TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans’ home-filled November slate continues tonight as the Adirondack Phantoms make their first of two visits to Western New York this season. The 7:05 p.m. contest will also be the second of four meetings on the season between the intrastate rivals and will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
AUDIO: Chris Taylor with Don Stevens
Tonight's Downloadable Rosters
2012-13 AHL Standings
2012-13 Rochester Stats
2012-13 Adirondack Stats
Friday's Weather Forecast
HEAD-TO-HEAD: After tonight’s game, the teams won’t see each other until the Phantoms return to Rochester on Friday, Dec. 7 for a 7:05 p.m. matchup at The Blue Cross Arena. The Amerks, led by a two-goal effort from newcomer Rick Schofield, defeated Adirondack 6-2 in the most recent encounter between the two teams back on Oct. 27 at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Nick Tarnasky also recorded a two-point night (1+1) while rookie forward Frederick Roy notched his first professional point in the win to help Rochester improve to 25-23-5 all-time against its in-state foe.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (6-3-1-0, 13 points) enters the contest after suffering a 4-3 setback to the Hamilton Bulldogs in the back-end of a home-and-home series between the North Division rivals last Saturday at Copps Coliseum. Brian Flynn recorded his first career multi-goal game with a pair of markers and first-year netminder Connor Knapp made 30 saves in his professional debut. The game marked the first time since Feb. 19 of last season that a goalie other than David Leggio manned the pipes for Rochester. Knapp, a native of York, NY, and a former standout at Miami University (Ohio), got the nod for his first professional start, snapping Leggio’s streak of 35 consecutive regular-season and playoff games for the Amerks, a stretch that began on Feb. 22. The fifth-year pro has started nine of the first 10 games of the season for the Amerks 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. Despite the loss, however, the Amerks have won five of their last seven games, including three straight at home, and are off to one off their best starts in recent history. With points in six of its last seven games, Rochester enters the weekend ranked among the top 10 teams in the American Hockey League, trailing only four points behind the league-leading Charlotte Checkers.
AMERKS QUICK HITS
- With 27 goals through their last six games, including a combined 14 against Hershey and Adirondack, the Amerks are currently second in the AHL in goals for with 39, just one shy of Charlotte’s 40.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most potent in the league over the last six games as the Amerks have converted on 11 of their last 42 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 21.3% efficiency rate. Saturday’s loss to Hamilton marked just the second time in seven games the Amerks failed to score on the power-play.
- With eight points (4+4) in his last seven games, T.J. Brennan currently ranks fourth among AHL defensemen with 10 points (4+6), five points behind Oklahoma City’s Justin Schultz. Additionally, three of his four goals have come on the power-play, tying him for fourth overall.
- Marcus Foligno, Rochester’s leading scorer who shows eight points over his last seven games, ranks tied for seventh overall among the AHL’s top point-getters with 11 points (5+6). Foligno also ranks tied for 15th in the AHL with five goals, including three on the power-play.
- Cody Hodgson’s nine assists are third-most in the AHL, while six of his helpers have come on the man-advantage, also good for second in the league in that category.
- Leggio, who has started nine of the last 10 games for the Amerks, leads all AHL netminders in wins (6), saves (275) and minutes played (550:42). He also boasts the best shootout record among goaltenders, having stopped nine of 10 shooters for a .889 save percentage.
- Brennan is tied for sixth in the league with 37 shots on goal.
- Averaging 4.20 penalty minutes per game, Tarnasky is sixth in the AHL with 42 penalty minutes.
- The Amerks are 3-0-0-0 at home when scoring the first goal of the game and are 4-1-0-0 when leading after two periods.
- Rochester is also 4-1-0-0 on home ice this season and is currently in the midst of a three-game home winning streak dating back to its 4-3 win over Grand Rapids back on Oct. 19.
ADIRONDACK NOTES: Adirondack (4-5-0-0, 8 points), playing the first of a five-game road swing tonight, comes into the matchup on the heels of a 4-0 whitewash over the Albany Devils Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Four different goal-scorers found the back of the net while goaltender Scott Munroe earned his first shutout of the season with a 26-save effort to guide the Phantoms to their second win in the last three games. Adirondack comes to the Flower City fueled by second-year pro Brayden Schenn, who paces the Phantoms with four goals and 11 points through nine games this season. He enters play tonight with six points (1+5) in his last three games, including a career-best four-point outing (1+3) at Syracuse on Oct. 28. His 11 points tie him for seventh overall among the AHL’s top scorers. Forward Sean Couturier also shows a team-high eight assists, which rank tied for seventh among league leaders. With two starts over the last four games, Munroe is 3-2-0 this season with a 2.62 goals-against average while his .923 save percentage places him 16th among AHL backstops.
With an assist on Zemgus Girgensons’ first professional goal last Friday night, defenseman Alex Biega has collected five assists over his last six games, including at least one in three straight games between Oct. 26 and Nov. 2… Despite seeing his three-game point streak get cut short Saturday against Hamilton, team captain Kevin Porter has four points (3+1) in as many games, a stretch that includes a goal in three straight outings… Veteran forward Mark Mancari, who also saw his three-game point streak snapped, enters the weekend after notching six points (2+4) through his last six showings, a stretch that features a pair of multi-point outings… Coming off his two-goal game at Adirondack on Oct. 27, Schofield shows five points (3+2) over the last six games and second-year defenseman Brayden McNabb shows six assists in his last seven appearances… Tarnasky has recorded three points (2+1) in his last three games… Evan Rankin, meanwhile, has also registered six points (3+3) through his last seven games and has only been scoreless three times this season
Brennan, who recently eclipsed the 100-point mark in his AHL career, will skate in his 200th career AHL game tonight versus Adirondack… Defenseman Nick Crawford needs just one more game for 150 pro appearances… After sitting the first nine games of the season, Knapp officially made his professional debut last Saturday at Hamilton… Girgensons netted his first pro goal against the Bulldogs last Friday that also produced Mancari’s 100th assist as an Amerk… Roy earned his first professional point with an assist at Adirondack on Oct. 27… That same game versus the Phantoms also marked the 100th AHL game for Leggio… Mancari is just three games away from 500 AHL games while Luke Adam is six games shy of the century mark for his AHL career… Leggio needs another five wins to reach 100 career victories.
UP NEXT: The Amerks head to Syracuse on Saturday, Nov. 10 to take on the Crunch at the War Memorial at Oncenter in what will be the first get-together in nearly a month since Rochester opened the 2012-13 season with a 6-5 shootout win over its longtime rival at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:30 p.m. matchup will be just the second of 10 gatherings between the two teams this season and can be heard live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
“Salute The Troops Night” – The Amerks will hold their annual “Salute The Troops Night” tonight. In observance of Veterans Day, the Amerks are offering all active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists), as well as military veterans, one complimentary ticket to “Salute The Troops Night”. In addition to the complimentary ticket, military personnel can purchase additional tickets for their family and friends for just $12. Fans are encouraged to donate care package items that will be sent to local U.S. military service members who are currently deployed overseas. The items will be collected at the game and shipped by Blue Star Mothers ROC, which is part of a national organization whose mission is to support all members of the Armed Forces and their families through a variety of supportive events and activities.
Food Drive – The Amerks will hold a Food Drive during each of its next two home games to benefit Foodlink, the regional food bank. The Food Drive will take place during the Amerks home games on Friday, Nov. 9 versus the Adirondack Phantoms and Friday, Nov. 16 versus the Albany Devils. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. Fans are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items by dropping them off in collection bins in front of The Blue Cross Arena Box Office, located in the lower atrium, prior to each of the next two home games. The items will then be donated to Foodlink. Any fan that donates two unopened, non-perishable food items prior to any of the next two home games will be able to save $5 on the purchase of a best-available lower level ticket. Fans will also have the opportunity to save $5 on the purchase of a best-available lower level ticket if they donate to Foodlink through the point-of-sale campaign called “Check Out Hunger” at the Box Office.
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, 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.
Movember Continues – Throughout the month of November, several Amerks players are growing mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health. Leggio will be spearheading the fundraising efforts as he is teaming up with Urology Associates of Rochester to help raise funds for the Lipson Cancer Center at Rochester General Hospital and ZeroCancer.org. In addition to Leggio and UAR making donations to these causes, Amerks fans will have the chance to make in-game donations at home games during the month. The first 20 fans to make a donation of at least $10 during each of the first five home games of the month will receive an Amerks puck signed by Leggio and will also be entered into a raffle to win a game-used goalie stick autographed by Leggio.