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Amerks open road trip with loss to Charlotte

The Rochester Americans (13-7-0-0) struggled to generate any offensive firepower as the team’s pursuit of a sixth straight win was halted in an 11-1 loss to the Charlotte Checkers (12-10-2-0) in the opening game of a two-game set between the two teams Tuesday at Bojangles’ Coliseum.

Prior to the loss, the Amerks had won five straight and six of their last seven games, which included four on home ice. Following tonight’s setback, Rochester is 1-8-0 against Charlotte since the start of the 2018-19 campaign and own a 3-9-1 mark dating back to the 2017-18 season.

With his second goal of the season during the middle period, Mattias Samuelsson has notched 11 points (2+9) over his last 11 outings and is already within one point of matching his offensive output from 2020-21. Samuelsson ranks fourth among all Amerks rookies with 12 points and is tied for third in the AHL among all first-year blueliners with 10 assists.

By earning an assist, rookie forward Peyton Krebs extended his point streak to a career-best five games as he has recorded six points (1+5) dating back to Nov. 26 while Mason Jobst has produced four points (1+4) over his last five outings.

Goaltender Mat Robson (2-1-0) made his third straight appearance after earning a pair of wins in his first two games last week. The netminder stopped 15 shots in 40 minutes before Michael Houser (2-0-0) came in relief to start the third period. Houser finished the contest by making seven saves.

Charlotte, which has won four of its last five games to start the month of December, had seven different skaters notched a multi-point game. Kole Lind produced a season-high five points (2+3) while Grigori Denisenko (2+2) and Chase Priskie (1+3) both netted four points each. Henry Bowlby (1+2), Ryan Lohin (1+1), Luke Henman (1+1), Cole Schwindt (0+2) and Matt Kiersted (0+2) all registered multi-point efforts. Max Gildon logged his first goal of the season as former Amerks Scott Wilson and Zac Dalpe rounded out the scoring.

Third-year netminder Devan Dubnyk (4-4-1) evened his record on the season as made 24 saves in his first appearance since allowing one goal on Nov. 27.

In the first period, the Amerks were whistled for back-to-back penalties 44 seconds apart, thus giving the Checkers a two-man advantage for 1:16. Rochester successfully killed off both infractions, however, it was Charlotte that would quickly gain the momentum.

After the penalty-kill, the Checkers quickly scored three times in a span of 3:01 to take a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission.

Charlotte increased its lead to four at the 6:10 mark of the middle frame but Rochester cut into the lead as Samuelsson scored his second tally of the slate nearly two minutes later. The blueliner joined the rush and fired from in-between the face-off circles from a centering feed from Krebs and Jobst while on a delayed penalty.

The Checkers seized control from there, scoring the game’s final seven goals, including the next six in a span of 4:31 to close out the second period. Wilson added the game’s finally tally at 13:21 of the final frame to give Charlotte the 11-1 win.

The Amerks have a chance at redemption as the same two teams clash again in the second half of a two-game set on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at Bojangles’ Coliseum. The 7:00 p.m. rematch will be the second of four matchups between the two teams this season and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)