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The Rochester Americans open the Calder Cup Playoffs with a best-of-five series against the rival Syracuse Crunch in a rematch of last year's North Division Semifinals.

Rochester finished as the second seed in the North Division after going 13-2-1-1 in its final 17 games. Syracuse is the third seed in the division.

The Amerks are in the playoffs for the third consecutive season under coach Seth Appert and return many of the players who were part of last year’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals, which ended in a six-game loss to the eventual Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears. That run began with a five-game series win over the Crunch.

Devon Levi, one of the newcomers to group, posted a .927 save percentage in 26 regular-season games, the second-best mark in the AHL among qualified goaltenders.

The 22-year-old joins a roster that includes four first-round picks in defenseman Ryan Johnson and forwards Isak Rosen, Jiri Kulich, and Noah Ostlund. Rosen and Kulich are holdovers after having prolific rookie campaigns last season. Ostlund joined the Amerks upon the conclusion of his pro season in Sweden earlier this month and played the final two regular-season games.

Rosen tied for the team lead with 50 points (20+30) this season. Kulich had a team-high 27 goals.

Rochester’s roster also includes a trio of promising rookies in forwards Viktor Neuchev and Anton Wahlberg and defenseman Nikita Novikov along with two veteran prospects who played for Buffalo this season in forwards Brandon Biro and Lukas Rousek.

The schedule for the North Division Semifinals is below. This article will be updated with results throughout the series.

Series schedule and results (all games on AHLTV)

Game 1 | Syracuse 2 - Rochester 3

Devon Levi stopped a point-blank attempt with 4.9 seconds remaining to complete a 35-save effort in his first professional playoff game and preserve the 3-2 victory. The Crunch fought back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game on Jordy Bellerive's goal 7:59 into the third period, only for Isak Rosen to deflect a Zach Metsa shot for the game-winning goal less than three minutes later.

Anton Wahlberg and Noah Ostlund - both of whom joined the Amerks in the past month upon the conclusions of their Swedish Hockey League seasons - scored their first AHL playoff goals during the first period.

Game 2 | Syracuse 4 - Rochester 3 (OT)

Gabriel Fortier won an offensive-zone faceoff, dashed to the net, and deflected a shot from the point for the winning goal at 10:56 of overtime.

Rochester led 2-0 on goals from Michael Mersch and Linus Weissbach. Syracuse responded with a three-goal run to take the lead, beginning when Jordy Bellerive found the back of the net with 47 seconds remaining in the second period. Mason Jobst’s first goal of the playoffs tied the score with 3:54 remaining in regulation.

Devon Levi made 30 saves.

Game 3 | Rochester 1 - Syracuse 2 (2 OT)

Devon Levi made a career-high 60 saves – 23 of which came after regulation – but Waltteri Merela scored on a breakaway 10:18 into the second overtime period to give the Crunch a 2-1 series lead.

The Amerks went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill, improving to 10-for-10 in the playoffs.

Isak Rosen scored Rochester’s lone goal on a penalty shot with 55 seconds remaining in the second period, which tied the score at 1-1.

Game 4 | Rochester 4 - Syracuse 3 (OT)

Brett Murray scored the game-winning overtime goal with 8:14 remaining in the extra period to tie the series at 2-2 and force Game 5 at Blue Cross Arena on Friday.

Murray put away a rebound in the blue paint to complete the come-from-behind victory over the Crunch. Syracuse led 3-0 at the end of the second period with goals from Cole Koepke, Waltteri Merela, and Alex Barre-Boulet, but the Amerks responded with three tallies in the third to force overtime for the third straight game.

Brandon Biro put Rochester on the board 19 seconds into the third when he went to the net and put away a feed from Joe Cecconi. Cecconi brought the Amerks within one as he redirected a pass from Lukas Rousek in front of the net midway through the period before Biro scored his second of the night from Rousek to tie the score at 3-3 with 5:12 remaining.

Devon Levi made 36 saves in regulation and added five stops in overtime to earn the win.

Game 5 | Syracuse 5 - Rochester 2

Rochester trailed 3-2 entering the third period, but this time it could not pull off the comeback. Cole Koepke scored his second goal of the game on an odd-man rush to extend the Crunch’s lead to 4-2 with 5:10 remaining, then Felix Robert added an empty-net goal.

Jeremy Davies and Michael Mersch scored goals for the Amerks. Lukas Rousek had an assist for his team-high sixth point of the series. Rochester played the second half of the game with five defensemen after Davies was injured in a collision with Crunch forward Jordy Bellerive during the second period.

Devon Levi made 15 saves and finished the series with a .919 save percentage.

“It was a great series,” Amerks coach Seth Appert said. “I’m really proud of our guys for the season we had, tying for first place in this division. We just didn’t find a way tonight.”