I’m sitting here, staring at a blank "new document," listening to what is probably the saddest song anyone could have played at this very moment, wondering what I can say about this Amerks team. This wasn’t a good sports weekend for me, y’all. Penn State hockey tied one - an OT loss to RIT - and lost one to Vermont. The Steelers are, well ... they’re the Steelers. The Red Sox managed to pull one out last night, making history in the process, but they got boned on a bad call Saturday night. Penn State Football got completely annihilated by Ohio State (and I lost a (friendly) bet) - but I expected that one. One of my favorite former Amerks and all-time favorite Sabre is now an Islander. The Amerks threw one away, losing against the Hamilton Bulldogs in OT on Friday night. Then there’s the curious case of the Amerks vs. the Toronto Marlies.
"You know, the season’s ought to be: love, loss, hope, repeat." (Carbon Leaf, Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat)
The Amerks beat the Marlies once last regular season. They then met them in the playoffs, and were swept in the best of five series. The Marlies were clearly the Amerks kryptonite last season, and the season before that. This season, though ... things seem to be going a little differently. The Amerks again beat the Marlies 4-1 on Saturday in Toronto, marking their first victory in Ricoh Coliseum since March 3, 2012 (hey! I was at that 2012 game! Most boring hockey game ever!). Mike Zigomanis marked his return to Toronto in style, scoring one against his former teammates. Hackett got the start, and stopped 28 shots, including one penalty shot attempt from TJ Brennan. I’m really excited about this winningness against the Toronto club, even if it doesn’t last.
Captain Matt Ellis has said through multiple sources (one being my BFF Kevin O from Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle) that he thinks the team is really solid on their 5-on-5 play. Coach Chadd has expressed some concerns in the 4-on-4 overtime period however, citing lack of communication between his players as his major concern. It appears, on paper at least, that the penalty kill continues to struggle, letting the Bulldogs go 3 for 7 on Friday. The Amerks themselves were three for 11 on the power play this weekend.
Luke Adam - damn, son! Luke sits in the AHL’s top 10 in points, with 10 points (7+3, 4PIM) in 8 games. This includes a PP goal vs. Hamilton on Friday. He has at least one point in the last four games, and leads the Amerks with 7 goals.
Phil Varone - Phil has at least one point in every Amerks game this season, tying Luke Adam with 10 points (2+8, 20PIM).
Matt Hackett - Homeslice rode the pine Friday night, as Coach Chadd tried once again to send our favorite hot-headed AHL ‘tender a message about what will and will not be tolerated on the ice. Hackett is 1-2, with 4.61 GAA and .878 SV%.
The Amerks Schedule - The Amerks started the 2013-14 season with only 8 games in 33 days. Over the following 25 days in November, they’ll play 13, including six between 11/8 and 11/16. The AHL scheduling gods are always strange, and this year is no exception.
The Amerks only play once this upcoming weekend, squaring off against interstate rivals the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, November 1. I love traveling for Amerks hockey, but I absolutely hate the fans in Syracuse (that story will come next week, should I remember!), so I’ll be partaking in my first Friday off in a long while at a Halloween Party. Have a great week, and let’s go Amerks!!