Jan 18, 2023

By Suzie Cool


Rochester Americans captain Michael Mersch missed 11 games at the beginning of the 2022-23 campaign with an upper body injury, however, that hasn’t slowed the veteran forward’s offensive production too much.


With six goals and five assists over his last eight games, Mersch enters tonight's game against the Laval Rocket ranked fifth among all Amerks with 20 points in just 22 games. With the exception of the abbreviated 2020-21 season, Mersch has reached the 20-point mark in all eight full seasons of his professional career.


“I think that he's such a creature of habit,” said Amerks head coach Seth Appert when asked where Mersch is approaching his offense a little differently this season. “He has his routine down to the seconds, like, if I were to start our meetings early, it would throw off his routine because his time in the shooting room or his time in the weight room is timed out to exactly when the meetings are going to start.”


Appert then continued with, “When you miss time…those things are all thrown off. Your puck touches, your timing, your decision making, and I think that all of those things right up before Christmas, and then since Christmas, just seem to be more Mersch-like than they were coming out of the injury.”



It’s not surprising how easily the ninth-year pro has been able to bounce back, just look at what he did in his second year with the Amerks in 2021-22.


Last year, the captain registered career-highs with 26 goals, 28 assists and 54 points during the 2021-22 regular season. Mersch then went on to appear in five Calder Cup Playoff contests during the Amerks’ run to the North Division Finals.


He then signed a one-year contract extension with Rochester on Sept. 29 as he headed into his third season in the Flower City. And now that we’re almost at the halfway point for the Amerks, Mersch is finally starting to get back to the trajectory we saw him take last year and Appert feels there’s even better to come from his captain.



“I think coming off the injury, I think there was some rustiness,” continued Appert when discussing how his captain is coming back to form better than ever. “His puck touches weren't as normal as, I'd say, we’re used to seeing from him. I think his game in the last few weeks is starting to feel more like him.”


Appert then finished with, “It's amazing. I think he still has better and it's a real credit to him and how good he is and how much he impacts our lineup that I think he's been playing pretty good, but I think he has better and I think it's coming,.”


Tonight, the Amerks and Rocket clash for the second time in a week tonight in a North Division showdown at The Blue Cross Arena. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried live on 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.

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