AMERKS TAKE DOWN ROCKET IN WEEKEND OPENER
Seven different players record multi-point nights in 8-4 blowout win over LavalFeb 24, 2023
On the strength of seven different skaters recording a multi-point night and a total of five different goal-scorers, the Rochester Americans (24-20-3-1) erupted for an 8-4 victory over the Laval Rocket (21-21-7-2) Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
GAME SUMMARY PHOTO GALLERY POST-GAME REPORT
By scoring eight goals tonight, it’s the most the Amerks have scored all season and the most in 29 all-time meetings against Laval.
Forward Lukas Rousek (1+2) recorded his first three-point outing of his AHL career while Jiri Kulich (2+1), Michael Mersch (2+0), Brandon Biro (0+2), Lawrence Pilut (0+2), Vinnie Hinostroza (0+2), and Matt Bartkowski (0+2) all produced a multi-point performance. Jeremy Davies, Ethan Prow, Linus Weissbach each scored one goal. Sean Malone, Tyson Kozak, Brett Murray, and Anders Bjork rounded out the scoring as they notched one assist.
Goaltender Malcolm Subban (12-10-1) made 20 saves en route to picking up his 12th victory of the season. The win was also his 70th career AHL win.
Brandon Gignac (1+2) and Gabriel Bourque (1+1) both turned in a multi-point effort for Laval. Goaltenders Cayden Primeau (9-8-5) and Kevin Poulin (10-12-3) each stopped 13 of the 17 shots they faced while Poulin suffered the defeat. Primeau drew the starting nod before Poulin entered for the final 35 minutes of regulation.
Taking a 6-4 lead into the final period of regulation, Kulich pushed the advantage to three as he received a breakout pass from Bjork at center ice.
Later in the stanza, with a face-off to the right of Poulin, Kozak won the draw back to Bartkowski at the left point. The veteran blueliner quickly snapped a pass to Weissbach just inside the far circle. Weissbach instantly wristed a shot behind the Laval netminder to close out the scoring as he snapped a 14-game goal-scoring drought.
During the first period, Rochester quickly opened the scoring and then took a 3-1 lead into the intermission break.
The Amerks set the tone early on the game’s first shift as Davies netted his seventh of the season just 35 seconds into the contest. The Quebec native joined an odd-man rush with Biro and Rousek before he fired a shot from the left circle beating Primeau to the short-side.
Laval countered back to even the score on Bourque’s 10th of the season, but the Amerks reclaimed their lead on a pair of tallies from Rousek and Mersch 34 seconds apart.
On Rochester’s second goal of the night, Biro carried the puck up the ice out of the defensive zone and centered a pass for Rousek near the center-ice logo. Rousek flashed his way towards Primeau and picked the top-right corner.
On the next shift, Malone intercepted a pass behind the Rocket net and handed a pass to Hinostroza. As the veteran forward stepped out from behind Primeau, he sent a cross-crease feed for Mersch and the Amerks swatted it into the open net for his first of two on the night.
Laval scored 2:10 into the second period to make it a one-goal deficit, but the Amerks added two more in less than a two-minute span on Prow and Kulich’s goals.
To close out the scoring in the middle period, Laval scored twice, and Rochester netted one in the final six minutes of play.
In-between the Rocket goals, Mersch located a loose puck atop the crease during a net-front scramble and pushed it across the goal-line while on the power-play to make it a 6-4 score after 40 minutes of play.
Kulich and Weissbach both scored in the final period of regulation to conclude the 8-4 victory.
The Amerks continue their three-game weekend on Saturday, Feb. 25 when they close out their season-series with the Springfield Thunderbirds at MassMutual Center. 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.
With three goals in each of the first two periods, it marked the first time the Amerks scored three or more goals in back-to-back frames versus Laval ... Matt Bartkowski recorded a pair of assists for his first multi-point effort as an Amerk and first two-assist outing since April 6, 2022 ... Lukas Rousek factored in on three of the eight goals tonight, scoring once and adding two assists to take over the team’s scoring lead with 34 points (11+23) in 48 games.
LAV: G. Bourque (10), B. Gignac (10), L. Condotta (16), J. Teasdale (19)
ROC: J. Davies (7), L. Rousek (11), M. Mersch (10, 11), E. Prow (5), J. Kulich (13, 14), L. Weissbach (14)
LAV: C. Primeau – 13/17 (ND) | K. Poulin – 13/17 (L)
ROC: M. Subban – 20/24 (W)
LAV: PP (1/1) | PK (1/2)
ROC: PP (1/2) | PK (0/1)
1. ROC - J. Kulich
2. ROC - L. Rousek
3. ROC - M. Mersch