AMERKS DROP FIRST OF TWO TO LAVALOct 28, 2022
After tying the score at 1-1 early in the second period, the Rochester Americans (3-3-0-0) surrendered the next seven goals to the Laval Rocket (2-4-1-0) as they dropped an 8-1 contest Friday at Place Bell in the first of back-to-back meetings between the North Division rivals this weekend.
The game was also the first matchup between the two teams since the Rocket eliminated Rochester in the North Division Finals this past Spring.
Brandon Biro provided the lone tally for the Amerks as he scored his second of the season from Lukas Rousek and Jiri Kulich early in the second period. Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (3-3-0) made 19 saves in his sixth straight start to begin the campaign but was replaced by Michael Houser midway through the final frame. Houser stopped eight of 10 shots he faced in relief.
Defensemen Brandon Davidson and Zach Berzolla each made their season debuts tonight. Berzolla also made his Amerks debut while Davidson skated with the team in each of the past two seasons.
Peter Abbandonato (1+2), Danick Martel (0+3), Justin Barron (2+0), Corey Schueneman (1+1), Xavier Simoneau (1+1) and Anthony Richard (1+1) all produced their first multi-point efforts of the season for Laval, which entered the contest 1-4-1-0. Forward Brandon Gignac (0+2) turned in his second straight two-point outing while Jan Mysak and Lucas Condotta each scored their first goals of the season.
Goaltender Cayden Primeau (2-2-1) evened his record to 2-2-1 on the campaign as he made 31 saves in his second consecutive start and fifth overall.
Less than five minutes into the contest and the puck in the left corner of Luukkonen, the Amerks attempted to break the puck out of the defensive zone. As a Rochester defenseman tried to hit Alexandr Kisakov from the corner, Martel stepped in-front of the young rookie before leaving a pass for Abbandonato.
Abbandonato, who was skating in his second game of the season, quickly gathered the puck and snapped in a shot inside the left post to give the Rocket at 1-0 lead at the 5:22 mark.
Neither team was able to capitalize on their lone power-play of the period and the score remained a 1-0 at the conclusion of the first period.
During the second period, Rochester was able to even the score at 1-1 with Biro’s second of the season 1:48 into the frame, however, Laval countered back with three straight tallies over a span of 9:11 to take a 4-1 cushion.
Following Biro’s goal from Rousek and Kulich, Mysak restored the Rocket lead as he steered in a pass from Alex Belzile and Otto Leskinen at the 4:13 mark.
Laval closed out the scoring in the period as Barron and Simoneau each netted their first of the slate with 10:26 and 6:37 remaining in the frame, respectively.
In the final 20 minutes of regulation, the Rocket scored a pair of even-strength goals, as well as a shorthanded tally and a power-play marker to seal the 8-1 win, capping a run of seven straight unanswered goals.
Following a quick-turnaround, the Amerks and Rocket conclude their weekend set with a 3:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Place Bell. All of the action will be carried live on 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Seven of the Amerks 16 goals this season have come on the power-play, which are third-most among any team in the AHL this season … After the Amerks claimed the first three meetings in 2021-22, the Rocket have responded with points in each of the previous six meetings between the two teams, posting a 5-0-1-0 record over that span … Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is the first Amerks goaltender to start the first six games of the season since David Leggio started the first nine games of the 2012-13 campaign.
ROC: B. Biro (2)
LAV: P. Abbandonato (1), J. Mysak (1), J. Barron (1), X. Simoneau (1), L. Condotta (1), C. Schueneman (1), A. Richard (3), J. Barron (2)
ROC: U. Luukkonen – 19/25 (L), M. Houser – 8/10 (ND)
LAV: C. Primeau – 31/32 (W)
ROC: PP (0/3) | PK (1/3)
LAV: PP (2/3) | PK (3/3)
1. LAV - X. Simoneau
2. LAV - P. Abbandonato
3. LAV - D. Martel