TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rochester Americans head to the southern tier tonight to take on the Binghamton Senators at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the fifth of eight scheduled meetings between the intrastate rivals this season and will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
AUDIO: DON STEVENS WITH CHRIS TAYLOR
2012-13 AHL STANDINGS
2012-13 ROCHESTER STATS
2012-13 BINGHAMTON STATS
Last Game: Rochester at Syracuse – 1/12/13
Rochester (4) at Syracuse (1)
Goals: Schofield, Tarnasky (GWG), Porter, Brennan
Goalie(s): Leggio (41saves/42 shots, 60:00)
Special Teams: PP: 2/9 --- PK: 4/5
Shots: Syracuse 42 --- Rochester 31
PIM: Syracuse 56 --- Rochester 37
3 Stars: 1. Brennan (ROC), 2. Connolly (SYR), 3. Leggio (RCH)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Amerks have struggled this season against the B-Sens, who show a 4-0-0-1 record and have claimed seven out of a possible eight points in five games throughout the season series thus far. Binghamton is also undefeated at home against Rochester after earning a 5-1 win in the teams’ most recent encounter back on Dec. 22 in Broome County. Rookie defenseman Jerome Gauthier-Leduc potted the lone goal, while first-year goaltender Connor Knapp made 32 saves in what was his last appearance between the pipes for the Amerks. Team captain Kevin Porter shows four points (3+1) in four games versus the Senators, which includes a goal in each of the first three outings between the in-state foes.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (19-14-2-1, 41 points), on the heels of back-to-back wins, enters the contest coming off a 4-1 victory over the league-leading Syracuse Crunch Saturday at the War Memorial at Oncenter. T.J. Brennan led the way for the Amerks with a goal and an assist, while Rick Schofield, Nick Tarnasky and Porter also scored for Rochester, which won for the third time in its last five games. Alex Biega added two assists and goaltender David Leggio turned aside 41 shots to earn the victory. The Amerks’ lineup endured a major overhaul earlier this week, most notably with the departure of Cody Hodgson, Marcus Foligno and Brennan, who were all recalled to the parent Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. Rochester’s blueline also sustained a significant loss on Tuesday as defenseman Joe Finley was claimed off waivers by the New York Islanders from the Sabres. To fill the void, the Amerks promoted second-year blueliner Corey Fienhage from the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators, leaving Rochester with eight rearguards on its active roster. Brennan, who shows 17 points (5+12) over his last 14 games, leads the Amerks in all offensive categories in goals (14), assists (21) and points (35) and ranks second in scoring among AHL defensemen, good enough for eighth overall among the league’s top point-getters. Brennan also enters play tonight leading all rearguards in shots (132), shorthanded goals (2), and power-play goals (7). Leggio, who’s won six of his last nine starts, leads all AHL netminders in wins (18), saves (923) and minutes played (1821:34).
BINGHAMTON NOTES: Binghamton (23-8-1-3, 50 points) comes into the matchup with seven wins in its last nine games after a 4-2 victory over the defending Calder Cup champion Norfolk Admirals Saturday on home ice. Eric Gryba provided a pair of tallies, including the game-winner on the power-play, and Nathan Lawson stopped 38 of 40 shots to earn his first win of the season in just his second start for the Senators. Guided by first-year head coach Luke Richardson, the B-Sens are currently the third-best team in all of the American Hockey League, and with a league-low eight regulation losses through their first 35 games of the season, are off to their best start in franchise history. Binghamton’s early season success was highlighted by a nine-game winning streak between Nov. 10 and Dec. 7, one that saw the Senators outscore their opponents by an incredible 41-18 margin. The Sens enter tonight’s game with a 7-2-0-1 record over their last 10 games and own best penalty-kill in the AHL after allowing just 19 goals on 169 shorthanded situations. Binghamton also owns the best goaltending tandem in Robin Lehner and Ben Bishop, who are both presently on recall with the big club in Ottawa. Lehner ranks first and third among netminders with a .945 save percentage and a 1.90 goals-against average, respectively.
UP NEXT: The Amerks return home to host the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, Jan. 18 at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK and will also be televised in Rochester and Buffalo on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.