GAMEDAY NOTES & QUOTES: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15Mar 15, 2023
The Rochester Americans face the Laval Rocket for the final time this regular season tonight at 7:05pm at Blue Cross Arena.
Malcolm Subban gets the start in net tonight.
Ethan Prow will return to the lineup after missing Sunday's game.
The Amerks will roll 11 forwards and 7 defensemen with Prow’s return. Defenseman Mitch Eliot, who played on Sunday in Prow’s place, will stay in the lineup tonight.
“We felt as a staff that Mitch Eliot played so good on Sunday, that it didn’t feel warranted to take him out of the lineup,” Appert said.
“Forget defensemen, I thought he was one of the best players in that game for both teams in a really good game. When a player performs to that caliber, you don’t want him out of the lineup the next night.”
Coach Appert also mentioned that going 11-and-7 will help free up Brendan Warren to play on the wing, his natural position. “He’s an effective center, but he’s a menace when he’s a wing because of his fore-checking ability,” Appert noted.
Michael Mersch will play on a line with Brett Murray and Lukas Rousek tonight, with Appert’s goal to maximize Mersch’s strengths. “He dominates the offensive zone,”
Appert said. “I’m going to try to put guys around him to get him in the offensive zone more and hopefully get him on an offensive heater down the stretch.”
Murray and Jobst have both found the score sheet recently, and Appet thinks they’ll help spark Mersch.
“Murray and Jobst are guys that win a lot of puck battles and get their line in the offensive zone a lot, and I think that’s where Merschy makes his money.”
Forwards Tyson Kozak (lower-body, week-to-week) and Carson Gicewicz (lower-body, long term) remain out of the lineup.
SETTLING THE CHAOS
The Rocket are an opponent that Rochester knows well.
“We know the challenges they post,” Appert said. “They’re fast, they’re competitive, tenacious. They make the game fast and chaotic against you, and they’re playing good hockey right now.”
The best way to settle the chaos: communication. And while increasing communication is something the coaches have focused on all season, it was really emphasized at practice yesterday.
“Communication and having calmness in chaotic moments is going to be critical against a team like this,” Appert explained.
“One player being assertive in his communication and in his play settles everybody else down."
Two players that Appert praised for their communication were defensemen Ethan Prow and Lawrence Pilut. And while communication is key tonight, so is locking down on defense.
In the last three meetings between Laval and Rochester, the teams have combined for 31 goals.
“The games we have found success [against Laval], our team defense has been really strong,” Appert said.
Forward Lukas Rousek has three-straight multi-point games for the Amerks.
Rochester boasts a 20-10-1-0 record all-time agains the Rocket, which includes a 10-3-0-0 mark at home, dating back to the start of the 2017-18 campaign.
ABOUT THE OPPOSITION
The Laval Rocket enter tonight’s game on a 4-4-1-1 in their last 10 games, and sit just one point behind the Amerks in the standings. The Amerks have two games in hand on the Rocket, but every divisional clash at this point in the season is a big four-point game.
Goaltender Cayden Primeau has been solid for the Rocket in his 29 games played. He is 12-10-6 on the season with three wins against the Amerks. Goaltender Kevin Poulin, who has appeared in 26 games for the Rocket, is out indefinitely (upper-body).
“He’s one of the better goalies in the league. He’s an All Star, went to the Conference Finals last year, has played in the National Hockey League. We know how good he is.”
Rocket forward Anthony Richard leads their team with 55 points (24 goals, 31 assists), but is currently with the Montreal Canadiens. Peter Abbandonato follows with 41 points (11 goals, 30 assists), including eight points against the Amerks so far this season.
GAME NIGHT INFORMATION
Tonight, we’re partnering with Sunnking to celebrate Global Recycling Day, which falls on Saturday, March 18. The first 700 fans in attendance will receive a resuable bag, and THIS NAME of Sunnking will be dropping the ceremonial puck.
Tonight’s Jersey Mike’s Hot Players are Lukas Rousek, Filip Cederqvist, and Austin Strand. If a Hot Player scores, you can get 50% off your meal tomorrow at Jersey Mike’s. If a Hot Player scores a hat trick, you get a free sub!
March is the Month of Giving at Jersey MIke's: you can donate to Special Olympics New York all month long in store or on the Jersey Mike's app. Wednesday, March 29 is the Day of Giving: proceeds ALL sales on that Wednesday will be donated.