AMERKS BLOWOUT BRUINS TO SWEEP WEEKEND
Rochester defeats Providence 5-1 on Sunday to cap three-win, 20-goal weekendFeb 26, 2023
The Rochester Americans (26-20-3-1) stormed out to a 5-0 lead courtesy of five different goal-scorers and never looked back on their way to a decisive 5-1 win over the Providence Bruins (31-11-8-2) in the weekend finale Sunday afternoon at Amica Mutual Pavilion.
Today’s victory capped a perfect three-win weekend for the Amerks, who outscored the opposition 20-6 over the last three days, including 12-2 against the Atlantic Division.
The win also Rochester’s first on the road in Providence since Jan. 18, 2009, giving the Amerks at least one point in seven of the last nine games against the Bruins dating back to the 2017-18 season. With the win, Rochester’s third in as many days against three different teams, the club has earned nine out of a possible 12 points in the last six games to remain in fourth place of the AHL’s North Division standings.
The line trio of Mason Jobst (1+1), Linus Weissbach (1+1) and Michael Mersch (0+2) combined for two goals and four assists to help the Amerks complete the season sweep over the Bruins. Brandon Biro, Jiri Kulich, and Mitch Eliot all scored once while Lukas Rousek and Lawrence Pilut both chipped in one assist.
Goaltender Malcolm Subban (13-10-1), who carried a shutout into the final 20 minutes of regulation, stopped 41 of the 42 shots he faced against his former team to earn his second straight win.
John Beecher scored his sixth goal of the season in the third period from Oskar Steen and Mike Reilly. Goaltenders Kyle Keyser (7-2-2-2) and Brandon Bussi (16-2-4) combined for 17 saves. Keyser, who drew the starting nod, suffered the defeat before Bussi entered for the final 49 minutes of regulation.
Much like the first period on both Friday and Saturday to begin the weekend, Rochester immediately used a quick-strike offense to kick start the scoring.
Rochester opened the scoring in the first minute after Eliot forced a turnover to keep the puck inside the offensive zone and intercepted an attempted breakout pass. The defenseman snagged the puck before wiring a shot from the left point 43 seconds into the contest with his third of the season.
Nearly six minutes later, the Amerks doubled their lead as Mersch sent a pass to Jobst at center ice. Eventually, Weissbach skated down the right wing and into Providence’s zone before returning a feed in-between the circles for Jobst to convert at the 6:41 mark.
Less than three minutes after Jobst netted his eighth of the season, the trio again worked to push the Amerks advantage to a 3-0 score. As Jobst tracked down his own dump-in behind the Bruins net, he tucked behind Keyser and threw a pass atop the crease for Weissbach with 10:26 to play in the frame.
Weissbach matched a career-high with his 16th goal of the season while Mersch notched his fifth career campaign with 20 or more assists, which includes back-to-back seasons.
To close out the four-goal period, Rochester displayed a series of tic-tac-toe passing at the 11:27 mark.
With the puck atop the left point, Pilut spotted Rousek across ice at the far circle. As the pass reached Rousek, he immediately sent a cross-ice feed for Biro to snap a shot past a sprawling Keyser.
With the goal, Biro finished the weekend with five points (1+4) in the three games while Rousek produced six (1+5). Pilut finished the three-game set with four assists.
Despite taking a 4-0 lead into the first intermission. Rochester was outshot 15-12 in the opening period of play.
During the second, the teams exchanged penalties before Kulich outmuscled his way around a Providence defender along the wall and gained a breakaway late in the stanza. As the 18-year-old sprinted all alone towards the Bruins netminder, he faked a shot before slipping the puck inside the right leg of Bussi with 3:29 left in the frame.
Kulich, who pushed his point streak to four with his 15th of season, has 15 points (8+7) in his last 13 games dating back to Jan. 25. During that same span, the rookie has scored eight goals in 10 contests during the month of February.
Providence began the third period facing its second potential shutout in its last five home games. The Bruins, much like the two previous periods, came out and tested Subban and company often as they fired shots on a regular occurrence.
The Bruins ultimately spoiled Subban’s bid for his second shutout with Beecher’s goal at the 15:15 mark but the Amerks margin was too large as they picked up the 5-1 victory.
The Amerks continue their season-long five-game road swing on Wednesday, Mar. 1 with the first of back-to-back meetings against the Laval Rocket at Place Bell. Game time is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
With his second-period goal, Jiri Kulich has 15 points (8+7) in his last 13 games ... The Amerks have recorded points in four of the six games when Mitch Eliot records a point ... Over Lukas Rousek’s last six outings, he has produced three multi-point games and eight points (1+7) to grab sole possesion of the team-lead in points (37) while also appearing in all 50 games this season.
ROC: M. Eliot (3), M. Jobst (8), L. Weissbach (16), B. Biro (10), J. Kulich (15)
PRO: J. Beecher (6)
ROC: M. Subban – 41/42 (W)
PRO: K. Keyser – 3/7 (L) | B. Bussi – 14/15 (ND)
ROC: PP (0/3) | PK (2/2)
PRO: PP (0/2) | PK (3/3)
1. ROC - M. Jobst
2. ROC - L. Weissbach
3. ROC - M. Mersch