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 Rochester Americans

Amerks Cruise to 4-1 Win in Belleville

March 1, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Rochester Americans News Release

(Belleville, ON) - The Rochester Americans (25-19-6-2) stormed out to a commanding 4-0 lead in the second period and never looked back on their way to a 4-1 victory over the Belleville Senators (27-21-2-3) in the first of back-to-back meetings between the North Division rivals Friday night at CAA Arena.

With the win, the Amerks have recorded at least one point in 13 of their last 18 games dating back to Jan. 17. Rochester sits just one point behind Belleville in the North Division standings with a game in hand ahead of Saturday's rematch against the Senators.

Rookie defensemen Zach Metsa (0+2) logged his second multi-point game of the season for the Amerks. Tyson Jost, who was loaned by the Buffalo Sabres earlier in the day, Aleksandr Kisakov, Brett Murray and Lukas Rousek each one goal while Linus Weissbach, Isak Rosen, and Jiri Kulich all tallied an assist. Michael Mersch became the 58th forward in franchise history to skate in at least 200 games for Rochester.

Goaltender Devon Levi (7-4-3) made his 12th start in the last 15 games since being reassigned to Rochester on Jan. 20. The rookie netminder made 30 saves to earn his seventh win of the slate. Levi has faced 20 or more shots in each of his last 10 appearances and 12 of his 14 appearances overall. He also chipped in offensively, earning his first pro point with an assist on the game-winning goal from Kisakov.

Angus Crookshank, who earlier in the day was named the AHL's Player of the Month for February, scored his team-leading 22nd goal of the season for Belleville, which came into the matchup having won four straight dating back to last Wednesday night in Rochester. Donovan Sebrango and Matthew Highmore each produced an assist while goaltender Leevi Merilainen saw his three-game win streak halted as he stopped 31 of the 35 shots he faced.

Near the 7:00 mark of a scoreless first period, Belleville had the puck inside the Rochester zone. As it appeared the Senators were in position to possibly break through with the first goal of the tilt, Jost blocked a shot from the right point.

As the puck rolled through the neutral zone, the Alberta native sped ahead and seized possession as he was all alone near the blueline. He drifted towards Merilainen, and as he reached the goalmouth, he tucked a shot inside the left post for his fourth of the season.

On the ensuing shift, Kisakov helped the Amerks clear the puck out of their own zone. The second-year winger tapped the puck to Richards, who one-touched it to Metsa near the benches. Metsa returned the feed for Kisakov as they had an odd-man rush, but Kisakov snapped a shot from in-between the circles to double Rochester's lead with 5:34 left in the period.

Following the break, the momentum favored the Amerks for the first half of the frame as they outshot the Senators 7-1 before drawing a five-on-three, two-man advantage for 48 seconds.

Just as the first infraction expired, Brandon Biro dove to keep the puck inside the offensive zone. Rosen retrieved the loose puck and quickly reversed it to the far circle for Kulich. The latter fanned on the one-timer, but Rousek converted the rebound to extend Rochester's lead.

Much like the first and second goals for the Amerks, the visitors quickly used the momentum as Murray redirected Metsa's right point shot for his 12th of the season less than a minute after Rousek's 10th.

Trailing 4-0 and being outshot 27-14 with under five minutes left in the second period, Belleville denied Levi's shutout bid as Crookshank redirected his team-leading 22nd goal of the season.

The Amerks took their three-goal cushion into the final period and clamped down defensively, allowing Levi to turn aside all 12 shots he faced to preserve the 4-1 victory.

The Amerks conclude the first weekend of March in a rematch with the Senators on Saturday, Mar. 2 at 7 p.m. All the action from CAA Arena will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.

Stars and Stripes:

Including tonight's first-period goal, Aleksandr Kisakov has scored three of his 11 goals in the AHL against the Senators since the start of his rookie campaign ... By earning the primary helper on Brett Murray's goal, Zach Metsa (10) became the 15th different Amerk to record 10 or more assists this season ... Murray's goal gives him a point (1+2) in each of his last three games, his second three-game point streak of the season ... Devon Levi notched an assist on the game-winning goal, becoming the first Amerks goalie this season to record a point.

Goal Scorers

ROC: T. Jost (4), A. Kisakov (5 - GWG), L. Rousek (10), B. Murray (12)

BEL: A. Crookshank (22)


ROC: D. Levi - 30/31 (W)

BEL: L. Merilainen - 31/35 (L)


ROC: 35

BEL: 31

Special Teams

ROC: PP (2/6) | PK (3/3)

BEL: PP (0/3) | PK (4/6)

Three Stars:

1. ROC - T. Jost

2. ROC - D. Levi

3. BEL - A. Crookshank


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