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 Rochester Americans

Three-Goal First Period Propels Amerks to 6-2 Win in Utica

February 14, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Rochester Americans News Release

(Utica, NY) - The Rochester Americans (22-16-5-1) erupted for three first-period goals and five different players recorded multi-point efforts as the Amerks secured a 6-2 win over the Utica Comets (19-19-4-3) in a North Division showdown Wednesday at Adirondack Bank Center.

The Amerks, who have points in eight of their last 11 games dating back to Jan. 17, have now won 10 of the previous 11 games in Utica. The victory also improves Rochester to 5-2-1-0 through the first eight games of the season series against the Comets.

Forwards Viktor Neuchev (1+2) and Tyson Kozak (1+2) each scored one goal to go with a pair of assists. Leading point-getter Lukas Rousek (0+2) notched his third straight two-point outing while Kale Clague (0+2) and Mason Jobst (1+1) also had two-point performances. Jobst appeared in his 200th game in the AHL while Ethan Prow recorded his 50th goal in the league and tallied his 100th point with Rochester.

Prow and Brett Murray tallied first-period goals before Justin Richards found the back of the net in the middle frame for Rochester, which began an arduous stretch of seven games in 11 days. Brandon Biro, Jiri Kulich, and Nikita Novikov all registered an assist.

Goaltender Devon Levi (4-2-2) made his eighth appearance of the campaign and fourth consecutive start, finishing with 37 saves. The rookie netminder has made 30 or more saves in five of his eight games with the Amerks this season.

Will MacKinnon and Xavier Parent both scored for the Comets, who have dropped three of their last five games to open February after winning three straight contests to conclude January.

Isaac Poulter (14-6-1) and Erik Källgren (1-5-2) split the goaltending duties with Poulter drawing his 23rd appearance of the slate. Poulter stopped 11 of the 15 shots he faced after entering the contest having won six of his previous seven games, which also featured a pair of shutouts. Källgren made eight saves in the final 36 minutes after replacing Poulter in the second period.

Nearly halfway through the opening period, Isak Rosen dug the puck out from along the wall and hit Kulich skating across the center-ice logo. The latter raced into the offensive zone before dropping a pass to Clague, who joined the play. Clague waited for his defensive partner to make his way across the blueline. The veteran Prow patiently retrieved the pass inside the right point before he walked into the slot and wired a shot for his second of the season, giving Rochester a 1-0 lead.

Four minutes later, the visitors drew their first power-play of the contest with 7:39 left on the first-period clock.

Less than 20 seconds into the infraction, the Amerks utilized quick passing to enter the offensive zone. After gathering Rousek's pass, Jobst skated towards Poulter and backhanded a shot off the netminder. While Poulter made the initial save on Jobst, Murray gathered the rebound and snapped home his 10th of the season to double the Amerks lead.

Rochester used the momentum from the goal as they took a 3-0 lead on the ensuing shift just 65 seconds after Murray's 10th of the campaign.

After grabbing the puck in-front of the Amerks bench from Prow, Kozak provided a cross-ice feed to Richards just outside the far blueline. Richards took a few strides into the offensive zone before picking the top-left corner of Poulter for his sixth goal of the season at the 13:19 mark.

The Amerks, who held a 3-0 lead on the scoreboard and outshot the Comets 14-8 in the opening 20 minutes of play, added two more goals to build a 5-0 advantage with 14 minutes left in the stanza.

On Rochester's fourth tally of the night, the club had a 6-on-5 advantage as Levi was off on a delayed penalty before Neuchev snuck in the back door. As the rookie made his way in-between the circles, he roofed a shot from Kozak and Clague.

Despite Neuchev scoring his seventh of the season, which ultimately ended Poulter's night, the Comets were whistled for a high-sticking penalty.

Just as the infraction expired, Rousek provided a centering one-time feed for Jobst to hammer past Källgren for his 13th of the season at the 5:41 mark.

Facing a 5-0 deficit, Utica spoiled Levi's bid for his first career AHL shutout on MacKinnon's second of the season with just over six minutes to play in the middle frame.

The cross-town foes traded goals in the final 20 minutes on Kozak and Parent's third and 10th goals of the season, respectively, but Rochester's advantage was too much for the Comets to overcome.

The Amerks continue their grueling stretch on Friday, Feb. 16 when they close out their season-series with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.

Stars and Stripes:

Tonight marked the sixth time this season where the Amerks recorded six or more goals in a game, with three coming since Jan. 20 ... Kale Clague became the first Amerks defenseman to record 20 or more assists this season and is two assists away from matching a career-high (22) ... Mason Jobst (6+7) has recorded 13 of his 28 points this season over his last 15 games to begin 2024 ... Both Jobst and Brett Murray have three goals in their last four outings.

Goal Scorers

ROC: E. Prow (2), B. Murray (10), J. Richards (6), V. Neuchev (7), M. Jobst (13), T. Kozak (3)

UTC: W. MacKinnon (2), X. Parent (10)


ROC: D. Levi - 37/39 (W)

UTC: I. Poulter - 11/15 (L) | E. Källgren - 8/10 (ND)


ROC: 25

UTC: 39

Special Teams

ROC: PP (2/5) | PK (2/2)

UTC: PP (0/2) | PK (3/5)

Three Stars:

1. ROC - T. Kozak

2. ROC - D. Levi

3. ROC - M. Jobst


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