Courtesy of GoAmerks.com
UTICA, N.Y. – A two-point night by rookie forward Isak Rosen (1+1), which included the eventual game-winning goal in the second period, and a 26-save effort from goaltender Michael Houser powered the Rochester Americans (8-5-1-1) to a 3-2 victory over the Utica Comets (4-6-1-1) Saturday at Adirondack Bank Center.
The Amerks flipped the script after falling 3-2 Friday night on home ice against the Comets to split the two-game home-and-home series. Through the first four games of the season series between the two teams, each team has now won both at home and on the road. Overall, Rochester, which has points in seven of its last nine games, boast an 8-5-1-1 record through 15 games to remain in third place of the North Division.
Along with Rosen scoring his third goal of the season, Alexsandr Kisakov and Brendan Warren each netted their third to secure the win. By picking up two points, Rosen, who leads all Rochester rookies with four multi-point games, became the first Amerks rookie to reach double digits in points and 15th in the AHL this season. Mason Jobst, Matej Pekar, Jiri Kulich and Matt Bartkowksi all recorded one assist.
Houser improved to 2-1-0 as he made his fifth appearance of the season and second versus Utica. Dating back to end of the 2021-22 season, the netminder has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his last nine games, which includes both appearances during the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Brian Pinho and Nick Hutchinson, both of whom did not dress in Friday’s contest, each scored for Utica during the first and second periods, respectively. Netminder Nico Daws (2-4-0) stopped 21 of 24 shots in his second straight game but was dealt the loss. Daws has faced Rochester in all four matchups this season, showing a 2-2-0 mark.
Just 1:01 after Utica tied the game at 2-2 with over four minutes left in the second period, the Amerks responded back to reclaim their lead.
Kulich picked up the puck from the left of Daws and fired a shot towards the netminder. Daws made the initial glove save, but Rosen, who was crashing towards the crease, gathered the rebound and tucked it past the right arm of the goaltender to give the Amerks a 3-2 advantage they would not relinquish.
Rochester took a one-goal cushion into the break as well as a 22-21 shot-advantage after 40 minutes of play.
The Comets came out in the final frame looking to even the score and outshot the Amerks 7-2, but Houser stonewalled the opposition to preserve the victory.
Halfway through their first power-play of the first period, the Amerks opened the scoring as Kisakov fired a seeing-eye shot from inside the left face-off dot. The rookie was setup by Jobst, who was in the middle of the circles, and Rosen at the 14:32 mark.
With the goal, Kisakov has three goals and one assist over his last four games, while Jobst earned the primary helper on the play. Six of Jobst’s seven assists this season have come on the road.
Late in the first period and facing a one-goal deficit, Utica drew a cross-checking infraction. Just 21 seconds into the man-advantage, Pinho finished off a rebound as he slipped a shot just inside Houser’s right skate and post to even the score at one before the intermission break.
Exactly like last night’s matchup, the two clubs went into the first intermission knotted at 1-1.
Eight minutes into the middle stanza, though, the Amerks reclaimed the lead as Warren netted his third of the slate while falling to the ice.
Prior to the marker with 11:48 to go in the frame, Bartkowski carried the puck through the neutral zone before leaving it for Pekar at the Utica blueline. The forward attempted to center a pass, but as luck would have it, Warren scooped it up and slipped a shot in-between the legs of Daws as he was being tripped from behind.
While Utica countered back to even the score as Hutchison snuck behind the Rochester defense, Rosen ultimately gave the Amerks a 3-2 victory with 4:28 left in the middle stanza with his third of the season.
The Amerks embark on another busy stretch of three games in four nights on Wednesday, Nov. 23 when they host the Providence Bruins for the only time this season at The Blue Cross Arena. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.