The Rochester Americans sit just three points back of the Toronto Marlies and Laval Rocket for the top spot in the AHL's North Division standings after taking five out of a possible six points this past week and nine of 12 dating back to Oct. 25.
All three games went to the shootout, marking the first time since the 2012-13 season the Amerks went as far as the shootout in three consecutive outings.
Wednesday: RCH 4 - UTI 3 (SO)
In a back-and-forth game that saw the Rochester Americans (5-4-0-0) and Utica Comets (4-3-0-1) combine for 81 shots, 34 penalty minutes and seven goals, Eric Cornel capped off Wednesday night's game at the Adirondack Bank Center in the eighth-round of a shootout to give the Amerks a 4-3 victory.
Amerks rookie C.J. Smith and Kyle Criscuolo each registered a pair of helpers to give Rochester its third win in the last four contests. By collecting points, Criscuolo extended his point streak to a career-long four games as he shows six points (2+4) over that span.
Hudson Fasching opened the scoring with his first marker of the season just 14 seconds after the opening face-off while Kevin Porter and Steve Moses each recorded their second tallies in the win. Rochester netminder Linus Ullmark had a season-high 45 saves on the way to upping his record to 4-3-0 on the campaign.
Darren Archibald paced the hometown Comets with a three-point night (1+2) while Alexis D'Aoust and Michael Chaput each scored their second goals of the campaign. Goaltender Thatcher Demko, who was named CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for October earlier today, saw his season-long four-game win streak come to an end after stopping 29 of 32. The second-year netminder now shows a record of 4-1-1 on the season.
Friday: HER 6 - RCH 7 (SO)
The Rochester Americans (6-4-0-0) scored five goals in a span of 5:17 during the second period and added another later in the frame to erase a 3-0 deficit before surviving a late push from the Hershey Bears to come out on top with a 7-6 shootout win Friday night at The Blue Cross Arena.
Much as he did Wednesday night in Utica, Eric Cornel provided the heroics for the second straight game, netting the shootout game-winner to cap the 455th all-time meeting between the American Hockey League's two oldest teams. He also added his first of the season during a wild six-goal second-period that saw the Amerks quickly turn a 3-0 deficit into a 6-4 advantage in a matter of minutes.
Fifteen of Rochester's 18 skaters recorded a point while Kevin Porter, Kyle Criscuolo and Brendan Guhle all notched a multi-point (1+1) outing to lead the Amerks to their fourth win in the last five games.
Criscuolo now shows eight points (3+5) over a career-long five-game point streak while Guhle booked his first-career two-point night. Cornel, Garret Ross, Hudson Fasching rounded out the scoring for Rochester. Goaltender Linus Ullmark earned his fourth win in the last five games as he improved his record to 5-3-0 by making 28 saves.
Chris Bourque recorded his third-straight multi-point effort after notching a goal and three assists for the Bears while Travis Boyd, Riley Barber and Lucas Johansen all tallied two-point (1+1) nights. Anthony Peluso rounded out the scoring for Hershey while netminder Pheonix Copley made his season debut, stopping 30 of 36 on the night.
"It is not how we drew it up," said Porter when discussing the win. "We cannot be giving teams three-goal leads during the first period at home. It is unacceptable. We battled back in the second period but again we gave it away during the third. We should have put them away during the third but you have to give them credit, they're a good team. It was a crazy game but it was good we got the two points."
Saturday: RCH 2 - UTI 3 (SO)
For the third time in as many games, the Rochester Americans (6-4-0-1) participated in a game that required a shootout to decide the outcome. However, the Amerks suffered a 3-2 shootout loss to the Utica Comets (5-4-0-1) Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. The loss was Rochester's first of the campaign away from The Blue Cross Arena after starting the road portion of its schedule 3-0-0-0.
Rookie defenseman Brendan Guhle notched his second-straight two-point (1+1) outing as he helped Rochester earn its fifth point of a possible six. Sahir Gill opened the scoring for the Amerks 2:35 into the final period of regulation while Adam Wilcox, who made his fifth appearance of the season, suffered the defeat in the blue crease.
Anton Rodin bagged his first goal of the season while Nikolay Goldobin tallied his team-leading fifth marker of the slate for the Comets, who picked up their first win of the season at home. Goaltender Richard Bachman, who made just his third start of the year, made 24 saves on the night to earn his first victory of campaign.
The Amerks have now scored eight goals with the man-advantage in their last five games, going 8-for-30 (26.6%) during that span while earning nine of a possible 12 points in the last six games.
The Amerks head north of the border for a weekend set against the Belleville Senators on Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11 at Yardmen Arena for the first two meetings in frachise history. Both contests are slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be broadcast live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
1. Kyle Criscuolo: 4G - 6A - 10 PTS
C.J. Smith: 2G - 8A - 10 PTS
3. Brendan Guhle: 2G - 6A - 8 PTS
4. Sahir Gill: 4G - 3A - 7 PTS
Steve Moses: 2G - 5A - 7 PTS
Linus Ullmark: 5-3-0; 3.17 GAA; .908 SV%
Adam Wilcox: 1-1-1; 2.73 GAA; .899 SV%