Four different goal-scorers power Rochester to 4-2 win over Syracuse

Oct 5, 2023

The Rochester Americans (1-0-0-0) doubled up the Syracuse Crunch (0-1-0-0) by a 4-2 score in their 2023 preseason opener Thursday night at The Blue Cross Arena.


                                                                          GAME SUMMARY     PHOTO GALLERY

Rochester stormed out to a 4-0 lead on the strength of a multi-point outing from rookie defenseman Zach Metsa (1+1), while Michael Mersch, Filip Cederqvist and Damien Giroux all netted one goal each. Viktor Neuchev, Aleksandr Kisakov, Dominick Mersch, Nicolas Savoie, Ethan Prow, Justin Richards, and Olivier Nadeau all notched an assist in the win.


Goaltender Devin Cooley, who carried a shutout into the final 20 minutes of regulation, stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced to earn the victory. 



Veteran forward Daniel Walcott and Shawn Element both found the scoresheet a minute apart from each other in the third period. Hugo Alnefelt and Evan Fitzpatrick split the goaltending duties, combining for 27 saves. Alnefelt made 14 saves before Fitzpatrick stopped 13 in 28 minutes of relief.


After successfully killing off back-to-back penalties in the first period, Rochester opened the scoring as Metsa banged in a rebound with 3:48 left in the frame.



Scooping up the puck in the left corner of the Crunch zone, Christopher Brown slid a pass to Kisakov in the left corner. With his back towards the end boards, Kisakov sent the puck to Neuchev to fire a shot towards Alnefelt. After the puck caromed off the netminder, Metsa roofed it to open the scoring.


In the second period, Rochester extended its lead midway through the stanza as the Mersch brothers connected on a play.


After Savoie unleashed a one-time shot from the left point, Dominick Mersch, who was on a knee, tried to stuff the puck past Alenfelt but Michael Mersch finished converted on the third attempt 9:50 into the frame.



To cap the scoring in the middle frame, the Crunch were whistled for a too-many-men penalty with just over five minutes left.


The Amerks needed only four seconds before capitalizing on the extra skater as Richards won the draw back to Prow atop the right face-off dot inside the offensive zone. The veteran blueliner grabbed the puck and flung it towards the net for Cederqvist to steer in-behind Alnefelt.



Following the intermission break, Rochester utilized its speed as Metsa provided a pass to spring Nadeau in transition through the neutral zone. After carrying the puck along the right-wing boards, he left it for Giroux to wire a shot from in-between the circles.


The Crunch responded to Grioux’s marker with a pair of goals in 61 seconds, but the Amerks prevented further damage as they held on for the 4-2 victory.



Rochester will close out its preseason slate as they travel to the Adirondack Bank Center for a 7 p.m. contest against the Utica Comets on Friday, Oct. 6.



Season Opener:

The Amerks then open their 68th American Hockey League season – and 42nd as the primary affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres – on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7:05 p.m. against the Bridgeport Islanders at The Blue Cross Arena.


Goal Scorers

SYR: D. Walcott (1), S. Element (1)

ROC: Z. Metsa (1), M. Mersch (1), F. Cederqvist (1), D. Giroux (1)



SYR: H. Alnefelt – 14/16 (L), E. Fitzpatrick – 13/15 (ND)

ROC: D. Cooley – 28/30 (W)



SYR: 30

ROC: 31


Special Teams

SYR: PP (0/3) | PK (4/5)

ROC: PP (1/5) | PK (3/3)


Three Star

1. ROC - Z. Metsa
2. ROC - D. Cooley
3. ROC - M. Mersch

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