FIVE UNANSWERED GOALS SEND AMERKS PAST FIRST-PLACE MARLIES
Houser makes 24 saves, Four players record multi-point efforts in 6-2 win over TorontoFeb 17, 2023
The Rochester Americans (23-19-2-1) twice overcame a pair of one-goal deficits before erupting for five straight unanswered goals, including three in the second period, on their way to a decisive 6-2 win over the first-place Toronto Marlies (33-13-2-1) Friday night at The Blue Cross Arena.
GAME SUMMARY PHOTO GALLERY POST-GAME REPORT
Tonight’s contest served as the front-end of a home-and-home series between the North Division rivals and first of a three-game weekend for Rochester. Win tonight’s win, the Amerks have recorded points in six of the last eight games between the two teams and show a 5-4-1-1 mark in the Flower City against Toronto over the last five years.
Vinnie Hinostroza (1+1), Jiri Kulich (1+1), Jeremy Davies (0+2), and Lukas Rousek (0+2) all recorded multi-point efforts for the Amerks while Sean Malone, Lawrence Pilut, Chase Priskie and Brett Murray all scored one goal each. Joseph Cecconi, Ethan Prow, Brandon Biro, Isak Rosen, and Michael Mersch rounded out the scoring as they all collected one assist.
Goaltender Michael Houser (5-5-1) made his 12th appearance of the season and 100th of his AHL career. The netminder not only stopped 24 shots for his second straight victory, but he also recorded his first assist in the league since Oct. 25, 2014.
Forwards Max Ellis and Bobby McMann opened and closed the scoring, respectively, for the Marlies, who lead the Eastern Conference with 33 wins on the season. Erik Källgren (6-5-2) and Keith Petruzzelli (10-5-0) split the goaltending duties. Källgren, who drew the nod in the crease, made 20 saves in 37 minutes before Petruzzelli finished the contest turning aside 11 of the 12 shots he faced.
With the Amerks trailing 2-1 in the final minute of first period, Mersch forced a turnover deep behind the Marlies net.
Malone wrapped the puck around the boards to the right point for Cecconi, who quickly slid a pass along the blueline to Davies across the way. Davies patiently waited for a lane and pushed a one-time feed to the left face-off dot for Hinostroza to hammer under the crossbar with just nine remaining seconds on the clock.
In addition to scoring his third goal in three games, Hinostroza has four points (3+2) over that span.
After tying the game at two late in the first period, Rochester carried the momentum into the second stanza.
Despite not scoring on a penalty shot, the Amerks drew a penalty 53 seconds later.
The club used the extra skater to its advantage as Malone redirected Prow’s point shot past a screened Källgren at the 8:07 mark.
Prior to the goal, Mersch kept the puck inside the zone before Hinostroza and Prow recorded the assists on the play.
Later in the frame, Rochester built on its lead as Priskie and Kulich both scored 2:35 apart to give the team a 5-2 cushion after 40 minutes of play.
Davies and Rousek logged the helpers on Priskie’s marker before Houser and Rosen teamed up on Kulich’s goal with 2:54 left in the frame.
To start the final frame, the Amerks capped off the scoring as Biro provided an outlet pass for Mersch to enter the Marlies zone.
As the Amerks captain pulled up in right circle, he left a pass for Pilut, who joined the rush. The Swedish defenseman gathered the pass and ripped a shot for his third of the campaign and seventh point (2+5) over his last nine contests. The assist was Mersch’s 100th point as an Amerk.
In the first period, the clubs exchanged goals on two separate occasions before going into the intermission break even at two.
Toronto opened the scoring on Ellis’ fifth of the season after he pounced on a rebound at the 6:47 mark and Murray evened the score just over three minutes later.
On Murray’s 15th of goal of the campaign, which matched a career-high, Rousek centered a feed from the left corner of the Marlies zone.
Near the end of stanza, the Marlies drew a pair of penalties to gain a 5-on-3 advantage with 3:15 remaining.
Shortly into the infraction, an Amerk broke his stick and Toronto used two extra skaters when McMann redirected Adam Gaudette’s blast from atop the point.
Rochester countered McMann’s goal with five straight to take the first game of the home-and-home by a 6-2 score.
Following a quick turnaround, the Amerks make their final trip of the season north of the border for a rematch with the Marlies on Saturday, Feb. 18. Opening face-off is slated for 4:00 p.m. at Coca-Cola Coliseum and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Ethan Prow recorded his eighth assist in nine games with the primary helper on Sean Malone’s second-period power-play goal. His team-leading 23 assists are tied for 10th-most amongst all AHL defensemen. He’s also tied for 10th among league blueliners with 11 power-play assists on the season ... Joseph Cecconi has points in consecutive games for the first time all season after recording an assist on Vinnie Hinostroza’s second-period marker ... Jiri Kulich has recorded nine points (3+6) in his last eight games dating back to Jan. 25.
TOR: M. Ellis (5), B. McMann (13)
ROC: B. Murray (15), V. Hinostroza (4), S. Malone (11), C. Priskie (4), J. Kulich (11), L. Pilut (3)
TOR: E. Källgren – 20/25 (L) | K. Petruzzelli – 11/12 (ND)
ROC: M. Houser – 22/24 (W)
TOR: PP (1/6) | PK (1/3)
ROC: PP (2/3) | PK (5/6)
1. ROC - M. Houser
2. ROC - J. Kulich
3. ROC - V. Hinostroza