AMERKS WEEK 22 ROUND-UPMar 13, 2023
The Rochester Americans had another 3-in-3 weekend, their third in four weeks, and came away with just one win on Friday night against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Despite two back-to-back losses, it was nothing to get worked up about, according to Amerks head coach Seth Appert.
“I thought we did a lot of good things today,” he said after Sunday’s game. “We’re in a 3-in-3 and they’re not. They’re one of the best teams in the whole league. I thought we did about everything you could do except for win the hockey game.”
And while frustrating, there’s no need to panic just yet: the Amerks still control their own destiny.
Forward Filip Cederqvist returned to the Amerks lineup on Sunday after missing four games.
Defenseman Ethan Prow, who did not suit-up on Sunday, is listed as day-to-day (upper-body).
Newcomer Carson Gicewicz, who left Friday night’s game, is "probably out long-term (lower-body), unfortunately," according to Coach Appert.
WELCOME TO ROCHESTER, AUSTIN STRAND
Austin Strand, who was acquired from the San Diego Gulls ahead of the trade deadline, made his Amerks debut on Friday night, and he made a huge impression on the home crowd.
Strand, a 6’3” and 193-pound defenseman, demolished Will Cuylle of the Hartford Wolf Pack just 24 seconds into the third period.
“He’s a big, hard defenseman,” Appert said after the game. “He gave us hard minutes, he competed, he managed the puck well. Obviously to jump in there and have that kind of fight — and handle himself so well in that fight — and get the crowd going afterwards, I think that says a lot.”
It just might say that Strand already fits in very nicely with the Rochester squad.
GAMES AT A GLANCE
MARCH 10: HARTFORD 4 — ROCHESTER 8
While the Wolf Pack struck first, the Amerks responded with two goals from Lukas Rousek and one from Jeremy Davies. Leading by two at the start of the second, Ethan Prow recorded a power play beauty just 34 seconds into the second.
Mason Jobst and Jiri Kulich would add goals of their own, giving Rochester seven unanswered goals on home ice. Anton Blidh, a new pick-up for Hartford, would add a Wolf Pack goal, but Isak Rosen added another on the power play for the Amerks.
Louis Domingue replaced rookie goaltender Dylan Garand to start the third period, but Strand’s early fight really set the tone. Brandon Biro, who leads Rochester in scoring, added a power play goal in the first half of the period, staving off the Hartford comeback.
The Wolf Pack would score two more in the third, but Rochester would hold on to an 8-4 victory in front of Malcolm Subban.
Biro, who had four assists and a goal, was named first star of the night. Prow (1 goal, 2 assists) was second star and Rousek (2 goals, 1 assist) was third star.
MARCH 11: ROCHESTER 2 — SYRACUSE 4
It was a quiet first period in Syracuse, but that wasn’t the case for the middle frame: there were 26 penalty minutes handed out in the second period alone.
Brett Murray gave the Amerks the lead on a power play goal from Brandon Biro and Lukas Rousek, but the Crunch would respond with two goals of their own.
Things really heated up in the third after two more goals from the Crunch, and Amerks captain Michael Mersch squared-off against former-Amerk Ryan Jones.
Mason Jobst tallied one on the power play from Rousek and Biro, but the Amerks couldn’t rally to complete the comeback.
MARCH 12: TORONTO 6 — ROCHESTER 3
It was a rocky first period on Sunday afternoon as Rochester got stuck in the penalty box and Bobby McMann tallied two to give Toronto a lead at the first intermission. It became clear that the refs were calling a tight game in the second, with the team swapping minors frequently.
“I think it was not normal in terms of how the games have normally been officiated,” Appert explained post-game. “By the end of the first period, you can see that the standard is getting tighter. I think both teams struggled with it.”
The Amerks outshot the Marlies 35-20, which did impress Coach Appert.
Lukas Rousek found the back of the net midway through the period to get the Amerks on the scoreboard, and then Linus Weissbach struck early in the third to pull Rochester within one.
The Marlies responded quickly on the power play, and maintained their two-goal lead for most of the third period. Isak Rosen pulled the Amerks within one with the extra-attacker, but Toronto tallied two empty-net goals to secure the victory.
LINUS WEISSBACH LEADS IN SCORING
Linus Weissbach scored his 18th goal of the season on Sunday afternoon, and leads the Amerks squad in goals so far this season.
Weissbach, who has appeared in 54 games so far this season, has found great chemistry on a line with Michael Mersch and Mason Jobst.
“I think me, [Weissbach] and [Mersch] have been gelling really well dating back to that Providence game,” Mason Jobst said post-game Sunday. “That was our first time together and I think we had three goals in the first three shifts, so there’s been a little chemistry there.”
They added another one on Sunday five-on-five, so it’s been pretty fun to watch them.
OTHER STATS TO NOTE
Lukas Rousek tallied three straight multi-point efforts over the weekend. Rousek had 7 points (3+4) in those three games, giving him 17 points (4+13) in his last 12 games.
Brandon Biro had a five-point night on Saturday, and has recorded 19 points (5+14) in his last 14 games.
Mason Jobst picked up his seventh point in his last seven games and has already established career-highs in all offensive categories.
COMING UP THIS WEEK
“Rest is a weapon right now,” Appert noted, ahead of a well-earned day off for the team on Monday. “We can’t get discouraged… but you can’t let the frustration creep in. We just have to get ready to recover, and get our focus on beating Laval.”
The Amerks host the Rocket in another North Division clash on Wednesday night at Blue Cross Arena. It’s a four-point game, so it should be a fun one.
Rochester then hits the road for a Pennsylvania back-to-back: they’ll be in Wilkes/Barre-Scranton to face the Penguins on Friday night and in Hershey to face the Bears on Saturday. It’s the Amerks’ only trip to both towns this season.
The next home game after that is on Friday, March 24 and it’s Women in Sport Night, presented by Zweigles.
The night will feature a pregame panel with Meghan Chayka, founder of Stathletes, Anna Dua, NHL reporter & NHL Fantasy host, Hayley Moore, Vice President of Hockey Operations for the AHL, and Jackie Nicholson, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at RIT.