JJ Peterka scored in his return to the lineup while Oskari Laaksonen (0+2) and Linus Weissbach (0+2) both turned in multi-point efforts to help lift the Rochester Americans (20-11-2-1) to a 4-1 victory over the Cleveland Monsters (12-12-4-3) in the first of back-to-back meetings between the two teams Friday night at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
With the win, the Amerks have earned points in 15 of their last 21 games dating back to November 19.
As Laaksonen and Weissbach led the Amerks with multi-point efforts, Peterka, who missed the previous five games due to COVID-19 protocol, Arttu Ruotsalainen and Ara Nazarian all found the back of the net before Ryan MacInnis capped off the win with an empty-netter in the final minute of play. Brandon Biro, Michael Mersch and Josh Teves all produced an assist while goaltender Mat Robson (4-1-2) made a season-high 35 saves in his seventh appearance with the Amerks this season.
Forward Brendan Gaunce scored his 11th goal of the campaign late in the late period from Adam Helewka and Dillon Simpson for Cleveland, who dropped to 1-2-0-0 in the first three games of the 10-game season-series. Goaltender Jean-Francois Berube (4-6-3) suffered the loss despite stopping 21 of 24 shots he faced, including a game-high 13 in the first period.
The Amerks and Monsters wrap up their back-to-back set with a rematch on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
Kyle leads sports coverage and hosts the Concrete Jungle podcast. Have a lead or question? Send it to [email protected].