Tonight’s Game: The Rochester Americans continue their four-game trek through the Midwest Division today as the Amerks visit the Milwaukee Admirals for a 4:00 p.m. EST face-off at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The afternoon matinee will be the first of just two meetings between the two teams this season will be carried live on Sports 1280 WHTK courtesy of 1250 WSSP sports radio in Milwaukee.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
2013-14 AHL STANDINGS 2013-14 NHL STANDINGS
2013-14 ROCHESTER STATS 2013-14 BUFFALO STATS
2013-14 MILWAUKEE STATS 2013-14 NASHVILLE STATS
Head-to-Head: Tonight’s contest is just the 13th all-time meeting between the two teams and the first in over seven years for the unfamiliar foes, who last met twice during the 2006-07 campaign. The Amerks claimed three out of a possible four points throughout the season series, including a 4-1 road win over the Admirals in their most recent get-together back on Jan. 19, 2007 in Milwaukee. The Admirals, however, have the upper-hand with a 9-3-0 all-time record against the Amerks. After tonight, the teams will meet for one final go-around back in Rochester on Mar. 26.
Amerks Notes: Rochester (28-19-3-4, 63 points) enters the contest after seeing its five-game point streak halted in a 6-2 road loss to the Chicago Wolves Friday night at Allstate Arena. Luke Adam scored for the third straight game, picking up his team-leading 24th goal of the season, and Kevin Porter rounded out the scoring to extend his point streak to three games while Matt Hackett finished with 31 saves in his first start since Feb. 15. Despite the setback, however, the Amerks enter the month of March having won 13 of their last 18 games to move within five points of the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies. More importantly, however, Rochester, maintains a firm grip on seventh place in the AHL’s Western Conference, sitting three points ahead of eighth-place Milwaukee and seven clear of San Antonio with 22 games left to play this season. The current stretch, which also featured a season-long seven-game winning streak from Jan. 17 to Feb. 1, marks Rochester’s most successful run since the 2009-10 season, when the Amerks matched a franchise-record with 11 straight wins. Rochester’s recent surge has seen the Amerks outscore their opposition 61-44 over their last 18 games and earned seven of their last 11 wins by a margin of victory of three goals or more, seven of which have come on home ice. With another assist in Friday’s loss to Chicago, second-year forward Johan Larsson remains Rochester’s most consistent point-getter since his reassignment to the Amerks on Jan. 11, showing 24 points (9+15) over his last 20 games, including goals in four of his last seven. Additionally, much of Rochester’s recent success can be directly attributed to the play of Nathan Lieuwen, who’s won nine of his last 11 starts and has allowed two or fewer goals in 11 of his last 15 games, going 10-3-2 over that span with two shutouts, a 2.03 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. Adam, who has goals in three straight for the first time since a season-long five-game run in October, is currently tied for fourth in the AHL in goals and ranks third in the league with a team-best 12 power-play tallies.
Milwaukee Notes: Milwaukee (24-19-6-6, 60 points), opening the back-end of its current four-game homestand, comes into the matchup on the heels of a 9-1 rout of the Iowa Wild Saturday on home ice. Leading point-getter Colton Sissons scored once and added two assists and Miika Salomaki notched three assists in the win, which snapped a five-game home winless streak for the Admirals. Milwaukee’s nine-goal outburst also matched an AHL season-high as the Admirals became just the third team this season to score nine goals in a game, joining both Texas and Charlotte, while earning their largest margin of victory in recent years. Aside from the Admirals’ impressive offensive showing, the highlight of the night was the return of veteran goaltender Pekka Rinne, who opened his NHL conditioning assignment with Milwaukee by stopping 16 of 17 shots he faced in his first game action since October (with the Nashville Predators) and first with the Admirals since April 23, 2008. Rinne, a two-time Vezina Trophy Finalist and a former AHL All-Star, was named the greatest Admiral in the team’s 35-year history after posting 81 wins, a 2.54 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage from 2005-08, while leading Milwaukee to the 2006 Calder Cup Final. Despite the nine goals against Iowa on Friday, Milwaukee's offense remains among the worst in the AHL. The Admirals, who have been held to two or fewer goals in six of their eight games, have scored the sixth-fewest amount of goals in the league with just 144 tallies and are averaging 2.62 goals per game. Milwaukee also has the sixth-fewest wins on home ice, but owns the third-best penalty kill at home after allowing just 13 goals on 108 man-down situations. Sissons, who enters play tonight with eight points (3+5) over his last seven games, currently ranks seventh in scoring among AHL rookies with 37 points (20+17) through 53 games with the Admirals. His 20 goals are also fourth among first-year players. Second-year defenseman Anthony Bitetto is first on the team and 16th in scoring among league blueliners with 28 points (9+19).
Up Next: The final stop on Rochester’s four-game tour of the Midwest takes the Amerks back to Illinois on Tuesday, March 4 for a final go-around with the Rockford IceHogs at BMO Harris Bank Center. The 8:00 p.m. EST matchup will be the second and final meeting between the two teams this season and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK courtesy of the audio from 23.2 Antenna TV in Rockford. The Amerks, who defeated the IceHogs earlier this season during their seven-game winning streak, return to Rockford for the first time since Rochester dropped a 4-3 decision to the ‘Hogs back on Feb. 14, 2009. Tuesday’s matchup will also be the just sixth all-time against Rockford, which holds a 3-2-0 mark vs. the Amerks.