The Rochester Americans (5-3-0-0) pulled within a goal early in the third period, but the visiting Toronto Marlies (4-4-0-0) scored twice in the final minute to cap a 4-1 victory Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Tonight’s regulation loss to the Marlies was Rochester’s first at home versus Toronto since Dec. 15, 2017. The Amerks entered the contest with a 5-0-1-0 in the six previous meetings between the clubs in the Flower City. Despite the defeat, Rochester has won five of its last seven games and remain second in the AHL’s North Division standings.
Rookie forward JJ Peterka scored Rochester’s lone goal of the game 3:36 into the final frame from Sean Malone and Ethan Prow. The goal gives the first-year German winger nine points (2+7) in eight games, which includes a team-best seven assists.
Peyton Krebs, who was acquired by the Buffalo Sabres Thursday morning, made his Amerks debut. The 20-year-old forward began the contest centering Michael Mersch and Ryan MacInnis. Defenseman Mattias Samuelsson led all Rochester skaters with a career-best five shots.
Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (2-3-0) stopped 18 of 20 shots he faced but was dealt with the loss as he appeared in his fifth appearance of the campaign.
Kirill Semyonov (0+2) and Brett Seney (1+1) both led the Marlies to the win as they produced their second and third multi-point efforts of the season, respectively. Josh Ho-Sang scored the eventual game-winning goal late in the second period before Mikhail Abraham and Alex Steeves capped off the scoring as they both tacked on an empty-net tally in the final 60 seconds of regulation.
Goaltender Erik Källgren recorded his third, 30-plus save performance of the season and improved to 3-2-0, which includes two straight wins.
Rochester registered 10 of the first 12 shots in the first period, however, it was the Marlies who broke the scoreless contest with 2:52 left in the frame while on the power-play. With Toronto on the man-advantage following a double minor for high-sticking, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev fired a shot-pass in-between the face-off dots from atop the right point. As the puck reached Seney’s stick, he redirected into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
During the second period of play, both teams generated many scoring chances as the two clubs combined for 23 shots, but the goaltenders kept the game a one-goal affair until Toronto broke through.
As the stanza was dwindling down, the Amerks looked to get another scoring opportunity until a blocked shot by Bobby McMann deep inside the Marlies zone. After the winger collected the puck, he cleared it the length of the ice but Semyonov raced it down in the corner to Luukkonen’s left. Peterka sprinted down to block the centering pass, but Ho-Sang roofed it over the Finnish netminder to double Toronto’s lead with 18 seconds left in the period.
Rochester emerged from intermission break down 2-0 but Peterka soon collected an outlet pass from Malone while skating through the neutral zone. The winger entered the offensive zone, and as he reached the top of the circles, he used the Marlie defensemen as a screen before snapping in his second tally of the season.
The Amerks tried to find the equalizer over the course of the final 17 minutes, but the Marlies denied the attempt as Abraham and Steeves both sealed the win while Luukkonen was pulled for the extra skater.
After starting the season with eight straight North Division contests, the Amerks make their only trip of the season to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza to face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday, Nov. 10. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the first of two meetings between the two clubs this season and will be carried live on 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.