As the calendar flipped to its last month of 2018, the Rochester Americans bring in the third month of 2018-19 season holding a 13-6-2-0 record and sitting atop the American Hockey League’s North Division standings.
By earning 28 of a possible 38 during the last 19 games, Rochester is fourth overall in Eastern Conference with 28 points through its first 21 games of the campaign.
The Amerks have outscored the opposition 72-65 entering the first full week of December and have drawn the fewest penalties (81) in the conference.
Rochester also boasts the fifth-best offense in the Eastern Conference, averaging 3.43 goals-per-game.
TEAM’S TOP GOAL SCORERS
The Amerks own the league’s top two defensemen point-getters coming into the December as both Zach Redmond (13+9) and Lawrence Pilut (3+19).
Redmond is two goals away from matching his career-high of 15 from last season and needs just five more to tie the Amerks single-season franchise record for the most goals by a defenseman of 18, set by Rick Pagnutti during the 1972-73 campaign.
The veteran blueliner has recorded a team-high 13 goals this season, six have held up as game-winning goals, a new career-high, while six have also been scored on the man-advantage, good enough for third in the league in that category. Redmond, who had an AHL-best nine-game point streak to end the month of October, is tied for third in the league in goals (13) and is tied for 10th in points (22), while his six game-winning goals are tops in the AHL.
Prior to earning his second NHL recall in six days from the Buffalo Sabres last Tuesday and making his NHL debut on Friday Nov. 30, Lawrence Pilut saw his career-long seven-game point streak end. It was just the third time all season that the former SHL Defenseman of the Year had been held without a point. Pilut has recorded nearly half of his 22 points on the power-play this season, including two of his three goals, which are tied for ninth among all AHL blueliners. He has recorded points in 12 of his last 14 games and currently leads the AHL in with 19 assists while his team-best plus-19 on-ice rating is also the best mark in the league in that category. His 22 points, meanwhile, lead all defensemen and are tied for 10th overall in the league.
Rochester’s netminder Scott Wedgewood has got the nod between the pipes in 12 of the last 15 games. After dropping his first two games of the season, the sixth-year netminder won 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 first week of December tied for fourth among goalies in wins (8) and third in shutouts (2).
Along with Wedgewood, Adam Wilcox has shared the goaltending duties. In his previous 12 games dating back to the 2017-18 campaign, the fourth-year netminder shows a 7-2-2 record, including a 5-2-1 mark this season.
Jonas Johansson earned his first recall of the season from the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL this week after posting a 7-3-1 record with a 2.49 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage in 12 appearances this season for Cincinnati. The second-year netminder is currently tied for second in the ECHL with two shutouts and ranks sixth in wins (7).
Johansson was named the CCM/ECHL Goaltender of the Week for the week of Nov. 12-18 after going 2-0-0 with one shutout, a .050 goals-against average and a .981 save percentage.
A native of Gavle, Sweden, Johansson has appeared in 39 career games with Cincinnati, posting an overall record of 21-14-1 with two shutouts, and has also compiled a 7-6-1 record in 14 career games with the Amerks.
STAYING AT HOME
The Amerks are in a stretch of 10 of 13 games against North Division opponents while seven of the next contests will take place at The Blue Cross Arena. Rochester is scheduled to play five straight weeks of three games in four nights, that includes Wednesday, Friday and Saturday games.
The Amerks get into the heart of a busy December schedule on Wednesday, Dec. 5 when they welcome back the Utica Comets for a North Division showdown at The Blue Cross Arena. Following the 7:05 p.m. contest with the Comets, the Amerks host the Providence Bruins for their lone trip to the Flower City on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7:05 p.m.
After the two home tilts, Rochester makes its first trip back to Syracuse since the Opening Round of the 2018 Calder Cup for a clash with the Crunch on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.
Every game will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/ 95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Rochester will play its first of three tv games this season beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The televised home tilt with the Comets will be simulcast with the Amerks radio broadcasts, as Hall of Fame play-by-play broadcaster Don Stevens, the Voice of the Amerks now celebrating his remarkable 33rd season with the club, will be joined by color analyst and former Sabre Ric Seiling in the broadcast booth.
Additionally, for the eighth straight season, 13 WHAM-TV’s Sports Director Mike Catalana will join Stevens and Seiling on air as host of the telecasts.
All three games will also be available to authenticated subscribers of participating providers on “MSG GO,” MSG Networks’ live streaming and video on demand platform. Subscribers with a supported smartphone or tablet can download the free “MSG GO” app by visiting the App Store or the Google Play store. Viewers can also access the game by visiting WWW.MSGGO.COM.
Each game will be available in the Rochester and Buffalo markets as well as Syracuse, Binghamton, Watertown, Albany and select portions of Pennsylvania. Subscribers are encouraged to check their local listings for availability and for channel listings.