AMERKS BEGIN NOVEMBER SLATE ON THE ROAD THIS WEEKEND
News | 10/31/2011 5:08:47 PM | ROCHESTER AMERICANS


Photo: Micheline Veluvolu

WEEKLY NOTES: The first 10 games of the 2011-12 American Hockey League season are officially in the books for the Rochester Americans, and in spite of the team’s current slide, the Amerks still remain among the top of the North Division standings. Rochester has still managed to record points in six of its first 10 games, and most recently, four in its last six en route to a 3-4-2-1 mark heading into the month of November. With a busy three-games in three-nights stretch ahead, the Amerks look to rebound this weekend as they finish off a four-game road trip, one that includes a rematch with intrastate rival Binghamton and a home-and-home series with Syracuse.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS:
Thursday, Oct. 27 at Hamilton – OTL, 3-2
… Despite scoring two third period goals to rally from a 2-0 deficit, Rochester’s bid for a comeback was cut short after Louis Leblanc’s overtime winner 2:28 into the extra frame lifted the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 3-2 win, their third straight over the Amerks this season. Colin Stuart and Derek Whitmore each provided single tallies for the Amerks, while David Leggio made 26 saves in the loss.

Saturday, Oct. 29 at Binghamton – L, 3-1… Though outshooting the opposition 17-6 in the third period and 34-30 overall in the contest, the Amerks fell victim to the defending Calder Cup champion Binghamton Senators Saturday night by a 3-1 score at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. Second-year forward Corey Tropp netted Rochester’s lone goal, his fourth of the season, and Drew MacIntyre turned aside 27 of 30 shots as the Amerks’ winless streak reached five games.

THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS: The Amerks usher in the month of November on Friday, November 4 when they meet the Senators again for the second time in six nights at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the second of eight get-togethers this season between the intrastate rivals and will be broadcast live on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk. Binghamton goalie Mike McKenna backstopped his club with a 33-save effort to pilot the B-Sens to a 3-1 victory in the first encounter between the two teams on Saturday.
                                                                      
Rochester closes out its four-game road swing on Saturday, November 5 with the first of back-to-back tilts with the Syracuse Crunch at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Game time is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start. The home-and-home series will shift to Rochester on Sunday, November 6 as the Amerks host the Crunch at 6:05 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. Both contests will be carried live on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk with Sunday’s matchup also being televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet Channel 26. Rochester is 1-0-0-0 this season against the Crunch after its 3-2 shootout win over Syracuse on October 18. The Amerks also maintain the upper hand with a 97-81-15 all-time showing against the Anaheim Ducks’ affiliate.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Sunday’s home game against Syracuse falls on the next installment of the “Red Hot Sunday Funday” promotion, which again features the Zweigle’s Family Four Pack. For the third straight year, fans can purchase four hot dogs, four sodas and four tickets to any best available seating location for any Sunday home game for the low price of just $44.00. In conjunction with Savor Catering at The Blue Cross Arena, fans will have five opportunities to take advantage of this family-friendly promotion this season.

AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (3-4-2-1, 9 points) enters the week in the midst of a five-game winless streak after falling to the Binghamton Senators 3-1 on Saturday night. Despite their recent skid, however, the Amerks have collected points in three of their last five games and six of their last eight to remain in a second-place tie in the American Hockey League’s North Division.

QUICK HITS: Saturday’s game in Binghamton saw the return of defenseman Drew Schiestel, who missed the last nine games with an injury he sustained in Rochester’s season-opening game in Hamilton on October 8… Tropp and Whitmore combined for 16 shots against the B-Sens, including a team-high nine from Whitmore… The Amerks have allowed the first goal in eight of the first 10 games of the season… Rochester leads the league in penalty shots against with three, with its most recent coming Saturday in Binghamton as MacIntyre denied B-Sens captain Mark Parrish in the second period.

TEAM AND LEAGUE LEADERS: Whitmore currently paces Rochester’s offense in all offensive categories in goals (4), assists (4) and points (8), in addition to leading the Amerks with a plus-four on-ice rating. The Rochester native also leads the team with 37 shots on goal. The trio of Tropp, (4+3), Stuart (3+4) and Zack Kassian (3+4) remain at a close second with seven points, while rookie blueliner Brayden McNabb leads all team defensemen with five points (0+5). Kassian presently ranks tied for 12th among AHL rookies in scoring entering the new week.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Amerks are 2-1-2-1 (7 points) this season against North Division rivals, but show a 1-3-0-0 (2 points) mark versus non-divisional foes. After deciding the first four games of the season in regulation, Rochester has been forced into extra time in four of its last six games, two of which have been determined via the shootout. Despite being outscored 32-26, the Amerks’ 26 goals for are the second-highest among North Division opponents. Rochester is also among the least penalized teams in the league with 135 penalty minutes, fourth-lowest in the Western Conference and the sixth-fewest in the AHL. The third period has been the Amerks’ strong suit thus far as the club has accounted for 11 goals while allowing eight.

WHO’S HOT: Whitmore has found the back of the net three times in his last five games, stemming from a two-goal effort in Toronto on October 22. Travis Turnbull shows three assists in his last five outings and McNabb (0+2), Stuart (1+1) and Marcus Foligno (1+1) all have points in two of their last three games.

SHARING THE CREASE: Goaltenders David Leggio and Drew MacIntyre have alternated starts through the team’s first 10 games of the season. Leggio has posted a record of 2-3-0 with a 3.10 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage while MacIntyre is 1-3-1 with a 2.97 goals-against average and a .876 save percentage.

MILESTONE WATCH: Back for a second stint with the Amerks, veteran forward Michael Ryan is just two games away from his 400th professional game, 214 of which have been played in Rochester. Stuart sits just five goals and three assists away from reaching the century mark in both categories in his pro career. Schiestel will reach 100 AHL games when he suits up Friday in Binghamton. Last Thursday’s game in Hamilton marked the 650th professional appearance for veteran defenseman Shaone Morrisonn.

SPECIAL TEAMS BREAKDOWN: The Amerks have gone 6-for-39 (15.4%) on the power-play this season, scoring at least one man-advantage goal in five of their first 10 games. On the penalty kill, Rochester has successfully killed off 33-of-39 (84.6%) shorthanded situations, including 31 of the last 35. The Amerks’ penalty kill is currently the eighth-best in the AHL, but ranks second at home with a 95.2 efficiency rate. As a team, Rochester has allowed a league-most three shorthanded goals against, two coming at home and the other on the road.  

THIS WEEK IN AMERKS HISTORY: Amerks forward Hank Ciesla scores Rochester’s 1,000th franchise goal in a 3-1 loss to Cleveland on November 5, 1960.

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AMERKS WEEKLY SCHEDULE*
DAY                                         TIME                                        LOCATION
Monday, October 31               Day Off                                    ----
Tuesday, November 1             10:30 a.m. practice                 Sports Centre at MCC
                                               6:30 p.m. reading                   Ogden Public Library
Wednesday, November 2       10:30 a.m. practice                 Sports Centre at MCC
                                               4:00 p.m. reading                   Phillis-Wheatley Branch
Thursday, November 3           10:30 a.m. practice                 Sports Centre at MCC
Friday, November 4               10:00 a.m. gameday skate     Sports Centre at MCC
                                               7:05 p.m. @ Binghamton      Broome County V.M. Arena
Saturday, November 5            7:30 p.m. @ Syracuse            War Memorial at Oncenter
Sunday, November 6               10:00 a.m. gameday skate     Blue Cross Arena
                                               6:05 p.m. vs. Syracuse           Blue Cross Arena
                                                                                              
*schedule subject to change
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