Amerks Offense Explodes for 12-3 Win over First-Place Penguins
(Rochester, NY) ... A total of 10 different Rochester Americans (26-13-7-5) skaters recorded multi-point efforts as the Amerks exploded for a 12-3 win over the first-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (30-14-3-1) to snap a season-long five-game winless streak Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
The 12 goals by the Amerks marks the first time Rochester has scored 12 or more goals in a game since April 7, 1985 in a 13-3 win over St. Catharines. Additionally, the dozen goals is the most by any American Hockey League team since Dec. 8, 2002 (Hamilton 15, Cleveland 1).
The Amerks have collected at least one point in 34 of their last 43 games dating back to Nov. 1, including 12 of their last 17 games since the turn of the New Year. Additionally, the victory is Rochester's first win in The Blue Cross Arena since Jan. 12.
Former AHL All-Star Seth Griffith led the Amerks as he notched his first five-point (2+3) night with Rochester and first since Jan. 29, 2016 as a member of the Providence Bruins while both Alexander Nylander and Kyle Criscuolo each bagged their first-career four-point (2+2) performances. Rookie defenseman Brendan Guhle tallied a personal-best three points (1+2) while Matt Tennyson, Zach Redmond and Adam Krause all scored a goal to along with an assist. Hudson Fasching, Justin Bailey and Taylor Fedun each recorded a pair of helpers while first-year forward Sean Malone completed the scoring. Goaltender Linus Ullmark stopped 35 of 38 shots on the night to extinguish his five-game winless streak. The Swedish netminder carries an 18-9-6 record in 35 games this season.
Greg McKegg, Cody Wydo and Jarrett Burton all lit the lamp for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which has dropped two of its last three games. Casey DeSmith started the night in the crease but stopped 10 of 14 before being replaced by former Amerk Anthony Peters, who allowed eight goals in 37 minutes.
After scoring three goals in a span of 2:09, the Amerks carried a 3-0 lead into the first intermission break. Griffith and Redmond each reached the 10-goal mark of the season while Krause tallied his second of the slate.
"I liked our start," said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. "We had a couple of tough practices and a few days off leading into the weekend. It can be tough on the home team with a ceremony before a game, but I thought we responded the right way. "
Rochester rode the wave of energy and pushed the lead to 5-0 at the 5:34 mark of the middle frame before the Penguins responded with a pair of tallies two minutes apart. However, rookies Guhle and Malone found the back of the net to make it a 7-2 lead going into the final frame.
"Tonight was big overall for the team's confidence," said Griffith, who was named the game's first star. "We realize that goals will not be that easy to score every game, so tomorrow night against Binghamton is a rebound game for us."
"It was an emotional win," Criscuolo said. "We had a lot of guys who played with Wilkes-Barre last year and returned a few guys to the lineup. Therefore, a lot of players had that extra jump, so it was a big win for us as we have been in a bit of a rut lately."
The Penguins scored their final goal of the night from McKegg before Rochester scored five unanswered goals, including a pair of markers by Criscuolo and three power-play tallies to give the Amerks a 12-3 victory.
Rochester's power-play unit finished the night with a season-high six goals while recording double-digits in shots in each of the three periods with the win. The team is now second in the Eastern Conference with the man-advantage on home ice this season.
The Amerks make their way to the southern tier on Saturday, Feb. 17 for the first of back-to-back meetings with the Binghamton Devils at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Following the 7:05 p.m. tilt, the same two teams are back in action again on Sunday afternoon as the home-and-home series shifts to Rochester for a 3:05 p.m. matinee to close out the weekend. Both contests can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Griffith (10, 11), Krause (2), Redmond (10), Nylander (3, 4), Guhle (8), Malone (5), Criscuolo (13, 14), Percy (4), Tennyson (3)
WBS: Burton (6), Wydo (1), McKegg (5)
RCH: Ullmark- 35/38 (W)
WBS: DeSmith - 10/14 (L) | Peters - 15/23
RCH: PP (6/9) | PK (2/3)
WBS: PP (1/3) | PK (3/9)
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