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Smith and Rodrigues Lead Amerks to 5-2 Win over Penguins

December 12, 2017 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Rochester Americans News Release

(Wilkes-Barre, PA) - The Rochester Americans (12-5-3-2) kicked-off a four-game, eight-day road swing in a big way as they scored four-unanswered goals during the second period on their way to a 5-2 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (13-5-0-1) at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

With the victory, the Amerks have notched points in 13 of their last 14 games and 25 points out of a possible 34 dating back to Oct. 25. Rochester also improved to 6-1-3-1 in 11 games away from the Blue Cross Arena this season.

Evan Rodrigues (2+1), who has 10 points (5+5) in the last six games, and C.J Smith (1+2), who has a team-best 22 points (7+16) in 21 games on the campaign, each bagged three-point nights to lead the Amerks to a victory. Garret Ross scored his third goal in as many contests and Eric Cornel capped of scoring while goaltender Linus Ullmark earned his 10th victory of the season stopping 22 of 24 shots he faced. Over his last nine starts, the Swedish netminder has a 7-0-2 record. The Penguins were paced by Andrey Pedan and Teddy Bluegar as the duo added their second and fourth goals of the campaign while former Amerk Anthony Peters made 32 saves in his first appearance with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Following a scoreless first period, Pedan gave the home-club its first lead of the night 3:30 into the middle frame but the Amerks would counter with four-straight tallies to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 lead. Nearly three minutes after Pedan's marker, Cornel banged in his third goal of the year from Nick Baptiste and Colin Blackwell at the 8:50 mark of the stanza. Then, 90 seconds later, Seth Griffith was sent on mini-breakaway from the top of the circles but as he was forced to his left to elude a defender, the 24-year old dished a pass to Rodrigues, who was crashing the net. Rodrigues buried his first of the period just past the outstretched glove the netminder.

After Rodrigues made it a 2-1 game near the midway point of the period, Ross dug out a loose puck that was just out of the reach of Peters and flung his third goal in the last three games into the cage from former Penguin Adam Krause and Brendan Guhle. The marker gives Ross a three-game goal-scoring streak for the first time since Feb. 27-Mar. 6 when he a member of the Rockford IceHogs while Guhle (2+2) pushed his point-streak to a career-best four games dating back to Nov. 24.

Later in the period, Rochester drew a five-on-three for 55 seconds and Rodrigues again lit the lamp for his fifth of the slate. Smith appeared to be making a cross-crease pass from the left of Penguins net but the puck glanced off Rodrigues and into the net with 1:41 left to give Rochester a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. The four-goal outburst gives Rochester a total of 11 goals in the last six games during the second period while scoring four or more goals in 12 of the last 17 games. Wilkes-Barre eventually made it a 4-2 score with 5:31 left in the final period of play as Bluger picked off a pass behind the goalline and tucked behind Ullmark but it was a little too late as Smith ended any doubt of a comeback as he sealed the 5-2 win with his team-leading seventh goal of the season while Peters on the bench for an extra-attacker.

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