Feb 20, 2024

1.pngBy Andrew Mossbrooks | @Mossbrooks48


The Rochester Americans weathered the storm of playing four games in six days, earning wins in three of those, including a dramatic 2-1 overtime victory Monday in Toronto (thanks, Devon Levi).


With six points gained, the Amerks march into the final full week of February sitting third in the North Division standings with 54 points and a 24-17-5-1 record.





With a power-play goal in Monday’s game against the Marlies, forward Mason Jobst matched his career high in goals set last season with 14, doing so in 19 fewer games.


“He’s worked his way to a spot in this league where even games he plays that are below his standard are still pretty good,” said Amerks head coach Seth Appert. “That’s a credit to him and the hard work that Jobst has put in to make himself a high-end player in this league.”



The Speedway, Indiana, native scored two goals and five points in his four-game week. The spike in production dates back to the start of 2024. In 18 games since the new year, Jobst has amassed seven goals and 10 assists for 16 points in that span. He is second in team scoring (32 points), trailing only Lukas Rousek (36 points).




Devon Levi earned points in each of his three starts over the past week, dealing with an increasingly high workload as the days went on. First, the Sabres top goaltending prospect faced 39 shots in a 6-2 Valentine’s Day win in Utica on Wednesday. Levi then followed with a 41-save performance, establishing a new career-high on Friday in the team’s 5-3 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before trumping that total less than 48 hours later with a miraculous 52-save output Monday in Rochester’s 2-1 overtime win.



That math adds up to 130 saves over three games. Levi’s numbers have been stupendous during his time as an Amerk. Over 10 starts with Rochester, the Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec City, native owns a 6-2-2 record with a 2.38 goals-against average and a spectacular .930 save percentage.


“He was outstanding,” said Appert. “In Toronto, you could tell we were a little fatigued in the last 10 minutes or so of that game and that’s where you need your goaltender to come up big for you. He did that, and then a couple of those saves he made in overtime were exceptional.”





With the success coming from the week that was, the Amerks continued their efforts to further themselves from other teams in the division. While the likes of Toronto and Belleville remain close, separated by one and two points, respectively, the bottom two teams in the division are beginning to be gapped out.


Five of the seven North Division teams will qualify for the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs in April. The Amerks are five and seven points ahead of the two teams on the outside looking in (Laval and Utica). For what it’s worth, Rochester also holds a game in hand on the Rocket.



The Amerks are four games down in what is a span of seven in 11 days. Appert said recently that he’s viewing this seven-game stretch as if it were a playoff series. Through that lens, Rochester would have a 3-1 series lead.


“You like that we’ve been able to take three out of four. This has been a demanding process. They’ve been physical, hard-fought games. We just want to get our guys in the right mindset. It’s a learning opportunity. You have to earn your right to be in the playoffs because the standings are tight, but when you get there, the games just keep coming. It’s a good learning process for how to take care of that; how to handle the body, your mental state, and learn from wins and losses but be ready to move on quickly because another game is coming down the road at you.”




As Appert forecasts, more games are quickly on the horizon for the Amerks, though the next two will come on home ice with the Belleville Senators skating into town for games Wednesday and Friday. Following that, Rochester concludes its busy stretch in Hershey where they’ll meet the league-leading Bears in a battle between the league’s two oldest teams on Saturday at Giant Center.

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