TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans close out their three-game homestand tonight at The Blue Cross Arena as the Amerks host the defending Western Conference champion Toronto Marlies in the first of back-to-back tilts. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the second of 10 meetings between the North Division rivals this season and will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
AUDIO: DON STEVENS WITH CHRIS TAYLOR
2012-13 AHL STANDINGS
2012-13 ROCHESTER STATS
2012-13 TORONTO STATS
FRIDAY'S WEATHER FORECAST
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Toronto maintains the upper hand in the season series with a 1-0-0-0 record following its 3-1 win over Rochester in the only other encounter with the Amerks back on Oct. 13 at Ricoh Coliseum. Ryan Hamilton scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner midway through the first period, while Marlies netminder Ben Scrivens stopped 20 of 21 shots to earn his first win of the season. Second-year forward Marcus Foligno potted the lone goal for the Amerks in the game that featured a combined four power-play goals between the two teams. The game also marked just the second time in the last 14 get-togethers between the Amerks and Marlies dating back to last season that was not decided by one goal. During the 2011-12 campaign, the teams squared off a total of 13 times, with 12 of the matchups finishing as one-goal decisions, including the first two tilts of the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (9-7-1-0, 19 points) enters the contest after a 4-2 setback to the San Antonio Rampage Wednesday night at The Blue Cross Arena. Rookie forward Frederick Roy registered his first professional goal while fellow first-year skater Brian Flynn notched an assist to extend his point streak to a season-high nine games, over which he’s registered 15 points on seven goals and eight assists. All three of Rochester’s top scorers come into play tonight performing at a point-per-game pace, including Foligno, who shows 14 points over his last 14 and is tied for the team lead with 17 points (6+11) in 17 games this season. The Buffalo native currently ranks tied for 16th overall among the AHL’s leading scorers, while his team-high 11 assists are also tied for 16th. T.J. Brennan, who has found the back of the net in four of his last seven games, ranks second in scoring among AHL defensemen with 17 points (9+8) in 17 games. His team-leading nine tallies are also second-most among league rearguards and ninth overall. Flynn, who has recorded at least one point in every game in November for the Amerks, enters the game boasting the second-longest point streak (nine games) and the longest assist streak (seven games) to date in the AHL. After recording just one point through his first seven games of the season, Flynn has registered an astounding 15 points (7+8) through his last nine outings to bring his season total to 16 points (8+8), the third-most among league freshmen.
AMERKS QUICK HITS
- With 48 goals through their last 13 games, the Amerks are currently seventh in the AHL in goals for with 60, seven shy of Charlotte’s league-leading 67 tallies. Rochester is currently averaging 3.53 goals-per-game, the third-most among AHL opponents.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most potent in the league over the last 12 games as the Amerks have converted on 15 of their last 69 man-advantage opportunities. The Amerks are tied for fifth in the league with 17 power-play goals and own the ninth-best power-play unit in the AHL with a 19.3% efficiency rate. More impressively, Rochester has scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of the first 17 games this season.
- With 14 points over his last 14 games, including a three-point outing at Syracuse on Nov. 10, Foligno is tied for the team lead with 17 points (6+11) in 17 games this season. The second-year pro currently ranks tied for 16th overall among the AHL’s top scorers, while his 11 assists are also tied for 16th.
- Brennan, who has found the back of the net in four of his last seven games, ranks second in scoring among AHL defensemen with 17 points (9+8) while his team-leading nine goals are second most among league rearguards and ninth overall.
- Additionally, four of Brennan’s nine tallies have also come on the power-play, tying him for seventh among league leaders, while also he shares the league lead with two shorthanded goals.
- Six of Cody Hodgson’s nine assists have come on the man-advantage, good enough for 13th in the league in that category.
- Fresh off his four-point game against Albany last Friday, Flynn ranks third among AHL rookies with 16 points (8+8) in 16 games.
- Leggio, who has started three straight and 15 of the last 17 games for the Amerks, leads all AHL netminders in saves (485), minutes played (907:29) and wins (9). He also boasts the third-best shootout record among goaltenders, having stopped nine of 10 shooters for a .889 save percentage.
- Brennan is fourth in the league with 64 shots on goal.
- Averaging 3.94 penalty minutes per game, Tarnasky is 11th in the AHL with 67 penalty minutes. He also comes into the weekend ranking third with nine fighting majors, including four in his last eight games.
- Rochester is 5-4-0-0 on home ice this season and is just one of six teams to remain unbeaten in the shootout.
TORONTO NOTES: Toronto (9-8-0-1, 19 points), wrapping up a four-game road swing tonight, comes into the matchup looking to snap a three-game losing streak after dropping a 4-2 decision to the Hershey Bears last Sunday at Giant Center. Matt Frattin and Mark Fraser each provided single tallies for the Bears while veteran forward Keith Aucoin notched two assists against his former team of four years. Currently in his first season with the Marlies, Aucoin, who has an AHL record six All-Star selections to his credit, leads Toronto’s balanced attack with a team-high 17 points (3+14) and is one of just three skaters to appear in all 18 games thus far this season. The 11-year pro and two-time Calder Cup winner presently ranks tied for fourth in the league with a team-best 14 assists and shares 15th among the AHL’s top point-getters. Former Amerk Mike Kostka, a Calder Cup winner last season with Norfolk, leads all Toronto defensemen with 16 points (3+13), good enough for fourth among league rearguards. Kostka played all of the 2010-11 season with Rochester, recording career-high in goals (16), assists (38) and points (54) on his way to becoming the first defenseman in franchise history to lead the team in scoring in a single season.
UP NEXT: The same two teams meet again on Saturday, Dec. 1 as the home-and-home series shifts back across the border to Ricoh Coliseum in downtown Toronto. The 7:00 p.m. contest (originally scheduled for 5:00 p.m.) can be heard live on Sports 1280 WHTK & will be televised live nationally across Canada on Sportsnet ONE.
A ‘FLYNN-TASTIC’ NOVEMBER
After recording just one point through his first seven games of the season, Flynn has been the Amerks’ most productive and consistent player since the American Hockey League opened play in November. In nine games this month, Flynn has registered an astounding 15 points (7+8) and is averaging 1.66 points per game over his current nine-game point streak, which began with an assist in Rochester’s 3-2 win over Hamilton on Nov. 2. More impressively, however, Flynn has compiled four multi-point outings during that stretch, including three of his last six appearances that was highlighted by a career-high four-point effort (3+1) against Albany last Friday as he recorded his first career hat trick. The Amerks are also 4-1-0-0 this season when Flynn scores a goal.
BRENNAN HALFWAY THERE
With two more goals in Rochester’s 5-2 triumph over Albany last Friday, Brennan is on pace to shatter Rick Pagnutti’s 40-year-old franchise record for the most goals scored by a defenseman in a single-season. Pagnutti set the mark during the 1972-73 campaign, his first in Rochester, when he netted 18 goals en route to a 55-point season, which led all Amerks defensemen and placed him third on the team in overall scoring. Brennan officially reached the halfway point with a pair of shorthanded tallies last Friday against the Devils to bring his season total to nine through just 17 games this season. The fourth-year blueliner fell just two goals short of the record last season, scoring 16 goals in only 52 games with the Amerks.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
The Amerks have seen nine of their first 17 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 6-4-1-0 (13 points) mark versus non-divisional foes. The second period has been Rochester’s strong suit thus far as the club has accounted for 24 goals while allowing 18. The Amerks have scored the first goal in 12 of the first 17 games of the campaign and show a 7-4-1-0 record when doing so, including a 4-2-0-0 mark at home. Rochester is also 7-1-0-0 when leading after two periods, a streak that also shows an unblemished 4-0-0-0 mark at home. Coming off a season-high 51 shots on goal at Binghamton on Nov. 17, the Amerks are averaging 32.35 shots per game, the fifth-highest output among league opponents.
Flynn, who shows 11 points (5+6) through his last six games, is in the midst of a career-long nine-game point streak (7+8) after being held pointless in six of his first seven games… Despite seeing his four-game point streak (1+3) cut short on Friday, second-year defenseman Brayden McNabb has collected one goal and nine assists in his last 14 appearances… Brennan, who also recently had a four-game point streak halted, shows goals in four of his last seven games, including a stretch of three straight games from Nov. 9 to Nov. 14… Evan Rankin has registered 12 points (5+7) over his last 14 games… More impressively, the Portage, Michigan, native has only been held scoreless just five times in 17 games this season… Nick Tarnasky has tallied goals in four of his last 10 games, including two in his last six appearances... Foligno, Rochester’s reigning Rookie of the Year, has registered eight points (1+7) in his last 10 games, including six points (1+5) in his last five… Alex Biega has collected seven points (1+6) over his last 13 games, including at least one in three straight games between Oct. 26 and Nov. 2… Veteran forward Mark Mancari enters the weekend after notching eight points (2+6) through his last 13 showings, a stretch that features a pair of multi-point outings… Meanwhile, newcomer Rick Schofield also shows seven points (3+4) over the last 13 games and team captain Kevin Porter has tabbed four points (1+3) in his last five appearances.
Roy netted his first professional goal against former Amerk goaltender Jacob Markstrom in Rochester’s 4-2 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday… Schofield skated in his 100th pro game against the Rampage which also represented the 150th pro appearance for defenseman Nick Crawford… Mancari skated in his 500th career AHL game at Hamilton on Nov. 14… 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 versus Adirondack on Nov. 9… Luke Adam is two games shy of the century mark for his AHL career… Leggio needs another two wins to reach 100 career victories… Foligno is just 10 appearances shy of 100 pro tilts.
Movember Game Tonight – The culmination of the Amerks’ month-long Movember campaign will be held during Friday’s game vs. Toronto. The first 1,000 fans will take home an Amerks-themed Movember T-shirt, courtesy of Urology Associates of Rochester. Throughout the month of November, several Amerks players grew mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health. Leggio spearheaded the fundraising efforts as he teamed 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 one last chance to make in-game donations. The first 20 fans to make a donation of at least $10 during each 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.
Eats & Seats – The Distillery “Eats & Seats” promotion returns for another season, where for just $20, fans can purchase one ticket (best-available) and a $10 gift card to The Distillery.
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 again on Fridays, 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.