By Ryan J. Harr | Published on October 9, 2019)
With a 3-2 overtime victory to begin the 2019-20 campaign, the Rochester Americans will look to build off the Home Opener as they return to game action on Friday, Oct. 11 in the first game of a three-in-three weekend.
After the 7:05 p.m. contest at the MassMutual Center with the Springfield Thunderbirds, the Amerks will then travel to Dunkin’ Donuts Center against the Providence Bruins, also at 7:05 p.m. The club will conclude the annual New England trek on Sunday afternoon with a 3:05 p.m. matinee versus the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center.
BACK TO GAME ACTION
The club is continuing to prepare for its first of two three-in-three stretches of the season for the upcoming weekend both on and off the ice.
“They are never a lot of fun,” forward Scott Wilson explained. They are pretty tough, both mentally and physically. The major key in the new style of hockey is how everyone is taking such good care off their bodies.”
WATCH: GORD DINEEN AFTER THURSDAY PRACTICE
“It’s good to get one out of the way this early in the season, though,” Wilson continued.
“Obviously, we are really early in the season as we only had the one game this past week,” said second-year forward Andrew Oglevie. “With the three-in-three this weekend, it will be good to get back more into the season-mode and rolling all four lines.”
PILUT NEARING HIS RETURN TO LINEUP
Following the conclusion of Rochester’s postseason this past spring, defenseman Lawrence Pilut underwent successful shoulder surgery with an estimated recovery time of five to six months.
“Lawrence is skating (in a non-contact jersey) with the team,” said Dineen. “With him, a guy who is so diligent with not only his offensive habits but also his work in the back-end, we are hoping to have him back soon as his recovery process is going really well.”
DINEEN ALREADY MADE HISTORY WITH AMERKS
Never before in the 63-year history of the franchise have the Amerks began a new season under an interim head coach. That all changed on opening night as Dineen, who was appointed the team’s interim head coach early last week, not only led Rochester into its 64th season, but became the first in his position to open the season with a victory.
THOMPSON, REDMOND PICK UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF
Coming off his two-goal performance on Friday, Thompson has totaled 13 points (10+3) over his last 12 games with the Amerks dating back to last season, including the two goals he scored in the first round of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Marlies.
More impressively, Thompson has scored eight goals in just nine career regular-season games with Rochester, matching the total he set over a 30-game stint with the San Antonio Rampage during his rookie season in 2017-18. The third-year pro enters the week tied for second in the AHL in goals.
“Tage has been great,” said team captain Kevin Porter following the game against the Crunch. “He has tons of skill, but he also works extremely hard. He has a big body, which helps him control the play.”
Zach Redmond, meanwhile, is tied for the lead amongst all AHL blueliners in assists and tied for second in points after opening the season with a pair of assists. The veteran defenseman and reigning Eddie Shore Award winner has collected three assists in his last five games dating back to last season.
WATCH: ZACH REDMOND AFTER THURSDAY PRACTICE
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
The Amerks concluded the 2018-19 campaign with an AHL-best 25-9-3-1 road record, finishing one point ahead of the Charlotte Checkers with a .711 points percentage. Rochester’s 25 road wins last season tied a franchise record originally set during the 1998-99 season and were the most in the AHL.
The team also finished with the fewest regulation road losses with nine, having collected at least one point in 29 of their 38 contests away from The Blue Cross Arena.
WATCH: ANDREW MACWILLIAM AFTER THURSDAY PRACTICE
All of the action this weekend as well as every game this season will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.