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Amerks stumble in 5-1 loss to Monsters

The Cleveland Monsters scored twice in the opening eight minutes and rode a near-perfect performance from veteran goaltender Brad Thiessen on their way to a 5-1 win over the Rochester Americans Wednesday at The Blue Cross Arena.

The loss snaps Rochester’s home point streak at four games (3-0-1-0) and drops the Amerks to 6-4-1-1 on the season.

Veteran forward Michael Mersch provided the lone tally for the Amerks, spoiling Thiessen’s bid for his first shutout since April 3, 2019 with a power-play goal late in the third period. Brandon Biro, coming off a three-point effort Friday against Syracuse, notched an assist as did fellow rookie forward Patrick Polino, who registered his first pro point on Mersch’s third of the season. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonnen made 24 saves while making his ninth start in 12 games for Rochester.

Jake Christiansen (1+2) and Adam Helewka (0+2) each turned in multi-point efforts while Gavin Bayreuther, Tyler Sikura, Josh Dunne and Zach Jordan rounded out the scoring for the Monsters, who improved to 5-2-0 in their last seven games. Thiessen stopped all but one of the 23 shots he faced to collect his second straight win and third in his last four appearances.