AMERKS FALL IN REMATCH WITH MONSTERS
Biro scores twice, Prow records 200th professional point in 4-3 loss to ClevelandDec 3, 2022
Brandon Biro scored twice over the final 40 minutes of regulation, but the Rochester Americans (11-7-1-1) were on the wrong side of a 4-3 score Saturday night against the Cleveland Monsters (10-6-1-2) at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
With the loss, the Amerks split the two-game series with the Monsters following the 4-3 overtime win Thursday. Rochester has earned at least one point in seven of its last 11 games and boast an 11-7-1-1 record overall. The team is second in the North Division standings with 24 points through its first 20 games of the campaign.
With his first two-goal outing of the campaign, Biro has totaled 17 points (7+10) over his last 17 games dating back to last season. Forward Sean Malone opened the scoring for the Amerks with his seventh goal from Michael Mersch. Lukas Rousek, who appeared in his 200th professional game, and Ethan Prow, who notched his 200th career professional point, both recorded an assist.
Goaltender Michael Houser (3-3-0) appeared in his eighth contest of the slate, but suffered his third defeat in the crease. Houser turned aside 22 of the 26 shots he faced.
Forwards Joona Luoto (1+1), Brendan Gaunce (1+0) and Josh Dunne (1+0) all logged one goal each before Robbie Payne capped off the scoring for Cleveland, which has earned at least one point in 10 of its last 12 games. Netminder Jet Greaves (3-3-1) made his ninth appearance of the campaign, stopping 29 saves to earn the win.
Late in the second period of a 2-2 score, the Monsters took a one-goal lead with 1:24 remaining as they forced a turnover inside the Amerks zone.
After Cole Fonstad forced a turnover, he and Kirill Marchenko handed it to Gaunce atop the left circle and he made no mistake to put Cleveland back on top, 3-2.
In the third period, Cleveland extended its lead to 4-2 just as an Amerk tripping infraction was set to expire.
Rochester nearly successfully cleared off the penalty, but just before it expired, Payne tucked a shot inside the left post of a screened Houser at the 6:36 mark.
With the Amerks facing a two-goal deficit, they cut into score less than two minutes following the Cleveland goal.
As Prow retrieved a cleared puck inside of the Rochester zone, he quickly turned and fired it to Rousek outside the far blueline. Rousek stepped into the Cleveland zone before snapping a pass to Biro, who joined the rush. The third-year pro held the puck before picking the corner over the left shoulder of Greaves for his second of the night with 12:03 left in regulation.
The Amerks pushed to find the equalizer and pulled Houser for the final two minutes of regulation, however, the bid ran short as Greaves and company held on for the 4-3 win.
On the game’s first shift, Owen Sillinger entered the Rochester zone by skating down the right wall. As the forward reached Houser, his initial shot was denied, as was his second, but Dunne poked home the puck the rest of the way to open the scoring just 38 seconds into the first period.
Three minutes later, an ill-advised Cleveland pass from deep inside the Amerks end of the ice sent the puck around the boards. Greaves eventually stopped it behind his net while fending off pressure from Brett Murray, but was eventually stripped by Mersch. With Malone stepping in-between the hashmarks, Mersch spotted the center and the Buffalo native tucked it into the net.
The goal at 3:05 was Malone’s seventh of the season and eighth point (5+3) over his last six games dating back to Oct. 29. After being held without off a point in his first two games of the campaign, Mersch has eight points (1+7) in his last eight outings.
Cleveland responded to reclaim its lead as Luoto banged in a cross-crease pass from Emil Bemstrom with just under 12 minutes left to play in the first.
The Amerks pressed in the second period to even the score as they trailed 2-1 for the first 14 minutes.
As Biro won a face-off to the left of the Monsters zone, Priskie had the puck atop the center of the zone. While the blueliner fired a shot that went wide of the cage, the rebound bounced off the end boards for Biro to shovel past Greaves with six minutes to play.
The Monsters tallied once in the second and third periods, respectively, while Biro scored the only Amerks goal.
The Amerks return to The Blue Cross Arena to kick off a busy stretch of three games in four nights as they welcome back the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Amerks forward Jiri Kulich entered the contest riding a five-game point streak, which included goals in three straight games ... Through the first three games of the season series with Cleveland, Rochester has had nine different goal-scorers and seven different players record multi-point efforts ... Despite tonight’s defeat, the Amerks boast an 11-6-0-0 record in Cleveland over the last five seasons.
ROC: S. Malone (7), B. Biro (4, 5)
CLE: J. Dunne (1), J. Luoto (5), B. Gaunce (6), R. Payne (1)
ROC: M. Houser – 22/26 (L)
CLE: J. Greaves – 29/32 (W)
ROC: PP (0/2) | PK (4/5)
CLE: PP (1/5) | PK (2/2)
1. CLE - J. Luoto
2. CLE - R. Payne
3. CLE - J. Dunne