Kulich scores for the fourth straight game as Amerks hold off late push from Marlies

May 12, 2023

A pair of power-play goals and a shorthanded tally helped the Rochester Americans (4-2) jump out to a 4-1 lead in the third period before holding on for a 4-3 win over the Toronto Marlies (3-2) in Game 1 of North Division Finals at Coca-Cola Coliseum Thursday night.



                                                                           GAME SUMMARY     PHOTO GALLERY


With the win, Rochester, who leads the best-of-five series 1-0 ahead of Saturday’s Game 2, earned its first-ever postseason victory over the Marlies and have won four straight dating back to their second-round series against the Syracuse Crunch.


Brett Murray (1+1) and Mason Jobst (0+2) both recorded multi-point efforts in the win while Kohen Olischefski, Jiri Kulich, and Isak Rosen all scored in the first, second and third periods, respectively. Lawrence Pilut, Ethan Prow, Linus Weissbach, and Sean Malone all recorded an assist.


Goaltender Malcolm Subban (4-2) made 20 saves in his sixth straight appearances to begin the postseason. The Toronto, Ontario, native has won each of his last four starts.



Logan Shaw (0+3) and Joseph Blandisi (1+1) each notched a multi-point effort for Toronto, which suffered its first Game 1 loss since 2017. Nick Abruzzese and Kyle Clifford both scored in the first and third periods.


Goaltender Erik Källgren (2-1) suffered his first defeat of the playoffs as he made 16 saves in the crease.


Nearly five minutes after Toronto opened the scoring, Rochester took a penalty, giving the Marlies their first power-play of the contest in the first period.



Despite playing down a man, Jobst intercepted a pass at the defensive blueline before racing up the ice with Olischefski on an odd-man break.


As the duo reached the opposite blueline, Jobst sent a one-time feed for Olischefski, who lifted a shot over a sprawled Källgren at the 9:00 mark to even the score.


Prior to the end of the opening frame, and after successfully clearing another penalty, Rochester used the momentum to take a 2-1 lead into the break.



Inside the 2:00 mark, Michael Mersch carried the puck into the Marlies zone and gave it to Malone, who continued down the right wall. The Buffalo native stopped and slid a pass to Prow atop the right point. With his head up, Prow fired a shot towards the Toronto net and Murray extended his stick to steer it in-behind Källgren, giving the Amerks their first lead of the contest.


In the second frame, on the Marlies’ second penalty of the period, Rochester wasted little time to double its lead.



Following the face-off win to the right of Källgren by Malone, Mersch nearly tucked in a shot, but the rebound was gathered by Weissbach.


The Swedish forward exchanged a pass with Pilut before Weissbach hit Rosen across the zone with perfect one-time feed to blast into the upper corner.



After carrying a 3-1 cushion into the final period, the Amerks drew an elbowing infraction in the first two minutes of frame.


Less than 20 seconds following the penalty, Prow kept the puck from exiting the offensive zone. The defenseman slid a pass to Murray outside the right circle. Murray handed the puck to Jobst as he and Kulich had a two-on-one rush towards the net. Kulich received the feed and quickly wired it past Källgren.


Facing a 4-1 deficit less than eight minutes into the third period, Toronto cut the lead in half as Blandisi fired a shot from in-between the hashmarks from Shaw and Marshall Rifai.



The Marlies kept pressing to continue the comeback by pulling Källgren for the final four minutes of regulation.


With the extra attacker, Mac Hollowell and Shaw connected with Clifford to make it a 4-3 score, but Subban and the rest of the Amerk held off the attack for the series-opening win.


The Amerks look for their fifth straight win when the teams meet again for Game 2 of the North Division Finals on Saturday, May 13 at Coca-Cola Coliseum. Opening puck-drop is set for 4:00 p.m. and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHL TV.



Storyline Stripes:

Rochester’s penalty kill unit went 4-for-4 while shorthanded … The Amerks power-play unit scored on two of their three opportunities … With a pair of assists tonight, Mason Jobst has six points (2+4) in his previous four games while Brett Murray (1+1) also has six (2+4) over his last four contests … Jiri Kulich, who has scored in four straight games since making his postseason debut, leads all AHL rookies with four goals and is tied for second with five points.


Goal Scorers

ROC:  K. Olischefski (1), B. Murray (2), I. Rosen (2), J. Kulich (4)

TOR: N. Abruzzese (1), J. Blandisi (2), K. Clifford (4)



ROC: M. Subban – 20/23 (W)

TOR: E. Källgren – 16/20 (L)



ROC: 20

TOR: 23


Special Teams

ROC: PP (2/3) | PK (4/4)

TOR: PP (4/4) | PK (1/3)


Three Stars

1. ROC - M. Jobst

2. TOR - J. Blandisi

3. ROC - B. Murray

Back to All