AMERKS COME UP SHORT IN 2-1 LOSS TO SYRACUSE
Jobst scores 10th goal of the season, Levi makes 16 saves in return to the lineupJan 31, 2024
The Rochester Americans (20-15-3-1) closed out their four-game homestand on the short end of a 2-1 decision against the Syracuse Crunch (24-13-2-2) Wednesday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Despite the defeat, the Amerks, who entered the contest having won four of their last five games, have collected points in eight of their last 11 overall. Going into this weekend’s two-game set at Place Bell, Rochester sits just two points ahead of the Laval Rocket for third place in the division while also having two games in hand.
Mason Jobst scored his 10th goal of the season and 100th point in the AHL during the first period while defensemen Joseph Cecconi and Ethan Prow notched the assists. With the tally, Jobst became the fourth different Amerk this season to reach double figures in goals. Dating back to last season, the Ohio State University product has recorded 10 or more goals in back-to-back campaigns for the first time in his professional career.
Goaltender Devon Levi (2-2-0) made his fourth appearance with Rochester, turning aside 16 of the 18 shots he faced.
Forward Waltteri Merelä pushed his point streak to six games as he scored his seventh marker of the season before Mitchell Chaffee netted his 12th in the middle frame to cap the scoring. Netminder Hugo Alnefelt upped his record to 9-5-3 in his 18th contest of the slate while winning his fifth straight for Syracuse.
While Rochester drew the game’s first penalty of the night, Syracuse opened the scoring at the 7:43 mark of the first period.
On the Amerks’ power-play, the Crunch forced a turnover at their own blueline before Cole Koepke and Merelä skated through the neutral zone on an odd-man rush. Once the duo reached the face-off circles, Merelä one-touched the offer towards Levi. The puck caromed off the right post before bouncing off the rookie netminder’s back and rolling into the back of the net.
The Amerks answered less than three minutes later when Jobst steered in his 10th goal of the season from Cecconi and Prow. Prior to redirecting Cecconi’s right point shot, Prow and Brendan Warren exchanged passes at the left half wall.
Following the intermission break, neither team generated much offensively, and it appeared the contest was going to stay tied at one entering the final 20 minutes of play. The Crunch, however, used some late heroics as Chaffee gave the visitors a 2-1 lead as he scored with 15 seconds left in the stanza after he was set up by Felix Robert and Gage Goncalves.
Trailing by a goal to start the final frame, Rochester tried to force the game beyond regulation for a league-leading 14th time this season. The club was unable to tie the score on its fourth power-play of the night and then pulled Levi for an extra-attacker in the final two minutes but was unsuccessful in its attempt.
The Amerks turn the page to February on Friday, Feb. 2 in the first of back-to-back meetings with the Laval Rocket at Place Bell. The North Division matchup 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.
Stars and Stripes:
By scoring his 10th goal, Mason Jobst became the fourth different Amerk to record double digits in goals this season … Three of the last five games between the two clubs have been decided by one goal … All five games in the season series thus far has been won by the visiting team ... Victor Neuchev was unsuccessful on his first-career AHL penalty shot during the second period … It was Rochester’s second penalty shot in as many games versus the Crunch after Lukas Rousek scored back on Dec. 27, 2023.
SYR: W. Merelä (7), M. Chaffee (12)
ROC: M. Jobst (10)
SYR: H. Alnefelt – 22/23 (W)
ROC: D. Levi – 16/18 (L)
SYR: PP (0/2) | PK (4/4)
ROC: PP (0/4) | PK (2/2)
1. SYR - M. Chaffee
2. SYR - H. Alnefelt
3. ROC - M. Jobst