News | 10/21/2011 11:56:38 AM | ROCHESTER AMERICANS
Game Notes: The Rochester Americans, who are currently riding a three-game winning streak, conclude a three-game homestand as they host the North Division rival Hamilton Bulldogs. The game marks the first of three straight games on the weekend for the Amerks, who play at Toronto on Saturday before returning home to host the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday. Friday’s 7:35 p.m. contest will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and broadcast on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk.
Head-to-Head: The Amerks and Bulldogs face-off for the second of 10 regular season meetings and the first since opening night. Hamilton won the first meeting between the teams by a 5-2 score back on Oct. 8 at Copps Coliseum as the teams kicked off the 2011-12 campaign. Jonathan Parker and Colin Stuart each scored for Rochester while Hamilton’s Brock Trotter finished with two goals and two assists to lead his team. The Amerks are 72-62-9 all-time vs. the Bulldogs.
Amerks Notes: The Amerks enter the game riding a three-game winning streak, the last two of which have come on home ice. On Tuesday, Rochester rallied from an early 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 shootout victory over the Syracuse Crunch. Jacob Lagace and Nick Crawford each scored a goal in regulation while David Leggio made 29 saves and Parker netted the shootout-winning goal. Lagace has now scored a goal in each of the last two outings. After beginning the season with two consecutive losses, the Amerks have won three in a row, giving the team its longest winning streak since Feb. 12-18 of last season when it won four straight. Entering play on Friday, Rochester is tied with Toronto atop the North Division standings.
Sharing the Crease: Amerks goaltenders David Leggio and Drew MacIntyre have each contributed to the team’s current three-game winning streak. Leggio made 34 saves in a 3-1 win at Lake Erie last Friday in the team’s first win of the season. MacIntyre followed up by stopping 30 of 32 shots in a win over Grand Rapids on Sunday before Leggio turned aside 29 shots in Tuesday’s win vs. Syracuse. Over the last three games, Leggio and MacIntyre have combined for a 1.62 goals against average and a .949 save percentage while allowing just five total goals. MacIntyre, meanwhile, is a familiar face to the Bulldogs after spending part of last season with Hamilton, where he went 12-6-1-2 with a 1.89 GAA in 21 regular season games. He then led the team to an appearance in the Western Conference Finals as he went 11-9 with a 1.95 GAA in 20 Calder Cup Playoff games.
Who’s Hot: Captain Colin Stuart has registered four points (1+3) in the last two games while defenseman Nick Crawford extended his point streak to three games when he scored a third period power play goal to send Tuesday’s game to overtime. In addition, Jacob Lagace has scored a goal in each of the last two games. Zack Kassian was held off the scoresheet on Tuesday for the first time all season, snapping his four-game point streak to begin the year. Kassian (3+2) and Stuart (2+3) are tied for the team scoring lead with five points in five games.
Defense Contributing on Offense: In addition to helping hold opponents to just five goals during the current three-game winning streak, the Amerks defensive corps is also chipping in on the offensive end. Over the last three games, Amerks blueliners have combined for nine points (2+7) with six different defensemen getting on the scoresheet.
Special Teams Breakdown: The Amerks have gone 5-for-21 (23.8%) on the power play this season, scoring at least one man-advantage goal in four of their first five games. On the penalty kill, Rochester has killed off 16-of-18 (88.9%) shorthanded situations, including 14 in a row. The Amerks have not allowed a power play goal since opening night at Hamilton on Oct. 8.
Milestone Watch: Back for a second stint with the Amerks, veteran forward Michael Ryan is just two games away from his 400th professional game, 214 of which have been played in Rochester. Defenseman Shaone Morrisonn is just four games shy of 650 pro appearances. Stuart sits just six goals and four assists away from reaching the century mark in both categories in his pro career. Second-year blueliner Drew Schiestel will reach 100 AHL games in his next two outings, while Whitmore needs just three more games for 250 in his pro career.
TWC SportsNet to Air 11 Amerks Games: Time Warner Cable SportsNet will broadcast 11 Amerks games this season in both Rochester and Buffalo beginning with Friday’s contest. Play-by-Play Announcer Don Stevens and Color Analyst Ric Seiling will be joined on the broadcasts by host Mike Catalana, the sports director for 13 WHAM News. In addition to Friday’s outing, the following games will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet (Channel 26/1026 HD in Rochester; Channel 13/713 HD in Buffalo): Sunday, Oct. 23 vs. Adirondack (6:00 p.m.); Sunday, Nov. 6 vs. Syracuse (6:00 p.m.); Wednesday, Dec. 21 vs. Lake Erie (7:00 p.m.); Friday, Jan. 20 vs. Oklahoma City (7:30 p.m.), Thursday, Feb. 2 vs. Abbotsford (7:00 p.m.), Wednesday, Feb. 22 vs. Hershey (7:00 p.m.); Sunday, Mar. 4 vs. Toronto (5:00 p.m.); Friday, Mar. 9 vs. Binghamton (7:30 p.m.); Tuesday, Apr. 10 vs. Grand Rapids (7:00 p.m.) and Friday, Apr. 13 vs. Syracuse (7:30 p.m.).
Hamilton Notes: The Bulldogs (2-2-0-0, 4 points) enter Friday’s contest having lost two straight games after opening the season with a pair of wins, including a 5-2 victory over the Amerks in the season opener for both teams. Goaltender Nathan Lawson has started all four games in net for Hamilton and has posted a 2.75 GAA and a .922 save percentage. Last Friday, Lawson made 40 saves in a 4-0 shutout win over the St. John’s IceCaps.
For Hamilton, Friday’s game marks the first of two straight against the Amerks as the Bulldogs will not play again until Thursday, Oct. 27 when Rochester visits Copps Coliseum. The Amerks, however, will play two games against different opponents before visiting Hamilton.
Team and League Leaders: The Bulldogs are led offensively by Brock Trotter, who has registered seven points (2+5) in four games. Four of those points came in the season opening win over the Amerks. His seven points on the season rank him among the Top 15 scorers in the AHL entering play tonight. Defenseman Zack Fitzgerald ranks third in the AHL with 31 penalty minutes.