Amerks Top Marlies in Shootout for Fifth Straight Win
(Rochester, NY) ... Despite seeing their two-goal lead slip away, the Rochester Americans (5-2-0-0) went a perfect 3-for-3 in the shootout to come away with a 5-4 win over the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies (1-4-0-1) Friday night at The Blue Cross Arena. Tonight's victory give the Amerks five straight, marking their longest stretch since winning the first five games of April during the 2013-14 campaign.
Danny O'Regan tallied his second multi-point game as he netted his second and third goals of the season while Zach Redmond notched a pair of assists in the victory, pushing his point streak to six games. Alexander Nylander also extended his point streak to a career-best six games as he notched his third goal of the slate while Brendan Guhle recorded his first marker of the campaign to push his point streak to four straight outings. Nylander shows eight points (3+5) in his last six outings while Guhle has posted a goal and four helpers during his streak. Goaltender Scott Wedgewood earned his third consecutive win after starting the season winless in his first two appearances for Rochester.
Despite being led by Sam Gagner, Carl Grundstrom and Dmytro Timashov, all of whom posted a goal and an assist, Toronto lost its fifth straight game on the young season. Veteran netminder Jeff Glass stopped 36 shots but was handed a shootout loss to drop his season record to 0-2-1 in four appearances.
With the Amerks ahead and clinging to a one-goal lead late in the final period of play, the Marlies pulled Glass for the extra-skater in the game's last 90 seconds. Gagner scored on a one-time feed with 10 seconds left to force overtime.
Neither of the two clubs scored in the extra-frame despite Rochester drawing a power-play and the shootout was required as they were tied at 4-4.
Victor Olofsson, C.J. Smith and Wayne Simpson all scored for the Amerks, who elected to shoot first, while Wedgewood stopped both Gagner and Pierre Engvall's attempts to give the Amerks a 5-4 victory.
"It was a good game," said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor after the win. "I am happy to get two points against a good team, but I wasn't exactly happy with how we started or finished the game. Saying that, I am glad to come away with the win, though."
The two North Division rivals traded goals to begin the contest before Nylander gave the Amerks a 2-1 lead with a late first-period goal.
On Nylander's goal, rookie defenseman Will Borgen picked up his first-career professional point.
"Toronto is a fast team," said Guhle. "We knew they were going to come in the first period and we were forced to change some things during the intermission. It was a big goal by 'Nyls' to give us a lead despite how we played in the first."
After O'Regan doubled Rochester's lead 2:20 into the middle period, the Marlies cut into the lead as Timashov made it a 3-2 score with a power-play goal.
Nearly four minutes after the Marlies marker, Guhle joined an odd-man rush and slipped the puck in-between Glass' pads off a nifty set-up from C.J. Smith with 9:11 remaining in the second to regain the Amerks two-goal cushion. Smith and Justin Bailey were awarded the assists on the goal.
Similar to its first goal, Toronto used a cross-crease pass to make it a one-goal game yet again with 5:11 left in the second stanza.
The two clubs accounted for 56 shots through 40 minutes but Rochester carried a 4-3 lead into the final period of regulation.
In a back-and-forth close-knit third period, Toronto evened the game late in the frame to force overtime before the Amerks won in the shootout.
"It was good to get the win after a late goal by them," O'Regan said. "It's always good to get a win against a good team like them, but we still have areas we can improve on."
"It was a good test and getting the win was good, but I don't think we played our best game," admitted Redmond. "We have to close out those types of games and we were lucky to get the win tonight."
With the tonight's victory, it gives Rochester its fourth straight win over the Marlies dating back to last season. Additionally, in 10 of the last 13 meetings between the two clubs dating back to the 2016-17 campaign, the team who has scored the first goal of the game has gone on to come away with the victory.
The Amerks make their final trip of October and first of the season across the border on Saturday, Oct. 20 to face the Belleville Senators at CAA Arena. Game time is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
ROC: O'Regan (3, 4), Nylander (3), Guhle (1)
TOR: Engvall (3), Timashov (2), Grundstom (2), Gagner (4)
ROC: Wedgewood- 38/42 (W)
TOR: Glass - 36/40 (SOL)
ROC: PP (0/4) | PK (2/4)
TOR: PP (2/4) | PK (4/4)
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