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Ruotsalainen Carries Amerks to 5-2 Win over Wolf Pack

January 8, 2022 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Rochester Americans News Release


(Rochester, NY) - On the strength of three first-period goals and a three-point (1+2) performance from Arttu Ruotsalainen, the Rochester Americans (18-10-0-0) earned a 5-2 victory over the visiting Hartford Wolf Pack (14-9-2-2) Friday night at The Blue Cross Arena.

The tape-delayed broadcast of tonight's game will air at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8 on CW Rochester.

SCORING SUMMARY 1 2 3 OT SO FINAL

Hartford 1 0 1 -- -- 2

Rochester 3 1 1 -- -- 5

The Amerks have won 10 of their last 13 games, and dating back to the 2017-18 campaign, Rochester has earned wins in five of the last seven contests against Hartford. The Amerks have recorded at least one point in nine of the previous 11 exchanges, going 7-2-0-2 over that span.

Ruotsalainen duplicated his effort from this past Sunday in Hartford with a goal and two assists in tonight's rematch and now has six points (2+4) in two games against the Wolf Pack this season as well as eight points (2+6) overall in 10 games with Rochester. Jack Quinn, who returned to the lineup Wednesday, recorded a goal and an assist for his third multi-point in the last for games dating back to Nov. 26. The rookie forward has 10 points (3+7) over his last seven games and is now within two points of reclaiming the AHL's rookie scoring lead.

Ryan MacInnis (2+0) and Nick Boka (0+2), who made his Amerks debut, both recorded a pair of points for a multi-point game. Linus Weissbach chipped in his sixth goal of the slate.

Ethan Prow, who was assigned to Rochester earlier in the day along with Brett Murray and MacInnis, earned an assist on MacInnis' first-period marker. Mason Jobst and Michael Mersch both recorded an assist to complete the scoring.

Goaltender Aaron Dell made 28 saves of the 30 shots he faced to improve to 5-0-0 on the slate. The veteran netminder made his first appearance since Dec. 18. In each of his five games this season, he has made 25 or more saves.

Ty Ronning netted his eighth goal of the campaign after Aaron Luchuk produced his first of the slate to complete the scoring for Hartford, who fall to 2-6-0-2 in its last 10 games. Netminder Tyler Wall (1-2-0) stopped 28 of 32 but was dealt with the loss.

Like Sunday's matchup in Hartford, MacInnis had an early scoring chance in the first five minutes of play. After hitting the goal post and being denied earlier this week, the sixth-year forward opened the scoring 3:36 tonight with his seventh of the slate.

As the Wolf Pack appeared to gather the puck in-between the face-off dots, Prow poked the puck free before MacInnis swiped it up and over the left shoulder of Wall at the 3:36 mark.

Less than two minutes after MacInnis opened the scoring, Hartford tied the game at one apiece with Luchuk's first of the campaign.

Rochester did not flinch as they tacked on two more in the opening period to take a 3-1 lead into the intermission.

After the Wolf Pack attempted to clear the puck around the boards and out of their own zone, Boka stopped it inside the right point before firing it towards Wall. The netminder thought he had frozen the puck but Ruotsalainen jarred it free before Quinn backhanded home the rebound to regain the Amerks advantage with 8:14 on the clock.

Five minutes later on Rochester's initial power-play of the game, Prow kept the puck inside the offensive zone yet again before Weissbach roofed a perfect one-time feed over the blocker to make it 3-1 score. Jobst and Ruotsalainen were awarded the helpers on the goal.

With the power-play marker, the Amerks have scored at least one power-play goal in 17 of their first 28 games this season and have registered multiple power-play tallies in six.

Following the first intermission, Rochester upped its lead to a three-goal cushion when Ruotsalainen netted his second of the slate from Quinn 2:15 into the middle stanza. As Quinn darted his way around the Hartford defense, his shot was stopped by Wall. The Wolf Pack defense, however, was unable to clear the rebound, allowing Ruotsalalinen to fire it in to the nearly wide-open net to make it a 4-1 game.

Hartford trimmed the score to 4-2 less than five minutes into the final period of regulation, with Ronning scoring his eighth of the season while the Wolf Pack was on the penalty kill.

The Wolf Pack continued to press to make it a game, and despite having a 5-on-3 for two full minutes and eventually a 6-on-4 for the final three minutes of the contest, MacInnis sealed the 5-2 victory from Mersch and Boka.

With the assists, Mersch became the first Amerk this season and just the second player in the league to reach the 30-point mark while Boka produced his first two points in the league.

The Amerks close out their busy stretch of games of three games in four nights in a rematch with the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday, Jan. 8 at Upstate Medical University Arena. The 7:00 p.m. contest will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.

HARTFORD GAMECENTER ROCHESTER

Luchuk (1), T. Ronning (8) GOAL-SCORERS R. MacInnis (7, 8), J. Quinn (12),

L. Weissbach (6 - GWG),

A. Ruotsalainen (2)

T. Wall - 28/32 (L) GOALTENDERS

Dell - 28 30 (W)

0-8 POWER-PLAY 1-4

3-4 PENALTY KILL 8-8

30 SHOTS ON GOAL 33


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