SPECIAL TEAMS POWER AMERKS TO 4-2 SEASON-OPENING WINOct 14, 2022
Four unanswered goals, including three on the power-play and one shorthanded, helped propel the Rochester Americans (1-0-0-0) to a 4-2 season-opening victory over the Toronto Marlies (0-1-0-0) Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Swedish forwards Linus Weissbach and Isak Rosen each scored a power-play goal to go with an assist for their first multi-point outing of the campaign while Sean Malone added a pair of helpers. Brett Murray and Chase Priskie capped off Rochester’s scoring with a power-play and shorthanded goal, respectively. Brandon Biro, Lukas Rousek, Lawrence Pilut and Jiri Kulich all produced an assist.
GAME SUMMARY PHOTO GALLERY POST-GAME REPORT
Along with Rosen and Kulich, Filip Cederqvist, Aleksandr Kisakov and Tyson Kozak all made their pro North American debuts while Priskie, Kale Clague and Jeremy Davies all donned the Amerks crest for the first time.
Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 22 saves in his season debut to earn the win. Dating back to the 2021-22 campaign, the Finnish netminder shows a 7-2-5 record in his last 14 starts.
Alex Steeves totaled two points as he scored a goal and an assist for Toronto while Logan Shaw (1+0), Pontus Holmberg (0+1) and Nicholas Robertson (0+1) all logged their first points of the season.
Goaltenders Erik Källgren and Dylan Ferguson split the goaltending duties in the contest for the Marlies. Källgren, who earned the start in-between the pipes, stopped 16 of the 18 shots he faced before Ferguson made five saves in 30 minutes of relief effort.
Five minutes after Toronto opened the scoring on Steeves’ maker, the Amerks countered back with two straight power-play goals from Weissbach and Murray nearly eight minutes apart.
On the first of the two tallies, Rosen stepped through the center of the zone with the puck before handing a pass to Malone near the right face-off circle. Malone attempted to shovel it to Mersch across the crease but was denied by Källgren. The rebound trickled through the blue paint to Weissbach, who fired into the back of the net to even the score at 1-1 with 11:33 to play in the frame.
The clubs exchanged penalties following the goal before Rochester drew its third man-advantage of the period as Toronto was whistled for interference.
With the extra skater, the Amerks used quick passing around the perimeter of the zone before Rousek centered a one-time feed for Kulich. Despite the rookie forward fanning on the offering, the puck trickled to his right, where Murray tucked it inside the left arm of Källgren.
Murray’s goal gave Rochester a 2-1 lead that they carried into the intermission break along with a 13-8 shot-advantage.
While neither team found the scoresheet in the middle period, Rochester added its third and fourth goals of the contest as Priskie and Rosen each scored 3:03 apart with a shorthanded marker and power-play goal, respectively.
As the Marlies were facing a three-goal deficit late in the final 20 minutes of regulation, they drew a tripping penalty and pulled Ferguson for two additional skaters.
The visitors managed to cut into the score to pull within two goals as Shaw hammered a slap-shot with 2:34 remaining, but Luukkonen held off Toronto’s final push to help the Amerks earn the 4-2 victory.
With three power-play goals tonight, the Amerks have gone 17-for-48 (35.4%) over the last 12 regular-season home games going back to last season. During that same span, Rochester has produced
five multi-goal games.
Following a quick-turnaround, the Amerks and Marlies conclude their opening weekend as the home-and-home series shifts north of the border to Toronto’s Coca-Cola Coliseum for a 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15. All of the action will be carried live on 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
The Amerks improved to 3-0-0-0 all-time in the season-opener against the Marlies and have outscored Toronto, 16-9 ... In 19 of the last 21 meetings between the two teams, the winning team has scored at least four goals dating back to the 2017-18 season ... Rochester shows a 34-26-7 all-time record in season-opening games and have outscored the opposition 248-230 dating back to when the puck first dropped on Amerks inaugural season in 1956.
TOR: A. Steeves (1), L. Shaw (1)
ROC: L. Weissbach (1), B. Murray (1), C. Priskie (1), I. Rosen (1)
TOR: K. Källgren – 16/18 (ND) | D. Ferguson – 5/7 (L)
ROC: U. Luukkonen – 22/24 (W)
TOR: PP (1/5) | PK (3/6)
ROC: PP (3/6) | PK (4/5)
1. ROC - L. Weissbach
2. ROC - I. Rosen
3. ROC - U. Luukkonen