TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans begin a three-game homestand tonight as the Amerks host the Albany Devils in a post-Thanksgiving bout at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. Black Friday matchup will be the first of four meetings between the in-state foes this season and can be heard live on Sports 1280 WHTK. The game will also be televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel 98.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
AUDIO: CHADD CASSIDY INTERVIEW
2012-13 AHL STANDINGS
2012-13 ROCHESTER STATS
2012-13 ALBANY STATS
FRIDAY'S WEATHER FORECAST
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Rochester and Albany split the four-game season series in 2011-12, with each team posting a pair of victories in their respective buildings, including the Devils’ 2-1 win over the Amerks in the teams’ most recent get-together back on March 28 at the Times Union Center. The Amerks bring a 4-4-0 all-time record against Albany into Friday’s matchup, which dates back to the 2006-07 season when the franchise was based in Lowell, Mass.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (8-6-1-0, 17 points) enters the contest on a two-game skid following a pair of 3-2 losses to Abbotsford and Binghamton in the back-end of a busy stretch that had the Amerks playing three games in four nights last week. Friday’s loss to the Heat marked the home debut of rookie goaltender Connor Knapp, who made 18 saves on 21 shots and fell to 0-2-0 on the season before David Leggio returned to the pipes for Saturday’s contest against the B-Sens. Despite their recent slip, however, Rochester remains among the top eight teams in the American Hockey League’s Western Conference as the team continues its climb up the North Division standings where only six points separate the top four teams, including the fourth-place Amerks.
AMERKS POINTS OF INTEREST
- With 41 goals through their last 11 games, including a combined 11 in two games against Syracuse this season, the Amerks are currently fourth in the AHL in goals for with 53, 10 shy of Charlotte’s league-leading 63 tallies. Rochester is currently averaging 3.53 goals-per-game and is one of just five teams scoring at that rate.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most potent in the league over the last 11 games as the Amerks have converted on 14 of their last 59 man-advantage opportunities. The Amerks rank fifth in the league with 16 power-play goals and own the sixth-best power-play unit in the AHL with a 20.5% efficiency rate. More impressively, Rochester has scored at least one power-play goal in 10 of the first 15 games this season.
- With 13 points over his last 12 games, including a three-point outing at Syracuse on Nov. 10, Marcus Foligno remains Rochester’s top point-getter with 16 points (6+10) in 15 games this season. The second-year pro currently ranks tied for ninth overall among the AHL’s top scorers while his six goals place him inside the top 20 and his 10 assists are tied for 13th.
- T.J. Brennan, who has found the back of the net in three of his last five games, ranks fourth in scoring among AHL defensemen with 14 points (7+7) while his team-leading seven goals are second most among league rearguards. Additionally, four of his seven tallies have also come on the power-play, tying him for fourth overall.
- Six of Cody Hodgson’s nine assists have come on the man-advantage, good enough for 10th in the league in that category.
- Leggio, who has started 13 of the last 15 games for the Amerks, ranks second among AHL netminders in saves (387), minutes played (788:48) and wins (8). He also boasts the best shootout record among goaltenders, having stopped nine of 10 shooters for a .889 save percentage.
- Brian Flynn ranks tied for 13th among AHL rookies with 11 points (5+6) in 14 games.
- Brennan is fourth in the league with 55 shots on goal.
- Averaging 4.13 penalty minutes per game, Tarnasky is seventh in the AHL with 62 penalty minutes. He also enters the weekend ranking third with eight fighting majors, including three in his last six games.
- Rochester is 4-3-0-0 on home ice this season and is just one of nine teams to remain unbeaten in the shootout.
ALBANY NOTES: Albany (4-5-0-4, 12 points), wrapping up a three-game road swing tonight, comes into the matchup fresh off its 5-3 win over the St. John’s IceCaps last Saturday night in the second leg of a two-game set between the two teams at the Mile One Centre. Darcy Zajac scored twice while Adam Henrique, Jay Leach and Brandon Burlon each recorded two assists for the Devils, who have now won two of their last four games and collected points in four straight entering play tonight. Albany comes to the Flower City fueled by third-year pro Jacob Josefson, who paces the Devils with six goals and 10 points while appearing in all 13 games thus far this season. A first-round draft pick of New Jersey in 2009, Josefson is in the midst of a season-long four-game point streak (2+2) after recording a point in each of his last four appearances, including goals in his last two outings. The Stockholm, Sweden, native is currently in his third season with the Devils organization after totaling 69 NHL appearances with the big club over the last two seasons, including a career-high 41 games during the 2011-12 campaign. The Devils also return goaltender Jeff Frazee, who is back for his fifth season between the pipes. Frazee boasts a 3-1-2 record in six games with Albany this season, while his 2.12 goals-against average and his .921 save percentage currently ranks him eighth and 11th among league netminders, respectively. The Devils bring the AHL’s worst power-play into tonight’s game, having only scored on five of their 59 man-advantage situations.
UP NEXT: Rochester remains at home on Wednesday, Nov. 28 as former Amerks Head Coach Chuck Weber and the San Antonio Rampage make their only trip of the season to Western New York. The 7:05 p.m. contest at The Blue Cross Arena will be the first of just two meetings between the interconference rivals this season and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
Saturday’s loss to the B-Sens represented the second straight game and the fifth time in the last seven games the Amerks either won or lost by a single goal. After posting back-to-back 3-2 losses to Abbotsford and Binghamton over the weekend, the Amerks have seen nine of their first 15 games of the season decided by one goal, including three straight one-goal contests to begin the month of November. Rochester is 4-4-1-0 in one-goal games this season after finishing the 2011-12 campaign with 42 such outings last season. Of those nine one-goal games, three have been determined in overtime or via the shootout, for a 2-0-1-0 mark.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Amerks are 3-3-0-0 (6 points) this season against North Division rivals, but show a 5-3-1-0 (11 points) mark versus non-divisional foes. The second period has been Rochester’s strong suit thus far as the club has accounted for 22 goals while allowing 14. The Amerks have scored the first goal in 11 of the first 15 games of the campaign and show a 6-4-1-0 record when doing so, including a 3-2-0-0 mark at home. Rochester is also 6-1-0-0 when leading after two periods, a streak that also shows an unblemished 3-0-0-0 mark at home. Coming off a season-high 51 shots on goal in Saturday’s loss to Binghamton, the Amerks are ranked second in the AHL with 488 shots and average 32.53 shots per game, the fourth-highest output among league opponents.
Flynn, who shows six points (2+4) through his last four games, is in the midst of a career-long seven-game point streak (4+6) after being held pointless in six of his first nine games… Brayden McNabb also enters the weekend riding a four-game point streak (1+3) and has collected one goal and nine assists in his last 12 appearances… Brennan saw his four-game point streak halted last Saturday night against Binghamton, a stretch that saw the fourth-year blueliner post goals in three consecutive games… With a goal against the B-Sens last weekend, Evan Rankin has registered 11 points (4+7) over his last 12 games… More impressively, the Portage, Michigan, native has only been held scoreless four times in 15 games this season… Tarnasky has tallied goals in four of his last eight games, including two in his last four appearances... Foligno, Rochester’s reigning Rookie of the Year, has registered seven points (1+6) in his last eight games, including five points (1+4) in his last four… Alex Biega has collected seven points (1+6) over his last 11 games, including at least one in three straight games between Oct. 26 and Nov. 2… Veteran forward Mark Mancari enters the game after notching seven points (2+5) through his last 11 showings, a stretch that features a pair of multi-point outings… Meanwhile, newcomer Rick Schofield also shows seven points (3+4) over the last 11 games and team captain Porter has tabbed three points (1+2) in as many games.
Last Wednesday’s game at Hamilton featured the 500th career AHL game for Mancari… Rookie defenseman Jerome Gauthier-Leduc also made his professional debut against the Bulldogs and scored his first pro goal in the 4-1 win… Rookie forward Kevin Sundher notched his first professional point with an assist in a 5-2 win at Syracuse on Nov. 10… Brennan, who recently eclipsed the 100-point mark in his AHL career, skated in his 200th career AHL game last Friday versus Adirondack… Defenseman Nick Crawford needs just one more game for 150 pro appearances… Luke Adam is two games shy of the century mark for his AHL career… Leggio needs another three wins to reach 100 career victories… Schofield is just two games away from 100 AHL appearances and Foligno is just 11 appearances shy of 100 pro tilts.
Postgame Party Tonight!– Immediately following tonight’s game vs. Albany, fans can head down to The Distillery’s Greece location (300 Paddy Creek Circle) for the official postgame party.
Five Dollar Parking Night - Tonight's game is a $5 Parking Night in the Civic Center Garage, which represents a savings of $2.50 off the regular price. There will be one $5 Parking Night per month this season, with the next one scheduled for Friday, Dec. 28.
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 Dorms 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 from the band "Strictly Hip" and $2 Molson and Coors Light drafts for fans age 21 and over.
Movember Continues – Throughout the month of November, several Amerks players are growing mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health. Leggio will be spearheading the fundraising efforts as he is teaming up with Urology Associates of Rochester to help raise funds for the Lipson Cancer Center at Rochester General Hospital and ZeroCancer.org. In addition to Leggio and UAR making donations to these causes, Amerks fans will have the chance to make in-game donations at home games during the month. The first 20 fans to make a donation of at least $10 during each of the first five home games of the month will receive an Amerks puck signed by Leggio and will also be entered into a raffle to win a game-used goalie stick autographed by Leggio.