (4+9)
3. Philip Varone 12 points (8+4)
4. Jean Dupuy 10 points (2+8)
5. Nicholas Baptiste 9 points (3+6)
1. Andrey Makarov 4-5-0, 3.34 GAA, 313 saves, .899 save percentage
2. Nathan Lieuwen 5-3-0, 3.61 GAA, 227 saves, .890 save percentage
The Amerks will look to rebound when they host the Comets at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday. Afterward, they’ll take to the road for a pair of games in St. John’s against the Ice Caps on Friday and Saturday.
Tickets for the game on Wednesday can be purchased here and all games can be heard on Fox Sports 1280 in Rochester. Stay tuned to Amerks.com for complete coverage all season long.