THREE-GOAL FIRST PERIOD PROPELS AMERKS PAST CHECKERS
Murray records three points, Subban makes career-high 45 saves in 4-2 winDec 16, 2022
On the strength of three goals in 3:47 in the first period and a remarkable 45-save effort from goaltender Malcolm Subban, the Rochester Americans (13-9-1-1) doubled up the Charlotte Checkers (12-10-2-1) for a 4-2 victory in the first of back-to-back meetings between the two teams Friday at Bojangles' Coliseum.
With the win, it marks the first time the Amerks have defeated the Checkers in Charlotte since the club earned a 4-1 win back on Jan. 18, 2018. Additionally, Rochester improved to 3-10-0 against Charlotte since the start of the 2018-19 campaign. Overall, the Amerks have earned at least one point in nine of their last 14 games.
Forwards Brett Murray (1+2), Brandon Biro (0+2), Lukas Rousek (1+1), Jiri Kulich (1+1) all produced a multi-point effort before Filip Cederqvist rounded out the scoring with his third goal of the campaign. Biro, who entered the contest with three straight two-point efforts, has four in the month while also becoming the first Amerk this season to reach the 20-point mark. Over his last 10 games, Murray, who recorded the Gordie Howe hat trick, shows 12 points (5+7) over the last 10 games, becoming the first Amerk this season to score 10 goals.
Linus Weissbach recorded his eighth assist of the season while defenseman Joseph Cecconi, who was acquired by the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night in a trade with Dallas and reassigned to Rochester earlier today, made his Amerks debut. The Youngstown, New York, native finished with two shots on goal.
Subban (4-2-0), who picked up his fourth win in five games, carried a shutout into the third period. His 45-save effort was a regular-season career-high and the most since he stopped 46 of 47 during a three-overtime outing as a member of the Providence Bruins in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Charlotte’s Henry Bowlby (0+2) logged an assist on both third-period goals from Riley Nash and Patrick Giles. Rookie netminder Mack Guzda (5-3-2) earned the starting nod before being replaced by Alex Lyon (6-6-1) less than six minutes into the opening period. Guzda made three saves while Lyon stopped 26 of 27 in relief.
Early in the contest, the Amerks quickly erupted for three goals in a span of 3:47 to take a 3-0 lead at the 6:31 mark of the opening period.
On Rochester’s first of the flurry, Rousek poked the puck free to Murray in-front of the goal crease. As Murray drifted to the left of the net, he centered it back to Kulich to hammer into a yawning net as Guzda slid out of the blue paint.
Less than two minutes later, Biro entered the zone and pulled up just inside the Checkers blueline. The Penn State product left the puck for Weissbach before Murray joined the rush. Murray gathered the puck and sent a seemingly innocent shot from long range that pinballed off a Charlotte skater before making its way behind Guzda with 14:10 left in the period.
Just 41 seconds after scoring his team-leading 10th of the campaign, Murray dumped the puck inside the Charlotte zone. Kulich tracked it down and took a one-handed swipe at the puck before Rousek redirected to make it a 3-0 score.
The Amerks took the lead into the intermission break after successfully killing a pair of slashing penalties.
After combining for 28 shots in the first period, the clubs posted 20 more as well as 37 penalty minutes in the middle stanza but Rochester took the 3-0 score into the final period of regulation.
The Checkers erased Subban’s bid for a shutout 5:56 into the third period as Nash banged in a back-door feed from Logan Hutsko and Bowlby.
Later in the frame, the home club pulled Lyon with just over three minutes to play in the contest as Cederqvist scored into the empty net from Biro.
Cederqvist, who missed the previous 10 games with an injury, has three goals over his last three outings dating back to Nov. 11.
Giles concluded the scoring on the night prior to the final buzzer as he tucked in a loose rebound from Bowlby.
The Amerks go for the weekend sweep of the Checkers with a rematch on Saturday, Dec. 17 at Bojangles' Coliseum. Game time is slated for a 6:00 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 23 points (8+15) over his last 23 games dating back to the 2021-22 campaign, never going more than one game without a point over that span … Biro has a team-leading eight multi-point games this season, four of which have come over the last five games ... Jiri Kulich (4+4) and Lukas Rousek (3+7) have totaled eight and 10 points, respectively, in their last nine games.
ROC: J. Kulich (6), B. Murray (10), L. Rousek (7), F. Cederqvist (3)
CLT: R. Nash (9), P. Giles (2)
ROC: M. Subban – 45/47 (W)
CLT: M. Guzda – 3/5 (ND) | A. Lyon – 26/27 (L)
ROC: PP (0/6) | PK (3/3)
CLT: PP (0/3) | PK (6/6)
1. ROC – M. Subban
2. ROC – B. Murray
3. CLT – E. Keppen