AMERKS FALL IN REMATCH WITH CHECKERSFeb 4, 2022
After defeating the Charlotte Checkers (22-16-2-0) by a 5-1 score in the first of back-to-back meetings on Wednesday, the Rochester Americans (22-14-2-1) were unable to duplicate the effort in Friday’s rematch, dropping a 5-2 decision to the defending Calder Cup champions at The Blue Cross Arena.
Despite the loss, Rochester shows a 4-2-2-1 record in its last nine home games while also earning points in 17 of its last 26 games dating back to Nov. 19.
Brandon Biro assisted on both Rochester goals tonight to extend his current point streak to six games, recording eight points (2+6) over that span. Michael Mersch, who finished with a team-high six shots on goal, saw his career-long nine-game point streak come to an end. Linus Weissbach (1+1) factored in on both goals for his second multi-point outing in six games before JJ Peterka became the fourth different Amerk this season to reach the 10-goal mark as he scored during the third period.
Josh Teves recorded his second assist in the last three games and 10th of the campaign while Peyton Krebs, who returned earlier this week following an 11-game stint with the Buffalo Sabres, made his first appearance with Rochester since Dec. 19.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Goaltender Aaron Dell suffered his first regulation of the season with the Amerks after starting the slate with a perfect 6-0-0 mark. Despite making 18 saves, the veteran netminder took the loss. He came within one win of matching a career-best seven-game win streak he posted during the 2014-15 season as a member of the Worcester Sharks.
Former Amerk Zac Dalpe (3+1), who netted Charlotte’s fourth hat trick over the las 11 games, registered his first four-point outing since Nov. 18, 2018. Before two-time Stanley Cup champion Scott Wilson sealed the 5-2 win with his fifth goal in the last three games, Logan Hutsko booked his eighth marker of the season. Cale Fleury (0+2) completed the scoring as he added a pair of helpers.
Rookie goaltender Spencer Knight, who was reassigned from the Florida Panthers prior to Wednesday’s contest, stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced to improve to 2-1-0 with the Checkers this season.
WATCH: SETH APPERT POST-GAME
Nearly five minutes after Peterka picked the top corner of Knight’s net to cut the Checkers deficit to one and make it a 3-2 score, Dalpe completed his three-goal outing as he split the Rochester defense on his way towards Dell. As Dalpe reached the front of the goal-mouth, Charlotte’s team captain tucked a shot over the glove of the Amerk netminder to push the score to 4-2 with just over 10 minutes left in regulation.
Rochester kept pressing to chip into the score yet again, but after pulling Dell in favor of the extra attacker for the final two minutes of the contest, Wilson sealed the victory as he scored into the open net.
Early in the opening period, the Amerks nearly took a 1-0 lead as Ryan Scarfo and Weissbach raced into the offensive zone, but the duo could not capitalize on the odd-man rush.
WATCH: LINUS WEISSBACH POST-GAME
The Checkers used momentum from Knight’s save to kick-start the scoring 4:29 into the frame. As Serron Noel dug the puck out of the left corner of Dell, he pushed a pass to Dalpe just below the face-off dot. After being denied, Dalpe collected his own rebound and wrapped around the cage before slipping it inside the right post and Dell’s outstretched leg.
Less than three minutes later, Rochester evened the score at one as Weissbach tucked in a loose rebound past Knight with 13 minutes left in the period.
As it appeared the Checkers were going to break the puck out of their own zone, Biro forced a turnover just inside the blueline and centered a pass for Teves, who joined the rush. The Amerks defenseman caught the defenders flat-footed and fired a shot on Knight before Weissbach pushed the puck across the goal-line.
WATCH: JJ PETERKA POST-GAME
With the secondary helper, Biro has 24 points (7+17) over his last 21 games dating back to Nov. 27 while Weissbach has six points (2+4) over his last six games.
Charlotte, though, responded 5:11 later while on its first power-play of the night, as Hutsko blasted a one-time feed from the left face-off dot just 20 seconds into an Amerks hooking infraction. The marker, which pushed the score to 2-1, held up until the Checkers added their third goal of the night seven minutes into the final period of play.
Peterka gave Rochester some life as he scored his 10th of the season at the 7:36 mark but Dalpe and Wilson countered to complete the 5-2 win for Charlotte, who took three of the four meetings in the season series.
The Amerks close out the weekend on Saturday, Feb. 5 as they head north of the border for a 4:00 p.m. matinee against the Toronto Marlies at Coca-Cola Coliseum. The contest will be the third of six meetings between the North Division rivals this season and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.