TOP FIVE MOMENTS – JONAS JOHANSSON
Goaltender Jonas Johansson is in the midst of his first full season with the Rochester Americans and what a year he’s having. The fourth-year pro is rocking a 14-4-5 overall record, ranks sixth in the American Hockey League with a 2.88 goals-against average, was an AHL All-Star selection, made his National Hockey league debut and has accomplished even more all within the 2019-20 campaign. It’s time to take a look at the game that this All-Star has brought to the Amerks this year with Johansson’s top five moments of the season.
1. WIN NUMBER ONE
Back on Oct. 23, a three-goal second period and five different goal-scorers propelled the Amerks to a decisive 5-1 win over the Hershey Bears in a battle between the American Hockey League’s cornerstone franchises at The Blue Cross Arena. The matchup also marked the 459th all-time meeting between the league’s two oldest teams.
With their first two-point outings of the season, C.J. Smith and Andrew Oglevie helped the Amerks push their home point streak to three games as they improved to 2-0-0-1 at The Blue Cross Arena at that point in the year. Kevin Porter and Scott Wilson both tallied a goal while rookie forward Brett Murray added his first professional marker to close out the scoring. Johansson nearly notched his first AHL shutout, stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced on the night to earn his first victory of the campaign.
2. WATCHING FROM THE STANDS
Speaking of shutouts, Rochester opened the month of December with back-to-back shutout performances for the first and only time of the season so far.
Although back-to-back shutouts seemed to be what the buzz was all about at that time for the Amerks squad, it actually was something that happened off the ice that made one of those chilly December nights all the more memorable. More specifically, for just one of the Rochester goaltenders – Johansson.
Not only did the 4-0 win over the defending Calder Cup champion Charlotte Checkers back on Dec. 6 mark the first AHL shutout of his career, and his 100th pro win, but it was also the first time that his mom had seen him play here in Rochester. The last time Ulrica Johansson had tried to make a visit to her son was back during the 2017-18 season when Johansson was primarily with the Cincinnati Cyclones, and to his surprise, would be assigned to Rochester upon her visit.
This time, though, Mom’s timing seemed more than perfect and almost surreal. Upon her arrival she’d get off a plane and watch her first-ever hockey game while in the United States, sharing in a special moment with her son accomplishing something he’s only been able to obtain 11 times throughout his entire professional career.
3. HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR
On Jan. 3, the American Hockey League announced the playing rosters for the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Ontario International Airport. Johansson and defenseman Lawrence Pilut were named Rochester’s two representatives, joining head coach Chris Taylor, who secured the honor of coaching the North Division squad.
Johannsson earned his first AHL All-Star selection since posting a career-best 13-3-3 record with two shutouts in 20 games played up until that point in the year. He also had the third-best goal-against average in the league (2.19) and ranked fourth among all netminders with a .925 save percentage.
4. JOHANSSON GETS HIS CALL TO THE SHOW
Just days after representing the Amerks at the AHL’s annual midseason showcase, the Sabres announced that the team had recalled Johansson from the Amerks.
At that time of the recall, Johansson was tied for 15th in the AHL in wins (13). Even more impressively, the Swedish netminder boasted an 11-1-1 record from Nov. 13 to Jan. 24, along with a .930 save percentage to go with his 2.11 goals-against average, making his first-career recall that even that much more deserving.
5. FROM A DEBUT TO A WIN
Johansson’s big moment came on Feb. 4 when he made his highly anticipated NHL debut with the Sabres when he entered the game to start the third period of Buffalo’s 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. After giving up a goal on the first shot he faced, Johansson stopped the remaining 13 shots.
He would earn his first NHL win a few weeks later on Feb. 23, making 25 saves and allowing one goal in the 2-1 win over Winnipeg.
He appeared in six games with the Sabres, going 1-3-1 with a 2.94 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage.