News | 1/22/2013 4:33:01 PM | ROCHESTER AMERICANS
| Photo: Micheline Veluvolu
Where They Stand
Home: 14-7-0-1, 29 points
Away: 7-8-2-0, 16 points
Overall: 21-15-2-1, 45 points
Western Conference: 7th
North Division: 4th
This Week’s Storyline
So Far, So Good As Amerks Reach Midway Point of Season – The halfway point of the 2012-13 American Hockey League season has officially arrived and the Rochester Americans have returned to their winnings ways coming into the annual All-Star break. The end of the NHL lockout may have brought about some changes to their roster with the departure of several key offensive ingredients, but nonetheless, the Amerks are in the midst of one their best stretches of the season thus far. With wins in four of its last five games, including two straight at home, Rochester enters the week in sole possession of seventh place in the AHL’s Western Conference standings, but remain just four points out of first place in the North Division. Much of Rochester’s recent success can be attributed to its play at home, where the Amerks have captured 14 of their 21 wins this season and have outscored their opponents 75-61 in 22 games at The Blue Cross Arena. This week, Rochester looks to stay hot in the back-end of its current four-game homestand as the Amerks close out their season series with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday before a four-day hiatus for the AHL All-Star break.
Last Week’s Results
Wednesday, Jan. 16 at Binghamton – 5-1 L
Luke Adam potted the lone goal and David Leggio made 33 saves in the losing effort for the Amerks, who saw their brief two-game win streak come to an end last Wednesday after a 5-1 loss to the Binghamton Senators at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. With the win, the B-Sens improved to 5-0-0-1 against Rochester this season and has claimed 11 out of a possible 12 points throughout the season series thus far.
Friday, Jan. 18 vs. Syracuse – 4-1 W
Phil Varone scored a goal and an assist and Leggio stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced to help the Amerks to a 4-1 win over the first-place Syracuse Crunch in front of 6,155 fans Friday at The Blue Cross Arena. Mark Mancari, Brian Flynn and Evan Rankin rounded out the scoring for the Amerks, while former Crunch Rick Schofield notched a pair of assists to help Rochester improve to 4-1-0-0 against his former team. The game also featured the debut of veteran defenseman Adam Pardy, who finished with a plus-one on-ice rating and earned 22:01 of ice time over 28 shifts in his first game in the red, white and blue.
This Week’s Opponents
Monday, Jan. 21 vs. Hamilton – 6-3 W
A very fast start and plenty of offensive firepower propelled Rochester to a 6-3 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs in a special afternoon matinee Monday at The Blue Cross Arena. With the win, the Amerks improved to 6-1-0-0 against their North Division rivals this season and have won the last four meetings with the Bulldogs. Kevin Porter (1+1), Schofield (1+1) and Mancari (0+2) each collected two points, while six different goal-scorers found the back of the net for the Amerks, who have now won four of their last five. Leggio continued to showcase his dominance over Hamilton, stopping 21 of 24 shots to maintain his spotless mark of 6-0-0 against the Bulldogs en route to collecting his 20th win of the campaign.
Friday, Jan. 25 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton – Season Series: 0-0-1-0, 1 point
The Amerks continue their four-game homestand on Friday, Jan. 25 as they close out their season series with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the second and final meeting between the two teams this season and will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK. The Pens earned a 5-4 overtime win in the teams’ only other get-together earlier this season back on Oct. 26 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Skating 6-on-5 with 1:08 to play in regulation, Rochester erased a 4-2 deficit with back-to-back goals 43 seconds apart from Porter and Mancari to force overtime, but the rally would fall short as Paul Thompson converted on a breakaway opportunity in the closing seconds of the extra frame to give Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the win. Rochester is 12-14-7 all-time against the Baby Pens.
Amerks Statistical Leaders
Goals: T.J. Brennan (14), Brian Flynn (14)
Assists: Mark Mancari (22)
Points: T.J. Brennan (35)
Power-Play Goals: T.J. Brennan (7)
Power-Play Assists: T.J. Brennan (12)
Shorthanded Goals: T.J. Brennan (2)
Shorthanded Assists: Phil Varone (2), Brayden McNabb (2), Brian Flynn (2)
Plus/Minus: Kevin Porter (+6), Mark Pysyk (+6)
Shots: T.J. Brennan (132)
Penalty Minutes: Nick Tarnasky (103)
Wins: David Leggio (20)
Losses: David Leggio (12)
GAA: David Leggio (2.91)
SV%: David Leggio (.912)
Saves: David Leggio (1003)
Minutes: David Leggio (2001:30)
AMERKS QUICK HITS
- With 49 goals through their last 14 games, the Amerks are currently tied for the league lead in goals for with 134. Rochester is currently averaging 3.44 goals-per-game, which is also tied for the most among league opponents.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most effective in the league over the last 17 games as the Amerks have converted on 18 of their last 66 man-advantage opportunities, including six times over the last six games. The Amerks are third in the league with 38 power-play goals and own third-best power-play unit in the AHL with a 22.0% efficiency rate. More impressively, Rochester has scored at least one power-play goal in 26 of the first 39 games this season.
- Despite presently being on NHL recall with Buffalo, Brennan, who left the Amerks riding a five-game point streak (2+3), remains Rochester’s top point-getter and ranks second in scoring among AHL defensemen with 35 points (14+21). His 14 goals are also second among league blueliners, while seven his tallies have come on the power-play, tying him for seventh among league leaders. Brennan is also fifth in the AHL with 132 shots on goal and is one of just two defensemen to lead his respective team in scoring.
- Flynn, who added another goal in Rochester’s win over the Bulldogs on Monday, enters the contest eighth among AHL rookies with 28 points (14+14) in 36 games. The Amerks are 9-2-0-0 this season when Flynn scores a goal.
- Leggio, who’s won four of his last five starts, leads all AHL netminders in wins (20), saves (1003) and minutes played (2001:30). He also boasts the second-best shootout record (4-1) among goaltenders, having stopped 20 of 25 shooters for a .800 save percentage. The native of Williamsville, NY, is 15-3 all-time in AHL shootouts and has won eight of his last 10.
- The Amerks have allowed at least five goals in a game 10 times this season, but are 5-4-1-0 in those games.
The American Hockey League announced last week that Amerks defenseman Brayden McNabb and center Kevin Porter have been named to the Western Conference All-Star roster for the 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts AHL All-Star Classic, which will take place in Providence, Rhode Island on Jan. 27-28. McNabb, 21, has appeared in 38 games for the Amerks this season and currently ranks second in scoring among Amerks defensemen with 20 points (3+17) and ranks fourth overall on the team with 17 assists. This marks the second straight AHL All-Star selection for McNabb, who was named to the roster as a rookie last season but was unable to play due to a recall to the Buffalo Sabres. Porter, 26, has appeared in all 39 of Rochester’s games this season and currently ranks tied for second on the team in scoring with 33 points on 12 goals and 21 assists. Porter, the Amerks’ team captain, will be making his first career AHL All-Star appearance.
Eight different crowds of 7,500+ fans in attendance have taken in an Amerks game this season, including six in the Flower City’s downtown hockey barn. The number is a vast improvement from the 2011-12 season, when only three crowds of 7,500 or more were on hand. Rochester is currently eighth in the AHL in total attendance to date and is averaging 6,654 fans per game through the first 22 home games of the 2012-13 campaign.
2012 IN REVIEW
Several Amerks players finished atop the AHL’s regular-season scoring leaders during the 2012 calendar year, including T.J Brennan and McNabb, who each finished sixth and 10th in scoring among league blueliners with 44 points (22+22) and 37 points (6+31), respectively. Leggio, who played in a combined 62 games for the Amerks in 2012, including the final 23 of the 2011-12 season, led all netminders with 34 wins while totaling three shutouts throughout the year.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
Rochester set a new franchise attendance record by playing in front of a capacity crowd of 19,070 fans on Friday, Dec. 28 against Lake Erie at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y. The record-setting attendance also represented the eighth-largest crowd for a single game in American Hockey League history and the fourth-largest for an AHL game played indoors. The previous Amerks record for the largest crowd in the 57-year history of the franchise was 17,898, which was set eight years prior to the day on Dec. 28, 2004, when the Amerks defeated the Edmonton Roadrunners at the then-HSBC Arena in Buffalo.
BRENNAN GETTING CLOSER
With his power-play goal at Syracuse on Jan. 12, Brennan is on pace to break Rick Pagnutti’s 40-year-old franchise record for most goals scored by a defenseman in a single-season. Pagnutti set the mark during the 1972-73 campaign, his first in Rochester, when he netted 18 goals en route to a 55-point season, which led all Amerks defensemen and placed him third on the team in overall scoring. After officially reaching the halfway point with a pair of shorthanded tallies against the Albany Devils on Nov. 23, Brennan is now within four goals of tying the mark and five away from setting a new record. The fourth-year pro fell just two short of the record last season, scoring 16 goals in only 52 games with the Amerks.
MAKE THAT THREE STRAIGHT FOR LEGGIO
Leggio recorded his 20th win of the season with a 21-save effort in Rochester’s 6-3 victory over Hamilton on Monday, solidifying the fifth-year netminder’s third consecutive 20-win season. Leggio began the impressive streak with 22 wins during the 2010-11 campaign with Portland before posting a career-high 28 victories last season with Rochester, including 13 over the team’s final 23 games, to help the Amerks clinch a berth in the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs.
HOME, SWEET HOME
With half of the season already in the books, home-ice advantage has certainly been beneficial for the Amerks. Coming off their win over Hamilton on Monday afternoon, the Amerks have now won three straight and seven of their last nine games played within the friendly confines of The Blue Cross Arena. The Amerks boast a 14-7-0-1 record in their downtown venue, making them the third-best home team in the AHL, while their 14 wins rank second to only Abbotsford and Binghamton, who each show a league-best 15 wins on home-ice.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
The Amerks have seen eight of their last 21 games decided by one goal dating back to a 4-3 setback at Toronto on Dec. 8. Rochester is 8-6-1-1 in 16 one-goal games this season after finishing the 2011-12 campaign with 42 such outings. Of those 16 one-goal games, seven have been determined in overtime or via the shootout, for a 5-0-1-1 mark.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Amerks are 11-6-1-1 (24 points) this season against North Division rivals, but show a 10-9-1-0 (21 points) mark versus non-divisional foes. The Amerks have scored the first goal in 24 of the first 39 games of the campaign and show a 17-5-2-0 record when doing so, including an 11-2-0-0 mark at home. Rochester is also 16-1-1-0 when leading after two periods, a streak that also shows an unblemished 11-0-0-0 mark at home. The Amerks are averaging 30.92 shots per game, the 10th-highest output among opponents.
Despite seeing his five-game point streak come to an end on Monday, Adam enters the week with seven points (2+5) in his last six games as well as four assists through his last five appearances… Alex Biega shows five assists in as many games, while fellow blueliner Nick Crawford has tallied an assist in three of his last four outings… Mancari enters the week with 20 points (8+12) over his last 17 games, a stretch that also featured a season-long five-game point streak from 12/19 to 12/28… More impressively, Mancari has posted six games with multiple points during the same stretch, including his two-assist effort Monday versus Hamilton… Flynn has 11 points (5+6) through his last 12 games, including goals in back-to-back games and four of his last six… More interesting, the first-year pro hasn’t gone longer than five games this season without a point… Rankin has collected 21 points (11+10) over his last 30 games and has only been held scoreless just 13 times in 34 games this season… Porter, who factored in on both of Rochester’s first two goals against the Bulldogs Monday, has tabbed 25 points (8+17) in his last 26 appearances, including 21 points (7+14) through his last 20 outings.
Pardy registered his first point as an Amerk with an assist in Monday’s win over Hamilton… The veteran defenseman is also 13 games shy of 400 pro appearances… Monday’s game also marked the 100th career game in an Amerks uniform for Biega... Adam is just five points away from reaching the century mark for his AHL career… Mancari, who also skated in his 250th game as an Amerk against Hamilton on 1/11, is just a mere five goals away from 200 pro goals… Leggio needs another six games to reach 200 career pro tilts… Porter recorded the 100th point of his AHL career with his first assist of the game at Abbotsford on 1/04.
The Rochester Americans’ “Reading Power Play Program” for the 2012-13 season wraps up this week with a trio of visits from three different players over the next three days. The program resumes tonight with a 6:30 p.m. appearance from forward Corey Tropp at the Webster Public Library (980 Ridge Rd.), while fellow forward Evan Rankin will stop by the Henrietta Public Library (455 Calkins Rd.) at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Rookie goaltender and Rochester native Connor Knapp will bring the program to a close on Thursday, Jan. 24 when he visits the Pittsford Public Library (24 State St.) at 6:30 p.m.
Eats & Seats – The Distillery “Eats & Seats” promotion returns for another season, where for just $20, fans can purchase one ticket (best-available) and a $10 gift card to The Distillery.
Hockey Night in Rochester – Friday nights are Hockey Night in Rochester, and fans who wear an Amerks or Sabres jersey to a Friday game can purchase a best-available seat for just $17.
Ditch the Dorms – Ditch the Dorms Nights are back this season again on Fridays, where students who present their College ID at The Blue cross Arena Box Office can purchase a best available ticket for just $12.
Amerks Happy Hour – Prior to every Friday night home game this season, there will be an Amerks Happy Hour from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Upper Atrium Bar featuring live music and $2 Molson and Coors Light drafts for fans age 21 and over.
THIS MONTH IN AMERKS HISTORY
Jan. 2, 1983 – Mal Davis registers the second of his three four-goal games for the Amerks. Davis is the only Amerk to record a four-goal game in three consecutive seasons and is one of just two players to net four goals in a single game on three different occasions, the other being fellow Hall of Famer Jody Gage.
Jan. 3, 1992 – Peter Ciavaglia scores the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win over Baltimore for the 1,300th win in team history.
Jan. 6, 2005 – Rochester clinches its 1,800th win in franchise history as Derek Roy nets the lone goal in a 1-0 win at Edmonton.
Jan. 16, 1981 – Wally Weir establishes a franchise record for most penalty minutes in a single game when he racked up 54 PIM as a result of four misconducts, two majors and two minors.
Jan. 17, 1975 – The Amerks set a franchise record, one that still stands today, for the greatest winning margin (12 goals) in a 13-1 rout over New Haven. Dave Hynes also ties the franchise record for the most goals in a single game, scoring five of Rochester’s 13 tallies.
Jan. 17, 1998 – Amerks Hall of Famer Craig Charron tallies the 12,000th goal in Amerks history during a 4-4 tie against Syracuse.
Jan. 24, 1965 – Former Amerk Ed Litzenberger, who helped the Amerks to their first two Calder Cups, becomes just the second player to collect six assists in a single game. Since then, only two other players in team history have matched the feat, including current Amerks Assistant Coach Chris Taylor.
Jan. 27, 1974 – The Amerks play to a scoreless tie against Virginia, the only one of the 1973-74 season and one of just seven such games in team history.
Jan. 28, 1968 – Bob Barlow scores a pair of goals, his second being the game-winner and 3,000th goal in team history, to help the Amerks to a 4-1 win over Baltimore.
Jan. 31, 1991 – Darrin Shannon becomes just the third, and most recent Amerk, to notch a franchise-best seven points in a single game.
This Week’s Schedule*
Monday, Jan. 21
1:05 p.m.: Rochester vs. Hamilton, Blue Cross Arena Tuesday, Jan. 22
6:00 p.m.: Season Ticket Holder Skate, Blue Cross Arena
6:30 p.m.: Reading, Webster Public LibraryWednesday, Jan. 23
10:30 a.m.: Practice, Blue Cross Arena
6:30 p.m.: Reading, Henrietta Public LibraryThursday, Jan. 24
10:30 a.m.: Practice, Blue Cross Arena
6:30 p.m.: Pittsford Public Library
Friday, Jan. 25
10:00 a.m.: Morning Skate, Blue Cross Arena
7:05 p.m.: Rochester vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Blue Cross Arena
Saturday, Jan. 26
AHL All-Star Break
Sunday, Jan. 27
AHL All-Star Break
*Schedule is subject to change