The Rochester Americans are in the midst of a four-game homestand and split their games last weekend to improve their record to 23-32-0-2. Through 57 games, they have picked up 48 points.
Friday: St. John's 3 - Rochester 0
The Amerks opened their four-game homestand with a 3-0 setback against the St. John's IceCaps (26-23-7-1) at The Blue Cross Arena Friday night.
Cal O'Reilly and Nicholas Baptiste each led the Amerks with four shots while Linus Ullmark made 24 saves in his 14th start in the last 16 games for Rochester. On the campaign, the Swedish netminder shows a record of 20-21-2.
Rookie forward Daniel Audette and Bobby Farnham each collected a pair of assists to lead the IceCaps to the shutout win, while first-year netminder Charlie Lindgren picked up his third shutout of the slate after stopping all 29 shots he faced. The rookie goaltender is now tied for third among AHL rookies in shutouts and improved to 18-14-5 on the season.
The Amerks and IceCaps entered the first intermission scoreless but they combined for 0-for-6 with the man advantage, including Rochester unable to capitalize on a five-on-three opportunity. However, following the break, St. John's wasted little time in the second stanza to capture the game's first tally 1:43 into the period.
"I thought we had some chances to score early in the contest," said Mat Bodie following his Amerks debut. "I think if we had got on the board, it might have been a different game. I liked our start to the game but I think our penalty kill unit gave us some momentum after we were not able to score on the power-plays early."
Saturday: Bridgeport 3 - Rochester 4 (OT)
Rochester overcame three separate one-goal deficits before Taylor Fedun's overtime tally sealed the 4-3 win to snap a three-game losing streak against the surging Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the final meeting of the head-to-head series Saturday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Bodie netted a pair of goals for his first two goals in an Amerks uniform. Fedun notched his fifth marker of the season to go along with two helpers for his fifth multi-point effort of the campaign. Kyle Bonis scored his seventh of the slate while Ullmark stopped 13 of the 16 shots he faced in what was his 15th start in the last 17 tilts. He improved his record on to 21-21-2.
Rochester outshot Bridgeport 44-16, including 18-6 in the second period, besting the 40 they accumulated back on Dec. 30 against Lehigh Valley.
Ryan Pulock collected his fifth multi-assist (0+2) game of the season while rookie forward Tanner Fritz recorded his fourth multi-point (0+2) effort in the last seven games for the Sound Tigers. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak took the loss despite making 40 saves. The 31-year-old boasts a 14-2-3 record on the season and is 13-1-1 since Jan. 20.
With the Amerks trailing 3-2 with less than six minutes left in regulation, the home club drew a pair of penalties for a five-on-three man advantage for 1:39. Unlike the night before, Rochester capitalized on the opportunity when Bodie blasted his second of the night from O'Reilly, who was appearing in his 700th pro game, and Fedun to force overtime.
"Tonight on the power-play we had good puck movement," said Bodie. "We caught a break when one of the defensemen broke a stick, and that helped open a lane and Cal was able to find me at the top of the point."
After Bridgeport controlled the opening minute of the extra session, Fedun joined the rush for a three-on-two as he beat Halak for his fifth marker of the season and second game-winning goal just 1:12 into the frame.
"We had a really strong effort tonight," Amerks head coach Dan Lambert said. "We competed and I thought our guys bought into the game plan which does involve competing and out-working the opposing team. Bridgeport is a good hockey team but I think we did a lot of things well to come out on top."
The homestand continues Wednesday night when Rochester hosts Toronto at 7:05 p.m.
The Amerks will then celebrate Irish Night presented by the St. Patrick's Day Parade and DDS in honor of St. Patrick's Day on Friday when the team takes on the St. John's IceCaps at The Blue Cross Arena at 7:05 p.m.
Start your Parade Weekend off right with the Amerks, who will again wear special Irish-themed jerseys for the game that will be auctioned off in the main concourse to benefit the St. Patrick's Day Committee. Winners will receive the "jerseys off the backs" of the players following the game.
Irish Night ticket and T-Shirt packages are also available here. For just $25, fans can purchase a specialty St. Patrick's Day T-shirt, along with one best-available ticket. Additional tickets begin as low as just $12. The packages can be purchased online, in person at the Amerks box office, or by phone at 1-855-GO-AMERKS (while supplies last).
The Irish Night festivities begin with an Amerks Happy Hour from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Genesee Brew House Upper Atrium Bar, where fans ages 21 and over can enjoy Genesee and Genesee Light drafts for just $2.
There will also be live music from the band "1916" during Happy Hour and the first intermission. Formed as an acoustic pub act in 2006, the band 1916 has "transformed into the hardest hitting Irish Rock band this side of Dublin!"
The game will also feature Irish music, Irish Dancers and Irish-themed Mystery Pucks, autographed by various Amerks players, available for $10 in the upper concourse.
1. Cole Schneider 19G - 27A - 46 PTS
2. Cal O'Reilly 9G - 33A - 42 PTS
3. Nicholas Baptiste 20G - 12A - 32 PTS
4. Mat Bodie 10G - 22A - 32 PTS
5. Justin Bailey 19G - 10A - 29 PTS
1. Linus Ullmark 21-21-2; 2.90 GAA; .908 SV%
2. John Muse 2-8-0; 3.37 GAA; .901 SV%