AMERKS HOLD OFF BELLEVILLE TO WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT
Biro records sixth straight multi-point effort, Subban extends win streak in 5-3 win over SenatorsDec 30, 2022
Michael Mersch broke a 3-3 deadlock with 6:04 remaining in the third period and the Rochester Americans (16-9-1-1) held off a late push a from the Belleville Senators (12-16-2-0) in the closing minutes to claim a 5-3 win Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
GAME SUMMARY PHOTO GALLERY POST-GAME REPORT
With their fifth straight win, the Amerks improved to 14-8-5-2 over the last five years versus Belleville. Overall, Rochester sits in second place of the North Division with 34 points, six points behind the Toronto Marlies and three points ahead of the Utica Comets.
It’s the team’s longest stretch since a five-game win streak from Nov. 24 to Dec. 10 of last season.
With his six straight two-point effort, Brandon Biro (1+1) has recorded a team-leading 16 points (6+9) in nine games in the month of December, while Linus Weissbach (0+2) and Mason Jobst (1+1) also logged multi-point outings. Brett Murray and rookie forward Aleksandr Kiskakov each found the back of the net to round out the scoring. Joseph Cecconi, Peter Tischke, Ethan Prow, and Anders Bjork all chipped in one assist apiece.
Goaltender Malcolm Subban (7-2-0) made his fifth straight start and ninth of the season. Over his last eight outings, the Toronto, Ontario native shows a 7-1-0 mark, which includes a five-game winning streak, his longest since the 2015-16 campaign.
Rookie forward Ridly Greig scored twice for his first career multi-goal outing and first multi-point performance of the season for Belleville. Defenseman Jonathan Aspirot scored his first goal of the season while goaltender Mads Sogaard (3-6-1) suffered his third straight defeat as he made 22 saves.
Trailing 3-2 midway through the third period, Belleville capitalized on its fourth power-play of the contest to even the game at the 10:32 mark.
While the Amerks their saw lead evaporate, they responded three minutes later as Mersch found an opening between Sogaard and the left post to put Rochester ahead with 6:04 remaining. Tischke and Cecconi earned the assists on Mersch’s fourth of the season and third in as many games.
Belleville pulled its netminder in an effort to force overtime in the final minutes, but Biro intercepted a pass deep inside the Amerks zone and banked a pass off the boards that sprung Murray all alone into the opposite end of the ice.
By capping off the scoring with his team-leading 12th goal of the season, Murray remains well on pace of matching the career-high 15 goals he scored last season and is only two points away from 100 as an Amerk.
Despite the Senators opening the scoring early in the first frame, Rochester scored three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead six minutes into the second period.
On the first Amerks goal of the night, Jobst was pinned against the boards just inside the Amerks blueline. Fellow linemates Bjork and Weissbach carried the puck into the offensive zone before Weissbach pulled up and centered it for Jobst as he skated through the hashmarks. The Speedway, Indiana, native continued on his path to his left, and while approaching the left circle, snapped a shot over the left hand of Sogaard for his third of the season.
The two clubs went into the intermission knotted up at one but just 22 seconds into the middle frame, Rochester drew its first power-play of the contest.
The Amerks only needed 14 seconds on the ensuing man-advantage, though, as Rousek setup Prow atop the right point inside the Senators blueline. The veteran defenseman’s offering was turned aside by Sogaard, who inadvertently pushed the rebound his right. Biro gathered the puck and beat the netminder to give Rochester a 2-1 lead.
Less than five minutes later, Rochester again gained another power-play.
Much like the first infraction, the Amerks made quick work as Mersch provided an outlet to Jobst near center ice. The forward raced into the offensive zone before handing a pass to Weissbach at the left wing. Before reaching the corner, the Swedish forward sent a cross-ice for Kiskakov at the far post to double the lead.
Their two power-play goals marks the first time since Nov. 25 that the Amerks have scored multiple power-play tallies. Additionally, with a goal on the man-advantage on Wednesday and again tonight, it’s the first time the club has converted on the powerplay in back-to-back home games since Nov. 23 and Nov. 25.
The Senators scored in the final minute of the second and halfway through the third to even the game at three, but Mersch and Murray capped off the 5-3 victory.
The Amerks look to extend their winning streak on Saturday, Dec. 31 as they close out 2022 with a matinee north of the border against the first-place Toronto Marlies at Coca-Cola Coliseum. Game time is slated for a 4:00 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Mason Jobst recorded a goal and an assist to push his point streak to three straight games, matching his longest of the season ... With his second point of the game, he tied his career-high point total (13) and is two goals away from equaling a personal-best ... Lawrence Pilut, who turned 27 years old today, returned to the lineup tonight after a two-month recall with the Buffalo Sabres.
BEL: R. Greig (6,7), J. Aspirot (1)
ROC: M. Jobst (3), B. Biro (9), A. Kisakov (4), M. Mersch (4), B. Murray (12)
BEL: M. Sogaard – 22/26 (L)
ROC: M. Subban – 28/31 (W)
BEL: PP (1/4) | PK (1/3)
ROC: PP (2/3) | PK (3/4)
1. ROC - M. Jobst
2. ROC - M. Mersch
3. BEL - R. Greig