TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans and Abbotsford Heat close out their two-game set with the second of back-to-back tilts tonight at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. The 10:00 p.m. EST contest will be the fourth of eight scheduled meetings between the North Division foes this season and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE:
2012-13 AHL STANDINGS
LAST NIGHT'S BOXSCORE
Last Game: Rochester at Abbotsford – 1/4/13
Rochester (5) at Abbotsford (2)
Goals: Flynn, Girgensons, Crawford (GWG), Porter, Mancari
Goalie(s): Leggio (48 saves/50 shots, 60:00)
Special Teams: PP: 2/3 --- PK: 5/5
Shots: Abbotsford 50 --- Rochester 30
PIM: Rochester 10 --- Abbotsford 6
3 Stars: 1. Leggio (RCH), 2. Mancari (RCH), 3. Walter (ABB)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Last night’s 5-2 win improved the Amerks to 2-1-0-0 against the Heat this season as Rochester has claimed the last two meetings with Abbotsford dating back to its 3-2 shootout victory on Dec. 11 at The Blue Cross Arena. Friday’s matchup marked the first game this season between the two teams that was not decided by a single goal. Last night’s game was also the first of four Rochester will play against the Heat in Abbotsford, with another go-around out west slated for February 5 and 6 later this season. Former Buffalo Sabres draft pick Paul Byron has recorded a point in each game against the Amerks, including the game-winner in Abbotsford’s 3-2 win in Rochester on Nov. 16 and an assist on Max Reinhart’s shorthanded tally in last night’s loss.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (17-12-2-1, 37 points) enters the contest on the heels of a 5-2 win in the first leg of its two-game set with Abbotsford on Friday. Veteran forward Mark Mancari registered three points (1+2) and David Leggio made a season-high 48 saves for the Amerks, who also received a two-point night (1+1) from team captain Kevin Porter, including his 100th career AHL point. Mancari’s three-point showing represents his third multi-point game over his last five appearances and leads the team with eight such games this season. With wins in four of their last five games, the Amerks have moved within two points of Abbotsford for second place in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings, a mere six points behind the first-place Toronto Marlies. T.J. Brennan, who shows 11 points (3+8) over his last 10 games, ranks third among AHL defensemen in scoring with a team-high 29 points (12+17) in 32 games, good enough for 18th overall among the league’s top point-getters. Brennan also enters play tonight leading all rearguards in power-play goals (6), shorthanded goals (2) and shots (123). Additionally, the fourth-year blueliner ranks second among defensemen with a team-best 12 goals and needs another six goals to tie the franchise record for most goals scored by a defenseman in a single-season. Leggio, who’s won four of his last five games, leads all AHL netminders in saves (797) and wins (16) and ranks second in minutes played (1583:48).
Several Amerks players finished atop the AHL’s regular-season scoring leaders during the 2012 calendar year, including defensemen T.J. Brennan and Brayden McNabb, who 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.
ABBOTSFORD NOTES: Abbotsford (16-10-3-4, 39 points), playing Game 2 of its season-long eight-game homestand tonight, comes into the matchup looking to avenge its 5-2 loss to Rochester less than 24 hours ago. Max Reinhart and Ben Walter each tallied lone goals for the Heat, while starting netminder Barry Brust stopped 25 of 29 shots in the losing effort. Despite the defeat, however, the Heat’s 10 regulation losses are still the fourth-lowest in the AHL. Abbotsford also owns the top goaltender in the league currently in seven-year pro Barry Brust, who leads the league with an impressive 1.54 goals-against average and sits second with a .944 save percentage. Earlier this season, Brust set the new AHL record for the longest shutout streak at 268:17, surpassing the longstanding mark of 249:51 established by Hall of Fame goaltender Johnny Bower. In just 15 games with the Heat this season, Brust is 8-5-2 with three shutouts and has made 386 saves on 409 shots. Abbotsford’s well-balanced scoring attack is led by forward Ben Street, who paces the Heat with a team-high 22 points (7+15) in 33 games. Roman Horak ranks 13th in the AHL with 14 goals and is one of just three players to appear in all 33 games thus far this season.
UP NEXT: Rochester returns home on Wednesday, Jan. 9 to host the first-place Syracuse Crunch at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the third of 10 meetings between the intrastate rivals this season and can be heard live on Sports 1280 WHTK.