Courtesy of Amerks.com
Rochester, N.Y. – The Rochester Americans (27-24-4-1) pulled within one goal on two separate occasions but were unable to find the equalizer each time in a 6-3 loss to the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies (40-16-2-1) Sunday at The Blue Cross Arena.
The matchup, which served as the third in three days for the Amerks this weekend, was the eighth and final meeting of the season between the two teams, which split the season series with four wins each.
Forward Lukas Rousek (1+1) notched his third straight multi-point game of the weekend while Isak Rosen and Linus Weissbach both scored in the third periods. Jeremy Davies, Brandon Biro, Lawrence Pilut, Mason Jobst, and Michael Mersch all chipped in an assist.
Goaltender Michael Houser (6-6-2) made 14 saves in his 16th appearance of the slate.
Bobby McMann registered his second hat trick in his last five games for Toronto, which became the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach the 40-win mark this season. Logan Shaw (0+3), Matthew Hellickson (0+2) and Pontus Holmberg (2+0) all recorded a multi-point game while Zach Solow notched his first tally of the season.
Goaltender Erik Källgren (9-6-2) earned his first win of the season against Rochester and ninth of the campaign as he stopped 32 of the 35 shots he faced.
With the Amerks trailing 3-0 at the 8:15 mark of the second period, both clubs were whistled for a penalty.
During the 4-on-4 situation, Mitch Eliot carried the puck through the center of the ice before giving it to Pilut. As the Swedish blueliner took the feed across the line, he slid it to his left for Biro. With his head up, Biro product connected with Rousek at the opposite circle for the latter’s 14th goal of the season.
The game remained 3-1 four minutes into third period when Jobst dished a quick outlet pass to Mersch in the neutral zone. Rochester’s captain pushed the puck to his left for Weissbach. The second-year forward sprinted into the Toronto zone before sniping the upper right corner for his team-leading 18th goal of the season.
Toronto, which saw its three-goal advantage narrowed to one, responded again to take a 4-2 lead.
With the Marlies on their fifth power-play of the night, Shaw passed the puck down the right wall to Nick Abruzzese. Despite the wraparound attempt rolling off his stick, Holmberg converted the rebound fir his first of two on the night.
Later in the period, Rochester brought the game to a one-goal score yet again as Rosen blasted his 10th of the season from Rousek and Davies with just under three minutes left in regulation.
The Amerks pulled Houser yet again as they tried to force the game into overtime, however, Toronto filled the vacant net on two separate occasions to seal the 6-3 win.
Nearly five minutes into the first frame, Radim Zohorna received Tommy Miller’s breakout pass inside the Marlies zone and chipped it up to Marc Johnstone. The New Jersey native took a few strides before McMann took the puck and darted into the Amerks zone before flipping a shot over the blocker of Houser to open the scoring.
As the first period was concluding, Rochester took an interference penalty behind its own net, thus giving the Marlies their third power-play of the stanza.
On the man-advantage, the Amerks were unable to clear the puck, and on a second chance, McMann added his second of the period at the 18:37 mark.
In the middle period, Toronto upped its lead to a 3-0 cushion when Solow hammered home his first of the slate following a rebound by Joseph Blandisi and Kyle Clifford.
Both teams scored three times in the remaining 30 minutes of play, but the Marlies’ advantage was too large for Rochester.
The Amerks conclude their season-series with the Laval Rocket on Wednesday, Mar. 15 at 7:05 p.m. All the action from The Blue Cross Arena will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
With his third straight multi-point game and sixth in the last nine games, Lukas Rousek has 13 on the campaign … Brandon Biro, who celebrated his 25th birthday yesterday, finished the three-game weekend with eight points (1+7) … Biro (5+12) and Rousek (4+11) have combined for nine goals and 23 assists since Feb. 24 … By scoring his 10th goal of the season in the third period, Isak Rosen became the 10th different Amerk skater this season to reach double figures in goals.
Amerks have 16 left to play. The time for the ‘despite the loss…’ is over. They are heading straight to the bottom of the division. For we fans who care about the bottom line, ie WINS and post season, the inconsistency of the team is unacceptable. We are not interested in hearing ‘they did everything right except the final score’ Frankly the final score in mid March is the only thing that matters.
For those who only care about the stats of the individual players and ‘moral victories’ go ahead and enjoy the final weeks with no regard to results.
There won’t be many wins giving up 4 goals every game. Last 6 games have been a trainwreck for a team trying to solidify a playoff berth.
Walked out of the BCA Friday with a big smile. Walked out this afternoon with total disappointment. A glance at the standings isn’t helping.
Running out of time for this team to become a team. Maybe it just isn’t in the cards this year. Sabres don’t care. Hate to see that indifference filter down to our locker room.
16 more games. Come on Amerks…show us something….as a team, not as a group of individuals. t