TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans play their second of three games in five nights tonight as they make their way to Quicken Loans Arena for a North Division showdown with the Lake Erie Monsters in downtown Cleveland. The 7:00 p.m. contest will be the first of six scheduled meetings between the two teams this season and will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
AUDIO: DON STEVENS WITH CHADD CASSIDY
2012-13 AHL STANDINGS
2012-13 ROCHESTER STATS
2012-13 LAKE ERIE STATS
Last Game: Rochester vs. Abbotsford – 12/11/12
Rochester (3) vs. Abbotsford (2) – SO
Goals: Roy, Adam, Brennan (SOW)
Goalie(s): Leggio (29 saves/31 shots, 64:57)
Special Teams: PP: 0/3 --- PK: 4/5
Shots: Rochester 32 --- Abbotsford 31
PIM: Rochester 10 --- Abbotsford 6
3 Stars: 1. Sylvester (ABB), 2. Adam (RCH), 3. Leggio (RCH)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The game will be a rematch of last season’s regular-season finale when Luke Adam netted the game-winner to in what proved to be a 2-1 win for Rochester that ultimately secured the Amerks a berth in the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Amerks are coming off a 2011-12 campaign that saw the team post a 5-1-0-0 record, including a 3-0-0-0 mark at home, and capture 10 out of a possible 12 points in six get-togethers with the Monsters. More impressively, Rochester outscored Lake Erie 20-11 throughout the season series and surrendered its only loss to the Monsters at the Q. The Amerks, however, are 15-16-2 all-time against Lake Erie.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (11-9-2-0, 24 points) enters the contest fresh off its 3-2 shootout win over the first-place Abbotsford Heat Tuesday night at The Blue Cross Arena. Fifth-year netminder David Leggio made his return to the pipes after a two-game rest, turning away 29 saves in regulation to move within one win of a 100 career victories. Leggio was again perfect in the shootout, stopping all six Heat shooters before T.J. Brennan netted the game-winner in the sixth round of the skills competition. Frederick Roy and Luke Adam also scored in regulation for the Amerks, who have won two of their last three games and remain two points behind Lake Erie for third place in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings. Adam, who broke a 10-game goal-less drought at Toronto last Saturday, enters play tonight with points in three straight games, including goals in back-to-back outings for the first time this season. With four assists through his last four games, Marcus Foligno enters the contest ranked tied for 16th in the AHL in scoring with a team-high 21 points (6+15), while his 15 assists are also tied for 12th. Brennan remains tied for fourth in scoring among AHL defensemen with 18 points (9+9) in 22 games and leads all rearguards with 87 shots on goal. Leggio, who started 17 of the first 21 games of the season, is second among AHL goaltenders in wins (10), saves (529) and minutes played (1093:20).
LAKE ERIE NOTES: Lake Erie (12-11-1-1, 26 points), kicking off a five-game homestand tonight, comes into the matchup after coming up empty-handed in a 1-0 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs Tuesday night at Copps Coliseum. First-year goaltender Calvin Pickard stopped 44 of 45 shots for the Monsters, including 28 through the first two periods, before giving up a power-play tally to Hamilton’s Steve Quailer late in the final frame. With the loss, the Monsters have now lost two straight and three of their last four dating back to a 5-4 setback to Toronto on Dec. 2. Two of Lake Erie’s top five scorers are currently in their first professional season, including leading point-getter Mike Sgarbossa, who paces the Lake Erie offense with 20 points (9+11) and ranks tied for first on the team with nine goals. His 20 points presently tie him for second overall among league rookies and he is one of just seven AHL freshmen to lead their respective teams in scoring. Among the 16 players returning from last year’s squad is highly-touted defenseman Tyson Barrie, who represented the Monsters at the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic. A third-round selection of the Colorado Avalanche in 2009, Barrie currently ranks tied for fourth in scoring among AHL rearguards with 18 points (5+13) and is the only defenseman to appear in all 25 games for Lake Erie thus far this season.
UP NEXT: Rochester returns home on Saturday, Dec. 15 as the Amerks host the defending Western Conference champion Toronto Marlies at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the third get-together in as many weeks between the North Division rivals and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS QUICK HITS
- With 60 goals through their last 18 games, the Amerks are currently 12th in the AHL in goals for with 72, 16 shy of Syracuse’s league-leading 88 tallies. Rochester is currently averaging 3.27 goals-per-game, the seventh-most among AHL opponents.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most effective in the league over the last eight games as the Amerks have converted on six of their last 37 man-advantage opportunities, including two in their 3-1 win over Adirondack last Friday. The Amerks are 10th in the league with 20 power-play goals and own the eighth-best power-play unit in the AHL with an 18.7% efficiency rate. More impressively, Rochester has scored at least one power-play goal in 13 of the first 22 games this season.
- With 18 points over his last 19 games, Marcus Foligno remains the Amerks' top point-getter with 21 points (6+15) in 22 games this season. The second-year pro currently ranks tied for 16th overall among the AHL’s top scorers, while his 15 assists are also tied for 12th.
- T.J. Brennan remains fourth in scoring among AHL defensemen with 18 points (9+9), while his team-leading nine goals are second-most among league rearguards.
- Additionally, four of Brennan’s nine tallies have come on the power-play, tying him for 14th among league leaders, while also he shares second overall with two shorthanded goals.
- Brian Flynn enters the game tied for seventh among AHL rookies with 17 points (9+8) in 21 games. The Amerks are 5-1-0-0 this season when Flynn scores a goal.
- David Leggio, who has started 18 of the last 22 games for the Amerks, ranks second among AHL netminders in wins (10), saves (529) and minutes played (1093:20). He also boasts the best shootout record (3-0-0) among goaltenders, having stopped 15 of 16 shooters, including all six in Rochester’s 3-2 win over Abbotsford on Tuesday, for a .933 save percentage.
- Brennan is third in the league with 87 shots on goal.
- Averaging 3.35 penalty minutes per game, Nick Tarnasky leads the Amerks with 67 penalty minutes. He also enters play tonight ranking sixth with nine fighting majors, including four in his last 11 games.
- Rochester is 7-5-0-0 on home ice this season and is just one of five teams to remain unbeaten in the shootout.
BRENNAN HALFWAY THERE
With two more goals in Rochester’s 5-2 triumph over Albany on Nov. 23, Brennan is on pace to shatter 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. Brennan officially reached the halfway point with a pair of shorthanded tallies against the Devils to bring his season total to nine through just 19 games this season. The fourth-year blueliner fell just two short of the record last season, scoring 16 goals in only 52 games with the Amerks.
A ‘FLYNN-TASTIC’ NOVEMBER
Flynn was Rochester’s most productive and consistent player throughout the month of November. After beginning the month with an assist in a 3-2 win over Hamilton on Nov. 2, the Lynnfield, Massachusetts, native put on quite the offensive display that saw the rookie forward record an astounding 15 points on seven goals and eight assists over a career-long nine-game point streak. Flynn’s only scoreless outing in November came in Friday’s 4-1 setback to Toronto, snapping what was the second-longest active point streak and the longest active assist streak in the AHL. More impressively, however, Flynn compiled four multi-point outings during the stretch, including three over his last six appearances that was highlighted by a career-high four-point effort (3+1) on Nov. 23 against Albany as he notched his first career hat trick. Flynn ranked fifth in the AHL in scoring during the month of November, behind only Oklahoma City’s Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall and Houston’s Justin Fontaine.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
The Amerks have seen seven of their last 14 games decided by one goal, including two straight and three of their last four. Rochester is 5-5-1-0 in 11 one-goal games this season after finishing the 2011-12 campaign with 42 such outings last season. Of those 10 one-goal games, four have been determined in overtime or via the shootout, for a 3-0-1-0 mark.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Amerks are 4-5-1-0 (9 points) this season against North Division rivals, but show a 7-4-1-0 (15 points) mark versus non-divisional foes. The second period has been Rochester’s strong suit thus far as the club has accounted for 30 goals while allowing 23. The Amerks have scored the first goal in 15 of the first 22 games of the campaign and show a 9-4-2-0 record when doing so, including a 6-2-0-0 mark at home. Rochester is also 9-1-1-0 when leading after two periods, a streak that also shows an unblemished 6-0-0-0 mark at home. The Amerks are averaging 32.05 shots per game, the seventh-highest output among league opponents.
Adam enters play tonight with points in three straight games, including goals in back-to-back outings for the first time this season… Despite seeing his three-game point streak halted on Tuesday, Brayden has collected two goals and 11 assists in his last 19 appearances… Meanwhile, fellow defenseman Alex Biega has notched nine points (2+7) over his last 18 games, including three points (1+2) through his last five outings… Jonathan Parker scored his first two goals of the season in last Saturday’s loss to Toronto despite only playing in six games this season… Flynn shows 16 points (8+8) in his last 14 games after being held pointless in six of his first seven outings to begin the campaign… Brennan shows goals in four of his last 12 games, including a stretch of three straight games from Nov. 9 to Nov. 14… Evan Rankin has registered 14 points (6+8) over his last 17 games and has only been held scoreless just six times in 19 games this season… Foligno has registered 12 points (1+11) in his last 15 games, including 10 points (3+7) in his last 10… Veteran forward Mark Mancari has two assists over his last three games, marking his first stretch of points since stringing together a three-game point streak from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2… Team captain Kevin Porter, who scored a power-play goal and a shorthanded goal against Adirondack last Friday, has tabbed seven points (3+4) in his last 10 appearances.
Leggio needs just one more win to reach 100 career victories… Foligno and Phil Varone are each four appearances shy of 100 pro tilts… Maxime Legault needs another three appearances for 150 pro games, while McNabb needs eight more games to reach the century mark in his pro career… Porter is nine points away from 100 career AHL points… Knapp earned his first career win, stopping 41 of 42 shots against Adirondack last Friday… Adam made his 100th career AHL appearance at Toronto on Dec. 1… Rookie forward Frederick Roy netted his first professional goal against former Amerk goaltender Jacob Markstrom in Rochester’s 4-2 loss to San Antonio on Nov. 28… Newcomer Rick Schofield skated in his 100th pro game against the Rampage which also represented the 150th pro appearance for defenseman Nick Crawford… Mancari skated in his 500th career AHL game at Hamilton on Nov. 14… Rookie defenseman Jerome Gauthier-Leduc also made his professional debut against the Bulldogs and scored his first pro goal in the 4-1 win.