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Rochester Americans Game Preview: Thursday, December 1 at Cleveland

December 1, 2022 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Rochester Americans News Release


Rochester boasts a 36-16-5-4 record against Cleveland over the last 10 years dating back to the start of the 2011-12 campaign and has earned at least one point in 24 of the last 35 games overall.

In the only other get-together this season, four different skaters recorded multi-point efforts, including Filip Cederqvist (2+1) and Aleksandr Kisakov (1+1), but the Amerks couldn't hold off a late push by Cleveland, as the Monsters escaped with a 6-5 overtime win back on Nov. 11.

Michael Houser and Beck Warm, who was recalled earlier in the day from Cincinnati and arrived moments prior to the contest, split the goaltending duties.

Including last season's 5-5-0-0 mark, the Amerks have posted a .500 winning percentage or better against Cleveland in four of the eight seasons dating back to 2007-08.

The Rochester Americans (10-6-1-1) usher in the month of December tonight with the first of back-to-back meetings against the North Division rival Cleveland Monsters (9-6-0-2) at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Game time is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.

Tonight's matchup is the first between the two teams this season in Cleveland and second of the campaign after the Monsters grabbed a 6-5 overtime victory on Nov. 11 in Rochester. The two teams will meet again on Saturday for another 7:00 p.m. showdown in Cleveland.

Coming into the month of December, 16 of the Amerks' 60 goals this season have come on the power-play, which are 13th-most among any team in the AHL. By going 16-for-63 while on the man-advantage, Rochester is sixth in the league with a 25.4% conversion rate.

The Amerks' 13 power-play goals at home are fourth-most in the league this season, going 13-for-37 through those first nine home matchups.

Despite opening the scoring 3:20 into the contest, the Amerks were unable to generate much offensively, being held to a single goal and season-low 15 shots in a 5-1 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Saturday at PPL Center.

Despite the loss, however, the Amerks recorded four out of a possible six points last week against three different Atlantic Division opponents.

Additionally, Rochester earned at least one point in six of its nine games during the month of November and boast a 10-6-1-1 record overall.

Jiri Kulich scored his second goal in as many nights for the Amerks during the first period from Brett Murray and Lukas Rousek. Murray finished off the three-game week with six points on three goals and three assists while Kulich extended his point streak to match his season-high of four.

Goaltender Michael Houser (3-2-0) faced a season-high 40 shots but suffered his second defeat of the campaign. The netminder had not allowed five or more goals in his previous 11 appearances, which included both games during the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs.

On the heels of his fourth multi-point effort of the season last Wednesday, and an assist last Friday against the Bridgeport Islanders, Linus Weissbach currently shares the team lead with 14 points and is one back of the team- lead with seven goals through 18 games. He comes into the week with seven points over his last 12 appearances, including goals in three straight games over that span.

Last Wednesday against Providence, Brett Murray scored twice within a span of 1:51 in the third period before capping off last Friday's 6-5 overtime win against the Islanders on his third point of the night with the Amerks' overtime winner. Murray is already within half of his career-high 15 goals he scored during the 2021-22 campaign in just 18 games to kick off the 2022-23 season. He has recorded three multi-point efforts over his last five games as he shows three goals and five assists and is currently riding his second three-game point streak of the campaign.

First-year forward Isak Rosen notched two assists on Friday, before adding another on Saturday night. With three helpers last week, he's tied for fourth amongst all AHL rookies with a team-high 10 assists, which is tied for fourth in the league among rookies.

Lukas Rousek and Jiri Kulich ranked third and fifth on the team in scoring with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Both players have four goals through 18 games so far this season.

The Monsters, who begin a six-game home schedule in December, come into tonight with at least one point in eight of their last 10 games, having gone 6-2-0-2 over that span. Overall, Cleveland is third in the North Division with a 9-6-0-2 record and 20 points, just two points back of the Amerks and two ahead of Syracuse despitr having a game in hand on the Crunch.

By going 21-for-62 and showing a 33.9% success-rate with the man- advantage, Cleveland owns the top ranked power-play this season. The Monsters have tallied 18 powerplay goals in 11 road games, which are most in the league, but have produced only three in six home contests.

Cleveland comes into tonight's matchup without two of its top point-getters in Trey Fix-Wolansky and Carson Meyers, both of whom earned recalls to the parent Columbus Blue Jackets. In 14 appearances for Cleveland this season, Fix-Wolansky has posted a team-best 10 goals and 22 points, while Meyer has 12 assists in 15 games, which is tied for most on the team.

So far this season, the Amerks have used 12 different defensemen, which is second-most in the AHL behind Toronto. Cleveland has also used a dozen different blueliners this season. Ten of the 12 Amerks have recorded at least one point while six have scored.

Ethan Prow is the only defenseman to appear in all 18 games this season and has skated in 88 of the 94 games dating back to the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Earlier this week,ythe Monsters signed former Amerk defenseman Brandon Davidson to an American hockey League contract for the remainder of the season. In 34 career games with Rochester, the veteran blueliner posted one goal and six assists for seven points from 2020-23. As an alternate captain last season, Davidson also appeared in six postseason contests.

Goaltender Michael Houser had a brief one-game stint with the Monsters in 2016-17, recording three saves on four shots over one period of play.

The Amerks and Monsters have played in a combined 11 games this season decided beyond regulation, including the previous meeting between the two teams on Nov. 11 in Rochester. The Amerks are 3-2 in overtime this season while the Monsters are 4-2.

The Amerks have earned at least one point in eight of their first nine home contests so far this season, boasting a 7-1-1-0 mark within the friendly confines of The Blue Cross Arena. Rochester opened the season with five straight home wins, marking the team's best start since 2006-07.

Five of the seven victories this season in the Flower City have come when the team trailed entering the final 20 minutes of regulation while all seven wins have come by way of four or more goals. Rochester has outscored its opposition 18-8 after the start of the third period and has outshot the visitors 88-74.

Rochester is one of only three teams to have just one regulation loss at home this season, joining Hershey and Hartford in that regard.


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