TODAY’S GAME: The Rochester Americans continue their four-game homestand today as they take on the Hamilton Bulldogs in a special afternoon matinee at The Blue Cross Arena. The 1:05 p.m. contest will be the seventh of 12 scheduled meetings between the North Division foes this season and will be broadcast live on WBER 90.5 FM.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
2012-13 AHL STANDINGS 2012-13 NHL STANDINGS
2012-13 ROCHESTER STATS 2012-13 BUFFALO STATS
2012-13 HAMILTON STATS 2012-13 MONTREAL STATS
MONDAY'S WEATHER FORECAST
Last Game: Rochester vs. Syracuse – 1/18/13
Rochester (4) vs. Syracuse (1)
Goals: Mancari, Flynn (GWG), Rankin, Varone
Goalie(s): Leggio (26 saves/27 shots, 59:58)
Special Teams: PP: 0/2 --- PK: 1/1
Shots: Rochester 27 --- Syracuse 27
PIM: Syracuse 4 --- Rochester 2
3 Stars: 1. Leggio (RCH), 2. Porter (RCH), 3. Varone (RCH)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Amerks carry a near-perfect 5-1-0-0 record against Hamilton into today’s matchup and have won the last three get-togethers with the Bulldogs, including a 5-2 win in the teams’ most recent encounter just 10 days ago in Rochester. Brian Flynn (1+1), Kevin Porter (0+2), Zemgus Girgensons (0+2) and Luke Adam (0+2) each registered two points for the Amerks, who scored four unanswered goals to overcome an early deficit and earn the victory. Flynn leads the Amerks with eight points (4+4) in six games against the Bulldogs this season and Porter remains at a close second with seven points on one goal and six assists. Leggio, meanwhile, boasts an unblemished 5-0-0 mark with an incredible 1.18 goals-against average and a .959 save percentage, making 142 saves on 148 shots, in five starts versus Hamilton. Rochester is also undefeated at home against the Bulldogs and has outscored Hamilton 20-10 throughout the season series thus far, including 11-3 through the last three contests.
AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (20-15-2-1, 43 points) enters the contest with wins in three of its last four games after defeating the top-ranked Syracuse Crunch by a 4-1 score Friday on home ice. Second-year forward Phil Varone scored a goal and an assist and goaltender David Leggio stopped 26 of 27 shots he faced for the Amerks, who have won two straight and six of their last eight games played within the friendly confines of The Blue Cross Arena. Adam kept his scoring streak intact with an assist, extending his point string to five games, while the game also featured the Amerks debut of veteran defenseman Adam Pardy, who finished with a plus-one on-ice rating and earned 22:01 of ice time over 28 shifts in his first appearance in the red, white and blue. Despite presently being on recall with Buffalo, T.J. Brennan, who shows 17 points (5+12) over his last 14 games, continues to lead 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 11th overall among the league’s top point-getters. Brennan also leads all rearguards in shots (132), shorthanded goals (2), and power-play goals (7). Leggio, who’s won seven of his last 11 starts, leads all AHL netminders in wins (19), saves (982) and minutes played (1941:30) in 32 games between the pipes for Rochester this season.
HAMILTON NOTES: Hamilton (13-20-1-5, 32 points), opening up a brief two-game North Division road swing today, comes into the matchup looking to snap a four-game skid after suffering a 3-2 shootout loss to the Toronto Marlies Saturday at Copps Coliseum. Michael Bournival contributed two points (1+1) and Joey Tenute scored his first goal of the season for the Bulldogs, who lost for the fifth time in the last six games. Despite collecting points in back-to-back games, Hamilton remains in the basement of the American Hockey League standings with the second-most regulation losses and a league-worst .410 winning percentage. Third-year pro Gabriel Dumont paces Hamilton’s offense in goals (12), assists (11) and points (23) and has appeared in all but one game this season for the Bulldogs. Dumont enters play this afternoon with 12 points (7+5) over his last 11 games. Three of Hamilton’s top five scorers are currently in their first professional season, including rookie forward Brendan Gallagher, whose 20 points (10+10) earned him an immediate recall to the parent Montreal Canadiens early last week.
UP NEXT: The Amerks remain at home on Friday, Jan. 25 as they close out their season series with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the second and final meeting between the two teams this season and will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK.
AMERKS QUICK HITS
- With 43 goals through their last 13 games, the Amerks are currently sixth in the AHL in goals for with 128, six shy of Syracuse’s league-leading 134 tallies. Rochester is currently averaging 3.37 goals-per-game, the fourth-most league among opponents.
- Rochester’s power-play has been one of the most effective in the league over the last 16 games as the Amerks have converted on 17 of their last 64 man-advantage opportunities, including five times over the last five games. The Amerks are tied for fourth in the league with 37 power-play goals and own the second-best power-play unit in the AHL with a 21.6% efficiency rate. More impressively, Rochester has scored at least one power-play goal in 25 of the first 38 games this season.
- Brennan, who left the Amerks riding a five-game point streak (2+3), remains Rochester’s top point-getter and ranks second in scoring among AHL defensemen with 35 points (14+21), while his team-leading 14 goals are also second-most among league rearguards. Additionally, seven of Brennan’s 14 tallies have come on the power-play, tying him for seventh among league leaders. Brennan is also fifth in the AHL with 132 shots on goal and is one of just two defensemen to lead his respective team in scoring.
- Flynn enters the contest eighth among AHL rookies with 27 points (13+14) in 35 games. The Amerks are 8-2-0-0 this season when Flynn scores a goal.
- Leggio, who’s won seven of his last 11 starts, leads all AHL netminders in wins (19), saves (982) and minutes played (1941:30). He also boasts the second-best shootout record (4-1) among goaltenders, having stopped 20 of 25 shooters for a .800 save percentage. The native of Williamsville, NY, is 15-3 all-time in AHL shootouts and has won eight of his last 10.
- The Amerks have allowed at least five goals in a game 10 times this season, but are 5-4-1-0 in those games.
The American Hockey League announced last week that Amerks defenseman Brayden McNabb and center Kevin Porter have been named to the Western Conference All-Star roster for the 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts AHL All-Star Classic, which will take place in Providence, Rhode Island on Jan. 27-28. McNabb, 21, has appeared in 37 games for the Amerks this season and currently ranks second in scoring among Amerks defensemen with 19 points (3+16) and ranks fifth overall on the team with 16 assists. This marks the second straight AHL All-Star selection for McNabb, who was named to the roster as a rookie last season but was unable to play due to a recall to the Buffalo Sabres. Porter, 26, has appeared in all 38 of Rochester’s games this season and currently ranks tied for second on the team in scoring with 31 points on 11 goals and 20 assists. Porter, the Amerks’ team captain, will be making his first career AHL All-Star appearance.
2012 IN REVIEW
Several Amerks players finished atop the AHL’s regular-season scoring leaders during the 2012 calendar year, including Brennan and McNabb, who each 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.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
Rochester set a new franchise attendance record by playing in front of a capacity crowd of 19,070 fans on Friday, Dec. 28 against Lake Erie at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y. The record-setting attendance also represented the eighth-largest crowd for a single game in American Hockey League history and the fourth-largest for an AHL game played indoors. The previous Amerks record for the largest crowd in the 57-year history of the franchise was 17,898, which was set eight years prior to the day on Dec. 28, 2004, when the Amerks defeated the Edmonton Roadrunners at the then-HSBC Arena in Buffalo.
BRENNAN GETTING CLOSER
With his power-play goal last Saturday against Syracuse, Brennan is on pace to break 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. After officially reaching the halfway point with a pair of shorthanded tallies against the Albany Devils on Nov. 23, Brennan is now within four goals of tying the mark and five away from setting a new record. The fourth-year pro fell just two short of the record last season, scoring 16 goals in only 52 games with the Amerks.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
The Amerks have seen eight of their last 20 games decided by one goal dating back to a 4-3 setback at Toronto on Dec. 8. Rochester is 8-6-1-1 in 16 one-goal games this season after finishing the 2011-12 campaign with 42 such outings. Of those 16 one-goal games, seven have been determined in overtime or via the shootout, for a 5-0-1-1 mark.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Amerks are 10-6-1-1 (22 points) this season against North Division rivals, but show a 10-9-1-0 (21 points) mark versus non-divisional foes. The Amerks have scored the first goal in 23 of the first 38 games of the campaign and show a 16-5-2-0 record when doing so, including a 10-2-0-0 mark at home. Rochester is also 15-1-1-0 when leading after two periods, a streak that also shows an unblemished 10-0-0-0 mark at home. The Amerks are averaging 30.84 shots per game, the 11th-highest output among league opponents.
Adam enters play today in the midst of a five-game point streak (2+5) after notching the primary assist in Flynn’s game-winning goal against Syracuse on Friday… Biega shows four assists in as many games, while fellow blueliner Nick Crawford has tallied an assist in each of his last three games… Mancari enters the contest with 18 points (8+10) over his last 16 games, a stretch that also featured a season-long five-game point streak from 12/19 to 12/28… More impressively, Mancari has posted five games with multiple points during the same stretch, including his three-point outing (1+2) at Abbotsford on 1/04… Flynn, who despite had his recent three-game point streak come to an end, has 10 points (4+6) through his last 11 games, including goals in three of his last five… More interesting, the first-year pro hasn’t gone longer than five games this season without a point… Evan Rankin has collected 20 points (10+10) over his last 29 games and has only been held scoreless just 13 times in 33 games this season… Porter has tabbed 23 points (7+16) in his last 25 appearances, including 19 points (6+13) through his last 19 outings.
Today’s matchup marks Biega's the 100th career game in an Amerks uniform... Adam is just five points away from reaching the century mark for his AHL career… Mancari, who also skated in his 250th game as an Amerk against Hamilton on 1/11, is just a mere five goals away from 200 pro goals… Leggio needs another seven games to reach 200 career pro tilts… Fresh off his making his Amerks debut, Pardy is 14 games shy of 400 pro appearances… Porter recorded the 100th point of his AHL career with his first assist of the game at Abbotsford on 1/04.
Hometown Heroes Game - Today, the Amerks are honoring all first responders such as police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical technicians. Following the Amerks-Bulldogs game, the Rochester Police Department will faceoff with the Rochester Fire Department in an exhibition hockey game. To honor the victims and those affected by the tragic shootings that took place in Webster, N.Y. on Dec. 24, the Amerks will wear a West Webster Fire Department patch on their jerseys during the game against Hamilton. The jerseys will then be auctioned off online, with the proceeds going to the West Webster Fire Department. The Amerks are offering all First Responders a complimentary ticket to the Hometown Heroes Game. In addition to the complimentary ticket, First Responders can purchase additional tickets for their family and friends for just $15.
RPD vs. RFD Exhibition - At the conclusion of the game between the Amerks and Bulldogs, all fans are invited to stay and watch the exhibition game between the Rochester Police Department and Rochester Fire Department. Members of the Amerks Alumni Association, including Jody Gage, Scott Metcalfe, Rory Fitzpatrick, Jim Wiemer, Ray Maluta, Brian McKinnon, Daryl Drader, Steve Langdon and Ken Soble will suit up for the teams as well.