The Rochester Americans won one and lost one this weekend as they journeyed to the eastern-most point of North America to take on the St. John's IceCaps. This split in Newfoundland gives Rochester three wins in its last four games, moving the Amerks into fourth place in the American Hockey League's North Division standings.
RCH 3 - STJ 5
On Friday, the IceCaps rallied back from two separate one-goal deficits and scored three unanswered goals in the third period to come away with a 5-3 win over the Amerks.
Second-year forward Evan Rodrigues led the way offensively for the Amerks with his first career multi-goal game while Justin Bailey (1+1) and Erik Burgdoerfer (0+2) each recorded two points.
Rookie netminder Jason Kasdorf had a busy night between the pipes for Rochester, stopping 36 of 40 shots sent his way, including 17 in the third period when the IceCaps outshot the Amerks by a 20-8 margin over the final 20 minutes.
RCH 5 - STJ 2
On Saturday night, it was a two-point game for William Carrier (2+0), Nicholas Baptiste (2+0) and Cole Schneider (1+1), while the Amerks finished the night 2-for-4 on the power-play in the 5-2 win. Veteran netminder John Muse, called up from the Elmira Jackals on Thursday, was stellar in his season debut, stopping 32 of 34 shots he faced to pick up his first win as an Amerk.
"I thought we played extremely well both nights," coach Dan Lambert said. "On Friday, for 45 minutes we were probably - no, we were the better team. Unfortunately, a couple penalties and a couple mistakes cost us, and we ended up losing the game. But certainly there were a lot of signs that our team was starting to play.
"On Saturday, the players took it upon themselves to make sure that everybody bought into the game plan," added Lambert. "There were no selfish plays and the result was there."
As the season continues, the impact of some players is becoming obvious, especially for this past weekend's linemates of Baptiste, Schneider and team captain Cal O'Reilly. After recording two goals in Saturday's game and five points in five games this season, Baptiste got his second NHL call-up, his first being just over two weeks ago.
O'Reilly collected an assist to stretch his point streak to five games, and is currently sitting in fourth in the AHL in assists, while Schneider recorded his fourth multi-point outing in seven games and ranks second in the league in scoring.
"Our PP has been pretty good. Chemistry with Cal and Baps is pretty good, too. I probably could have a few more goals than I do right now, but I'm pretty happy with how I'm playing," Schneider said after practice on Monday.
O'Reilly couldn't hold back a self-deprecating grin when talking about the contributions of the players around him.
"Things have been, offensively for our line, going pretty well. 'Schneids' is playing great, Baptiste, too. The power-play has been clicking. They're putting the puck in the net and I'm not doing much," he said with a smile.
The Amerks face the Syracuse Crunch at home on Military Appreciation Night on Friday at 7:05 p.m. Click here for a ticket and T-shirt package and a special gamenight offer for military personnel.
That will kick off a three-in-three for the Amerks. Rochester will travel to Binghamton for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff on Saturday and then head down to Hershey for a 5 p.m. game against the Bears on Sunday.
1. Cole Schneider 4G - 6A - 10 PTS
2. Cal O'Reilly 2G - 6A - 8 PTS
3. Evan Rodrigues 3G - 3A - 6 PTS
Taylor Fedun 1G - 5A - 6 PTS
5. Nicholas Baptiste 3G - 2A - 5 PTS
1. John Muse 1-0-0-0, 2.00 GAA, .941 SV%
2. Linus Ullmark 3-1-0-0, 2.75 GAA, 0.926 SV%
3. Jason Kasdorf 0-2-0-0, 5.11 GAA, 0.857 SV%