TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans and Hamilton Bulldogs complete a home-and-home series tonight as the action shifts back across the border for a North Division showdown at Copps Coliseum. The 7:00 p.m. contest will be the third of 12 scheduled meetings between the two teams this season and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
2012-13 AHL Standings
2012-13 Rochester Stats
2012-13 Hamilton Stats
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Amerks carry a 2-0-0-0 record against Hamilton into Saturday’s matchup after taking a 3-2 shootout win from the Bulldogs in the first leg of the two-game set last night at The Blue Cross Arena. Rookie forward Zemgus Girgensons scored his first professional goal and David Leggio combined for 29 saves in regulation and overtime to pick up his sixth win of the season. In two games against Hamilton this season, Leggio is 2-0-0 with a 1.44 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (6-2-1-0, 13 points) enters the contest coming off its 3-2 shootout win over Hamilton last night on home ice. Marcus Foligno sealed the victory with the game-winner in the fourth round of the skills competition while Leggio stopped three of four shooters to help the Amerks claim their sixth win in the last seven games, including three straight at home. Rochester surrendered a 2-0 lead as Hamilton rallied with a pair of third period goals from Brendan Gallagher and Darryl Boyce to force overtime, but Phil Varone and Brian Flynn would find the back of net to set the stage for Foligno’s winner. With a 6-2-1-0 record through the first nine games of the campaign, Rochester is off to its best start since the 2009-10 Amerks opened the season with a 7-1-1-0 mark before tying a franchise record with an 11-game winning streak. Leggio, who leads all AHL netminders in wins (6), saves (275) and minutes played (550:42) has started 35 consecutive regular-season and playoff games for the Amerks, a stretch that began on Feb. 22. He has gotten the call in all nine games this season after drawing the start in each of Rochester’s final 23 regular-season contests last season as well as each game of the Amerks’ first-round playoff loss to Toronto last spring.
HAMILTON NOTES: Hamilton (3-2-1-1, 8 points), kicking off a five-game homestand tonight, comes into the matchup after picking up a point in last night’s shootout loss to Rochester. Boyce scored the tying goal with 4:21 left to play in regulation and then another in the shootout for the Bulldogs, who have now dropped three of their last four games, including back-to-back contests to the Amerks. Hamilton’s offense is spread among seven different players that currently share a team-high four points. The list includes veteran forward Aaron Palushaj, who leads the Bulldogs with three goals and was a teammate of Amerks captain Kevin Porter at the University of Michigan for the 2007-08 season. Goaltender Peter Delmas, who has played three of the last five games for the Bulldogs, boasts an 0-2-0 record with a 3.49 goals-against average and a .865 save percentage while Robert Mayer shows a 3-1-1 mark with a 2.31 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage through five games.
UP NEXT: Rochester returns home on Friday, Nov. 9 as the Adirondack Phantoms make their first of two visits to Western New York this season. The game is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start at The Blue Cross Arena and will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS POINTS OF INTEREST
- With 24 goals through their last five games, including a combined 14 against Hershey and Adirondack, the Amerks are currently tied for first in the AHL in goals for with 36.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most potent in the league over the last five games as the Amerks have converted on 11 of their last 36 man-advantage opportunities. The Amerks rank second in the league with 13 power-play goals and own the seventh-best power-play unit in the AHL with 23.6% efficiency rate.
- With eight points (4+4) in his last six games, T.J. Brennan currently ranks third in scoring among AHL defensemen with 10 points (4+6), three points behind Oklahoma City’s Justin Schultz. Additionally, three of his four goals have come on the power-play, tying him for third overall.
- Marcus Foligno (5+5) and Cody Hodgson (1+9), who each show seven points over their last six games, are also currently tied with Brennan with 10 points apiece to rank eighth overall among the AHL’s top point-getters. Foligno also ranks tied for 10th in the AHL with five goals, including three on the power-play, while Hodgson’s nine assists are presently a league-best.
- Leggio, who has played every minute of the season thus far, leads all AHL netminders in wins (6), saves (275) and minutes played (550:42).
- Mark Mancari is tied for seventh in the league with 31 shots on goal.
- Averaging 4.62 penalty minutes per game, Nick Tarnasky is tied for fourth in the AHL with 37 penalty minutes.
- The Amerks are 3-0-0-0 at home when scoring the first goal of the game and show an unblemished 4-0-0-0 mark when leading after two periods.
With an assist on Zemgus Girgensons’ first professional goal last night, defenseman Alex Biega has collected five assists over his last five games, including one in each of his last three games… Porter has four points (3+1) in his last three appearances and has found the back of the net in each of Rochester’s last three games… Mancari also brings a three-game point streak into tonight’s game after notching six points (2+4) through his last five showings, a stretch that features a pair of multi-point outings… Coming off his two-goal game at Adirondack last Saturday, Schofield shows four points (3+1) over the last five games and Luke Adam has registered three points (2+1) over his last five outings… Despite seeing their five-game point streaks halted last night, second-year defenseman Brayden McNabb shows six assists in as many outings while Evan Rankin has also registered five points (3+2) through his last six games.
Girgensons netted his first pro goal against Hamilton last night that also produced Mancari’s 100th assist as an Amerk… Rookie forward Frederick Roy earned his first professional point with an assist at Adirondack last Saturday… Last week’s win over the Phantoms marked the 100th AHL game for Leggio… Hodgson appeared in his 150th professional game last Friday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… Brennnan, who recently eclipsed the 100-point mark in his AHL career, needs just two more games for 200 career AHL appearances… Mancari is just four games away from 500 AHL games while Adam is seven games shy of the century mark for his AHL career… Leggio needs another five wins to reach 100 career victories.