By Suzie Cool (@SuzKewl) | Published on December 3, 2019
The month of November has come and gone, which means another 10 games to mark off of the calendar for the Rochester Americans this season. At the close of October, the Amerks seemed much more comfortable in their second month of play, combining for eight wins, two shutouts, four recalls to Buffalo and ending November on a 10-game point streak. Here are your top 10 takeaways from the Amerks second month of regular season play here in 2019-20.
1. TAYLOR IS BACK IN TOWN
On Nov. 25, Amerks head coach Chris Taylor made his way back to the Flower City after his abrupt call-up to Buffalo just three days before Opening Night at The Blue Cross Arena.
After countless nights of double-duty pulled, time away from his family and countless drives up and down the I-90, Taylor is now more than ready to be back in Rochester and to finally embrace taking on his third season as the Amerks head coach.
Coming in amidst a five-game win streak, Taylor’s first game back behind the bench was this past Friday as the Amerks took on the North Division rival Toronto Marlies. Although Rochester lost in overtime, Taylor’s team still took home a point for their ninth straight game. On Saturday, the Amerks would head on the road to face-off against the Cleveland Monsters, where an Andrew Oglevie hat trick would lift Rochester to another win to close out the month of November.
2. HATS OFF FOR OGLEVIE
After an injury-riddled rookie season limited him to just 28 games, Andrew Oglevie has certainly made up for lost time in his second season with the Amerks.
In just two months’ time, Oglevie has already surpassed his goal (5), assist (5) and point (10) total from last season and now paces the Amerks with nine goals and 16 points while tied for third in assists. Oglevie, who’s one of just three skaters to appear in all 20 games this season, enters the month of December riding a career-long seven-game point streak, including goals in five of six games over that span.
His best performance came this past Saturday when he recorded his first pro hat trick by scoring all three goals in Rochester’s 3-2 road win at Cleveland. The second-year pro scored once in each period while single-handedly outscoring the Monsters. He’s also netted the game-winning goal in three of his last six appearances.
3. NO REGULATION LOSSES
The Amerks have not seen a regulation loss since the month of October, having taken eight of their 10 tilts in November in winning fashion.
Rochester started off the month with back-to-back wins between the Binghamton Devils and Utica Comets. After almost a week of rest, the Devils would make their way back to The Blue Cross Arena on Nov. 8 when they would hand the Amerks their second shootout loss of the year. From then on, Rochester went on a five-game win streak from Nov. 13 to Nov. 23.
Upon the arrival of Taylor coming back to town, the Marlies made their way back to Rochester as well for the first time since the 2018-19 Calder Cup Playoffs. In the first of six matchups between the two clubs, the Marlies handed the Amerks their second loss of the month in overtime action.
Closing out November, Rochester headed to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse where they took on the Monsters for the final showdown of the month. The Amerks headed back home happy with their eighth win, ending the month on a 10-game point streak.
4. AMERKS 10-GAME POINT STREAK
November saw a number of extended streaks ranging from individual performances to team accolades. Put those altogether and the Amerks picked up a point in each of their 10 games in November with an 8-0-1-1 overall record, the second-best mark in the league over that span behind only the Milwaukee Admirals.
If Rochester can add another point on Wednesday against the Marlies, the Amerks will push their point streak to 11 games, their first since Oct. 12 to Nov. 10 during the 2009-10 season. In each of the last three seasons, Rochester has posted three different 10-game point streaks, with two of the three coming prior to the Christmas break.
5. FIVE STRAIGHT WINS
Speaking of streaks, between Nov. 13 and Nov. 23, Rochester posted a season-long five-game win streak.
After posting points in their first three contests of the month between two wins and a shootout loss, the Amerks went on to defeat the Syracuse Crunch, Cleveland Monsters, Utica Comets, Hartford Wolf Pack and Binghamton Devils one by one. Three of the five contests took place right here at The Blue Cross Arena, and just one of the contests over this span saw overtime action.
The Amerks win streak was put to a stop when the Marlies made their way into town for the first regular season matchup between the two clubs this past Friday night.
6. BATTLE FOR THE TOP SPOT
Luckily for Rochester, redemption against Toronto comes as soon as the first face-off of the brand-new calendar month.
On Wednesday, the Marlies make a return trip into town for the second of six regular season matchups. Rochester enters the week just three points behind Toronto for the top spot in the AHL’s North Division standings.
7. ROAD SUCCESS
So far this season, the Amerks have had 10 road contests and are sporting a 7-2-1-0 record when away from home ice.
While notching points in each of their 10 games in the month of November, the Amerks didn’t spend much time away from home. With just four games spent on the road for Rochester last month, each game ended in winning fashion for the red, white and blue.
On Nov. 2, the Amerks got redemption in Utica, notching their first shutout of the 2019-20 season. A week later, Rochester found themselves back against the Comets, outscoring the opposition 4-3 without having to outshoot them for just the second time this season.
Following Military Appreciation Night, the Amerks made their way to Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena to face-off against the Devils for the third time of the month on Saturday, Nov. 23. And for the third time in November, Rochester walked away with points against Binghamton, recording their second regulation win over New Jersey’s affiliate.
The Amerks final road win of the month came just this past Saturday against the Cleveland Monsters. Andrew Oglevie helped lift his team to a 3-2 victory over the Monsters with his first professional hat trick.
8. ADDITION OF GILMOUR
What’s better than having the reigning Eddie Shore Award winner and two-time AHL All-Star leading your defense? Having two of the AHL’s top three point-producing defensemen from last season on the same blueline.
After being reassigned by the Sabres on Nov. 23, defenseman John Gilmour made an immediate impact on the scoresheet in his Amerks debut against the Devils, earning the secondary assist on Eric Cornel’s game-winning goal.
Last season, Gilmour led the Harford Wolf Pack with a career-high 34 assists and 54 points in 70 games. Gilmour’s 54 points were four better than Redmond’s while Zach Redmond led all AHL blueliners with a franchise-record 21 goals.
9. FINDING COMFORT IN THE CREASE
Along with a 10-game point streak came a comfort level that all the players on Rochester’s roster could get behind – more specifically, the Amerks backstops.
Andrew Hammond posted his best month of the season thus far, going 4-0-1 with four straight wins to open the month, including a pair of shutouts. The veteran netminder finished the month with a 1.59 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.
Alternatively, goaltender Jonas Johansson (6-2-2) pushed his win streak to four games as of this past Saturday night against Cleveland, as he made 24 saves while also earning his career-best sixth win of the season for Rochester.
10. BUFFALO CAME CALLING
Injuries are bound to happen throughout a season, and the Buffalo Sabres seemed to be hit hard in the month of November. In turn, the organization was forced to bring up four forwards from the Amerks during their time of need.
Rasmus Asplund, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Curtis Lazar and Tage Thompson all got the call-up to the show last month. Asplund made his National Hockey League debut on Nov. 16 against the Ottawa Senators and notched his first NHL point with an assist against the Calgary Flames. In the same game as Asplund’s first NHL point, Dea got his first nod in the blue and gold.
Over his last 27 games as an Amerk dating back to last season, Thompson, who’s currently out injured, has totaled 23 points (14+9), making it no question as to why he would be the first of many mainstay recalls for the Sabres.
Lazar finally made his way back to the show mid-November, debuting for Buffalo against the Carolina Hurricanes. Lazar would go on to score his first goal a Sabre – and first since Feb. 15 of the 2017-18 season as a member of the Calgary Flames – in Buffalo’s 5-4 overtime loss to Carolina.