The Rochester Americans closed out their 61st season this weekend with 67 points (32-41-0-3). They finished in sixth place in the North Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference.
Amerks 2016-17 Year-End Award Winners
Most Valuable Player - Linus Ullmark
Scoring Champion - Cole Schneider
Rookie of the Year - Alexander Nylander
AHL Man of the Year Award - Mac Bennett
McCulloch Trophy for Community Service - Mac Bennett
Fairand/O'Neil Sportsmanship Award - Linus Ullmark
Rob Zabelny Unsung Hero Award - Justin Vaive
Most Improved Player - Eric Cornel
Most Popular Player - Linus Ullmark
Game-Winning Goals - Nick Baptiste (4) / Cole Schneider (4)
Final scoring leaders
1. Cole Schneider: 24G - 39A - 63 PTS
2. Nicholas Baptiste: 25G - 16A - 42 PTS
3. Mat Bodie: 10G - 29A - 39 PTS
4. Justin Bailey: 23G - 13A - 36 PTS
5. Evan Rodrigues: 9G - 21A - 30 PTS
Final goaltending leaders
1. Linus Ullmark: 26-27-2; 2.87 GAA; .909 SV%
2. Jonas Johansson: 3-3-1; 2.85 GAA; .892 SV%
3. John Muse: 3-8-0; 3.08 GAA; .907 SV%
Stay tuned to Amerks.com this week for full season recaps
Wednesday: Senators 3 - Amerks 2 (SO)
Despite scoring in the first period for the seventh straight game and putting up a season-high 48 shots, the Rochester Americans (31-40-0-3) fell 3-2 in a shootout against the Binghamton Senators (28-42-2-2) to kick-off the final week of the 2016-17 regular season Wednesday night at The Blue Cross Arena. The loss was just the third in the last 10 games for Rochester on home ice as the Amerks hold a 7-2-0-1 record over that span dating back to March 4.
Rookie Alex Kile tied the contest late in the first period with his second pro goal while former Senator Derek Grant added his 10th of the campaign and fourth against his former club. After winning three of his first four starts in the crease for the Amerks, Jonas Johansson took his third straight defeat after making 16 saves to fall to 3-3-1 on the season.
After signing a Professional Tryout a week ago, rookie Jordan Murray notched his first pro goal in the final period and added an assist for Binghamton while Max McCormick scored his team-leading 21st marker of the season. Third-year netminder Chris Driedger faced a career-high 48 shots while stopping 46 to improve his record to 12-18-2.
As the game was dwindling down, Buffalo Sabres Rookie of the Year Evan Rodrigues drew his second penalty of the night to give Rochester its third power-play with 3:32 left to play. With the puck behind the net, Cole Schneider centered a pass to Patrick Mullen atop the right point. The defensemen fired a shot that was initially blocked before it bounced to Grant near the right face-off circle. The veteran forward one-timed the puck into the top of the net to tie the game at 2-2 and force overtime.
"It was good to tie the game," Grant said. "Our power-play was not good early in the game but we just stuck with it and it was good to tie the game late and give ourselves a chance to win it."
The first half of the extra session was uneventful until the Amerks took a tripping penalty with 2:46 left to play. Despite facing a four-on-three disadvantage, the Amerks were able to generate several scoring chances, which included two shots off the iron and a breakaway opportunity for Rodrigues. Driedger, however, thwarted all the chances and the shootout was required to determine a winner.
The home squad elected to shoot first but Alexander Nylander, Nick Baptiste and Justin Bailey were all stopped while Binghamton's Nick Paul scored the lone tally in the skills competition to earn the extra point.
"Overtime got kind of wild," said Rodrigues. "On my breakaway, I was able to get a good shot but Driedger was able to get the knob of his stick on the puck and then it rang off the post. Then they had a three-on-one until Brady Austin made a great play and then we hit the post on another shot. Tonight, we just ran into a hot goalie who stole the game for them."
Friday: Devils 4 - Amerks 5
The Rochester erased three different one-goal deficits before adding a pair of goals during the final period for a 5-4 victory over the North Division rival Albany Devils (38-32-2-3) to conclude the home portion of the 2016-17 season at The Blue Cross Arena Friday night.
Evan Rodrigues led the Amerks to the win with three assists, which ties a career-high he set back on March 4 last season versus Springfield (Falcons). Veteran Derek Grant and Justin Bailey each chipped in multi-point efforts as they added a goal and an assist on the night. Hudson Fasching, Casey Nelson and Alexander Nylander capped off the scoring for Rochester, which improved to 9-2-0-1 in its last 12 games on home ice.
Goaltender Linus Ullmark stopped 30 of 34 shots he faced to improve his record to 26-26-2 on the slate. The Swedish netminder and Amerks MVP earned his fourth straight win dating back to March 24 against the Thunderbirds.
"As a team, no one got frustrated after they took the lead," Bailey said. "We stuck to our game plan and what was working. We are playing probably our best hockey of the season right now and guys are playing loose and having fun."
Joe Blandisi (1+1), Jan Mandat (1+1) and Nick Lappin (1+1) all notched a two-point efforts while Carter Camper opened the scoring on the night with his sixth goal of the season. First-year netminder Ken Appleby took the loss for the A-Devils despite making 26 saves.
Just prior to the end of the middle frame, Grant tied the game at 2-2 with his 11th of the season while the Amerks were on the power-play. His marker with 14 seconds left in the period was assisted by Bailey and Rodrigues. Rochester rode the energy from the late goal and grabbed its first lead of the contest with Bailey's tally just 43 seconds into the final stanza.
With the puck at the left point, Rodrigues fired a shot-pass off the end boards that Cole Schneider scooped up. The Amerks leading point-getter this season tucked behind the cage before centering a pass to Bailey. With one motion as he was walking down the center of the zone, he ripped home his 23rd goal of the season to give the Amerks 4-3 lead.
"The late goal in the second period and then the early one by Bailey were huge for us," said Rodrigues. "It definitely swung the game in our direction and carried us during the third."
Saturday: Amerks 0 - Devils 3
The Amerks could not find a way to solve rookie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood of the Albany Devils (39-32-2-3) Saturday night as the Amerks concluded their 61st season with a 3-0 loss at the Times Union Center. The contest was the second-half of a home-and-home split that each team won on home ice.
After picking up his 26th win of the season last night between the pipes for Rochester, goaltender Linus Ullmark, who made his 55th appearance of the campaign, took the loss despite turning aside 31 of the 33 shots he faced. Rookie forward Hudson Fasching registered a team-high three shots for Rochester, which finished the season with an 8-4-0-1 record in its last 13 games.
First-year pro Blake Coleman paced the Devils with his 19th goal of the season and a pair of assists for his 10th multi-point effort of the season while Brian Gibbons and Vojtech Mozik closed out the scoring on the night. Blackwood recorded his third shutout of the season as he made 17 saves and closed out the regular season winning four of his last five appearances.