AMERKS DROP REMATCH WITH MARLIES NORTH OF THE BORDERFeb 18, 2023
The Rochester Americans (23-20-2-1) were unable to sweep the home-and-home series with the Toronto Marlies (34-13-2-1), who after dropping a 6-2 decision to the Amerks last night, flipped the script with a 5-1 win in this afternoon’s rematch between the two teams at Coca-Cola Coliseum.
The game, which marked Rochester’s final trip of the season to Toronto, was also the second of a three-in-three weekend for the Amerks. Despite the defeat, the Amerks have recorded points in six of the last nine games between the two teams while also earning wins in four of the last seven affairs in Toronto dating back to last season.
Rookie forward Filip Cederqvist snapped a 20-game goal-scoring drought as he notched his fourth of the season late in the third period to spoil Toronto’s bid for a shutout. Linus Weissbach and Brendan Warren each recorded an assist on the play while goaltender Malcolm Subban (11-10-1) made his 22nd appearance of the slate. Warren, who matched a career-high with four shots on goal, also equaled his personal-best in assists on the season.
Forward Bobby McMann logged his first professional hat trick for the Marlies, who scored four third-period goals and came within nearly two minutes of recording their first shutout since Mar. 17, 2022. McMann has totaled eight of his 16 goals over his last six games, which includes five goals in the last three. Logan Shaw booked a multi-point effort while Marc Johnstone and Kyle Clifford both found the back of the net.
Netminder Keith Petruzzelli (11-5-0) turned aside 26 of the 27 shots he faced while nearly earning his first career AHL shutout. Since Dec. 9, the netminder has gone 4-1-0 in his last five appearances.
While neither club was able to score in the opening period despite earning two power-plays, Toronto netted the only goal through the first 40 minutes of play.
In the middle frame, the Marlies cycled the puck around the boards to Subban’s right, where Shaw gathered it. The captain dished a pass atop the point for Marshall Rifai around the 6:30 mark. Rifai fired a shot towards the net, and prior to the puck reaching the cage, McMann redirected it in for his 14th goal of the slate and first of three on the day.
The Marlies carried a one-goal advantage into the final period of regulation then grabbed a 3-0 lead as they scored twice in a less than two minutes.
Rochester attempted to stage a comeback and pulled Subban for the final four minutes, but Clifford picked the pocket of an Amerk defender just inside the blueline. Clifford took a few strides to the empty net and then shot in his fourth of the season.
On the ensuing shift, Nick Abruzzese dumped the puck behind the Amerks net where Shaw gathered it. The veteran drew the attention of Rochester skaters before centering a feed for McMann to complete the three-goal outing with 3:02 to play.
The Amerks, however, spoiled the shutout with just over two minutes left in regulation as Cederqvist capitalized on a loose rebound in Petruzzelli’s crease.
Matt Bartkowski started the net-front scramble as he rifled a shot from the left point before Weissbach and Warren both attempted to shove the puck across the line.
The Amerks return home on Sunday, Feb. 19 to close out their first three-in-three weekend as they welcome back the Syracuse Crunch for an afternoon matinee at The Blue Cross Arena. Game time is slated for a 3:05 p.m. start and will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Linus Weissbach collected his first point since Jan. 27, snapping a season-long six-game scoreless drought while Brendan Warren recorded his first point since Nov. 19 ... With one game left to play this season versus the Marlies, the Amerks (4-3-0-0) are guaranteed to finish the head-to-head series with at least a .500 winning percentage for the first time since the 2018-19 campaign (5-1-0-0).
ROC: F. Cederqvist (4)
TOR: B. McMann (14, 15, 16), M. Johnstone (6), K. Clifford (4)
ROC: M. Subban – 25/29 (L)
TOR: K. Petruzzelli – 26/27 (W)
ROC: PP (0/7) | PK (2/2)
TOR: PP (0/2) | PK (7/7)
1. TOR - B. McMann
2. TOR - K. Petruzzelli
3. TOR - M. Johnstone