AMERKS HEAD INTO CHRISTMAS BREAK WITH OVERTIME WIN OVER CRUNCH
Biro records eighth multi-point effort as Rochester snaps skid in 3-2 win over SyracuseDec 23, 2023
The Rochester Americans (13-10-2-1) held the Syracuse Crunch (15-9-2-2) to just five shots in the final period before Brandon Biro capped the 3-2 win in overtime on Saturday at Upstate Medical University Arena.
With the overtime victory, the Amerks have won two of the first three games against the Crunch this season, which included a shootout win back on Nov. 4. Dating back to the 2022-23 regular season versus Syracuse, six of the last eight meetings between the two clubs have been decided beyond regulation.
Along with the overtime-winning marker, Biro also logged an assist on Lukas Rousek’s second-period goal to finish with a pair points, his eighth multi-point outing of the season. Aleksandr Kisakov scored his fourth goal of the season to kick-off the scoring for Rochester, which snapped its 0-3-0-0 winless skid. Joseph Cecconi, Jeremy Davies, Isak Rosen, and Jacob Bryson all notched one assist apiece.
Goaltender Dustin Tokarski improved his record to 5-5-1 on the season as he made 24 saves in the victory. The win was his first since Nov. 22 and his 11th appearance of the campaign overall.
Gage Goncalves (0+2) tallied two assists while Philippe Myers and Felix Robert both scored for Syracuse, which has dropped four straight home games. Netminder Matt Tomkins (4-3-1) suffered the defeat despite stopping 28 of the 31 shots he faced.
Trailing 1-0 to begin the second period, Rochester grabbed a 2-1 lead as they scored on consecutive shots 3:18 apart.
Moments after Filip Cederqvist nearly forced a turnover inside the Crunch zone, Kisakov grabbed a loose puck in the center of the ice after two Syracuse skaters accidentally collided. The second-year winger sprinted across the blueline before leaving a drop pass for Davies as he joined the rush. The Quebec native was forced to the outside of the zone but flung a shot that glanced off Kisakov’s torso before trickling across the goal-line to tie the score.
Shortly after Kisakov’s tally, Cecconi scooped up the puck inside his own blueline before providing an outlet pass to Rousek as he sped up the ice. The flashy forward darted into the offensive zone, and following a give-and-go sequence with Biro in-between the circles, he quickly wired a shot from the right dot to give the Amerks their first lead of the night.
Syracuse answered Rousek’s goal nearly three minutes later as Robert steered Goncalves’ low shot along the ice as he was parked to the left of the Amerks netminder.
The Amerks tried to secure the win in third period as they outshot Syracuse 10-5 over the final 20 minutes of play, however, the game headed to the extra frame remained knotted at 2-2.
Both clubs each traded shots in the first two minutes of overtime, but as Rosen was on a breakaway towards Tomkins, the Swedish forward drew a holding infraction to give Rochester its fourth power-play of the contest.
On the ensuing man-advantage, Rosen gave Biro a cross-ice feed pass to enter the Crunch blueline. As Brett Murray provided a screen in-front of the Crunch net, Biro and Bryson exchanged passes atop the left circle. Biro patiently waited as he drifted to the top of the circle before wiring a shot over the right shoulder of Tomkins to seal the 3-2 victory.
Neither team was unable to capitalize on their first power-plays of the contest, however, Syracuse got on the board first with Myer’s second of the season with less than five minutes to play in the first period.
The Amerks scored twice after the intermission break to grab a 2-1 lead, but the Crunch ultimately forced overtime midway through the second period.
Rochester earned the extra point in the overtime on Biro’s ninth goal of the season with less than two minutes left in bonus stanza.
The Amerks return from the annual Christmas break on Wednesday, Dec. 27 as the home-and-home series shifts to Rochester for a rematch at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. face-off from will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Stars and Stripes:
In the last eight games where Brandon Brio has recorded a point, he has eight multi-point performances dating back to Oct. 27 … Rochester improved to 4-0 this season on the road in overtime and 6-2 overall in the extra frame … The Amerks have scored at least one power-play goal in 24 of their 39 games (34-for-140) against Syracuse since Seth Appert took over as head coach prior to the 2020-21 season.
ROC: A. Kisakov (4), L. Rousek (5), B. Biro (9)
SYR: P. Myers (2), F. Robert (10)
ROC: D. Tokarski – 24/26 (W)
SYR: M. Tomkins – 28/31 (OTL)
ROC: PP (1/4) | PK (3/3)
SYR: PP (0/3) | PK (3/4)
1. ROC - B. Biro
2. SYR - G. Goncalves
3. SYR - P. Myers