AMERKS REMAIN UNBEATEN AT HOME IN ROUT OF SYRACUSENov 2, 2022
Seven different goal-scorers coupled with a stellar 24-save effort from goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen powered the Rochester Americans (5-3-0-0) to a dominating 7-2 win over the Syracuse Crunch (1-4-1-2) Wednesday at The Blue Cross Arena.
With the win, it marks Rochester’s fourth straight on home ice and seventh in last eight dating back to the end of the 2021-22 campaign. With a 5-3-0-0 overall record this season and 10 points, the club is tied for the top spot in the North Division.
Forwards Brandon Biro (1+1), Linus Weissbach (1+1), Lukas Rousek (0+2) joined defenseman Oskari Laaksonen (0+2) as the team’s multi-point-getters on the night while Matt Bartkowski, Brendan Warren and Mason Jobst each scored their first goals of the season. Jiri Kulich and Brett Murray rounded out the scoring for Rochester, which has now outscored its opponents 12-3 over the last outings.
Ethan Prow, Isak Rosen, Mitch Eliot, Filip Cederqvist, Anders Bjork, and Riley Sheahan, who made his Amerks debut after being loaned to the Amerks from the Buffalo Sabres Monday, all earned an assist in the win.
Luukkonen, who made his seventh start in eight games, made 24 saves to improve to 4-3-0 with the victory. Dating back to the 2021-22 slate, Luukkonen boasts a 10-5-5 record in his last 20 starts.
Daniel Walcott scored his third goal of the season for Syracuse, who remains winless on the road this season, while rookie Jack Thompson added his first professional tally. Netminder Max Lagace (1-3-2) stopped 14 of the 21 shots he faced but suffered the loss.
In the first 10 minutes of play, each team took a pair of penalties while Syracuse held a 7-1 shot advantage prior to Rochester drawing its second man-advantage of the period.
As a high-sticking infraction was nearing its completion, the Amerks used quick passing as every member of the power-play unit touched the puck before Biro centered a pass atop the zone for Prow. The veteran blueliner laid a perfect one-time pass to the right circle for Kulich and the rookie hammered it past Lagace to break the scoreless game.
Less than four minutes later after Kulich’s second tally in as many games, Bartkowski gathered a pass outside the Amerks blueline and raced through the neutral zone. The newcomer, who joined the club last weekend, sprinted towards Lagace and backhanded a shot overtop the left shoulder of the netminder.
Bartkowski’s goal from Sheahan and Rosen helped Rochester carry a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
After the Crunch cut into Rochester’s cushion 3:22 into the stanza, the Amerks countered back with three goals in a span of 5:15 to push their lead to 5-1 at 15:34 mark.
On Rochester’s first of the three-goal frenzy, Bjork gained the Syracuse blueline and left the puck for Eliot, who joined the play from his defensive position. As the defenseman stepped out of the left corner, he fired the puck to Lagace and the rebound was banged into the yawning net by Warren.
Shortly after Warren’s first goal of the season, Weissbach tucked a shot past the stick side of Lagace after gathering a pass from Laaksonen and Rousek.
Biro began the play as he provided the outlet pass to Rousek from in-front of the Crunch bench.
Rochester capped its scoring in the period as Zach Berzolla picked up a loose puck from atop Luukkonen’s crease and dished it towards the top of the defensive zone for Rousek. The rookie forward stepped across the blueline with the puck before sending Weissbach with an outlet pass for both he and Biro.
While Weissbach raced past a Crunch defenseman, he centered the puck back for Biro and he quickly snapped it overtop the glove of Lagace with 4:26 left in the second period.
Syracuse trimmed the score to 5-2 late in the frame as Thompson netted his first professional goal.
Entering the final 20 minutes of regulation with a three-goal lead, Rochester quickly added to its cushion 78 seconds into period as Murray redirected a Laaksonen shot past Lagace.
Already holding 6-2 cushion, Jobst completed the onslaught as he gathered a loose puck in the neutral zone near the boards. The Speedway, Indiana, native sprinted through the center of the ice before converting on a breakaway opportunity for his first goal of the season at the 14:34 mark.
The Amerks begin a home-and-home series with the Utica Comets on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:05 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. All the action will be carried live on 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Brandon Biro and Linus Weissbach each finished with a goal and an assist and are now tied for the team’s scoring lead with nine points through the first eight games ... Dating back to last season, Biro has totaled 11 points (5+6) over his last 11 games and hasn’t gone more than one game without a point over that span ... The Amerks have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their four home matchups, going 7-for-21 over that span for a 33.3% conversion rate that is fourth-best in the AHL ... The seven power-play goals are also tied for the most with Ontario at home this season.
SYR: D. Walcott (3), J. Thompson (1)
ROC: J. Kulich (2), M. Bartkowski (1), B. Warren (1), L. Weissbach (5), B. Biro (3), B. Murray (4), M. Jobst (1)
SYR: M. Lagace – 14/21 (L)
ROC: U. Luukkonen – 24/26 (W)
SYR: PP (0/3) | PK (4/5)
ROC: PP (1/5) | PK (3/3)
1. ROC - B. Biro
2. ROC - L. Weissbach
3. ROC - O. Laaksonen