Courtesy of Amerks.com
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – On the strength of three power-play goals and multi-point efforts from, Jack Quinn (1+1), Sean Malone (1+1) and Mark Jankowski (1+1), the Rochester Americans (11-6-0-0) doubled up the Syracuse Crunch (6-8-2-1) by a 4-2 score Saturday night at Upstate Medical University Arena.
With the win, Rochester, which has won 11 of its last 16 games overall, pushed its win streak to three games. The Amerks have earned at least one point in 23 of the last 35 games against Syracuse dating back to the start of the 2018-19 campaign, going 19-12-3-1 over that span.
Quinn recorded his team-leading eighth multi-point performance of the season as he netted the game-winning goal to go with an assist while both Jankowski and Malone recorded their third. Michael Mersch became the second different Amerk and fifth different player in the AHL this season to reach double-digits in goals as he netted his 10th. Mason Jobst, Oskari Laaksonen, Ryan MacInnis, Peyton Krebs and Brandon Biro all chipped in an assist in the victory.
Goaltender Michael Houser made his third appearance of the slate, finishing with 21 saves to improve to 2-0-0 on the season.
Syracuse’s leading-point getting Gabriel Dumont and Simon Ryfors both scored for the Crunch, who fell to 1-5-1-1 in their last eight games dating back to Nov. 10. Rookie goaltender Amir Miftakhov (3-3-1) made his ninth appearance of the slate, and despite stopping 26 of the 29 shots he faced, suffered the loss.
Midway through a scoreless opening period of play, the Amerks drew the game’s first power-play as Brendan Warren forced a Crunch skater into taking a hooking infraction deep inside the Syracuse zone. With the man-advantage, Rochester cycled the puck around the zone before Jobst fed Jankowski from center ice to just inside the right face-off circle. As Jankowski gathered the pass, he found Mersch on the doorstep to tap in the first goal of the night as he was kneeling to the right of Miftakhov.
The power-play goal was Rochester’s seventh in the last four games. Additionally, dating back to the start of the 2020-21 season against the Crunch, the Amerks have had at least one goal on the man-advantage in 14 of their last 24 games, going 24-for-83 (28.9%) over that span.
After capitalizing on their first power-play of the night in the opening frame and carrying a 1-0 lead into the break, Rochester came out in the second period and doubled its lead again on the man-advantage just 4:45 into the stanza.
On the power-play, Laaksonen, atop the blueline, dished the puck to Quinn along the left face-off circle. After the AHL’s leading point-getter collected the puck, he quickly centered it to Malone out in-front of the Crunch net for his sixth of the slate.
With an assist on Malone’s power-play goal, Laaksonen has recorded a helper in each of his last five games, which is a career-best. The second-year blueliner is tied for the league-lead with a team-high 10 power-play assists as all but one this season have come on the power-play.
Quinn, meanwhile, currently paces the AHL in scoring with 24 points (11+13), including a team-best 11 points on the power-play. Dating back to last season, the Ottawa, native has produced 24 points (10+14) in his last 19 games, which features nine multi-point efforts.
Less than two minutes after the Amerks extended the score to 2-0, the teams exchanged power-play goals before the end of the second intermission.
Dumont scored his team-leading ninth goal of the slate at the 13:37 mark from Cole Koepke and Jesse Lees only to have Quinn and the Amerks man-advantage squad add their third of the contest.
Quinn scooped up a loose puck after his centering feed pinballed its way off the skates of MacInnis and Malone’s stick before settling to the right of the Syracuse cage with just under seven minutes left in the middle period.
Just 2:15 into the final period of regulation, the Crunch added their second power-play goal of the contest and fifth overall between the two clubs.
Syracuse had a chance tie the game as they were awarded a four-minute double-minor power-play and then pulled Miftakhov. Fortunately for Rochester, however, the Crunch were not able to generate much offensively and killed off the infraction before Jankowski sealed the 4-2 win as he scored into the vacant-net.
The Amerks open the month of December with three games in a four-day stretch beginning with a rematch against the Crunch on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the third game this season between the two clubs and the second in the Flower City as Rochester earned a 5-3 win back on Oct. 22. All the action will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.