Colin Blackwell Leads Amerks to Third Straight Win

Two weeks ago the Rochester Americans had lost four straight, couldn’t figure out what was going on and talked about needing to string some wins together. Last weekend Chris Taylor shared some “not so nice words” during a first period intermission. Tonight the Rochester Americans came from behind again to win 3-2 over Laval Rocket. It’s their third straight game and fourth in five games carried by another two goal night from Colin Blackwell.

In the last five games Blackwell has 11 points (7G+4A), three of those games have been two goal nights. Three of those goals were also game winning goals. Since returning from injury he has 22 points (9G+13A) in 19 games.

(Featured photo from Laval Rocket)

Another star in these games is Jonas Johannson. He now has three straight starts and three straight wins. The team needed a hot goalie and he’s filling in. Adam Wilcox wasn’t playing his best and Linus Ullmark has a concussion. Johansson will have his biggest test on Saturday night against Toronto.

There’s five tough games remaining in the regular season and if the team can keep this going they’ll be heading into the playoffs on the right path.

Laval Rocket are a last place team in the league but that doesn’t mean it was going to be an easy game. As cliche as it is to say, teams like Laval, Binghamton and Belleville play a simple game.

Adam Cracknell scored first for Laval on the power play at 11:20 of the first period. They passed the puck around, had the Amerks scrambling which left two players in front of Johannson.

Colin Blackwell set himself up to tie the game 1-1 just over two and a half minutes later. Blackwell carried the puck into the Laval zone on the left side, attempted a pass to Danny O’Regan who split the defense but the puck went off of O’Regans skate, back to Blackwell and he buried the loose puck. Zach Redmon earned an assist as well beating a Laval player to the puck and chipping it up to Blackwell.

Laval took the lead again at 13:34 of the second period on a goal by Antoine Waked. Andrew MacWilliam had lost his stick deep in the Laval Zone which left Garret Ross covering for him. Waked shot the puck from the top of the face off circle, Johansson appeared to make an attempt at a save and force the rebound wide but it went between his pads.

That was the last lead for Laval as Sean Malone scored with 21 seconds left in the second period and Colin Blackwell followed up scoring 36 seconds into the third.

At the end of the second period Nathan Paetsch went into the Amerks zone, looked up, fired a pass down ice to Seth Griffith racing down the ice with Sean Malone. A cross ice pass to Malone and the game was tied 2-2. This was the second game in a row that Malone has scored a goal.

The goal sparked the Amerks and they came out ready to play in the third period. Taylor Fedun tossed the puck to the net, Danny O’Regan knocked it down, Colin Blackwell was in perfect position to take a step back with the puck and lift it over Charlie Lindgren sprawled out on the ice.

Laval was handed a power play with 9:04 left in the third period off a Justin Bailey tripping penalty. The penalty kill unit went to work, prevent Laval from scoring a goal and the Amerks held on for the win.

“I think we made three mistakes and they scored three times,” Laval Rocket forward Adam Cracknell told the Laval media after the game. “It’s a team you don’t want to make too many mistakes against, they have great offense and a deep lineup.”

The Amerks are home on Friday night vs Belleville and Saturday vs Toronto. They’ve managed to string together wins with a depleted lineup and will look to do the same again this weekend.

Scoring highlights at the bottom.

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Some other notes and info..

– Chances are slim that anyone missed the news on Tuesday afternoon that the Buffalo Sabres called up Kevin Porter and Alexander Nylander before the Amerks bus departed for Laval. Kevin Porter was rewarded with some NHL time for leading the Amerks and the Sabres wanted to see what Nylander has to offer. They’ll be with the Sabres through the end of the weekend.

– Linus Ullmark is still considered “day to day” in Buffalo with a concussion. Jason Botterill was on WGR550 before the Sabres game and said he’d like to see Ullmark get a game in this weekend but it’s impossible to know if that’s true or he’s just trying to paint a picture that it isn’t that bad.

– On Sunday the following players will be sent back from Buffalo: Linus Ullmark, Kevin Porter, Alexander Nylander, Nick Baptiste, Casey Nelson and Brendan Guhle.

– Visily Glotov played his first AHL game for the Amerks in Laval. He had limited ice time due how close the game was but did have one scoring chance where he was half a stick lengths away from scoring. His speed down the ice was noticeable as well.

– Will Borgen played in his third game and already fits right in. This doesn’t mean he’s playing a perfect game but from the description of him playing a defensive game it’s exactly what he does. He’s physical down low clearing the net and letting players know if they get too close to his goalie.

– Kyle Criscuolo was sent back to the Amerks this week from the Sabres but still isn’t ready to play. He’s skating along with Justin Danforth.

– Justin Danforth was named to the ECHL All-Rookie team. From the press release: Danforth ranks second amongst ECHL first years with 28 goals and 31 assists, along with a team-leading plus-26 on-ice rating, through 44 games with the Cyclones this season. [ Read More ]

And lastly, thanks for reading the 1500th article on Let’s Go Amerks since 2007! Here’s to 1500 more!

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Keith Wozniak

About the author... I started LetsGoAmerks.com in 2007 when there was a hole in the media universe regarding coverage of the Rochester Americans (there still is). The team has provided media access which allows us to obtain information and interviews. You won't find coverage about the team like this anywhere else! Click the icons to the side and follow along on Twitter as well.