TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans kickoff their busy stretch of three games in four days today as they travel north of the border to face off with the 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 WBER 90.5 FM.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
2012-13 AHL STANDINGS
2012-13 ROCHESTER STATS
2012-13 HAMILTON STATS
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The game will be the fourth of 12 meetings between the North Division rivals this season and the second in Hamilton, where the Bulldogs defeated the Amerks 4-3 in the most recent encounter between the two teams just 11 days ago. Rookie forward Brian Flynn staked Rochester to a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of play with a pair of markers, but the Bulldogs would score four unanswered third period goals, including the game-winner from Blake Geoffrion, to complete the late-game rally. Rookie goaltender Connor Knapp, a native of York, NY, and a former standout at Miami University (Ohio), got the nod for his first professional start, making 30 saves, including 23 through the first two periods. In two games against Hamilton this season, Amerks goaltender David Leggio is 2-0-0 with a 1.44 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (7-4-1-0, 15 points) enters the contest after wrapping up an up-and-down weekend that culminated in a 5-2 win over the Syracuse Crunch Saturday at the War Memorial at Oncenter. The Amerks scored three times in the third period to break a 2-2 tie in the game that saw five different players find the back of the net for Rochester, with Marcus Foligno’s three-point night (1+2) leading the way. The line of Foligno (1+2), Evan Rankin (1+1) and Flynn (1+1) combined for seven points on the night while Nick Tarnasky and T.J. Brennan also scored for the Amerks. Leggio stopped 24 of 26 shots to earn the win in net as the Amerks snapped a brief two-game losing streak and defeated the Crunch for the second time this season . With three wins in their last five games, including two on the road, the Amerks enter the new week just three points behind the Lake Erie Monsters for the top spot in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings.
HAMILTON NOTES: Hamilton (4-4-1-1, 13 points), playing Game 3 of its current four-game homestand, comes into the matchup on a two-game skid after dropping back-to-back contests to Syracuse in a two-game set between the two teams last week. The Crunch outscored the Bulldogs 7-1 through the series, with Steve Quailer’s lone tally standing as Hamilton’s only goal through its last two games. The Bulldogs own the AHL’s fourth-best penalty kill in the AHL with an 89.6% efficiency rate, while the special teams unit at home ranks second in the league with a 96.3% success rate after allowing just one goal in their last 27 shorthanded situations. Despite having just two wins in its last five games, Hamilton has collected points in three of its last five, including taking three out of a possible four points as part of a home-and-home series with Rochester earlier this month. Hamilton's offense is piloted by fourth-year pro Blake Geoffrion, who leads the Bulldogs with four goals and ranks tied for the team lead with six points. Robert Mayer, who has started the last five games in net for Hamilton, boasts a 4-3-1 record with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in eight games.
UP NEXT: After having Thursday off, Rochester returns to action on Friday, Nov. 16 as the Abbotsford Heat make their first of four visits to Western New York for a 7:05 matchup at The Blue Cross Arena. As the newest members of the North Division, the Heat and Amerks face off eight different times this season, which includes back-to-back two-game sets in Abbotsford at the turn of the New Year in January and February. Friday's game will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS POINTS OF INTEREST
- With 33 goals through their last eight games, including a combined 11 in two games against Syracuse this season, the Amerks are currently tied for fourth in the AHL in goals for with 45, just four shy of Charlotte’s league-leading 50 tallies.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most potent in the league over the last eight games as the Amerks have converted on 12 of their last 46 man-advantage opportunities. The Amerks rank second in the league with 14 power-play goals and own the fourth-best power-play unit in the AHL with a 21.5% efficiency rate. Saturday’s win at Syracuse Hamilton marked just the fourth time this season the Amerks failed to score on the power-play.
- With 10 points (6+4) in his last nine games, including goals in back-to-back outings, Brennan currently ranks third among AHL defensemen with 12 points (6+6), six behind Oklahoma City’s Justin Schultz. Additionally, four of his team-high six goals have come on the power-play, tying him for second overall.
- Coming off his three-point game (1+2) in Syracuse on Saturday, Foligno, who shows 11 points over his last nine games, remains Rochester’s top point-getter with 14 points (6+8) in 12 games this season. The second-year pro currently ranks tied for fourth overall among the AHL’s top scorers while his six goals place him tied for 14th.
- Cody Hodgson’s nine assists are eighth-most in the AHL, while six of his helpers have come on the man-advantage, also good for sixth in the league in that category.
- Leggio, who has started 11 of the last 12 games for the Amerks, leads all AHL netminders in saves (328) and minutes played (669:41), while his seven wins are second among league backstops. He also boasts the fourth-best shootout record among goaltenders, having stopped nine of 10 shooters for a .889 save percentage.
- Flynn ranks 19th among AHL rookies with seven points (4+3) in 11 games.
- Brennan is third in the league with 45 shots on goal.
- Averaging 4.33 penalty minutes per game, Tarnasky is fourth in the AHL with 52 penalty minutes. He also comes into the week with a league-high eight fighting majors, including one in each of the last three games.
- The Amerks are 3-1-0-0 at home when scoring the first goal of the game and are 5-1-0-0 when leading after two periods. In addition, Rochester shows an unblemished 4-0-0-0 mark when leading after the first period.
- Rochester is also 4-2-0-0 on home ice this season and is just one of eight teams to remain unbeaten in the shootout.
Coming off his two-point (1+1) performance on Saturday, Rankin is presently riding a three-game point streak (1+3) and has registered nine points (4+5) over his last nine games… More impressively, the Portage, Michigan, native has only been held scoreless three times this season…. Flynn, who also collected a goal and an assist versus the Crunch, is in the midst of a career-long four-game point streak (3+3)… After being held scoreless in three consecutive games, Brennan snapped his season-long scoring drought this weekend with goals in back-to-back games and is now neck-in-neck with Foligno for the team lead… Foligno’s three-point showing (1+2) in Syracuse Saturday gives the Amerks’ reigning Rookie of the Year five points (1+4) in as many games… With another assist in Saturday’s win over the Crunch, defenseman Alex Biega has collected six assists over his last eight games, including at least one in three straight games between Oct. 26 and Nov. 2… Despite seeing his recent three-game point streak halted, veteran forward Mark Mancari enters the week after notching seven points (2+5) through his last eight showings, a stretch that features a pair of multi-point outings… Newcomer Rick Schofield shows six points (3+3) over the last eight games and second-year defenseman Brayden McNabb shows seven assists in his last nine appearances.
Wednesday’s game at Hamilton will represent the 500th career AHL game for Mancari… Rookie forward Kevin Sundher notched his first professional point with an assist in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Syracuse… Brennan, who recently eclipsed the 100-point mark in his AHL career, skated in his 200th career AHL game Friday versus Adirondack… After sitting the first nine games of the season, Knapp officially made his professional debut on Nov. 3 at Hamilton… Rookie forward Zemgus Girgensons netted his first pro goal against the Bulldogs on Nov. 2 that also produced Mancari’s 100th assist as an Amerk… Nick Crawford needs just one more game for 150 pro appearances… Luke Adam is four games shy of the century mark for his AHL career… Leggio needs another four wins to reach 100 career victories… Schofield is just five games away from 100 AHL appearances.