AMERKS WEEK 15 ROUND-UP
Sean Malone returns to the lineup, taking the good with the bad and a busy ahead on home iceJan 23, 2023
By Suzie Cool
Week 15 proved to be a difficult task for the Rochester Americans as it was their first week of the season where they didn’t come away with at least one win.
While the team was able to salvage at least one point in an overtime loss against the Bridgeport Islanders on Friday, there were many lessons to be taken away from last week’s action. Not to forget the return of veteran forward, and alternate captain, Sean Malone to the Amerks roster this past Saturday.
We cover it all here, and more, with Amerks head coach Seth Appert in our Week 15 Roundup.
MALONE MAKING AN IMPACT
Malone has played in just half the games with the Amerks this season, however, when the alternate captain is in the lineup his presence is impactful.
“Really everywhere,” started Appert when asked where Malone is most effective when healthy. “It's hard to describe how much you miss him and the depth he provides at the center position. He’s one of our best defensive centers, if not our best. He's a penalty killer. He's on the power-play. He drives our offense. He's really good in the face-off circle.”
After almost a month out of the lineup, Malone returned on Saturday when the Amerks took on the Hartford Wolf Pack. In his first game back since Dec. 28, Malone scored his ninth goal of the season, the lone tally in Rochester’s 4-1 loss to close out the weekend.
“When he's out of the lineup, you feel it everywhere and to have him back was huge,” Appert said.
LEARNING LESSONS FROM THE LOSSES
It’s crazy to think that 15 weeks into the 2022-23 campaign, last week was the first in which the Amerks didn’t come away with at least one win.
“It wasn't good enough by any stretch,” commented Appert when asked how last week seemed to challenge the Amerks.
A goaltending duel between veteran goaltenders Malcolm Subban and Corey Schneider on Friday carried into overtime, where the Amerks ultimately came up short in a 1-0 loss to the Islanders. While falling into a 3-0 hole on Saturday night, the Amerks were unable to generate any offensive firepower in a 4-1 loss to the Wolf Pack at XL Center.
“We weren't good enough defensively. We've been scoring a lot of goals. We haven't been good enough defensively,” continued Appert when discussing last week’s efforts. “On Friday and Saturday, we only gave up one five-on-five goal in two games. Now, that wasn't enough to do anything other than get one point this weekend, but I do believe if you turn one game into only giving up one five-on-five goal in two games, you're going to win a lot.”
After all, when you factor in that we’re 15 weeks into the season and this is the first time that the Amerks haven’t earned a win, it really isn’t too bad all things considered. However, Appert is hoping that the steps Rochester took backward can help propel the team forward.
“I think that when I've looked at it now and had a day or two to kind of chew on it, I hope and I believe that we took a step back to take a couple of steps forward,” said Appert.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF HOME ICE
This week, the Amerks are faced with another three games over a four-day span all within the comfy confines of The Blue Cross Arena to close out the month of January
“Our crowds, especially on the weekends, have been excellent,” commented Appert when asked how the team can take advantage of home ice this week.
“The guys like playing here. It gives them momentum, some energy, but I think for us the biggest thing is that we've had a good start to the season. You don't want to let one week take that away, right?” continued Appert when looking at the week ahead. “So, you just want to get right back to work, have success on Wednesday, get back on our offensive track and keep the defensive positive signs going.”
On Wednesday the Amerks take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the first time this season, before facing taking on the Charlotte Checkers on back-to-back nights this weekend. Both Wednesday and Friday’s puck-drops are at 7:05 p.m. while Saturday’s will be an hour earlier at 6:05 p.m.
Additionally, Friday against Charlotte will feature the Amerks annual Hall of Fame Night presented by UR Medicine Orthopaedics and Physical Performance, while Saturday is Pride Night powered by DASH. All the week’s action will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.