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Amerks Weekly - Nov 20 - Nov 26

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Amerks continue to win, but injuries are starting to become a concern

Micheline V | Rochester Americans

Amerks Games This Week

  • Friday - 11/22 - 7:05pm - vs Hartford (11-1-0-5)
  • Saturday - 11/23 - 7:05pm - at Binghamton (6-8-3-0)

AHL North Division Standings as of November 20th

The Amerks went 3-0-0-0 last week and have climbed into first place in the division and fourth place in the league overall.

The North Division itself is far and away the best in the league so far, with three teams in the top-5 in the league, and five teams among the top-15 of the league standings.

What Happened Last Week?

Record Nov 13-Nov 19: 3-0-0-0

Check out our latest Amerks Review post for details on last week’s performance.

Notable: I wrote last week that the biggest storyline for the team in the next month+ will be to see how they respond to the adversity of losing several of their best players to injuries and long-term recalls. Well, three consecutive wins is an impressive performance, especially when considering the circumstances.

On Friday night they rostered 10F + 8D, with Nathan Paetsch and Brandon Hickey both playing on the fourth line alongside Tyler Randell. That was Patches first game of the year and he performed admirably in an unlikely role.

Also Notable: With the unfortunate long-term injury to Tage Thompson in Buffalo, the Amerks were in desperate need of another healthy forward. As a result, they signed Cincy’s Brady Vail to a PTO contract and he has joined the team ahead of Friday night’s game.

The lack of quality depth signings has sparked quite a bit of fire amongst the diehard Amerks fans on Twitter and it’s only fueled by seeing other AHL franchises signing much higher-profile free agents while the Amerks offer contracts to ECHL lifers.

Regardless, Vail will be a welcome addition to the lineup and should at least give the Amerks a full set of forwards ahead heading into this weekend while they wait for players in both Buffalo and Rochester to get healthy.

Special Teams

Aside from the Amerks’ resilience and perseverance in the face of injuries and playing a quarter of their season with an interim head coach, the most surprising thing about this team is how impressive it is that they’ve been able to continue to win games in spite of how poorly their special teams have performed.

I’ll keep updating these numbers as the season progresses and share updated charts every few weeks. It’s still too early to discern any serious trends here besides “they have been, and continue to be, bad.”

Three Stars

.1. Andrew Oglevie - A four-point week including a clutch OT winner on Friday night. Oglevie is finally showing us what the Sabres saw in him back in the spring of 2018 when they offered him a contract. We saw glimpses of it last season before concussions shut him down and now that he’s healthy we’re getting a must better view of what he is capable of.

.2. Jean-Sebastien Dea - Dea has answered the call and done what he was signed to do. He’s leading the team in goals and points and has been a consistent contributor all season, not-yet having gone beyond two games without a point.

.3. Lawrence Pilut - The beautiful breakout pass on Oglevie’s goal? Yeah, that was Pilut’s third point of that game. He added another assist on Saturday night to cap off a four point week of his own. He appears to have completely shaken off the rust of his shoulder injury and returned to form. With the continued defensive logjam and salary cap struggles in Buffalo, the fans in Rochester might get lucky and have Pilut around for longer than we anticipated this season.

Stats Leaders

Look Ahead

On Friday night, the league-leading Hartford Wolf Pack will visit Rochester. The Amerks won their previous meeting in a shootout back on October 13th. Lucky for Rochester, this will be their last matchup of the year against Hartford, who have been dominant so far, though struggling lately, going 4-2-0-4 in their last 10.

The team will then head down the thruway for their first game in Binghamton this year. The teams have split their two previous meetings in Rochester, including an ugly Amerks loss two weeks ago when they blew a late lead and lost the game in the shootout. Rochester will be looking for revenge against the worst team in the division so far, who may have Cory Schneider in goal, as he just cleared waivers this week and is now a member of the Binghamton Devils.

Transactions

  • November 15, 2019 - Shaw Boomhower (F) - ⬆️ from Cincinnati to Rochester
  • November 15, 2019 - Rasmus Asplund (F) - ⬆️ from Rochester to Buffalo
  • November 17, 2019 - Tage Thompson (F) - ⬆️ from Rochester to Buffalo
  • November 20, 2019 - Brady Vail (F) - ⬆️ from Cincinnati to Rochester - Signed PTO with Rochester as the team is in desperate need of healthy forwards.

Video Room

Game 14 - 11/13/2019 - Home Win vs Syracuse

Game 15 - 11/15/2019 - Home Win (OT) vs Cleveland

Game 16 - 11/16/2019 - Away Win at Utica

Injury Report

  • C.J. Smith - Lower Body - Week-to-Week. CJ suffered a lower-body injury early in the first period of the game vs Utica on November 2nd. He was helped off the ice and did not return to the game. Still looking at 4-6 weeks.
  • Scott Wilson - Lower Body - Unknown - He has missed the last two games after leaving early in the game on 11/13. Potentially another long term injury.
  • Taylor Leier - Shoulder - Week-to-Week. Leier had offseason shoulder surgery. He has returned to skating with the team in practices, but is still in no-contact mode.
  • Remi Elie - Lower Body - Day-to-Day. This one is a mystery, as he’s missed multiple weeks at this point.
  • Jarrett Burton - Lower Body - Week-to-Week. Burton was hit awkwardly into the boards on 11/8 and crawled to the bench.

Farmville

The Cincinnati Cyclones are 9-5-1-0 in their quest to return to the top of the ECHL and avenge last season’s premature ending. They finished 2018-2019 with the best record in the league but fell to rival Toledo in the second round of the playoffs.

Also, congrats are due to Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for earning ECHL Goaltender of the Week award. UPL led the Cyclones to two consecutive shutouts last week, stopping 55 shots in total. If he continues to be dominant in Cincy, it probably won’t be much longer before he’s back in Rochester putting in a heavy workload.

Old Friends

  • Justin Bailey: 4+5=9 in 17 games with AHL Utica
  • Nicholas Baptiste: 3+2=5 in 10 games with AHL Toronto.
  • Kyle Criscuolo: 4+3=7 in 15 games with AHL Lehigh Valley
  • Jack Dougherty: 1+4=5 in 16 games with AHL Belleville
  • Brendan Guhle: 1+3=4 in 4 games with AHL San Diego, 0+3=3 in 11 games with NHL Anaheim
  • Alexander Nylander: 4+5=9 in 20 games with NHL Chicago
  • Danny O’Regan: 4+9=13 in 18 games with AHL Hartford
  • Matt Tennyson: 0+0=0 in 1 game with AHL Binghamton, 0+3=3 in 13 games with NHL New Jersey
  • Scott Wedgewood: 5-2-1-0, 2.89 GAA, .896 SV% in 6 game with AHL Syracuse