AMERKS UNABLE TO CLIMB OUT OF EARLY DEFICIT IN 5-3 LOSS TO SENATORS
Ethan Prow assists on all three goals from Kulich, Rosen and BjorkFeb 2, 2023
The Rochester Americans (20-17-2-1) fell behind 3-0 and were never able to fully recover as they dropped the first of back-to-back meetings, 5-3, to the Belleville Senators (17-22-3-1) Thursday at CAA Arena.
The teams will meet again on Saturday, Feb. 4 in the final game prior to the 2023 AHL All-Star break.
Amerks defenseman Ethan Prow (0+3) notched his first three-assist outing since Oct. 19, 2019, and his first three-point game since Jan. 15, 2022, to lead all scorers. Rookie forwards Jiri Kulich and Isak Rosen both scored in the second period before Anders Bjork added a third-period marker. Sean Malone, Brett Murray, and Lawrence Pilut, who finished with a career-high seven shots on goal, all recorded on assist each.
Goaltender Malcolm Subban (10-7-0) made his 18th appearance of the season but suffered his third consecutive loss. Since posting a seven-game winning streak, the Toronto, Ontario, native has gone 1-5-1 over his last seven outings.
Brennan Saulnier (2+0) and Roby Jarventie (1+1) both registered multi-point performances while Dillon Heatherington (1+0) and Jake Lucchini (1+0) rounded out the scoring for Belleville. Goaltender Mads Sogaard (6-9-1) made his 20th appearance of the season while earning the win as he stopped 35 of the 38 shots he faced.
Facing a 4-1 deficit in the final minute of the second period, Rochester forced a face-off to the right of the Belleville netminder.
Malone won the draw to the point for Prow and immediately Rosen sprinted below the opposite face-off circle. As Prow waited for the rookie to get positioned, he zipped a perfect pass onto the stick and Rosen tucked it over the glove of Sogaard to trim the deficit to two seconds before the horn.
Rochester seemed to use the momentum following the intermission, but despite testing Sogaard, the club was unable to make it a one-goal game for a majority of the final period.
The Amerks pulled Subban in a last ditch effort, but Heatherington blocked a shot in the defensive zone then cleared the puck the length of the ice and into the empty net with 2:31 to play.
Despite pulling its netminder a second time and capitalizing with the extra-attacker, Rochester could only manage to make it a 5-3 score on Bjork’s goal from Prow and Pilut before the clock ran out.
With 10 points (4+6) over his last seven games, Bjork became the eighth different Amerk to reach the 20-point mark this season while Prow notched his fourth straight campaign with 20 or more assists.
In the opening period, Rochester was unable to capitalize on its first two power-plays of the night and Belleville used the momentum to take a 2-0 lead into the intermission break.
The Senators got on the board first with Saulnier’s first of the night as he roofed a shot from the left circle after being sprung into the zone from Jacob Larsson and Jarventie.
Following Saulnier’s first at the 6:04 mark, Lucchini doubled the Belleville lead as he was centered a pass after a face-off win by Egor Sokolov and Jonathan Aspirot with just under five minutes left in the stanza.
While Belleville pushed its advantage to 3-0, the Amerks got on the board thanks to a rebound tally by Kulich 58 seconds later.
Prior to Kulich tucking in his eighth goal of the campaign, Prow made a quick pass to Murray, who was able to get a shot away. While Murray’s initial attempt was denied, Kulich pushed the puck behind Sogaard to make it a two-goal deficit.
Later in the second period, the Senators restored their three-goal lead as Saulnier gathered a drop pass from Maxence Guenette atop the face-off circles and snapped home his second of the contest at the 14:51 mark.
Rochester added a goal late in the second and third periods, respectively, but Belleville held off the final push for a 5-3 victory.
The Amerks will look to snap their three-game skid with a 7:05 p.m. rematch against the Senators on Saturday, Feb. 4 from CAA Arena. All the action will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
By scoring his fifth goal of the season tonight, Isak Rosen has two goals and one assist over his last five games while rookie Jiri Kulich has five points (1+4) in his last three outings ... Ethan Prow has recorded five assists over his last four outings and 12 points (2+10) since Dec. 28.
BEL: B. Saulnier (5, 6), J. Lucchini (9), R. Jarventie (3), D. Heatherington (3)
ROC: J. Kulich (8), I. Rosen (5), A. Bjork (8)
BEL: M. Sogaard – 35/38 (W)
ROC: M. Subban – 14/18 (L)
BEL: PP (0/6) | PK (5/5)
ROC: PP (0/5) | PK (6/6)
1. BEL - R. Jarventie
2. BEL - B. Saulnier
3. BEL - M. Sogaard