Amerks Doubled up by Rocket in Final Game of 2017
Rochester, NY - For the second time in less than a week, the Rochester Americans (20-8-3-3) suffered a two-goal loss to the Laval Rocket (14-14-5-2) at The Blue Cross Arena. The Amerks concluded a stretch of nine straight games against North Division rivals with Saturday night's 4-2 setback, which was also the fourth meeting over a five-game span between the two teams.
Rochester closed out the 2017 calendar year with points in 21 of its last 25 games and collected 38 points dating back to Nov. 1 during its recent surge up the Eastern Conference standings.
Zach Redmond pushed his career-long point streak to six games with his eighth goal of the season while Sahir Gill added his team-leading 11th of the season. Goaltender Adam Wilcox stopped 21 of 24 but took the loss, which snapped his three-game win streak.
Adam Cracknell added his fourth multi-point game while Chris Terry upped his point streak to nine games as he chipped in a goal and two assists to lead the Rocket to their third straight victory. Jordan Boucher scored his fourth marker of the season as goaltender Charlie Lindgren earned his second consecutive win against the Amerks after making 36 saves.
Late in the game, Cracknell and Terry entered the Amerks zone on a two-on-one rush and Laval's leading point-getter made it a 3-1 game with 5:05 to play in regulation. Terry's 18th goal of the slate brings him with one shy of the league-lead.
"I thought we played good enough to win," said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. "Unfortunately, tonight wasn't the case, so we just have to keep working and move forward."
Cracknell slipped in an empty-netter at the 17:20 mark as Wilcox was pulled for the extra attacker to make it a 4-1 game. The Amerks were able trim the lead to 4-2 with Gill's 11th goal of the season but Laval hung on for its third straight victory.
"We have to be better a home," defenseman Stuart Percy said. "We have talked about that as a group. While on the road, we play simple and smart but now we just have to bring that effort here when we play at The Blue Cross Arena."
Rochester faced a 2-0 deficit before Redmond fired a shot just inside the left post of Lindgren with 3:03 left in the second period. The veteran blueliner tied a career-high with his eighth goal of the campaign, a mark he previously set twice as a member of the St. John's IceCaps.
"I think it's more of what we're not doing" said rookie forward C.J. Smith when talking about the back-to-back losses against the Rocket. "We for some reason are not playing our game and are not having good starts and those two factors are making it difficult to comeback against any team."
The Amerks usher in the New Year with a pair of Atlantic Division matchups at The Blue Cross Arena beginning on Friday, Jan. 5 when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers come to town. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the second of four meetings between the two teams this season and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
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