Murray, Weissbach each score their third goals of the season; Warren appears in 200th pro game

Dec 22, 2023

The Rochester Americans (12-10-2-1) scored once in each period but were unable to keep up with the Providence Bruins (14-11-2-2), who relied on a three-goal third-period on their way to a 6-3 win Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.



                                                          GAME SUMMARY      PHOTO GALLERY      POST-GAME REPORT


Despite the defeat in what was just the 18th meeting between the Amerks and the Bruins over the last 14 years, Rochester has gone 5-9-2-1 dating back to the 2007-08 campaign. The Amerks entered the matchup having earned five out of a six possible points in the last three meetings with Providence, which included both encounters in 2022-23.


Forwards Brett Murray and Linus Weissbach both scored their third goals of the season in the second and third periods, respectively, while Filip Cederqvist netted his first tally in the opening frame for Rochester. Lukas Rousek, Isak Rosen, Mason Jobst, Michael Mersch, Kale Clague, and Nikita Novikov all tallied an assist.



Goaltender Devin Cooley (5-3-2) made 17 saves in his 10th appearance of the campaign and suffered his first regulation loss since Nov. 11.


Georgii Merkulov (2+1), who entered the matchup leading all Bruins in goals (11) and points (25), registered a three-point night while Anthony Richard (2+0), Jesper Boqvist (1+1), Justin Brazeau (0+2) and Michael Callahan (0+2) all notched two points for Providence. Trevor Kuntar rounded out the scoring as he scored his second goal.



Netminder Michael DiPietro stopped 26 of the 29 shots he faced to improve to 7-4-0 on the season. Over DiPietro’s last six appearances dating back to Nov. 25, he owns a 5-1-0 record.


Nearly four minutes after Murray restored Rochester’s 2-1 lead, Providence flipped the deficit into a 3-2 advantage that they took into the final period.



The Bruins evened the score as Merkulov took advantage of an extended shift in the offensive zone from Callahan, who stick lifted an Amerk off the puck to keep it from exiting the blueline.


Providence grabbed the lead when Richard tallied his first of the game as he converted seconds following the turnover at Rochester blueline with less than five minutes remaining in the frame.



After the intermission break, Boqvist split the Amerks defensive corps following a give-and-go sequence with Merkulov upon entering the offensive zone. The Swedish forward retrieved the return feed and quickly snapped a shot past Cooley to push the score to 4-2 just 66 seconds into the stanza.


The two clubs traded goals from Merkulov and Weissbach just 1:21 apart to keep it a two-goal game.



Rochester pulled Cooley for the final 2:30 as they trailed by a pair of goals, however, Richard prevented any thought of a potential comeback as he tacked on his second of the contest into the vacated net in the final minutes of regulation.


While the Amerks seemed to carry much of the play in the opening period, the Bruins forced a turnover deep inside the Rochester zone. Kuntar stripped an Amerk of the puck before he roofed a shot from the left face-off dot to give Providence a 1-0 lead at the 7:53 mark.



To close out the first period, Jobst stepped in-front of a shot from just inside the defensive zone. After Rousek was sprung free up the left wing, he centered a pass to a trailing Cederqvist, who wired a shot to the upper corner for his first of the year.


The Bruins used a four-goal run to take a 5-2 cushion before the teams exchanged tallies to wrap up the scoring.



The Amerks look to get back on the winning track as they open a home-and-home series, sandwiched in-between the Christmas holiday, with the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday, Dec. 23. at Upstate Medical University Arena. The North Division showdown 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 a second-period goal, Brett Murray extended his point streak to three games (1+2) and has four points (1+3) over his last five appearances … With his secondary assist, Nikita Novikov is tied for fifth amongst all AHL rookie defensemen with 10 assists while he is tied for seventh in points … Brendan Warren, who returned to the Amerks lineup on Wednesday, appeared in his 200th career professional game tonight.


Goal Scorers

PRO: T. Kuntar (3), G. Merkulov (12, 13), J. Boqvist (7), A. Richard (6, 7)

ROC: F. Cederqvist (1), B. Murray (3), L. Weissbach (3)



PRO: M. DiPietro – 26/29 (W)

ROC: D. Cooley – 17/22 (L)



PRO: 23

ROC: 29


Special Teams

PRO: PP (1/3) | PK (1/1)

ROC: PP (0/1) | PK (2/3)


Three Stars:

1. PRO - G. Merkulov

2. PRO - A. Richard

3. PRO - J. Boqvist

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