SUBBAN BACKSTOPS AMERKS TO WEEKEND SWEEP OF CHECKERS
Biro, Weissbach each record two points; Subban perfect in 4-0 win over CharlotteDec 17, 2022
A night after making a regular-season career-high 45 saves in a near-perfect performance, goaltender Malcolm Subban was flawless after stopping all 30 shots he faced to backstop the Rochester Americans (14-9-1-1) to a 4-0 shutout win over the Charlotte Checkers (12-11-2-1) Saturday at Bojangles' Coliseum.
With the win, the Amerks sweep the weekend set in Charlotte after doubling up the Checkers 4-2 on Friday and close out their three-game road swing by taking six out of a possible six points to stay within two points of the Toronto Marlies for first place in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings.
It’s also the first time in franchise history the Amerks, who improved to 4-10-0 against Charlotte since the 2018-19 campaign, claimed back-to-back games against the Checkers.
Leading point-getter Brandon Biro continued his torrid start to the month of December by recording his fourth straight multi-point outing – and fifth over a six-game stretch this month – with a goal and an assist while Linus Weissbach also duplicated the effort to become the second Amerks forward this weekend to reach the 10-goal mark.
Tyson Kozak and Michael Mersch rounded out the scoring in the shutout win as they each added their second goals of the season as part of a three-goal third-period for Rochester. Joseph Cecconi, Peter Tischke, Sean Malone, Brett Murray, Isak Rosen and Aleksandr Kiskakov all recorded an assist.
Subban (5-2-0), who’s won three straight and five of his last six, picked up his first AHL shutout since April 8, 2017 with the Providence Bruins and stopped 75 of the 77 shots he faced this weekend versus the Checkers.
Charlotte’s Riley Nash posted a game-high six shots while defensemen Michael Del Zotto registered five. Goaltender Alex Lyon (6-7-1) made 24 saves but dropped his fourth game after winning four consecutive contests.
Following a scoreless 35 minutes of play, Rochester grabbed a 1-0 lead with 4:28 to go play in the second period.
The play began as the Amerks won the face-off outside the Charlotte blueline and dumped the puck inside the offensive zone. Murray, coming off a three-point outing last night, dug out the puck in the corner and connected a pass to Biro in the left circle of Lyon. Facing the net, Biro centered a one-time feed for Weissbach in-between the dots for his 10th of the campaign.
With the goal, Weissbach has seven points (4+3) over his last 10 games, which includes a two-point outing on Nov. 23 versus Providence. Murray, meanwhile, shows 13 points (5+8) over the last 11 games.
Rochester took a 1-0 advantage into the second intermission before they doubled the lead 55 seconds into the third period.
Rosen carried the puck into the offensive zone and tucked around behind Lyon. As the Swedish rookie came around the net, he slid a cross-ice pass to Tischke atop the left point. The defenseman skated down the left wing then hit Biro at the back post to make it a 2-0 score.
The score remained 2-0 until Weissbach poked free a puck in-between the benches to spring Kisakov and Kozak on a 2-on-1 odd-man rush. Kisakov took the puck through the right face-off circle and dished a pass to Kozak, who finished the offering with 5:31 left in regulation.
Facing a 3-0 deficit late in the contest, the Checkers pulled their netminder, but Mersch sealed the shutout win as he scored into the empty net from Malone and Cecconi in the final three minutes.
The Amerks return home to begin a three-game homestand on Friday, Dec. 23 when they host the intrastate rival Syracuse Crunch in the final matchup prior to the annual Christmas break. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Amerks forward Brandon Biro has totaled 25 points (9+16) over his last 24 games dating back to the 2021-22 campaign ... Biro has a team-leading nine multi-point games this season, five of which have come over the last six games while Brett Murray shows 13 points (5+8) over the last 11 games ... With tonight's 4-0 win, it marks the first Amerks’ road shutout since former goaltender Andrew Hammond blanked Laval 5-0 on Dec. 14, 2019.
ROC: L. Weissbach (10), B. Biro (7), T. Kozak (2), M. Mersch (2)
ROC: M. Subban – 30/30 (W)
CLT: A. Lyon – 24/27 (L)
ROC: PP (0/2) | PK (5/5)
CLT: PP (0/5) | PK (2/2)
1. ROC - M. Subban
2. ROC - B. Biro
3. ROC - L. Weissbach