It was a busy week for the Rochester Americans, who played four games in five days and came out on top in two of them. It was also eventful: the Amerks got a hat trick from Nicholas Baptiste, an overtime winner from Justin Bailey, resigned a former Sabre and found out that Alexander Nylander officially made the roster for Sweden at the World Junior Championship.
In other words, there's a lot to cover. Let's get to it:
Wednesday: TOR 2 - RCH 5
The Amerks won their third straight game against the Toronto Marlies thanks in large part to Baptiste's first professional hat trick (you can find all three of his goals in the highlights above). Cole Schneider earned the primary assist on all three of those goals, while Daniel Catenacci and Kyle Bonis also found the back of the net for Rochester.
Linus Ullmark made 15 saves on 17 shots before he was forced to leave the game due to injury. John Muse took over in the third period and was perfect on eight shots.
Baptiste's 14 goals this season are tied with Greg Carey of Lehigh Valley for the NHL lead. What makes Baptiste's total even more impressive is the fact that, due to time spent in the NHL this season, he's reached that total in just 21 games. That's the lowest games-played total for any of the league's top 10 scorers this season.
Friday: RCH 1 - SWB 5
Muse kept the net for the Amerks in their next game on Friday and made 40 saves, but he received only one goal of support from an Amerks team that was outshot 44-27 and went 0-for-3 on the power play. That lone Rochester goal came from Bonis, who scored for the third game in a row.
Saturday: STJ 2 - RCH 3
Bailey scored the overtime winner in this one, cutting in behind the defense from the left wing, deking from his forehand to his backhand and delivering the puck past St. John's goalie Yann Danis for his ninth goal of the season just 1:36 into the extra period.
The Amerks outshot the IceCaps 29-21 in this one and also received goals from Mike Aviani and defenseman Taylor Fedun, the latter of whom had been reassigned from the Sabres earlier in the day. Ullmark returned to the net for Rochester and made 19 saves.
Sunday: BNG 4 - RCH 1
Bailey scored again in this one, but it was the Amerks' only goal in a loss that snapped their four-game home winning streak. Former Amerks Jason Akeson scored twice for Binghamton while former Canisius College defenseman Chris Rumble added two assists. Ullmark made 27 saves in the loss.
The game also marked the return of Tim Kennedy, the Buffalo native who played 14 games for Rochester during the 2010-11 season and 79 games for the Sabres during the two seasons prior. Kennedy had been playing for Lulea HF of the Swedish Hockey League this season. Sabres general manager Tim Murray explained the process of reacquiring Kennedy in a press release sent out by the team.
"Over the weekend we signed Tim to an American Hockey League contract to join the Rochester Americans," Murray said. "The signing triggered the AHL waiver process and Tim was initially claimed by Charlotte. Charlotte has since transferred his contract back to our organization. We're are happy to have Tim join the Amerks and look forward to his contributions this season."
Nylander reassigned to Team Sweden
Nylander was officially reassigned to Team Sweden on Tuesday afternoon to compete in the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal. Nylander led Sweden with four goals and nine points at last year's tournament.
Nylander, 19, has 17 points (5+12) in 29 games as a rookie for Rochester this season.
1. Cole Schneider 10G - 16A - 26 points
Cal O'Reilly 5G - 21A - 26 points
3. Justin Bailey 10G - 9A - 19 points
4. Nicholas Baptiste 14G - 4A - 18 points
5. Alexander Nylander 5G - 12A - 17 points
1. Linus Ullmark 10-11-1, 3.05 GAA, .909 SV%
2. John Muse 1-3-0, 3.15 GAA, .908 SV%
3. Jason Kasdorf 0-3-0, 5.75 GAA, .828 SV%
The Amerks are off this weekend for their annual break, but return to the ice on Monday for a home game against the Syracuse Crunch at 7:05 p.m.