AMERKS HEAD INTO ALL-STAR BREAK WITH 3-1 WIN OVER LAVAL
Rosen and Jobst score their 11th goals of the season, Levi makes 32 saves as Rochester splits weekend set with RochesterFeb 4, 2024
The Rochester Americans (21-16-3-1) scored twice in the third period and relied on a near-perfect 32-save effort by Devon Levi to defeat the Laval Rocket (19-18-4-2) by a 3-1 score in Saturday afternoon’s rematch between the North Division rivals at Place Bell.
With the victory, Rochester splits the weekend set and heads into the annual All-Star break having picked up at least one point in 16 of its first 22 road games in Laval, going 14-6-2-0 over that span. The Amerks, who have won five of their last eight games overall, finished the season-series with the Rocket boasting a 6-2-0-0 record.
Sandwiched between Isak Rosen and Mason Jobst’s 11th goals of the season, Brett Murray scored his first-career shorthanded marker for Rochester. Tyson Jost, Jiri Kulich, Lukas Rousek, and Justin Richards all added an assist to close out the scoring.
Levi (3-2-0) made his fifth appearance of the campaign, turning aside 32 of 33 shots he faced. The rookie goaltender and Quebec native has finished with 30 or more saves in three of his first five games with the Amerks this season.
Brandon Gignac scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season for Laval during the second period from Lias Andersson and Logan Mailloux. Rookie netminder Jakub Dobeš (13-9-4) made his second consecutive start and 28th appearance of the season. Despite stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced, the first-year goaltender suffered the loss.
Forced to clear off its second penalty of the third period, Rochester sent out its shorthanded unit four minutes into the stanza. After being kept inside the zone for the first half of the infraction, Richards forced a turnover at the wall before springing Murray on a breakaway. The fifth-year forward raced to retrieve the pass, and as he evaded a Rocket defender, he flipped a shot over Dobeš’ left leg to give Rochester a 2-1 lead.
For the final 15 minutes of regulation, Laval tried to force overtime as they outshot the Amerks 11-8. During the final 75 seconds, Dobeš was pulled for an extra attacker, however, Rousek intercepted a pass inside the defensive zone before Jobst sealed the 3-1 win with his 11th of the season.
By earning the win, the Amerks completed the season series with a 6-2-0-0 mark and a winning record against Laval for the sixth consecutive campaign dating back to the 2017-18 slate.
Midway through the opening frame, the Amerks kicked off the scoring on Rosen’s 11th of the season at the 9:39 mark.
After the Swedish forward gathered the puck in the neutral zone from Nikita Novikov, he carried it across the Rocket blueline and snapped a pass to Jost in-between the right face-off circles. Immediately after gaining possession, Jost quickly centered a pass for Kulich to hammer on net. While Dobeš made the initial save, Rosen spotted the puck and stuffed it inside the post.
Early in the second period, Andersson had the puck in the center of the ice and then provided a pass to Gignac. The Rocket’s leading point-getter weaved his way towards the net before slipping a backhanded shot between Levi’s legs to tie the score at 1-1.
After the intermission, Rochester scored twice in the third period to come away with a 3-1 victory.
Following the annual AHL All-Star break, the Amerks return to the ice for a home-and-home series with the Syracuse Crunch beginning on Friday, Feb. 8 at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. North Division showdown will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Stars and Stripes:
Defenseman Noah Laaouan made his Amerks debut today, becoming the 40th different player and the 13th different blueliner to appear in one game with the club this season ... Justin Richards’ assist on Brett Murray’s shorthanded goal in the third period gave him 10 points this season … Richards is the 15th different player for Rochester to have double digits in points in 2023-24 … Mason Jobst, who capped the scoring in the third period, has totaled 10 points (4+6) in 12 games since the start of 2024.
ROC: I. Rosen (11), B. Murray (8), M. Jobst (11)
LAV: B. Gignac (14)
ROC: D. Levi – 27/32 (L)
LAV: J. Dobeš – 24/26 (W)
ROC: PP (0/3) | PK (3/3)
LAV: PP (0/4) | PK (4/4)
1. ROC - B. Murray
2. LAV - B. Gignac
3. ROC - D. Levi