|(Photo Credit: Micheline Veluvolu)
There were newcomers abound for the Rochester Americans when they took the ice for three games in three days this past weekend. Defenseman Brendan Guhle and forwards Eric Cornel and Giorgio Estephan joined the team after completing their junior seasons and played in all three games, while forward Stu Wilson played two games after signing an Amateur Tryout (ATO).
The Amerks only earned one win in those three games, but the performances of their rookies were promising. Guhle tallied the first three assists of his career, including two in an overtime loss to Lake Erie on Saturday, and Cornel added an assist as well. Estephan and Wilson each scored their first professional goals in a 2-0 win at Lake Erie on Sunday.
The additions of Cornel and Wilson were announced on Friday after both signed ATO's, although Cornel – a second-round pick by the Sabres in 2014 – had previously agreed to an entry-level deal for next season. Wilson, 24, joined after posting a career-high 26 points (8+18) as a senior at Yale University. He is the son of Rochester Institute of Technology coach Wayne Wilson.
The Amerks have three games remaining, beginning at home against the Albany Devils for Fan Appreciation Day at Blue Cross Arena on Friday. They'll then end their season with back-to-back road games against the Toronto Marlies on Saturday and Sunday.
FRIDAY: BNG 3 – RCH 1
Binghamton used three-first period goals, including one from former Amerk Jerome Leduc, to build an early lead that would prove to be an insurmountable deficit for Rochester. The Amerks finally broke through with a goal from Jean Dupuy with 5:47 remaining in the contest with assists from Guhle and Nicholas Baptiste, but their comeback effort fell short.
Linus Ullmark took the loss in net for Rochester with three goals allowed on 26 shots. The Amerks outshot the Senators 39-26 on the night.
SATURDAY: LE 4 – RCH 3 (OT)
The Amerks built a 3-1 lead just 5:08 into the second period thanks to goals from Eric O'Dell, Justin Bailey and Baptiste, but Daniel Zaar scored twice before the period's end to force a 3-3 time that would carry into overtime.
Zach Werenski, the eighth overall pick in the 2015 Draft, ended the game with his first professional goal 1:59 into the extra period.
Nathan Lieuwen, fresh off a three-week stint in Buffalo, made his first start since March 13 and allowed four goals on 33 shots.
SUNDAY: RCH 2 – LE 0
The Amerks started their third different goaltender in as many days, and Andrey Makarov didn’t disappoint. Makarov stopped all of the 30 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season to lead the Amerks to a 2-0 win in a game they were outshot 30-15.
Rochester played without O'Dell, their leading goal scorer, due to an injury he sustained on Saturday, but newcomers Wilson and Estephan picked up the slack by scoring second-period goals. Estephan's goal came on an assist from Cole Schneider, who returned to the lineup along with Evan Rodrigues after the two spent Friday and Saturday playing for Buffalo.
1. Cole Schneider 55 points (20+35)
2. Eric O'Dell 48 points (25+23)
3. Justin Bailey 44 points (20+24)
4. Matt Donovan 31 points (8+23)
5. William Carrier 30 points (13+17)
1. Andrey Makarov 9-9-1, 2.82 GAA, .916 save percentage
2. Nathan Lieuwen 14-10-0, 2.90 GAA, .910 save percentage
3. Linus Ullmark 10-14-0, 3.37 GAA, .902 save percentage
FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT
A pregame autograph session with former Sabre player and current broadcaster Rob Ray and the return of "Jersey Off My Back," in which select season ticket holders will personally receive game-worn jerseys from the players at the end of game, will be included in the festivities for Fan Appreciation Night on Friday at Blue Cross Arena.
Tickets are available starting at just $14. More information can be found here.
All three of the Amerks' games this weekend can be heard live on 107.3 FM in Rochester with daily coverage on Amerks.com.