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Amerks Weekly - Oct 15-Oct 21

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After a rough opening weekend, the Amerks carry a three game winning streak and a 3-2 record into the second full week of the season.

Rochester Americans

Amerks Games This Week

  • Wednesday 10/17 7:00pm - @ Utica Comets
  • Friday 10/19 - 7:05pm - vs Toronto Marlies
  • Saturday 10/20 - 7:00pm - @ Belleville Senators

AHL North Division Standings as of October 15th

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The Marlies are off to the worst start in the team’s history and so the reigning Calder Cup champs find themselves in the basement of the division... but it’s far too early for anyone to panic or get too comfortable.

What Happened Last Week?

Record Oct 5-Oct 14: 3-2-0-0

The 2018-2019 Amerks season got off to a rough start, as the team lost back to back games to the Charlotte Checkers in front of the home crowd in Rochester. That came as a bit of a surprise at the time, but as it turns out... Charlotte is apparently a pretty good team, as they have yet to lose in four tries so far. Die By The Blade’s Ryan Wolfe produced full recaps of Game 1 and Game 2.

Since falling flat on opening weekend, the Amerks have rattled off three straight wins, including an impressive pummeling of the Syracuse Crunch last Wednesday night. For more details on that game, you can check my recap here. That was the first of a whopping twelve meetings between the North Division rivals this season - every point matters in that series.

They grabbed the momentum of that big win and took it with them as they travelled to Bridgeport for their first road trip of the season. Playing in back to back afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday, the team pulled out dramatic come from behind victories in each, with young Swede Victor Olofsson scoring both game winners.

After practicing backhanders during the week, VO caught Sound Tigers goaltender Christopher Gibson off guard and launched the game winning goal past him with under a minute to play in regulation.

Early in overtime on Sunday, VO did was he does best by sniping a corner for the win.

Bright Spots

  • Victor Olofsson - Currently tied for the lead in AHL rookie scoring with 8 points in five games, including three highlight reel goals.
  • Zach Redmond - While he may not be Sabres property, his contributions to the team cannot and shall not be overlooked. His 7 points has him tied for third in AHL scoring and it leads all AHL defensemen.
  • Lawrence Pilut - A couple Sabres wins have only slightly quieted the crowd of fans clamoring to have Pilut called up to Buffalo, but Pilut’s performance in Rochester has clearly propelled him to the top of the prospects depth chart. His 6 points ranks him third in rookie scoring and second among all AHL defenseman. Defensively he’s been positionally sound and he leads all Amerks with a +5 rating.
  • Alexander Nylander - There is very clear overall improvement in his game from last season and he has 5 points in five games to show for it. He did have a terrible d-zone turnover that led directly to a goal-against on Saturday, but he made up for it by scoring later in the game. All in all, his progress is promising.
  • CJ Smith - He’s gone 3+1=4 in five games and all of those points have come at even strength. He’s been paired with Kyle Criscuolo at center and the two have carried forward last season’s chemistry.
  • Andrew MacWilliam - Another AHL defenseman who might otherwise be ignored by the fans in Buffalo, all Mac does, game in and game out, is play rock solid defense. It’s not a coincidence that the Amerks have not lost since his return from missing the first two games due to suspension. He’s been paired with Will Borgen and together they form a formidable foe.

Look Ahead

Three more divisional games this week, including the first meeting with the surprisingly struggling Toronto Marlies who will visit the Blue Cross Arena for a Friday night contest. They’ll also face the Utica Comets for the first time; you may remember that the Amerks and Comets played ten games last season, and seven of them went to overtime (four all the way to a shootout), so we’ll see if either team can buck the trend and get a regulation win.

Transactions

No transactions yet, but with the way some of these guys are playing there may be some soon.

Video Room

Game 1 - 10/5/208 - Home Loss to Charlotte Checkers

Game 2 - 10/6/208 - Home Loss to Charlotte Checkers

Game 3 - 10/10/208 - Home Win vs Syracuse Crunch

Game 4 - 10/13/2018 - Away Win at Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Game 5 - 10/14/2018 - Away Win at Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Injury Report

  • Sean Malone - Knee - Week to Week
  • Jack Dougherty - Lower Body - Day to Day

Old Friends

  • Matt Moulson has put up 1+3=4 in 4 games with Ontario.
  • Nick Baptiste has 2+0=2 in 4 games with Milwaukee.
  • Colin Blackwell put up 1+0=1 in his only game with Milwaukee.
  • Cliff Pu has 0+1=1 in 4 games with Charlotte.
  • Seth Griffith has 1+1=2 in 4 games with Manitoba.
  • Jordan Nolan has 0+2=2 in 4 games with San Antonio.
  • Hudson Fasching has 1+0=1 in 3 games with Tucson.