The Rochester Americans (10-6-0-0) stormed out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back on their way to a 7-3 drubbing of the Hershey Bears (8-6-2-1) Friday night in a battle of the American Hockey League’s cornerstone franchises at The Blue Cross Arena.
The Amerks erupted for a season-high four power-play goals and six different players posted multi-point performances. The matchup was the 461st all-time meeting between the AHL’s two oldest teams and first in Rochester since Oct. 23, 2019. With the win, Rochester, which has won 10 of its last 15 games overall, has earned at least one point in six of the last 11 games with the Bears dating back to the 2016-17 campaign, going 5-5-1-0 over that span.
Jack Quinn and Mark Jankowski each tallied a goal and two assists while Peyton Krebs finished with three assists. Michael Mersch (2+0), Ethan Prow (0+2) and JJ Peterka (0+2) all recorded a multi-point game. Mason Jobst, Sean Malone and Ryan MacInnis completed the scoring with one goal apiece. Oskari Laakonen and Josh Teves both earned an assist.
Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (6-6-0) made his eighth appearance of the last nine games and 12th overall. The Finnish netminder faced 40 shots, which included 27 over the final 40 minutes of play and picked up his sixth victory of the season. Luukkonen is tied for sixth in the AHL in wins while ranking fourth in both minutes played (685) and games played (12).
With a two-assist night, Joe Snively paced the Bears offense while Mason Morelli, Garrett Pilon and Kody Clark all lit the lamp. Since the start of November, Snively has posted seven goals and seven assists for 14 points while also producing three three-point games and five multi-point efforts over that span.
In the opening frame, the two clubs combined for 52 penalty minutes and the Amerks built a 3-0 lead. Two of Rochester’s came by way of the man-advantage and the other coming seconds after a power-play.
Mersch scored two of the three goals for his second multi-goal game of the season. It was his first time scoring twice in the same period since March 24, 2017, as a member of the Ontario Reign. The Amerks team captain has now recorded 16 points (9+7) and five multi-point outings over his last 14 games to move into second on the team in scoring.
Rochester increased its advantage to four at the 16:09 mark in the second period as Malone hammered home a cross-ice feed from Peterka and Teves.
Hershey erased the zero on the scoreboard in the final 30 seconds of the frame when Clark and Snively raced in on a 2-on-1.
In the first eight minutes of the final stanza, the Bears added a pair of goals less than a minute apart to counter Jobst power-play tally at the 4:09 mark.
After Hershey brought the score to 5-3, Rochester responded with the next two goals to put the game out of reach as Quinn and Jankowski recorded their 10th and fourth goals of the season, respectively.
The Amerks close out the three-game week as they make their first trip of the season to Upstate Medical University on Saturday, Nov. 26 to take on the Syracuse Crunch. The 7:00 p.m. contest will be the second of 12 scheduled matchups between the two North Division rivals and all the action will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.