TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans enter the final weekend of the regular season tonight as they close out the season series against the Toronto Marlies in a North Division showdown at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the 10th and final meeting between the two teams this season and will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE:
AUDIO: CHADD CASSIDY WITH DON STEVENS
2012-13 AHL STANDINGS 2012-13 NHL STANDINGS
ROCHESTER STATS BUFFALO STATS
TORONTO STATS TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS STATS
AHL PLAYOFF PRIMER
FRIDAY'S WEATHER FORECAST
Last Game: Rochester at Albany – 4/14/13
Rochester (3) vs. Albany (2)
Goals: Girgensons, McCormick, Mancari (GWG)
Goalie(s): Hackett (36 saves/38 shots, 60:00)
Special Teams: PP: 2/3 --- PK: 3/4
Shots: Albany 38 --- Rochester 36
PIM: Rochester 12 --- Albany 10
3 Stars: 1. McCormick (RCH), 2. Mancari (RCH), 3. Wohlberg (ALB)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The North Division rivals meet in Rochester tonight with a lot on the line for both teams. The Amerks can clinch a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs with a win, while a Toronto victory would secure a Division title for the Marlies. Toronto has maintained the upper-hand in the season series, having claimed eight of the first nine meetings with Rochester this season, including a 4-1 win in the teams’ most recent get-together back on March 29 in Rochester. The Marlies scored four unanswered goals, including three in the third period to erase a one-goal deficit. Former Amerks netminder Drew MacIntyre earned the win with a 14-save effort for the Marlies while Mike Zigomanis registered three assists. Cody McCormick scored the lone goal for the Amerks and David Leggio made 36 saves in the loss. Dating back to last season, the heated North Division rivalry has seen 17 of the last 22 combined regular-season and playoff games between the teams decided by one goal.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (41-28-3-1, 86 points) enters the final weekend of the regular season needing just two points over the last three games to secure a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs for the second straight season and for the 43rd time in the franchise’s 57-year history. The Amerks, who have won seven of their last 10 games, are coming off a 3-2 victory over the Albany Devils on Sunday afternoon. Trailing 2-1 entering the third period, the Amerks scored twice in the final 20 minutes to seal the victory. McCormick, who was named the game’s first star, scored to tie the game before assisting on Mark Mancari’s game-winner. Goaltender Matt Hackett, who was making just his second start as an Amerk, finished with 36 saves in the game. Leggio has appeared in 62 of the Amerks’ 73 games so far this season and has a record of 37-23-1, marking just the seventh time in franchise history that a Rochester goaltender has won at least 35 games in a season. The fifth-year pro continues to lead all AHL netminders in wins (37), saves (1893), minutes (3680:51) and shots against (2052), while ranking seventh with a .923 save percentage. He is also 9-1 in shootouts, which ties the AHL single-season record. Mancari leads the Amerks in all offensive categories including goals (22), assists (39) and points (61) and enters the matchup tied for eighth in scoring in the AHL. He has now scored 20 or more goals in seven straight seasons and has reached the 60-point mark for the fourth time in his AHL career. His 272 shots on goal are also tops in the AHL.
TORONTO NOTES: Toronto (41-23-3-6, 91 points), playing its final road game of the season tonight before returning home for a pair of games against St. John’s to close out the campaign, enters tonight’s matchup coming off a 2-1 win over Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Gregg McKegg and Will Acton both scored in the game while MacIntyre earned the win in goal. Since joining the Marlies in February, MacIntyre, who played for Rochester last season, has gone 12-5-3 with a 1.88 GAA and a .930 save percentage in 20 games. Toronto is 5-3-1-1 over its last 10 games. Among Toronto’s top six scores on the season, only Mike Zigomanis (6+27 in 64 GP) is currently with the Marlies. Captain Ryan Hamilton, presently on NHL recall with the Maple Leafs and who represented Toronto at the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic while earning MVP honors in the game, leads the Marlies with a team-high 48 points (30+18) and currently ranks fourth in the AHL with 30 goals.
UP NEXT: Rochester will play its final home game of the 2012-13 regular season on Saturday, April 20 when it takes on the Hamilton Bulldogs at The Blue Cross Arena. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. with all the action on Sports 1280 WHTK.
Fan Appreciation Weekend - The final weekend of the regular season kicks off tonight to start Fan Appreciation Weekend. As a way of thanking the tremendous support the fans have once again shown the team this season, the Amerks will be giving away great prizes on both nights, including an autographed stick and photo from each player to randomly selected fans during Friday’s game. Fans can purchase tickets to either game for the special price of just $13, representing a savings of up to $8 per ticket.
Team Store Half-Off Sale: The Zone Team Store will also be offering a store-wide 50% discount on all Amerks merchandise, including jerseys, during both games this weekend.
Skate at the BCA: Also as part of Fan Appreciation Weekend, there will be a one-hour postgame skate for fans on the ice at The Blue Cross Arena following Friday’s game against Toronto, as well as Skate & Shoot sessions for kids on Saturday afternoon.
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.
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.
Zweigle’s Family 4-Pack – For just $48, fans can purchase four lower level tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for select remaining Amerks regular season home games.
Moe's Hot Players - Tonight's Moe's Hot Players are Evan Rankin, Mark Mancari and Luke Adam. If any of these Amerks players score a goal tonight, your roster card is worth 50% off your order the following day at any participating Moe’s restaurants. If one of those players scores a hat trick, bring your roster card to any participating Moe’s restaurant the next day and receive a free burrito. Eat at Moe’s!