Rochester Americans Report: Two Wins and a Loss

Next up, it’s time to head back to Laval.

The Rochester Americans, AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, split last weekend’s series with the Syracuse Crunch. Prior to that, they also rallied back to defeat the Belleville Senators in overtime. The Amerks are now 3-2 on the season with six points, tied for second in the North Division.

Bjork’s Return to the AHL

In his first AHL game in exactly three years, Anders Bjork scored the game-winner in overtime to send Rochester to a 4-3 win over Belleville. A great storybook ending.

A fast-paced opening period saw five goals scored between the teams. Brandon Biro struck first for Rochester on the advantage, but the lead lasted only minutes before Angus Crookshank (best name in hockey?) tied it. Viktor Lodin gave Belleville the edge just over the midway point before Sean Malone scored (on the PP) to once again tie it. Before the period was over, though, Rourke Chartier made it 3-2 Sens.

A scoreless second period left the Amerks fighting for the comeback in the third. Sure enough, Lukas Rousek found the net on a rebound less than seven minutes in, and Rochester was able to maintain for the rest of the game before Bjork’s winner.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen had 15 saves on 18 shots. Rousek and Malone each had a goal and an assist.

Three Seconds Left

The Amerks then hosted Syracuse on Friday night, securing a victory thanks to a very late goal from Brett Murray. Rochester scored three times in the third period, including Murray’s goal with just three seconds left in regulation.

Tyson Kozak opened the scoring with his first professional goal:

Although Darren Raddysh and Gemel Smith scored to give the Crunch a lead, the Amerks rallied back in the third period. Linus Weissbach had a pair of goals just over three minutes apart, including one on the power play. After Gabriel Fortier tied the game with under eight minutes left, it was anyone’s game.

Until Brett Murray called it.

This time, Luukkonen had 17 saves on 20 shots faced.

Saturday Sorrows

Unfortunately for Rochester, their luck ran out in Syracuse on Saturday. Malone and Mitch Eliot had the goals for the Amerks as they fell to the Crunch 6-2 in the rematch. Syracuse’s Felix Robert recorded a hat trick.

This time, it was a heavier workload for Luukkonen, who recorded 28 saves on 33 shots.

The Leaders

  • Goals: Linus Weissbach (3)
  • Assists: Multiple players (3)
  • Points: Linus Weissbach (6)
  • PIM: Brett Murray (6)/

Notes & Injuries

  • Luukkonen is the only Amerks netminder to have played this season. He’s played over 300 minutes so far with a 3-2 record, 3.00 GAA and .892 save percentage.
  • With Kale Clague and Lawrence Pilut both up in Buffalo, the Amerks recalled defenseman Zach Berzolla from Cincinatti (ECHL). They also added defenseman Brandon Davidson, who spent last season with Rochester but signed with the KHL’s Kunlun Red Stars over the summer. He returned to North America a month later, calling the move to Russia ‘a mistake.’
  • Chase Priskie & Peter Tischke are both injured & expected to miss 2-4 weeks.
  • Captain Michael Mersch remains out with an upper-body injury.
  • Matej Pekar should finally be able to play soon. His last game was on March 13.
  • Malcolm Subban is expected to be available within the next two weeks./

Upcoming Games

Friday, October 28 at Laval (7:00 pm)

Saturday, October 29 at Laval (3:00 pm)

Laval is sixth in the North Division with a record of 1-4-1. They most recently fell to Belleville (3-2) on Wednesday night. Leading scorers are Gabriel Bourque, who has four goals in six games, and a trio of players - Brandon Gignac, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, and Anthony Richard - with two goals and an assist each.

Cayden Primeau is 1-2-1 with a 2.74 GAA and .913 save percentage. Kevin Poulin is 0-2-0 with a 4.05 GAA and .871 save percentage.