Amerks Top B-Sens in Shootout in Levi's Debut
(Belleville, ON) -The Rochester Americans (11-5-2-0) rode rookie goaltender Devon Levi's 40-save effort as they picked up a 3-2 victory in a shootout against the Belleville Senators (7-8-1-2) Friday night at CAA Arena.
With the win, the Amerks, who show a 4-1-0-0 record over their last five contests, sit in a two-way tie for second place in the North Division standings with Syracuse. Despite trailing Cleveland by one point for the top stop in the division, the Monsters have a game in hand with each of the Amerks and Crunch to begin the final month of 2023.
Forwards Linus Weissbach and Graham Slaggert both scored their second and first goals of the season, respectively, for Rochester in the opening game of the two-game series. Mason Jobst, Brett Murray, Lukas Rousek and Riley Stillman all notched an assist in regulation before Aleksandr Kisakov sealed the win in the fourth round of the shootout.
After being loaned to the Amerks earlier this week from the Buffalo Sabres, Levi (1-0-0) earned his first win as an in his American Hockey League debut. The rookie netminder stopped 40 of 42 in addition to turning aside all four Belleville skaters in the skills competition.
Angus Crookshank tallied his team-leading eighth goal of the season and 15th point in the first period while Garrett Pilon added his fifth in the final moments of regulation for Belleville. Goaltender Mads Sogaard (5-3-1) made his 10th appearance of the slate. Despite making 33 saves, which included three in the shootout, the Danish netminder took the defeat.
The Amerks started the final period holding a 2-1 lead, but after the end of regulation, the score was deadlocked at two. Over the course of the frame, Belleville outshot Rochester 18-4 thanks in part to three straight penalties in the opening half of the period.
After Pilon connected on a back-door feed from Roby Jarventie with 5:13 to play in regulation, the overtime period was required.
During the overtime period, where the Amerks were called for two additional infractions 2:01 apart, both Levi and Sogaard stood tall to keep the score even, sending the contest to the shootout.
Rochester elected to shoot first in the skills competition and after Jiri Kulich, Weissbach and Lukas Rousek were unsuccessful, Kisakov was able to beat the Senators netminder for the victory.
Levi stopped Jarventie, Josh Currie, Crookshank and Egor Sokolov in succession to earn the extra point for the Amerks, who improved to 2-0 in the shootout this season.
During the opening period, the North Division rivals traded goals as Crookshank and Slaggert each scored for their respective teams.
Rochester got on the board in the final three minutes as Michael Mersch dumped the puck down the right side of the boards from the point. Jobst grabbed the pass from Murray near the corner before cutting towards the center of the zone and attempted a shot from in-between the face-off circles. While the attempt was blocked by a Senators defender, Slaggert, who joined the play off the bench, gathered the puck and quickly wired a shot to the upper right corner to even the score for first of the season.
Following the intermission break, it appeared the second period was going to start the same way as the first as an Amerk was whistled for a hold near the 5:00 mark. However, Rochester successfully cleared off the infraction and used the momentum as Weissbach sprung into the offensive zone with an outlet pass from Stillman. As the Swedish forward reached the dot, he initiated a give-and-go with Rousek before snapping in his second of the year at the 7:15 mark.
The game remained a 2-1 score until Pilon converted a back-door feed from Jarventie as Rochester was unable to get the puck out of its defensive zone.
Rochester was able to take the 3-2 win with Kisakov's tally in the shootout and Levi stonewalling all four Belleville skaters.
The Amerks close out their three-game road swing with a rematch against the Senators on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 7:00 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
With Devon Levi making his Amerks debut, he became the fourth different goaltender to skate for Rochester this season, joining Michael Houser, Devin Cooley and Dustin Tokarski ... Dating back to last season, 16 of Rochester's previous 32 regular-season games have required overtime to determine a winner ... The Amerks are the only team in the AHL this season to skate in eight games beyond regulation... Since the turn of the New Year, Mason Jobst has totaled 18 goals and 38 points over his previous 51 games, which includes two hat tricks.
ROC: G. Slaggert (1), L. Weissbach (2)
BEL: A. Crookshank (8), G. Pilon (5)
ROC: D. Levi - 40/42 (W)
BEL: M. Sogaard - 29/31 (OTL)
ROC: PP (0/3) | PK (7/8)
BEL: PP (1/8) | PK (3/3)
1. ROC - A. Kisakov
2. ROC - D. Levi
3. BEL - G. Pilon
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