Tokarski makes season-high 44 saves, Biro records fifth straight multi-point effort

Nov 25, 2023

In a game totaling 64 shots, 32 penalty minutes and nine goals as part of a special teams’ battle, the Rochester Americans (10-5-2-0) came up short in a 5-4 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (9-6-3-0) Saturday at PPL Center.



                                                                           GAME SUMMARY       PHOTO GALLERY


Despite the defeat, Rochester, which shows a 3-1-0-0 record over its last four contests, sits in a two-way tie for second place in the AHL’s North Division standings with Syracuse. The Amerks, who are just one point back of the Cleveland Monsters, have a game in hand on the Crunch going into the final month of the calendar year.


Forward Brandon Biro (1+1) recorded his fifth straight multi-point effort dating back to Oct. 27 as he netted a goal and an assist in the loss. Lukas Rousek, Tyson Kozak and Damien Grioux all scored once. Jeremy Davies, Linus Weissbach, Justin Richards, Mason Jobst, Kale Clague, Nikita Novikov, and Viktor Neuchev each notched an assist.


Goaltender Dustin Tokarski (4-2-1) stopped a season-high 44 shots in his seventh appearance of the season. Tokarkski’s 44 saves are his most in an AHL game since Feb. 15, 2014, as he turned aside 44 of 47 with Hamilton.



Samu Tuomaala (1+2), Alexis Gendron (2+0), Tanner Lacynski (2+0) and Olle Lycksell (0+2) all turned in a multi-point effort for Lehigh Valley, which entered the contest boasting a 4-0-1-0 record over its last five games. Goaltender Felix Sandstrom earned his first win of the season as he manned the pipes for the third time in 2023-24.


After Rochester took a 4-3 advantage early in the third period on Kozak’s marker 2:52 into the frame, Lehigh Valley drew a pair of power-plays in succession to restore its lead.



On both occasions, the home club capitalized with the extra skater as Laczynski and Gendron scored at the 7:04 and 11:52 marks, respectively, to give the Phantoms a 5-4 lead.


The Amerks tried to force overtime for the third straight contest as they pulled Tokarski for the final minute of regulation, however, the club’s comeback attempt was stonewalled by Sandstrom as he held on for the victory.


Despite being outshot 15-4 through the first 14 minutes of the contest, Rochester drew the contest’s first power-play with 5:41 left to play in the opening period.



On the man-advantage, Rochester outworked the Phantoms to keep the puck inside the offensive zone. After Biro gathered the puck after receiving Clague’s cross-ice pass, he circled around the outside of the face-off dot and quickly snapped a shot off the crossbar. As luck would have it, though, the rebound landed right on the stick of Rousek, who was parked to the left of the net, and the forward ripped a shot past a diving Sandstrom at 15:38 mark.


Following the intermission break, the teams combined for six goals and five penalties in the first 14:43 of the middle stanza.

The Phantoms began the second period trailing by a goal, and thanks to a pair of unanswered goals by Gendron and Tuomaala, took a 2-1 lead with 10:47 left in the frame.


Rochester quickly countered the Tuomaala tally as Grioux knotted the score at two on the ensuing shift for his second goal of the season from Novikov and Neuchev.



To close out the period, Laczynski and Biro traded goals 4:07 apart, with Biro’s coming off a feed from Jobst and Weissbach while Rochester was on the power-play.


The Amerks opened the third period on Kozak’s first of the year less than three minutes into the stanza, however, the home club capitalized on a pair of Amerks infractions to earn the 5-4 win.


The Amerks continue their three-game road swing with a two-game set north of the border against the Belleville Senators beginning on Friday, Dec. 1 at CAA Arena. Friday’s 7:00 p.m. matchup will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.



Stars and Stripes:

Including tonight’s game, the Amerks have scored at least four goals in 11 of their first 17 games, including six outings with five goals or more … Tyson Kozak’s third-period goal marked his first regular season marker since April 1, 2023 … Kale Clague and Jeremy Davies each have points in back-to-back games … With two goals on the power-play, it marked Rochester’s third game this season with multiple power-play tallies and four straight contest with at least one dating back to last Saturday night in Cleveland.


Goal Scorers

ROC: L. Rousek (3), D. Giroux (2), B. Biro (6), T. Kozak (1)

LV: A. Gendron (3, 4), S. Tuomaala (4), T. Laczynski (5, 6), T. Laczynski (6)



ROC: D. Tokarski – 44/49 (L)

LV: F. Sandstrom – 11/15 (W)



ROC: 15

LV: 49


Special Teams

ROC: PP (2/4) | PK (2/5)

LV: PP (3/5) | PK (2/4)


Three Stars:

1. LV - A. Gendron

2. LV - T. Laczynski

3. LV - S. Tuomaala

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