USHERING IN FEBRUARY
Rochester closed out the first month of 2019 having collected four wins dating back to Jan. 12, which includes a 4-0-1-1 record during its six game-game point streak. The Amerks went 5-2-1-1 in January leading up to the AHL All-Star break.
VIEW FROM ABOVE
As the calendar flips over to February, the Amerks start the month boasting an overall record of 26-13-3-1 and holding a three-point lead atop the American Hockey League’s North Division standings.
Rochester has earned 18 out of a possible 26 points in their last 13 contests, including eight of a possible 10 in their last five outings. Among all AHL teams, only the Charlotte Checkers have more wins (31) than the Amerks (26), who are second overall in the Eastern Conference with a .651 points percentage.
The Amerks have outscored the opposition 143-129 entering the February and have drawn the second fewest penalties (169) in the Conference.
Rochester boasts the sixth-best offense in the Eastern Conference, averaging 3.33 goals-per-game. Conversely, the Amerks have allowed the fifth-fewest goals-against per game as they have given up an average of 3.00.
RECORD BELONGS TO REDMOND
Veteran defenseman Zach Redmond broke the 46-year-old single-season franchise record for most goals by a defenseman on Wednesday Jan. 23, scoring his team-leading 19th goal of the season in a 7-5 win over the Binghamton Devils at The Blue Cross Arena.
The 30-year-old blueliner surpassed Amerks Hall of Famer Rick Pagnutti, who set the original mark with 18 goals during the 1972-73 campaign. He’ll also become the first defenseman in the 63-year history of the franchise to reach the 20-goal mark on his next goal. Redmond also remains on pace to tie the AHL record of 30, set by John Stanley during the 1990-00 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Earlier this season, the Traverse City, Mich., native became the fastest Amerks defenseman to score 10 goals in the fewest amount of games to begin the season since Amerks Hall of Famer Don McSween reached the mark in his first 21 games during the 1989-90 campaign. Redmond achieved the feat in only 14 games.
Redmond has scored a team and career-high 19 goals this season, including nine on the power-play, good enough for fourth in the league in that category. Redmond, who had an AHL-best nine-game point streak to end the month of October, enters the weekend tied for 11th in the league in goals (19) and leading all AHL defensemen with a team-high 39 points, while his eight game-winning goals are tops in the AHL. His 19 goals and 138 shots are also the most by an AHL blueliner this season.
OLOFSSON OFF AND RUNNING… AGAIN
With 13 points (4+9) in his last 12 games, Victor Olofsson is one of three Rochester skates with 30 or more points on the season. A year after pacing the SHL with 27 goals, Olofsson has been nearly a point-per-game player for Rochester, leading the team with 23 assists and ranking third with 37 points through his first 40 games. Olofsson, who earned CCM/AHL Player of the Month honors for October, is also ninth in the league with 13 power play assists.
SPECIAL TEAMS SUCCESS
The Amerks, who have gone 16-for-55 on the man-advantage over their last 13 games, own the AHL’s six-ranked power-play percentage with a 21.9% success rate coming into the new month. Conversely, since the start of the calendar year, Rochester’s shorthanded unit has successfully killed off 25 of its last 27 penalties in the last 10 games. The Amerks hold the ninth-best penalty kill percentage in the league with an 80.4% completion rate.
Rochester goaltender Scott Wedgewood (15-7-1) has gotten the nod in 11 of the last 16 games for the Amerks, going 8-3-0 over that span while winning seven of his last eight dating back to a 31-save shutout at Cleveland the day after Christmas. After dropping his first two games of the season, the sixth-year netminder won a season-long five straight to close out the month of October, matching the career-best mark he set while backstopping the Albany Devils during the 2015-16 season. He enters the week tied for fourth among all AHL goaltenders in wins (16) while his three shutouts are tied for third. He’s also 11th in games played (26) and 16th in minutes (1446).
As the Amerks return from the break, they do so with a 12-4-3-1 (28 points) road record this season. Rochester has the fifth-best road record in the AHL and have the fourth-most regulation wins away from home with 12. The Amerks remain one of just two AHL teams this season with only four regulation losses on the road having collected at least one point in 16 of their 20 contests away from The Blue Cross Arena. Coming into this weekend, the Amerks have won six of their last nine road contests dating back to their 4-3 win at Syracuse on Dec. 8 while also outscoring the opposition 32-24 over that span.