TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans kickoff their home-filled November slate tonight at The Blue Cross Arena with the first of back-to-back tilts against the Hamilton Bulldogs. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the second of 12 meetings between the North Division rivals this season and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK. The game will also be televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (Channel 26).
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
AUDIO: Ron Rolston w/ Don Stevens
Tonight's Downloadable Rosters
2012-13 AHL Standings
2012-13 Rochester Stats
2012-13 Hamilton Stats
Friday's Weather Forecast
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Amerks opened the season series versus Hamilton with a 3-1 win over the Bulldogs in the teams’ only other get-together back on Oct. 23 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo. Cody Hodgson led Rochester with a two-point night (1+1), while David Leggio celebrated his homecoming by stopping 36 of 37 shots he faced. The Amerks are 76-67-10 all-time against Hamilton.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (5-2-1-0, 11 points) enters the contest in third place in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings after a 6-2 rout of the Adirondack Phantoms Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Newcomer Rick Schofield netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner, and Leggio turned aside 28 saves for the Amerks, who have won four of their last five games and collected points in five straight. With a 5-2-1-0 record through the first eight games of the campaign, Rochester is off to its best start since the 2009-10 Amerks opened the season with a 6-1-1-0 mark before tying a franchise record with an 11-game winning streak. Leggio, who leads all AHL netminders in wins (5) and saves (246), has started 34 consecutive regular-season and playoff games for the Amerks, a stretch that began on Feb. 22. He has gotten the call in all eight games this season after drawing the start in each of Rochester’s final 23 regular-season contests last season as well as each game of the Amerks’ first-round playoff loss to Toronto last spring.
HAMILTON NOTES: Hamilton (3-2-1-0, 7 points) comes into the matchup on the heels of a 2-1 win over Abbotsford this past Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak – a stretch that saw the Bulldogs get outscored 13-5, which includes its a 3-1 setback to Rochester last Tuesday. The Bulldogs, who are currently tied for last place in the North Division, come to the Flower City fueled by six-year pro Aaron Palushaj, who paces the Hamilton offense with a team-high three goals and ranks tied for first with four points overall. Goaltender Peter Delmas, who has played three of the last four games for the Bulldogs, boasts an 0-2-0 record with a 3.49 goals-against average and a .865 save percentage while Robert Mayer shows a 3-1-0 mark with a 2.46 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage through four games.
UP NEXT: The same two teams will meet again on Saturday, Nov. 3 as the home-and-home series shifts back across the border for a 7:00 p.m. bout at Copps Coliseum. Fans can tune in for all the live action on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS POINTS OF INTEREST
- With 21 goals through their last four games, including a combined 14 against Hershey and Adirondack over the last two Saturdays, the Amerks are currently second in the AHL in goals for with 33.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most potent in the league over the last four games as the Amerks have converted on 10 of their last 29 man-advantage opportunities. The Amerks rank second in the league with 12 power-play goals and own the fifth-best power-play unit in the AHL with 25.0% efficiency rate.
- With eight points (4+4) in his last five games, T.J. Brennan currently ranks third in scoring among AHL defensemen with 10 points (4+6), two points behind Oklahoma City’s Justin Schultz. Additionally, three of his four goals have come on the power-play, tying him for second overall.
- Marcus Foligno (5+5) and Cody Hodgson (1+9), who each show seven points over their last five games, are also currently tied with Brennan with 10 points apiece to rank fifth overall among the AHL’s top point-getters. Foligno also ranks tied for fifth in the AHL with five goals, including three on the power-play, while Hodgson’s nine assists are presently a league-best.
- Leggio, who has played every minute of the season thus far, leads all AHL netminders in wins (5), saves (246) and minutes played (485:42).
- Mark Mancari is tied for sixth in the league with 28 shots on goal.
- Averaging 4.62 penalty minutes per game, Nick Tarnasky is tied for fourth in the AHL with 37 penalty minutes.
- Rochester is 2-0-0-0 at home when scoring the first goal of the game and show an unblemished 3-0-0-0 mark when leading after two periods.
LEGGIO CAN'T LET GO
An Amerks game without Leggio between the pipes is a rare sight these days. In fact, it hasn’t happened in more than eight months. Including the first eight games of this season, Leggio, a fifth-year pro and a native of the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville, N.Y., has started 34 consecutive regular-season and playoff games for the Amerks, a stretch that began on Feb. 22. He has gotten the call in all eight games this season after drawing the start in each of Rochester’s final 23 regular-season contests last season as well as each game of the Amerks’ first-round playoff loss to Toronto last spring. Leggio led the AHL in saves and shots faced while finishing second in minutes played and tied for third in wins (28) for Rochester in 2011-12.
Second-year defenseman Brayden McNabb brings a five-game assist streak (0+6) into the new week, one that includes four helpers on the power-play… Evan Rankin is also on the heels of a five-game point streak (3+2) and has goals in three of his last four outings… Alex Biega has collected four assists over his last four games, inlcuding a pair in Rochester’s 5-4 overtime loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday night… Team captain Kevin Porter has three points (2+1) in his last two appearances while Mancari has notched five points (2+3) through his last four showings, a stretch that features a pair of multi-point outings… Coming off his two-goal game at Adirondack on Saturday, Schofield shows four points (3+1) in as many games and Luke Adam has registered three points (2+1) over his last four outings.
Rookie forward Frederick Roy earned his first professional point with an assist at Adirondack over the weekend… Saturday’s win over the Phantoms marked the 100th AHL game for Leggio… Hodgson appeared in his 150th professional game this past Friday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… Brennnan eclipsed the 100-point mark in his AHL career with a power-play goal against Hamilton last Tuesday and needs just three more games for 200 career AHL appearances… Mancari is just five games away from 500 AHL games while Adam is eight games shy of the century mark for his AHL career… Leggio needs another six wins to reach 100 career victories.
Food Drive – The Amerks will hold a Food Drive during each of its next three home games to benefit Foodlink, the regional food bank. The Food Drive will take place during the Amerks home games on Friday, Nov. 2 versus the Hamilton Bulldogs; Friday, Nov. 9 versus the Adirondack Phantoms; and Friday, Nov. 16 versus the Albany Devils. All three games begin at 7:05 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. Fans are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items by dropping them off in collection bins in front of The Blue Cross Arena Box Office, located in the lower atrium, prior to each of the next three games. The items will then be donated to Foodlink. Any fan that donates two unopened, non-perishable food items prior to any of the next three home games will be able to save $5 on the purchase of a best-available lower level ticket. Fans will also have the opportunity to save $5 on the purchase of a best-available lower level ticket if they donate to Foodlink through the point-of-sale campaign called “Check Out Hunger” at the Box Office.
Hockey Night in Rochester – Friday nights are Hockey Night in Rochester, and fans who wear an Amerks or Sabres jersey to a Friday game can purchase a best-available seat for just $17.
Ditch the Dorms – Ditch the Dorm Nights are back this season, where students who present their College ID at The Blue cross Arena Box Office can purchase a best available ticket for just $12.
Amerks Happy Hour – Prior to every Friday night home game this season, there will be an Amerks Happy Hour from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Upper Atrium Bar featuring live music and $2 Molson and Coors Light drafts for fans age 21 and over.