Metsa, Neuchev and Jost each record multi-point games in 6-5 loss to Cleveland

Jan 6, 2024

The Rochester Americans (15-12-3-1) erased multiple two-goal deficits to force overtime but ultimately came up short in a 6-5 high-scoring affair in Saturday’s rematch against the first-place Cleveland Monsters (22-9-1-0) at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.



                                                                     GAME SUMMARY      PHOTO GALLERY


Despite being unable to complete the two-game sweep over the Monsters, the Amerks have earned at least a point in three of the first five games against Cleveland. Rochester boasts a 41-21-7-4 record over the last 10 years versus the Monsters dating back to the start of the 2011-12 campaign.


Rookie defenseman Zach Metsa turned in a career-best three-point night as he scored twice to go with an assist while fellow first-year forward Viktor Neuchev (0+2) and Tyson Jost each recorded a pair of assists. Brandon Biro, Jeremy Davies, and Isak Rosen all scored one goal each for the Amerks, who have points in their last three road games and five of their last six dating away from Rochester dating back to Dec. 13.


Lukas Rousek extended his point streak to a career-best eight games with an assist while Graham Slaggert, Mason Jobst, Michael Mersch and Aleksandr Kisakov all tallied an assist as well.



Goaltender Dustin Tokarski (6-6-2) made his 14th appearance of the campaign and fourth in the last six games for Rochester. The veteran netminder made 34 saves but suffered the overtime loss.


Justin Pearson (1+2), Trey Fix-Wolansky (2+0) and Owen Sillinger (0+2) combined for three goals and four assists to lead the Monsters to their 23rd win of the season and second in three games to begin the New Year. Jake Gaudet (1+1) and Jake Christiansen (1+1) also added multi-point efforts while Alex Whelan opened the scoring in the first period.



Goaltender Pavel Cajan (4-4-1) earned the start for Cleveland but was replaced by Jet Greaves (17-4-0) prior to the third period. Cajan finished with 18 saves while Greaves stopped 11 of 12 to record the victory.


Trailing 5-3 with under four minutes to play in the second period, Mersch swept the puck inside the offensive zone for Jobst to grab. The Speedway, Indiana, native gained possession before coming to a stop and moving the puck across the zone for Davies to fire over the shoulder of Cajan.


After the intermission break, the Amerks recorded the first five shots of the third period seven minutes into the frame.



On the club’s fifth shot, Rosen finished off a centering feed from Jost as he was parked to the right of the goal crease to even the score at 5-5. Neuchev earned the secondary assist on the goal at the 4:15 mark as he kept the puck from exiting the zone.


Following Rosen’s goal, neither club found the back of the opposition’s net, thus requiring overtime.



In the extra frame, the Amerks had the first shot early, however, the Monsters had two, including Fix-Wolansky’s game-clincher in the final two minutes to cap the 6-5 score.


While Metsa opened the scoring 7:58 into the contest from Neuchev and Jost on the power-play, Cleveland countered back with three straight to take a 3-1 advantage into the break.



After the teams emerged from the dressing rooms for the second stanza, Riley Stillman dropped the gloves with Billy Sweezey in the first two minutes to provide a spark for the visitors.


Shortly thereafter, Rousek controlled the puck in center of the ice near Rochester’s bench and drifted across the blueline. As the Czech native pulled up along the boards, he backhanded a pass to Metsa to fire towards the net. Before the shot reached Cajan, Biro redirected it in-behind the netminder to bring the Amerks within one.



The two clubs alternated goals twice to close out the scoring in the frame, which gave Cleveland a 5-4 advantage going into the final period.


Rosen evened the game 4:15 into the third, but Fix-Wolansky finished off the scoring in the final minutes of overtime.


The Amerks continue their three-game road swing on Friday, Jan. 12 with the first of back-to-back meetings against the Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles Coliseum. The 7:00 p.m. matchup will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.


Stars and Stripes:

By earning his secondary assist on Brandon Biro’s second-period goal, Lukas Rousek pushed his point streak to a career-high eight games, over which he’s recorded nine points (3+6) … By way of his goal, Biro becomes the second different Amerk to reach double figures in goals (10) and fourth to hit the 20-point (20) mark this season … Of Rochester’s last 75 regular season games since the start of 2023, 25 have been decided beyond regulation.


Goal Scorers

ROC: Z. Metsa (2, 3), B. Biro (10), J. Davies (5), I. Rosen (9)

CLE: A. Whelan (2), J. Christiansen (6), J. Pearson (2)            , T. Fix-Wolansky (11, 12 – OT GWG), J. Gaudet (4)                     



ROC: D. Tokarski – 34/40 (OTL)

CLE: P. Cajan – 18/22 (ND) | J. Greaves – 11/12 (W)



ROC: 34

CLE: 40


Special Teams

ROC: PP (1/3) | PK (4/5)

CLE: PP (1/5) | PK (2/3)


Three Stars:

1. CLE - T. Fix-Wolansky

2. CLE - J. Pearson

3. CLE - J. Gaudet

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