GAME PREVIEW: AMERKS OPEN ANOTHER BUSY WEEK TONIGHT IN SYRACUSENov 9, 2022
TONIGHT'S GAME OVERVIEW
The Rochester Americans (6-4-0-0) open another busy three-game week tonight with a return trip back to Upstate Medical University for a North Division matchup against the intrastate rival Syracuse Crunch (2-5-1-2).Game time is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be carried live on 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Tonight's matchup is the fourth between the two teams this season and the 11th of 15 straight contests against North Division opponents to open the season for the Amerks. It marks Rochester's longest stretch of the season against divisional foes.
HEAD-TO-HEAD SERIES SNAPSHOT
The North Division rivals have alternated wins through the first three meetings of the season series with home team emerging victorious each time. Rochester came away with a 7-2 win in the most recent get-together last Wednesday, as seven different goal-scorers found the back of the net on the strength of a 24-save effort from goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
The Amerks have scored a power-play goal in 21 of their last 36 games against Syracuse, going 33-for-125 (26.4%) with the man-advantage over that span.
After scoring six points (1+5) in 11 games against the Crunch during the 2021-22 campaign, second-year forward Linus Weissbach currently leads all Rochester skaters with six points (3+3) in three games this season.
Goaltenders Max Lagace and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen have played every minute in the first three games of the season-series thus far.
LAST TIME OUT
The Amerks fell behind by a pair of goals three minutes into the third period versus the Utica Comets on Saturday but saw their rally fall short as they dropped a 2-1 decision at Adirondack Bank Center, snapping their three-game win streak in the process.
Despite the loss, Rochester’s first since Oct. 28, the Amerks show a 6-4-0-0 record through the first 10 games of the season and sit in second place in the North Division with 12 points.
Forward Brett Murray provided the lone goal for the Amerks as he tallied his fifth of the season and third in the last four games. Murray shows four points (3+1) dating back to Oct. 29 as does defenseman Ethan Prow, who picked up the secondary helper on the play to push his point streak to four games. The veteran defenseman also appeared in his 300th AHL game.
Tyson Kozak earned the first assist of his professional career on Murray’s goal while goaltender Michael Houser (1-1-0) made 21 saves but suffered the defeat in his third appearance of the season.
Nine of the Amerks 34 goals this season have come on the power-play, which are tied for 10th-most among any team in the AHL. By going 9-for-38 while on the man-advantage, Rochester is 10th in the league with a 23.7% conversion rate.
The Amerks' eight power-play goals at home are second-most in the league this season, going for 8-for-25 through their first five home matchups.
YOUTH MOVEMENT LEADING ROCHESTER
With a team-leading eight assists to go with three goals through 10 games, third-year forward Brandon Biro tops all Amerks skaters with 11 points. Dating back to last season, the Sherwood Park, Alberta native has totaled 13 points (5+8) over his last 13 games and hasn't gone more than one game without a point over that span.
Linus Weissbach, Buffalo’s seventh-round selection in 2017 Draft, remains at a close second with 10 points through his first 10 games, including as team-high six goals. He comes into tonight with a goal in three of his last four three appearances and shows five goals over a seven-game span dating back to a three-point effort against Syracuse on Oct. 21. His six goals tie him for eighth in the AHL and are currently three off the league-lead.
Rookie forwards Jiri Kulich (2+6) and Isak Rosen (2+5) pace the team's rookies with eight and seven points, respectively, while being tied for ninth and 14th in the AHL scoring race amongst all first-year skaters.
Rosen, the Sabres’ first-round selection in 2021 (14th overall), spent the 2021-22 season with Leksands in Sweden, where he made his debut in the Swedish Hockey League. He led all 17-year-olds with the Leksands U20 as he posted 35 points (21+14) in 38 games.
At age 18, Kulich, Buffalo's first-round selection (28th overall) in 2022, is among the youngest players in the AHL. Kulich, who saw his four-game point come to an end on Saturday night in Utica, shows six assists in his first 10 games of the young season, tying him for sixth in the league among all first-year players in that category. The Kadan, Czech Republic, native leads all Rochester skaters with 25 shots on goal.
HOME-COOKING FOR THE AMERKS
The Amerks remain perfect at home thus far through the first five games in the Flower City, boasting an unblemished 5-0-0-0 mark within the frinedly confines of The Blue Cross Arena. It's the team’s best start at home since 2006-07, when the club posted a 10-0-1-0 start, including winning their first nine straight. The franchise record for the longest home win streak is 17.
Four of the five wins this season on home ice have come when the team trailed entering the final 20 minutes of regulation while all five wins have come by way of four or more goals. Rochester has outscored its opposition 12-2 after the start of the third period and has outshot the visitors 43-36.
Linus Weissbach has helped sparked the third-period scoring as he has tallied three goals and four assists in five games while Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has made 34 saves.
SCOUTING THE CRUNCH
The Crunch, returning home from a three-game road trip, come into tonight with a 2-5-1-2 record through their first 10 games this season.
Alex Barré-Boulet (2+11) and Darren Raddysh (5+8) currently lead all Crunch scorers 13 points in 10 games. The duo are tied for sixth in the AHL in points and top all Syracuse players with 40 and 35 shots, respectively.
Entering tonight, Barré-Boulet has an astounding 212 points (87+125) in 212 career games with the Crunch dating back to his breakout rookie season in 2018-19. Raddysh, meanwhile, is in his second season with the Crunch and sixth in the league. His 13 points currently lead all AHL defensemen while his five goals are also the most by a blueliner this season.
Amerks defenseman Chase Priskie spent part of the 2020-21 season with the Crunch, notching seven points (3+4) in 15 games. In five games against Rochester that year, Priskie recorded three assists.
Rochester assistant coach Michael Peca spent the majority of the 1994-95 season with the Crunch, where he produced 34 points on 10 goals and 24 assists in just 35 games. It marked Peca’s one of two brief stops in his AHL career, the other being a nine-game stint with the Hamilton Canucks.
So far this season, the Amerks have used 12 different defensemen, which is tied for most in the AHL with Toronto. Seven of the 12 have recorded at least one point while four have scored. Ethan Prow is only defenseman to appear in all 10 games this season and has skated in 80 of the 86 games dating back to the start of the 2021-22 campaign.
Crunch blueliner Ryan Jones spent the 2020-21 campaign with the Amerks, recording seven points (1+6) while being the lone skater to appear in all 29 games that season.
Rochester Americans vs Syracuse Crunch: Head To Head Stats
|Head to Head Record 2022-23 Regular Season||Rochester 2-1-0-0||Syracuse 1-2-0-0|
|Head to Head Record 2021-22 Regular Season||Rochester 4-6-2-0||Syracuse 8-3-1-0|
|Last 5 Years record between teams||Rochester 23-19-5-1||Syracuse 25-16-5-2|
|Rochester vs. Syracuse Last 5 Years record at Rochester||Rochester 10-10-3-1||Syracuse 14-7-3-0|
|Rochester vs. Syracuse Last 5 Years record at Syracuse||Rochester 13-9-2-0||Syracuse 11-9-2-2|
|Previous Meetings This Season||Syracuse 2 @ Rochester 7 (Nov 2 2022) Final
Rochester 2 @ Syracuse 6 (Oct 22 2022) Final
Syracuse 3 @ Rochester 4 (Oct 21 2022) Final
How the two teams match up
|Team Record||2-5-1-2 -- 7 points||6-4-0-0 -- 12 points|
|Division Ranking||6th North||2nd North|
|Conference Ranking||13th Eastern||7th Eastern|
|Past 10 Games||2-5-1-2||6-4-0-0|
|Last Game||4-0 W @ Charlotte (Nov 5 2022) Final||2-1 L @ Utica (Nov 5 2022) Final|
|PP (Overall)||(8/32) 25.0%||(9/38) 23.7%|
|PP (Home)||(2/10) 20.0%||(8/25) 32.0%|
|PP (Away)||(6/22) 27.3%||(1/13) 7.7%|
|PK (Overall)||(9/38) 76.3%||(9/33) 72.7%|
|PK (Home)||(3/14) 78.6%||(4/18) 77.8%|
|PK (Away)||(6/24) 75.0%||(5/15) 66.7%|
|PP vs. Opp.||(2/9) 22.2%||(3/13) 23.1%|
|PK vs. Opp.||(3/13) 76.9%||(2/9) 77.8%|
|Leading Rookie||Finley (1-2-3)||Kulich (2-6-8)|
|Most PIM||Labrie - 21||Weissbach - 18|
|Leading Scorers||Raddysh (5-8-13)||Biro (3-8-11)|
|Barré-Boulet (2-11-13)||Weissbach (6-4-10)|
|Robert (6-5-11)||Rousek (3-6-9)|
|Ryfors (7-3-10)||Kulich (2-6-8)|
|Smith (3-7-10)||Rosen (2-5-7)|
|Last 5 Games||4-0 W @ Charlotte (Nov 5 2022) Final||2-1 L @ Utica (Nov 5 2022) Final|
|3-2 L @ Charlotte (Nov 4 2022) Final||5-3 W vs Utica (Nov 4 2022) Final|
|7-2 L @ Rochester (Nov 2 2022) Final||7-2 W vs Syracuse (Nov 2 2022) Final|
|4-2 L vs Cleveland (Oct 29 2022) Final||5-1 W @ Laval (Oct 29 2022) Final|
|4-3 L vs Toronto (Oct 28 2022) Final OT||8-1 L @ Laval (Oct 28 2022) Final|
|Leading After 1st||1-0-0-0||3-1-0-0|
|Leading After 2nd||2-2-0-1||3-1-0-0|
|Tied After 1st||1-3-0-1||1-1-0-0|
|Tied After 2nd||0-0-0-0||0-0-0-0|
|Trailing After 1st||0-2-1-1||2-2-0-0|
|Trailing After 2nd||0-3-1-1||3-3-0-0|
|Out Shooting Opponents||0-2-1-1||3-0-0-0|
|Out Shot by Opponents||0-3-0-1||3-2-0-0|
|56||X Kale Clague||2||0||2||2||0||-4|
|4||X Jeremy Davies||2||0||0||0||2||0|