GAME PREVIEW: AMERKS TRAVEL TO SYRACUSE TONIGHTNov 27, 2021
TONIGHT'S GAME OVERVIEW
The Rochester Americans (10-6-0-0) close out a three-game week tonight as they make their first trip of the season to Upstate Medical University tonight to take on the Syracuse Crunch (6-7-2-1). The 7:00 p.m. contest will be the second of 12 scheduled meetings between the two North Division rivals and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Tonight’s matchup begins a stretch in which the cross-town foes will face-off three times over the next four games. Rochester is 1-0-0-0 this season after earning a 5-3 victory back on Oct. 22 thanks to four straight goals.
HEAD-TO-HEAD SERIES SNAPSHOT
The Amerks have won 10 of their last 15 games, which includes five on home ice. Syracuse, meanwhile, has just one win in its previous six games, going 1-4-1-1 over that span.
The Amerks have scored a power-play goal in 13 of their last 22 games against Syracuse dating back to last season, going 21-for-78 (26.9%) with the man-advantage over that span.
Rochester has collected at least one point in 22 of the last 34 games against Syracuse dating back to the start of the 2018-19 campaign, going 18-12-3-1.
VIEW FROM ROCHESTER
With four players currently performing at or just over more than a point-per-game pace, the Amerks have the AHL’s second-best offense and are one of only three teams averaging more than four goals per game. Collectively, Rochester’s 65 goals this season are most in the American Hockey League.
Third-year goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was selected as the AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 14, 2021. In three starts from Nov. 10 to Nov. 13, Luukkonen went 2-1-0 while totaling 112 saves and posting a 1.68 goals-against average and a .957 save percentage and registering the first shutout of his AHL career. Luukkonen, who made five straight starts to open the month of November, has allowed two or fewer goals in four of his last eight appearances. His 308 saves also rank among league leaders.
Coming off a two-goal effort in last night’s 7-3 win over Hershey, his seocnd multi-goal effort of the season, veteran forward Michael Mersch has totaled 16 points (9+7) and five multi-point outings over his last 14 games. The Amerks captain began that stretch with a five-game goal-scoring streak, the longest of his career and the longest in the AHL this season, while his five-game point marked his longest since posting a career-best seven-game point streak from Mar. 27 to April 10, 2015.
Rookie forward JJ Peterka enters tonight with 13 points (3+10) over his last 11 games dating back to Oct. 30. With 18 points (4+14) on the season, he currently leads the team in assists (14) and ranks second in overall scoring.
Defenseman Mattias Samuelsson has seven points through his first 10 games of the season, which includes six assists in the last eight contests.
With an assist on Friday, defenseman Oskari Laaksonen has recorded a helper in each of his last four games for the second time this season. The second-year blueliner is second in the league with a team-high nine power-play assists.
Jack Quinn was named the AHL’s Rookie of the Month for October after leading all first-year players with 10 points (5+5) through the first month of the regular season. In just six games to begin the season, Quinn already surpassed his offensive output from his truncated 2020-21 campaign, and became the first AHL player to reach the 10-point mark this season.
Quinn continued his torrid start to the season by scoring his team-leading 10th goal of the year while adding a pair of helpers in Rochester’s 7-3 win over Hershey last night. He currently leads the AHL in scoring with 22 points (10+12), including a team-best nine points on the power-play.
Quinn has been held scoreless just three times through his first 16 games and comes into tonight having recorded seven multi-point performances this year. Entering the weekend, he remains one of only six AHL rookies currently leading his respective team in scoring.
On Nov. 12, Quinn became the first AHL rookie since Frank Vatrano in 2015-16 to score eight goals through his first 10 games of the season.
The Amerks currently own four of the AHL’s top scoring rookies in Jack Quinn, JJ Peterka, Peyton Krebs and Linus Weissbach who have combined for 59 points (19+40) through the team’s 16 games this season.
Buffalo’s eighth overall pick in 2020, Quinn comes into the weekend leading all AHL rookies in goals (10) and pacing all scorers with 22 points. He is one of four players in the AHL this season to reach the 20-point mark and the only Amerk to accomplish the feat.
Peterka, meanwhile, is second amongst all first-year players with a team-high 14 assists while his 18 points are third-most. He and Quinn, taken just 26 picks apart from one another by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2020 NHL Draft, currently make up one of only two rookie duos across the entire AHL to rank first and second on their team in scoring.
After recording his first multi-point (0+3) outing as an Amerk in last night’s 7-3 win over Hershey, Krebs has produced 11 points on one goal and 10 assists in 11 games this season, tying for 14th among all AHL rookie skaters.
Despite missing the previous two games, Weissbach comes into the weekend with three points (1+2) over his last four games. Weissbach, who was Buffalo’s seventh-round selection (192nd overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft, has totaled eight points through his first 14 games.
SCOUTING THE CRUNCH
Following a 4-1 win last night over Lehigh Valley, the Crunch enter tonight’s contest with a 1-4-1-1 record in their last seven games dating back to Nov. 10. Syracuse’s six wins and 15 points this season are third-fewest in the Eastern Conference.
Veteran forward Gabriel Dumont leads all Crunch skaters with eight goals and 15 points through 16 games. Prior to Friday’s game versus the Phantoms, Dumont, who is in his second stint with Syracuse, was named team captain for the 2021-22 season. The Quebec native has appeared in 113 games with the Crunch, recording 33 goals and 56 assists.
Overall, Dumont has skated in 570 career AHL games over 12 seasons, recording 145 goals, 338 points and 726 penalty minutes.
Rochester boasts an 8-2-0-0 record when scoring the first goal of the game while Syracuse is the only AHL team to own a losing record when scoring first, showing a 2-4-1-0 mark when doing so.
Prior to earning a recall Friday night, Amerks forward Brett Murray scored the game-winning goal with just over seven minutes left in regulation during Rochester’s 4-2 win in Utica on Wednesday. With six goals over a seven game-stretch, it marks the best seven-game mark of his pro career. Three of his six goals this season have come on the power-play, tying for most on the team and 11th in the AHL.
Crunch defenseman 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 last season. He currently has two assists in 16 games with the Crunch.
Syracuse head coach Benoit Groulx spent two seasons (2008-10) in Rochester, leading the Amerks to a berth in the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs.
After scoring four times on the man-advantage last night, Rochester has the third-best power-play in the AHL, converting on 15 of 63 opportunities.
Rochester Americans vs Syracuse Crunch: Head To Head Stats
|Head to Head Record 2021-22 Regular Season||Rochester 1-0-0-0||Syracuse 0-1-0-0|
|Head to Head Record 2020-21 Regular Season||Rochester 5-5-2-0||Syracuse 7-4-1-0|
|Last 5 Years record between teams||Rochester 22-17-4-1||Syracuse 22-14-5-3|
|Rochester vs. Syracuse Last 5 Years record at Rochester||Rochester 9-10-2-1||Syracuse 13-5-3-1|
|Rochester vs. Syracuse Last 5 Years record at Syracuse||Rochester 13-7-2-0||Syracuse 9-9-2-2|
|Previous Meetings This Season||Syracuse 3 @ Rochester 5 (Oct 22 2021) Final|
How the 2 teams match up
|Team Record||6-7-2-1 -- 15 points||10-6-0-0 -- 20 points|
|Division Ranking||7th North||3rd North|
|Conference Ranking||13th Eastern||5th Eastern|
|Past 10 Games||3-5-1-1||6-4-0-0|
|Last Game||4-1 W vs Lehigh Valley (Nov 26 2021) Final||7-3 W vs Hershey (Nov 26 2021) Final|
|PP (Overall)||(11/65) 16.9%||(15/63) 23.8%|
|PP (Home)||(5/34) 14.7%||(8/34) 23.5%|
|PP (Away)||(6/31) 19.4%||(7/29) 24.1%|
|PK (Overall)||(6/53) 88.7%||(12/60) 80.0%|
|PK (Home)||(5/25) 80.0%||(7/37) 81.1%|
|PK (Away)||(1/28) 96.4%||(5/23) 78.3%|
|PP vs. Opp.||(1/6) 16.7%||(0/3) 0%|
|PK vs. Opp.||(0/3) 100%||(1/6) 83.3%|
|Leading Rookie||Koepke (2-6-8)||Quinn (10-12-22)|
|Most PIM||Dumont - 30||Fitzgerald - 35|
|Leading Scorers||Dumont (8-7-15)||Quinn (10-12-22)|
|Hudon (4-8-12)||Peterka (4-14-18)|
|Fortier (4-7-11)||Mersch (9-7-16)|
|Huntington (6-4-10)||Malone (5-8-13)|
|Day (2-8-10)||Krebs (1-10-11)|
|Last 5 Games||4-1 W vs Lehigh Valley (Nov 26 2021) Final||7-3 W vs Hershey (Nov 26 2021) Final|
|3-2 L vs Belleville (Nov 24 2021) Final||4-2 W @ Utica (Nov 24 2021) Final|
|5-1 L @ Cleveland (Nov 19 2021) Final||5-3 L @ Utica (Nov 20 2021) Final|
|2-1 L @ Cleveland (Nov 17 2021) Final OT||5-4 W vs Lehigh Valley (Nov 19 2021) Final SO|
|5-4 L vs Hershey (Nov 13 2021) Final SO||3-2 L vs Utica (Nov 17 2021) Final|
|Leading After 1st||2-1-0-0||8-1-0-0|
|Leading After 2nd||3-0-0-0||7-0-0-0|
|Tied After 1st||2-4-1-1||1-0-0-0|
|Tied After 2nd||1-2-1-0||1-1-0-0|
|Trailing After 1st||2-2-1-0||1-5-0-0|
|Trailing After 2nd||2-5-1-1||2-5-0-0|
|Out Shooting Opponents||4-6-1-1||0-5-0-0|
|Out Shot by Opponents||2-1-1-0||10-1-0-0|
|23||X Lukas Craggs||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|81||X Brett Murray||1||0||0||0||2||-1|
|78||X Jaydon Dureau||1||1||0||1||0||-1|
|43||X Tyler Bird||1||0||1||1||0||0|
|26||X Tristin Langan||1||0||1||1||0||0|
|74||X Sean Day||1||0||0||0||4||-1|
|25||X Cal Foote||1||0||0||0||0||-2|