Tonight’s Game: The Rochester Americans’ push to the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs continues tonight as the Amerks take on the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies for the second time in four days this week at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the seventh of 10 meetings between the two teams this season and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK. The game will also be televised live across the Western New York region on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel 26.
AMERKS FAN GUIDE
AUDIO: Chadd Cassidy with Don Stevens
2013-14 AHL STANDINGS 2013-14 NHL STANDINGS
2013-14 ROCHESTER STATS 2013-14 BUFFALO STATS
2013-14 TORONTO STATS 2013-14 MAPLE LEAFS STATS
2014 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS PRIMER
BUY TICKETS - HOCKEY NIGHT IN ROCHESTER $15 TICKET OFFER!
FRIDAY'S WEATHER FORECAST
Head-to-Head: Tonight’s divisional showdown falls in the middle of a stretch in which Amerks and Marlies will face off with each other four more times over the final 10 games of regular season. After tonight’s get-together, the teams will exchange pleasantries over each of the next three weekends, including one final go-around on Saturday, April 19 to bring the regular season to a close. The Amerks are 3-2-1-0 against Toronto this season after dropping a 3-1 decision in Tuesday morning’s encounter with the Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum. Kevin Porter scored the lone goal and rookie goaltender Andrey Makarov made 33 saves in his AHL debut for the Amerks. Luke Adam leads Rochester with seven points (2+5) in five games against Toronto this season, while Mike Zigomanis shows four points (2+2) against his former team, including the game-winning goal in his return to Toronto on Oct. 26.
Amerks Notes: Rochester (30-26-6-4, 70 points), playing the second of its current four-game homestand, enters the contest looking to snap a season-long eight-game winless skid following its 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals Wednesday night at The Blue Cross Arena. Kevin Sundher potted the lone goal for the Amerks, his first tally in 10 games, and Makarov turned aside 29 saves in his second straight start between the pipes for Rochester, which was bumped out of a playoff spot for the first time since Jan. 23 of this year. The offensive woes also continue to be problematic for the Amerks, who despite setting a season-high in shots earlier this week against Toronto, have been limited to just seven goals over their last seven games. Despite their recent struggles, however, the Amerks have earned points in 10 of their last 18 games, including eight of their last 10 at home, and remain just one point back of the Charlotte Checkers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Rochester, though, does have a game in hand of Charlotte entering the final 10 games of the regular season. Adam currently ranks fifth in the AHL with 27 goals on the season, which include a team-best 15 power-play tallies, and is on pace to best his career-high of 29 and become Rochester’s first 30-goal scorer since Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville both reached the mark during the 2004-05 campaign. Second-year forward Johan Larsson, currently on recall with the Sabres, remains Rochester’s most consistent point-getter since his reassignment to the Amerks on Jan. 11, showing 32 points (13+19) over his last 33 games, including the primary assist on Porter’s goal Tuesday against the Marlies. With a team-high 51 points in 59 games this season, leading point-getter Phil Varone is already within one point of matching his career-high and presently ranks 10th in the AHL in assists (37) and 17th in points (51). The third-year pro is also tied for 12th with 19 power-play assists.
Toronto Notes: Toronto (39-20-2-3, 83 points), which returns to Rochester for the second in three weeks, comes into the matchup having two straight and five of its last six games after earning a 3-1 win over the Amerks Tuesday morning on home ice. The Marlies own a comfortable 13-point lead over the Amerks and are currently among the top three teams in the Western Conference. Led by first-year head coach Steve Spott, Toronto owns two of the league’s top seven scorers in AHL All-Stars Spencer Abbott and T.J. Brennan. One of the more elite offensive pairings in the AHL, Abbott (69 points) and Brennan (61 points) enter the weekend ranked second and seventh in league scoring, respectively. In addition to leading the Marlies with a career-high 21 goals, Brennan also continues to pace all blueliners in points (61), goals (21), power-play points (40), shots (223) and game-winning goals (4). Brennan opened the campaign with an impressive 12 points (8+4) through his first five games, including two hat tricks and a pair of four-point games over that span. The former Amerk played the last two seasons in Rochester, nearly tying the franchise record for the most goals scored by a defenseman in a single season in 2012-13. Abbott, meanwhile, currently leads the league with 52 assists and his 13-game point streak (1+18) to open the season stands as the second-longest in the AHL to date. Former Amerk netminder Drew MacIntyre has been the go-to guy for the Marlies his season, having played 44 of Toronto's 59 games. He enters play tonight leading the AHL in saves (1,222) and minutes played (2,624) and ranks second with 25 wins.
Up Next: The Amerks kickoff the final month of the regular season on Wednesday, April 2 when they host the defending Eastern Conference champion Syracuse Crunch at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the seventh of eight meetings between the intrastate rivals this season and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK. After dropping the first four meetings with Syracuse this season, the Amerks finally solved the Crunch by putting a pair of victories in the win column after earning a weekend sweep during a recent home-and-home series back on March 7 and 8, the former being Rochester’s first win against Syracuse since March 27 of last season. Wednesday’s contest will also be the 218th all-time get-together between the longtime foes.
Zweigle's Family Four-Pack - The Amerks are offering Zweigle’s Family Four Packs for all Friday night Amerks home games at The Blue Cross Arena. For just $56, families can receive four tickets to a Friday night home game at The Blue Cross Arena, four hot dogs and four sodas (a savings of $62 off the regular prices). Fans that purchase a Zweigle’s Family Four Pack can also purchase additional tickets beyond the Family Four Pack for $14 apiece that will also include a hot dog and soda.
$5 Parking Night - Tonight is another $5 value parking night in the Civic Center Garage. The special $5 parking price represents a $3 savings off the regular cost of $8.00 for Civic Center Garage parking.
Score with Subway! – With an Amerks victory during any regular season home game during the 2013-14 season, fans can log onto amerks.com to download a coupon good for one free regular six-inch sub with the purchase of a 30 oz drink. If the Amerks do not happen to win, fans still score with Subway by logging onto amerks.com to download a coupon for two free cookies the following day at participating Subway restaurants in the Rochester area. Restrictions apply. The coupons are only good the day after each Amerks home game at participating Subway restaurants in the greater Rochester area.
Taco Bell In-Store – Fans can receive a coupon/voucher for a $15 best available ticket to Friday night Amerks home games during the 2013-14 season ($9 off box office price). Turn in the coupon at the box office in order to purchase the discounted tickets or enter in the promo code (TACO) on ticketmaster.com to redeem the offer. Fans must turn in Taco Bell coupon at The Blue Cross Arena Box Office or enter the promo code on ticketmaster.com to purchase the discounted tickets.
Taco Bell “We Win, You Win” – For each home game the Amerks win, fans will be able to redeem their ticket stub at a participating Taco Bell location the following day to receive a free seasoned beef taco.
Moe’s Hot Player of the Game – At each home game, three Amerks players will be selected as the “hot players” of the game. If any of the three Amerks players scores a goal, fans will be able to redeem a coupon in the Amerks Stars & Stripes Roster Card (limited amount available upon entry) for 50% off any entrée at participating Moe’s locations the following day. If any of the three Amerks players scores a hat trick, fans will also be able to redeem a coupon in the Amerks Stars & Stripes Roster Card for an enhanced offer (free burrito) at participating Moe’s locations the following day. Tonight's Moe's Hot Players are Luke Adam, Brayden Irwin and Nick Crawford.
Buckmans Car Wash – Amerks home game ticket stubs will be good at all Buckmans Car Wash locations for discounted car wash after all home games at all Buckmans Car Wash locations in the area.
Eats and Seats - The Amerks and The Distillery have teamed up again for the 2013-14 season to give our fans delicious food and the opportunity to enjoy the best hockey the Rochester area has to offer with the Amerks! The Distillery “Eats & Seats” package costs $22.00 and includes one 'best-available' ticket and one $10 Distillery Gift Card. The certificates can be used at The Distillery's four locations: 1142 Mt Hope Ave. (Rochester), 3010 Winton Road South (Brighton), 300 Paddy Creek Circle (Greece) and 10 Square Drive (Victor).
Amerks Happy Hour – Prior to every Friday night home game this season, there will be an Amerks Happy Hour from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Upper Atrium Bar featuring live music and $2 Molson and Coors Light drafts for fans age 21 and over.