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Amerks Weekly - Nov 19-Nov 25

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While there are many bright spots, a lackluster performance in their first 3-in-3 road trip of the season revealed that the Amerks still have plenty of room for improvement.

Rochester Americans

Amerks Games This Week

  • Friday 11/23 - 7:05pm - vs Utica Comets (6-10-1-1)
  • Saturday 11/24 - 7:05pm - at Binghamton Devils (8-7-3-0)

AHL North Division Standings as of November 19th

The Amerks went 1-1-1-0 last week to maintain a five point lead in the division.

They remain in second place in the Eastern Conference - now three points behind Charlotte - as well as second place in the league behind the same foe.

What Happened Last Week?

Record Nov 12-Nov 18: 1-1-1-0

The team’s first 3-in-3 weekend of the season did not go as planned. While the players and coaches said all the right things during the week about taking it one game at a time and not looking past the first game, they didn’t back it up on the ice and they got embarrassed in Springfield. They scored the game’s first goal and carried a 1-1 tie into the first intermission but proceeded to allow five goals in the first five minutes of the second period, en-route to a 9-4 blowout that, believe it or not, wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. More details in the game recap linked below.

They tried to bounce back the next night in Providence, and things looked promising early with Justin Bailey scoring twice to give the Amerks a 2-0 lead in the second period, but the team snatched defeat from the arms of victory, allowing three unanswered goals and handing Providence an OT victory.

A short turnaround at the end of a three game weekend found the Amerks in Hartford for a 3:00 PM game on Sunday and their tired legs were evident with the Wolf Pack carrying a 3-1 lead into the final period, but the Amerks took a cue from the Sabres and pulled off an impressive comeback victory, scoring three third period goals to win the game 4-3 in regulation.

They finished the weekend salvaging three of six possible points, but the team must be disappointed that it wasn’t more.

Bright Spots

  • Rasmus Asplund has finally scored his first professional goal! Capitalizing on a Hartford turnover caused by Victor Olofsson, Asplund skated in on a breakaway and didn’t waste his chance.

Later in the game, his rush was responsible for Danny O’Regan’s game-tying goal. He carried great speed through the neutral-zone and made his man miss at the blue line before rifling a shot that generated a juicy rebound for DOR who was following up on the play.

  • Speaking of Olofsson, he returned Sunday after missing the previous three games with an unspecified lower-body injury. He picked up right where he left off with his assist on Asplund’s goal.
  • Justin Bailey remains hot, adding 2+1 over the weekend and 24 shots in his past 5 games. It’s the perfect time for him to get hot, with a certain rookie winger continuing to struggle in Buffalo.
  • Also remaining hot, Alexander Nylander has 5 points in his last 5 games. Everyone is still hoping for him to shoot more though, as he only has 6 shots in that time frame.
  • Stop me if you’ve heard this one before... Zach Redmond scored another game-winning goal. Sunday’s tally was his 6th-GWG of the season - his 12th goal overall - in just 17 games.

One can’t say enough about how important Redmond is to this Amerks team. He continues to score clutch goals without sacrificing his defensive assignments.

  • A poor performance in relief of Scott Wedgewood on Friday night caused Adam Wilcoxs stats to take a dive, but he continues to be an under-the-radar hero for this team. He earned 2nd Star honors in Sunday’s thrilling comeback victory, making at least five game-saving saves in the final period to both keep the game close and then to maintain the lead.
  • Lawrence Pilut... no big deal... he’s only leading the AHL in points, with 22 in just 15 games... as a defenseman... while also having a +/- of +16. He has been better than advertised. His goal on Sunday sparked the Amerks comeback.

His smooth skating and tape-to-tape passes are both things to behold. Get excited, Sabres fans. This guy is ours!

Room For Improvement

  • Special Teams remain somewhat mediocre, ranking 11th in PP% and 20th in PK%.
  • Matt Tennyson returned from injury... and was a key component on both of the Providence goals that led to overtime on Saturday. Click here and here for the gifs... if you dare.
  • Despite 9 points in 15 games, Brendan Guhle continues to be somewhat of a mystery this season. Perhaps it’s just that he is overshadowed by the record-pace of Pilut and Redmond, but he isn’t standing out in a positive manner so far.

Look Ahead

The team gets a much-needed rest before resuming divisional play, at home on Friday night vs Utica and a Saturday tilt at Binghamton.

Transactions

None this week.

Video Room

Game 15 - 11/16/2018 - Away Loss at Springfield Thunderbirds

[No Video Available]

Game 16 - 11/17/2018 - Away OT Loss at Providence Bruins

Game 17 - 11/18/2018 - Away Win at Hartford Wolf Pack

Injury Report

  • Kyle Criscuolo - Lower Body - Day to Day

Farmville

The Cincinnati Cyclones are 10-3-2-0 and sit in second place in their division. They’ve won 8 of their last 10 and would have the division lead if not for Toledo riding a 10-game win streak.

Jonas Johansson is 5-2-1-0 with a 2.76 GAA and an .900 SV%. He had a rocky start to the season but is rolling now - winning his last four starts, including a 9-0 shutout last week.

Old Friends

  • Matt Moulson: 5+9=14 in 14 games with Ontario.
  • Nicholas Baptiste: 4+2=6 in 19 games with Milwaukee.
  • Colin Blackwell: 4+0=4 in 9 games with Milwaukee.
  • Cliff Pu: 1+1=2 in 12 games with Charlotte.
  • Seth Griffith: 5+6=11 in 17 games with Manitoba.
  • Jordan Nolan: 3+5=8 in 17 games with San Antonio.
  • Hudson Fasching: 4+4=8 in 14 games with Tucson.
  • Taylor Fedun: 1+2=3 in 3 games with Texas.

Must-See TV

L to R: Oglevie, Asplund, Pilut, Hickey, Borgen, Olofsson

These guys should stick to their day jobs...

And Finally...

I’ll leave you with these delightful tidbits, courtesy of Keith Wozniak: