Feb 27, 2022

The line trio of Brett Murray (1+3), Arttu Ruotsalainen (2+1) and Linus Weissbach (0+3) combined for 10 points (3+7) to power the Rochester Americans (26-19-3-2) to a 5-3 bounce-back win over the Toronto Marlies (24-15-3-1) in the second meeting as many days between the two teams Sunday evening at Coca-Cola Coliseum.



Rochester 1 3 1 -- -- 5
Toronto 0 1 2 -- -- 3


                                                                                     GAME SUMMARY  PHOTO GALLERY


The contest was Rochester’s third in the last three days and second of a home-and-home series with the Marlies, who blanked the Amerks by a 4-0 score Saturday afternoon at The Blue Cross Arena. The Amerks, who have one point in six of their last 10 games, show a record of 11-6-1-0 in their last 18 meetings with the Marlies dating back to the 2018-19 campaign.


While Ruotsalainen matched his season-high with two goals and an assist, Murray and Weissbach both registered a career-high with four and three points, respectively, for the Amerks, who closed out the weekend with a pair of wins despite being outshot in all three games. 


Over his last 25 games since the turn of the New Year, Ruotsalainen has tallied 22 points on eight goals and 14 assists, while Murray closed out the month of February with 12 points (7+5) in 13 games. Despite adding just one tally over his last 12 games, Weissbach has notched 10 helpers, which includes three multi-assist games.




Rookie forward Nick Pastujov scored his first American Hockey League goal in the second period, which held up to be the game-winner, while Ethan Prow, who rounded out the scoring with a third-period power-play goal, has 14 points (4+10) over his last 16 games dating back to Jan. 22. Ryan Scarfo and Mitch Eliot both provided an assist in the contest.


Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen upped his record on the slate to 9-8-1 as he stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced, which included 14 in the opening 20 minutes of play. In 12 of his 18 appearances this season, he has allowed three or fewer goals-against while averaging nearly 27 saves per game. Additionally, in two victories this weekend, the Finnish netminder, who made a career-high 54 saves in Friday night’s 2-1 overtime win versus Syracuse, turned aside 87 of the 91 shots he faced for a .956 save percentage.


Toronto’s Joseph Duszak pushed his point streak to eight games as he chipped in a pair of assists while Joey Anderson, Antti Suomela and Jack Kopacka all found the back of the net in the Marlies loss. Netminder Joseph Woll (5-4-0) took the loss as he allowed five goals in his second straight appearance.




After the Marlies cut Rochester’s 2-0 lead in half midway through the second period, the Amerks responded 19 seconds later to restore their two-goal cushion at the 9:38 mark of the period.


The Marlies attempted to clear the puck out of their own zone, but Peter Tischke, who returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games, kept the play alive and rimmed the puck around the boards. Weissbach stopped the puck behind the net before dishing a centering-feed to Murray. As the pass reached his stick, Murray pushed it to his right for a one-time feed to Ruotsalainen, who had the whole net to deposit his second of the game.


Seven minutes later and with Rochester on the power-play, the visitors upped their lead to 4-1 when Pastujov picked the top right corner of Woll as he hammered home a rebound from Eliot and Scarfo.




With Pastujov’s goal, he became the 19th different Rochester forward to score a goal this season and 21st forward to notch one point. The club has had 23 different forwards that have appeared in at least one game through its first 50 contests.


Toronto did not go away quietly, however, as Suomela, who was stonewalled earlier in the contest on a breakaway opportunity, brought the Marlies within one as he beat Luukkonen past the right arm just 6:03 into the frame.


Rochester, however, did not flinch as they drew another penalty on the ensuing face-off and, 14 seconds after Suomela’s goal, Prow gave the club a three-goal advantage.




After a face-off win to the right of Woll, Weissbach and Murray traded passes near the left circle before Murray positioned himself in-front of the goal crease. After the puck eventually came to Prow at the high point, the veteran blasted a shot past the screened netminder for Rochester’s third goal with the man-advantage of the contest.


The Amerks have now scored at least one power-play goal in 26 of their first 50 games this season and have registered multiple power-play tallies in 10 overall following today’s performance.


Facing a three-goal deficit and the game clock under four minutes, the Marlies pulled Woll for an extra-attacker. With the additional player, Toronto was able to trim the score to 5-3, but that would be as close as they would get before Rochester hung on for the victory.




With the five-goal outing, the Amerks’ first since Feb. 2, it also marks the 18th time in the last 19 meetings against the Marlies that the winning team has scored at least four goals dating back to the 2017-18 season.


Rochester scored the opening goal of the game for first time in 11 games as Ruotsalainen finished off a series of tic-tac-toe passing from Murray and Weissbach 6:08 into the contest before Ruotsalainen and Murray teamed up with Peterka to make it a 2-0 lead in the second period.


With the Amerks scoring first, it marks the 22nd time in the last 27 meetings between the two teams dating back to the 2016-17 season the team that scored first has gone on to come away with the victory.




Both Rochester and Toronto each scored three times over the final 31 minutes of regulation, but the Amerks hung on for the 5-3 win.


The Amerks begin the month of March on Wednesday, Mar. 2 when they welcome back the Syracuse Crunch for an intrastate showdown at The Blue Cross Arena for a 7:05 p.m. The North Division matchup gets underway at 7:05 p.m. and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.

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