4/2 Recap: Cat pounces for pair; Grigorenko sharp in debut

Mikhail Grigorenko returned to work Wednesday, posting a nice assist and putting in a solid all-around effort in his AHL season debut as the Amerks snapped a nine-game skid with a 5-2 victory over Syracuse.

After jarring the puck loose in the Amerks' end of the rink, Grigorenko was able to get it back at the Crunch blue line, make a nice inside-out move, and zip a crisp feed across the slot to former Quebec Remparts teammate Frederick Roy for the goal early in the third period.

Grigorenko's assist, along with his strong play at both ends of the ice, provides signs of encouragement for both an Amerks squad clearly in need of a boost (nine straight losses), as well as a Sabres organization who would love nothing better than to see the 2012 first-rounder take his development to the next level. In addition to centering a line between Roy and Kevin Sundher, the talented Russian also played the right point opposite Mark Pysyk on Rochester's top power play unit. The effort was rounded out with two shots on goal and plus-one rating.

Daniel Catenacci (second star) scored a pair of goals for the Amerks, with fellow rookie Joel Armia getting assists on both. Catenacci, who always shows good acceleration, and Armia had nice bounce to their step all game with Kevin Porter between them. The production gives Catenacci 17 points (9+8) in 68 games, while Armia boosts his season point total to 25 (7+18) in 49 appearances.

Andrey Makarov (third star) made his fourth-straight start for the Amerks, stopping 24 of 26 shots for his first career AHL victory. The rookie netminder also picked up an assist on Catenacci's second marker, the second helper posted by a Rochester goaltender this season (Nathan Lieuwen had the other). Veteran forward Brayden Irwin (first star) scored a pair of goals for his first two-goal game in an Amerks uniform.

The victory gives Rochester 72 points, three behind Charlotte for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot with eight games left to play.
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