On the farm: Biro stays hot while Kulich dominates the World Juniors.

Month in Review

The Amerks rang in the New Year on a six-game win streak, however, they started 2023 losing two out of the last three games.

The Amerks currently have a 18-11-1 record which slots the team in third place of the North Division. The team is behind Toronto and Utica, who both have already reached the 40-point mark this year. 

In December, the long win streak started with a shootout win on the road against the Marlies. The team continued on the road to Charlotte to face the Checkers in a two-game series. The Amerks also got a 5-4 overtime win against Utica, a divisional opponent that slots in the third spot in the North Division. The team finished out 2022 in Toronto with a 3-2 victory in regulation against the Marlies.

Prior to the win streak, the team was on a three-game skid that saw the Amerks falling to get a point over the course of 3 contests. This losing streak started on a road trip in Cleveland against the Monsters with a 4-3 loss prior to two division losses against Syracuse and Utica.

The Amerks have continued to play well in the Blue Cross Arena. On home ice, Rochester is 9-5-1 and outscore opponents 57 to 55. On the road, the team is closer to .500 with an 9-6-0-1 record while traveling.

Now in January, Belleville and Leigh Valley both defeated the Amerks on home ice before the team traveled to Syracuse and fought for a 4-3 victory. Jeremy Davies sealed the deal in the third period to find a win against a divisional opponent.

Power Play: Looking into the special teams, the power play units have been able to convert at 20.0% through 34 games played. The team has 33 power play goals with Sean Malone and Jiri Kulich leading the way with three each. The Amerks are ranked 14th in the AHL in terms of power play efficiency. 

Penalty Kill: On the other side, the penalty kill units have given up 23 goals on 96 opportunities. That puts the team in 27th place with a 76.0% efficiency while having 2 shorthanded goals for while a man down. 

Leading the Way

  1. Brandon Biro – GP 25, 9 G, 20 A, 29 PTS

Brandon Biro leads the team with 29 points through 25 games played. The center has 9 goals and 20 assists averaging 1.16 points per game. Biro was named the Wendys Social Star of the Week for the entire month of December because the forward tallied six-straight multi-goal games while recording 16 total points alone over the course of the month. Biro is projected to finish with 24 goals and 53 assists for 77 points. The 24-year-old also has a +1 plus/minus rating. 

  1. Lukas Rousek – GP 31, 10 G, 15 A, 25 PTS

Lukas Rousek has gone on a tear the past seven games as the forward is currently on a long point streak. During that time span, Rousek has three goals and four assists and has continued to add to his season totals. In 31 games, the second-year player has 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points. Rousek is projected to have 58 points this season with 23 goals and 35 points. 

  1. Brett Murray – GP 30, 13 G, 11 A, 24 PTS

Brett Murray has continued to lead the way on offense this season for the Amerks. Murray is one of only two players to crack multiple digits in the goal column with a team high 13 tallies. He has 11 assists for 24 points this season. In his last two games, Murray has one assist and one goal. The 6’ 5” left winger is on pace for a 57-point season which would be his highest during his time in the AHL.

Rookies

  1. Jiri Kulich – GP 24, 6 G, 10 A, 16 PTS

Jiri Kulich was one of two Americans sent to the World Juniors to represent their country. Kulich finished with 7 goals in 7 games as Czechia fell to Canada in the gold medal game. Back in AHL play, Kulich leads the rookies in points this season with 16. The forward is projected to finish with 17 goals and 28 assists for 45 points. The right winger could improve in the defensive zone as the left-handed shot holds a -5 plus/minus rating.

  1. Isak Rosen – GP 25, 3 G, 12 A, 15 PTS

Isak Rosen is the second American that headed north to play in the World Juniors. Rosen registered 6 points in 7 games for Sweden. In Rochester, the forward has played 25 games this season with three goals and 12 assists for 15 points. Rosen is another play similar to Kulich that could improve in the defensive zone to fix his -8 plus/minus rating.

  1. Filip Cederqvist – GP 21, 3 G, 7 A, 10 PTS

Filip Cederqvist finished the month of December with two points in three games recording one assist against Utica and Toronto. After 21 games played, Cederqvist tallied 3 goals and 7 assists for 10 points, two of those goals coming on the power play. The forward tallied two assists over the course of the last three games after returning to the lineup on December 28th against Utica. The rookie also holds a +1 plus/minus rating with only 10 penalty minutes. 

  1. Aleksandr Kisakov – GP 25, 4 G, 2 A, 6 PTS

Alexsandr Kisakov solidified himself in the lineup more over the course of the month of December and tallied two points including a goal against Belleville. Through 25 games played, the right winger has four goals and two assists for six points. Two of those goals came on the power play. Kisakov is on pace for 11 goals and 5 assists for 16 points by the end of the season. 

  1. Tyson Kozak – GP 31, 2 G, 3 A, 5 PTS

Tyson Kozak is the lowest rookie on the points production list so far in the 2022-23 campaign. Through 31 games played, Kozak has two goals and three assists for five points. In the last game, Kozak recorded an assist against Toronto on December 31st. The center has spent 14 mins in the sinbin this season. 

Goaltending

  1. Michael Houser – GP 9, 3.17 GAA, .895 SV%, 3-4-0

Michael Houser started the season splitting time in the net with Malcolm Subban this season for the Amerks. In the month of December, Houser only played two games in which he gave up 7 goals and made a total of 37 saves. After nine games played, Houser holds a 3.17 goals against average and a .895 save percentage. 

  1. Malcolm Subban – GP 10, 2.97 GAA, .909 SV%, 8-2-0

Malclom Subban has taken over the duties of the crease for the Amerks this past month. Subban has controlled the net for a majority of the current win streak including a shutout on December 17th against Charlotte. Through 10 games played, the goaltender has a 2.97 goals against average and a .909 save percentage with a 8-2-0 record.

  1. Eric Comrie – GP 3, 3.03 GAA, .898 SV%, 1-2-0

Eric Comrie was sent down by the Buffalo Sabres on December 31st for a conditioning assignment after 11 appearances with the Sabres to start the season prior to his injury. Comrie made his Amerks debut against the Marlies making 34 saves and giving up two goals in the victory. Comrie played in two more contests and has posted a 3.03 goals against average with a .898 save percentage. He will continue with Rochester and head back to Buffalo at the end of his assignment.

Looking Ahead:

Rochester returns home for a three-game home stand against two North Division opponents.

On Wednesday, Jan. 11, the Amerks will take on Laval who comes to New York with a 13-16-4-1 record and holds sixth place in the division. On Saturday, Jan. 14, Toronto will come back to Rochester for another matchup against the Amerks. The home stand finishes with Laval again on a Wednesday night prior to two games against Bridgeport and Hartford.

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