The Rochester Americans ended their four-game losing streak on Sunday and will look to keep things going with three road games this weekend.
On Oct. 21, the Amerks traveled to Utica to take on the defending AHL champion Coments. Rochester captain Cal O’Reilly was the captain of that Utica team last year so the banner-raising had extra meaning to him. Jason Akeson and Jerome Leduc scored in Rochester’s 4-2 loss.
Linus Ullmark stopped 43 of 46 shots for the Amerks but picked up the loss. The only shots he didn’t stop all came off the stick of Hunter Shinkaruk, who recorded a hat trick. Shinkaruk scored his first just 2:04 into the game on the power play.
Akeson tied the game midway through the first, but Shinkaruk added a pair of goals in the second period to put Utica in the lead for good. Alexandre Greiner added an empty netter to seal the win.
Ullmark was subsequently called up to the NHL on Friday and played in his first game for the Sabres on Saturday.
Rochester didn’t have much better luck Friday night when they returned home to face the Toronto Marlies. With Ullmark in Buffalo, the Sabres sent Nathan Lieuwen back to Rochester to start against Toronto. However, his night didn’t go as well as we would have liked.
The Marlies scored two goals in the first four minutes of the game and skated out of the first period up 3-1 and ended up with an 8-2 win. Toronto scored the game’s final four goals including three in the third period. Lieuwen finished with 20 saves on 27 shots in 43:57 of action. Andrey Makarov stopped six of seven shots in the final 16:03.
O’Reilly and Tim Schaller tallied for Rochester. Schaller’s play earned him a call up to Buffalo where he may see action this weekend.
The Amerks finally got back on the right side of things Sunday with a 4-3 shootout win over the Syracuse Crunch. Syracuse came back on three separate occasions but Makarov stood strong in net, stopping 30 shots and both of the Crunch’s shootout attempts.
Philip Varone and Akeson picked up goals both in the game and the skills challenge to give the Amerks a well-needed two points. Nicholas Baptiste picked up the first goal of his pro career and O’Reilly notched a pair of assists.
The Amerks outshot the Crunch 41-33.
“In a lot of areas, we were good and we had a lot of energy tonight,” coach Randy Cunneyworth said after the game. “Obviously a priority was doing a good job in our own end, but also getting some pucks to the net.
“…It was a great effort where we needed everybody and we took pride in the way we went out and played.”
1. Jason Akeson 6 points (3+3)
2. Jerome Leduc 5 points (2+3)
Philip Varone 5 points (2+3)
4. Matt Ellis 4 points (3+1)
Cal O’Reilly 4 points (1+3)
Jean Dupuy 4 points (0+4)
Chad Ruhwedel 4 points (0+4)
1. Linus Ullmark 1-2-0-0, 2.72 GAA, 110 saves, .932 save %
2. Andrey Makarov 1-1-0-0, 4.25 GAA, 66 saves, .868 save %
3. Nathan Lieuwen 1-2-0-0, 5.77 GAA, .846 save %
Rochester begins a three-games-in-three-nights stretch on Friday. They’ll be in Springfield on Friday (7 p.m. faceoff), in Portland on Saturday afternoon (3 p.m. faceoff) and in Hartford on Sunday evening (5 p.m. faceoff).
All the games can be heard live on Fox Sports 1280 in Rochester. Be sure to check out Amerks.com for complete coverage all season long.