DAVIES’ HEROICS SENDS AMERKS PAST MONSTERS IN OVERTIMEDec 1, 2022
For the second time in four games, the Rochester Americans (11-6-1-1) scored in the waning seconds of overtime, as defenseman Jeremy Davies netted his second of the night with eight seconds remaining in the extra frame to lift the Amerks to a 4-3 win over the Cleveland Monsters (9-6-1-2) in the first of back-to-back meetings between the North Division rivals Thursday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
With the win, the Amerks have earned at least one point in seven of their last 10 games and boast an overall 11-6-1-1 record. Rochester has also won four of its last five, including three straight by way of overtime, to move into sole possession of first place in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings with the Toronto Marlies being idle tonight.
Along with Davies producing a multi-point night (2+0), rookie Jiri Kulich also turned in a pair of points as he scored his fifth of the season before setting up Davies in overtime. Kulich, who extended his point streak to a season-long five straight games, has six points (3+3) over that span and has scored in three straight contests. Linus Weissbach opened the scoring in the first period with his eighth goal of the season, which is tied for the team-lead.
Brandon Biro, who returned to the lineup after missing the last six games with an injury, Matt Bartkowski, Sean Malone, and Michael Mersch all recorded one assist apiece in the win.
Goaltender Malcolm Subban (2-1-0) recorded his second victory of the season as he stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced. The Toronto, Ontario, native has won back-to-back appearances for the first time in the AHL since Feb. 25 and Mar. 5 2017.
Forwards Brendan Gaunce (1+1), Emil Bemstrom (1+0) and Joona Luoto (1+0) all scored for Cleveland, which has earned at least one point in nine of its last 11 games. Rookie netminder Pavel Cajan (3-3-1) made his seventh appearance of the campaign, and despite making 23 saves, he was dealt with the overtime defeat.
With the score even at 3-3 following the end of regulation, overtime was required for the second time in as many contests between the two clubs.
Neither team registered a shot on goal for the first 2:30 of the extra frame only to see a combined five shots and an increase in scoring chances rather quickly.
Despite the shots coming, the goaltenders stood tall until Davies received a drop pass from just inside the Monsters’ blueline from Kulich. The defenseman swooped in with the puck along the boards before he cut to the center of the goalmouth. As he approached the netminder, he flung a backhanded shot that glanced off a Cleveland stick and into the back of the cage with eight seconds left in the overtime period.
The goal capped his first two-goal outing since scoring twice on Mar. 11 of last season as a member of the Milwaukee Admirals.
Eight minutes after being denied on a breakaway in the first period, Weissbach was the recipient of a cross-crease pass from Biro. With the puck on his stick, Weissbach quickly snapped a shot past the glove hand of Cajan to give Rochester a 1-0 lead.
Bartkowski also earned an assist on the tally at the 9:21 mark, but Brett Murray began the play as he sprung the Amerks offense with an outlet pass inside the Rochester zone.
By recording an assist, Biro has totaled 15 points (5+10) over his last 16 games dating back to last season, while Weissbach has registered four points (2+2) in his last four outings.
Just over four minutes after Weissbach’s eighth goal of the season, Rochester doubled its lead as Rosen stepped in-front of a pass inside the Cleveland blueline. After the rookie stole the puck, he skated down the left wing before sliding a feed near the hashmarks for Kulich, who sniped a shot in the top-right corner of the net that handcuffed Cajan.
Rochester carried a two-goal advantage into the first intermission, however, Cleveland scored the next two goals of the game at 1:49 and 4:11 of the second and third periods, respectively.
The second Monsters’ marker came while on a 5-on-3 man-advantage after the Amerks were whistled for a tripping and delay of game infraction just 22 seconds apart.
Midway through the third period and score tied at 2-2, the Amerks reclaimed their lead as Davies scored his first of two on the night.
The blueliner somehow converted on a shot from a near-impossible angle in near the corner after Malone and Mersch set the defenseman up with just over seven minutes left to play.
Facing a 3-2 deficit, Cleveland pulled Cajan, and following a timeout, Luoto corralled a shot off the end boards and put it past Subban with 49 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
In the extra session, Davies capped of the 4-3 win as he scored with eight seconds showing on the clock after gathering the puck from Kulich.
The Amerks close out their three-game road trip on Saturday, Dec. 3 in a rematch with Cleveland. Game time from the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
With the tonight’s overtime win, Rochester improved to 4-2 in games decided beyond regulation this season ... Three of the last four games for the Amerks have gone into the extra frame and the club has won all three ... Of the 12 defensemen to appear in at least one game for Rochester, seven have scored while 10 have recorded one point.
ROC: L. Weissbach (8), J. Kulich (5), J. Davies (1, 2)
CLE: B. Gaunce (5), E. Bemstrom (10), J. Luoto (4)
ROC: M. Subban – 31/34 (W)
CLE: P. Cajan – 23/27 (OTL)
ROC: PP (0/2) | PK (4/5)
CLE: PP (1/5) | PK (2/2)
1. ROC - L. Weissbach
2. ROC - J. Davies
3. CLE - B. Gaunce