(Rochester, December 17)…The Rochester Americans blanked the Toronto Marlies 2-0 tonight at The Blue Cross Arena. The Marlies were unable to battle back from a two-goal deficit, allowing Amerks goaltender Jacob Markstrom
to earn his first AHL shutout, increasing Rochester’s record to 13-14-2-1 overall and 5-10-1-1 on home ice. Toronto falls to 15-12-0-3 with the loss.
Leading the Amerks tonight were AJ Jenks (1+0) and Jordan Knactstedt (1+0), both scoring one apiece for their team. In the victory, Markstrom made 27 saves in a well-deserved shutout.
Marlies goaltender Jussi Rynnas made 25 saves on 27 shots in the losing effort.
Jenks got the Amerks on the board first with a shorthanded breakaway goal 12:56 into the opening period. After Mike Kostka (0+1) cleared the puck out of the Rochester zone, Jenks picked it up as the Toronto defensemen struggled to stay on their feet after colliding with each other at center ice, leaving the rookie forward all alone with the netminder. Jenks placed a perfect wrist shot over the glove of Rynnas as he picked the top right corner of the net for his fifth of the season.
Knactstedt doubled the Amerks’ lead to 2-0 midway through the second stanza after he converted on a loose-puck scramble in the Toronto zone. After defenseman Paul Baier (0+1) managed to keep the puck in the zone, Eric Selleck
(0+1) knocked it cross ice to Knackstedt, who quickly released a low shot from the top of the right circle just inside the far post. The tally at 10:43 was Knackstedt’s first as an Amerk and eight on the season. It also ended up being the game winner, with the contest resulting in a 2-0 final decision.
The same two teams meet again on Saturday, December 18th with the second of back-to-back tilts over the border at Ricoh Coliseum. The 3:00 p.m. matinee will be carried live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester’s Sports Talk.