Amerks fall short in season finale
(Albany, NY) The Rochester Americans (32-41-0-3) could not find a way to solve rookie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood of the Albany Devils (39-32-2-3) Saturday night as the Amerks concluded their 61st season with a 3-0 loss at the Times Union Center. The contest was the second-half of a home-and-home split that each team won on home ice.
After picking up a his 26th win of the season last night between the pipes for Rochester, goaltender Linus Ullmark, who made his 55th appearance of the campaign, took the loss despite turning aside 31 of the 33 shots he faced. Rookie forward Hudson Fasching registered a team-high three shots for Rochester, who finished the season with an 8-4-0-1 record in its last 13 games.
First-year pro Blake Coleman paced the Devils with his 19th goal of the season and a pair of assists for his 10th multi-point effort of the season while Brian Gibbons and Vojtech Mozik closed out the scoring on the night. Blackwood recorded his third shutout of the season as he made 17 saves and closed out the regular season winning four of his last five appearances.
Less than seven minutes into the first period, Gibbons tried a cross-ice centering pass to linemate Lappin however, the puck redirected of the stick of Amerk defender and found its way into the back of net. The goal with 13:04 to play in the opening stanza turned out all the help the home squad needed.
The Devils doubled their lead to 2-0 in the sandwich stanza at the 5:18 mark of the period. With the puck behind Ullmark, Mozik came around the left side of the cage and tried to jam the puck short side but the disc popped up in the air and rolled over top of netminder’s shoulder and into the net.
The Amerks trailed after 40 minutes but in the final period of regulation appeared to catch a break as they drew penalties in succession of one another but were unable to find any luck. During the second of infractions, Rochester pulled Ullmark for the six-on-four advantage with under five minutes to play. After a faceoff in the Albany zone, the puck was cleared out in front of the visitor’s bench. As Evan Rodrigues collected the puck, he was pressured from Coleman and the puck trickled into the vacant net to seal the 3-0 win for the Devils. The goal was his 19th of the season and tied Ben Sexton for the team-lead.
Tonight’s game in Albany marked the sixth straight in which the Amerks concluded the regular season on the road. Rochester shows a 3-3-0-1 record in the last six games to close out its seasons dating back to the 2011-12 campaign.