Courtesy of Amerks.com
CLEVELAND, OH — Despite opening the scoring for the third straight game against the Cleveland Monsters (11-5-1-0), the Rochester Americans (8-8-2-1) suffered a 6-3 setback in the series finale against the Monsters Saturday at The Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
This afternoon’s contest was the fifth of six scheduled meetings between the two teams this season and final of a three-game series. The Amerks, who are 30-11-4-4 record against the Monsters since the start of the 2011-12 season, opened the series with a 7-3 victory while Cleveland has now claimed each of the last four meetings following today’s win.
Forward Remi Elie (2+0) netted his sixth and seventh goals of the season for his second multi-goal outing of the year and now leads the team in that category. Rookie defenseman Mattias Samuelsson (1+1) lit the lamp for the third time this season and recorded his second multi-point contest of the year. Rookie forward Matej Pekar (0+2) tallied two assists on the night, giving him his first pair of points and multi-point outing as a pro. Defenseman Casey Fitzgerald (0+2) also added two assists on the night for his second multi-point game of the year.
First-year goaltender Stefanos Lekkas (0-2-1) made his second straight appearance in net and third with Rochester this season. The rookie netminder stopped 16 of the 21 shots he faced but suffered the loss.
Cleveland improved to 9-2-0-0 in the last 11 games and have now won six straight, marking the longest win streak in franchise history. The Monsters also outscored the Amerks 20-8 through over the three-game series.
Extending his goal-streak to six games, forward Tyler Sikura (1+0) nothed his team-leading ninth marker of the season in the third period. Defenseman Wyatt Newpower (1+1) collected his second multi-point outing for Cleveland this season with his second goal of the year, while forwards Tyler Angle (1+1) and Liam Foudy (0+2) recorded multi-point efforts as well. Forward Luke Moncada (1+0) notched his first professional marker 6:34 into the contest, while defenseman Dillon Simpson (0+1) extended his point streak to two games with an assist on the first period marker. Forwards Zach Jordan (1+0) and defenseman Thomas Schemitsch (1+0) also contributed a pair of goals while Cliff Pu (0+1), Tristan Mullin (0+1), Carson Meyer (0+1), and Adam Helewka (0+1) added the Monsters helpers on the night.
Netminder Matiss Kivlenieks made his fourth start of the season and made 28 saves to improve to 5-0-0. This was the second straight contest that Kivlenieks has started a game and gave up a goal on the first shot of the contest.
After the Amerks scored just 26 seconds into the contest and holding Cleveland to just three shots on goal through the first 20 minutes of play, the Monsters found their first lead of the game 6:35 into the middle frame.
From the right point, Newpower shuffled a pass to Angle, who unloaded a slap-shot to put the Monsters up 2-1.
Cleveland then went on to strike once more in the second stanza as part of a three-goal run before Rochester made it a one-goal game heading into the final frame.
With 3:44 to go in the second period, Fitzgerald was planted outside the blueline as he waited for a pass from Samuelsson up the boards. Once the two connected, Fitzgerald sent a one-time pass to Elie and he lasered a shot through a mass of bodies for his second goal of night to make it a 3-2 score heading into the second intermission.
As the third period got underway, Cleveland would embark on its second power-play and the Monsters would eventually capitalize. With 48 seconds left on the man-advantage, Sikura converted on a centering feed from Meyer to atop the blue paint to put the Monsters up by a pair.
The Amerks struck once more before the game’s end to pull themselves within one goal with 11:54 to go.
While Pekar came hauling up the left wing of Rochester’s offensive zone, he’d find himself right above the left face-off dot before sending a pass to Samuelsson on the move. As the two switched positions, Samuelsson sent a wrister flying in the Monsters net with a five-one-five finish for his 10th point of the year.
Cleveland then went on to score back-to-back markers in the final frame to secure its sixth-straight victory.
Rochester got ahead of Cleveland early, lighting the lamp just 26 seconds into the fifth contest between the clubs.
Pekar drove the puck up the left wing and made it to the edge of Cleveland’s crease before he spun and found a wide-open Elie streaking up the center of the ice. The Cornwall, Ontario, native converted from point-blank range as he lifted a shot over the stick-hand side of Kivlenieks for his sixth of the season.
Cleveland wouldn’t finish out the first frame without tying things up, as a shot from the right point came quickly from Simpson towards Lekkas at the 6:34 mark. As Lekkas bobbled the initial shot, the puck bounced off of Moncada and into the net to tie up the tilt at one apiece going into the first intermission.
The Amerks return to The Blue Cross Arena on Wednesday, April 21 as they take on the Syracuse Crunch for the eighth matchup between the clubs this year. All of the ac