TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans wrap up the weekend tonight as they head to nearby Syracuse to take on the Crunch at the War Memorial at Oncenter. The 7:30 p.m. contest will be the second of 10 scheduled meetings between the longtime rivals this season and will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE:
AUDIO: Don Stevens with Bob Janosz
2012-13 AHL STANDINGS
2012-13 ROCHESTER STATS
2012-13 SYRACUSE STATS
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Tonight’s game marks the first get-together in nearly a month since Rochester opened the 2012-13 season with a thrilling 6-5 shootout win over Syracuse back on Oct. 12 at The Blue Cross Arena. Marcus Foligno and Mark Mancari each scored a goal and an assist in regulation before Mancari secured the win for the Amerks with the game-winner in the fifth round of the skills competition. The Amerks are 4-1-0-0 in their last five games against the Crunch dating back to last season, a streak that includes three straight wins after defeating Syracuse by 4-3 and 5-1 scores in the final two matchups of the season series. Rochester also maintains the upper-hand with a 103-84-16 all-time record against its in-state foe. After tonight’s game, the teams remain idle against one another until after the New Year when the Crunch return to Rochester on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (6-4-1-0, 13 points) enters the contest after coming up short in a 2-1 loss to the Adirondack Phantoms last night at The Blue Cross Arena. The loss snapped Rochester’s three-game home winning streak as the Amerks dropped back-to-back contests for the first time this season. Defenseman T.J. Brennan found the back of the net for the fifth time this season, including his fourth on the power-play, and moved into a first-place tie with Marcus Foligno for the team lead in scoring with 11 points (5+6). Goaltender David Leggio, who made his 10th start in the last 11 games, stopped 31 of 33 shots in the losing effort. Despite the setback, however, the Amerks have won five of their last eight games and have collected points in six of those eight entering tonight’s matchup. With nine points (5+4) in his last eight games, Brennan currently ranks tied for fourth among AHL defensemen with 11 points (5+6), four points behind Oklahoma City’s Justin Schultz. Additionally, four of his five goals have come on the power-play, tying him for the league lead in that category. Foligno, who shows eight points over his last eight games, ranks tied for 11th overall among the AHL’s top point-getters with 11 points (5+6). Foligno also ranks tied for 18th in the AHL with five goals, including three on the power-play. Cody Hodgson’s nine assists are fifth-most in the AHL, while six of his helpers have come on the man-advantage, also good for third in the league.
SYRACUSE NOTES: Syracuse (7-1-1-1, 16 points), currently in its first season as the new affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, comes into the matchup in the midst of a three-game winning streak after a 4-1 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs last night at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The Crunch scored three unanswered goals, including a pair of third period tallies from top point-getter Tyler Johnson, while holding the Bulldogs to a season-low 14 shots. Syracuse enters play tonight as one of the hottest teams in the AHL, having won six of its last eight games and claiming 13 out of a possible 16 points during that span. The Crunch are led offensively by Johnson, who paces Syracuse with a team-high eight goals and ranks tied for first with 12 points. Additionally, his eight goals place him fourth in the AHL while he presently ranks fifth among the league’s top point-producers. Ondrej Palat is third in the AHL with 10 assists while 2012 Calder Cup winning goaltender Dustin Tokarski ranks fifth and 10th among league netminders with five wins and a 1.96 goals-against average, respectively.
UP NEXT: The Amerks travel north of the border on Wednesday, Nov. 14 as they exchange pleasantries with the North Division rival Hamilton Bulldogs for the third time in as many weeks. The special school day game is slated for 10:00 a.m. start at Copps Coliseum and can be heard live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS POINTS OF INTEREST
- With 28 goals through their last seven games, including a combined 14 against Hershey and Adirondack, the Amerks are currently fifth in the AHL in goals for with 40.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most potent in the league over the last seven games as the Amerks have converted on 12 of their last 43 man-advantage opportunities. The Amerks rank second in the league with 14 power-play goals and own the seventh-best power-play unit in the AHL with 21.3% efficiency rate