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Amerks Weekly - Dec 25 - Dec 31

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Despite two losses last week, the Amerks retain the division lead as they move forward toward the second half of the AHL season.

Micheline V | Rochester Americans

Amerks Games This Week

  • Friday - 12/27 - 7:05pm - vs Belleville (17-11-1-0)
  • Saturday - 12/28 - 5:05pm - at Binghamton (9-17-4-0)

AHL North Division Standings as of December 25th

Despite going 1-2-0-0 last week, the Amerks retained sole possession of first place in the North Division. They also remain #1 in the Eastern Conference and #3 overall in the league.

What Happened Last Week?

Record Dec 17-Dec 24: 1-2-0-0

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

Notable: Two losses in one week for the first time since October... but I don’t think anyone is worried. Sometimes good teams lose to bad teams. What is important is how they respond. They responded to Wednesday night’s loss to Binghamton by turning around and shutting them out on Friday night. Utica stole a victory with a goal at 18:33 of the third period on Saturday night. Hopefully that loss has been burning inside them during the holiday break and they’ll come out Friday night and take it out on an improving Belleville team.

Also Notable: Casey Mittelstadt’s first three games in Rochester were downright Alex Nylander-esque. Zero points on five shots with big ice time in all situations; avoided contact; floated around like a rubber ducky in a bathtub. This kid is clearly a bust. Better trade him for a bucket of ice paint and give John Scott a call to fill his roster spot.

Sarcasm aside, his debut was definitely lackluster, but it’s far too early to pass judgement on the Young American (aaaaaallll right).

Three Stars

.1. Taylor Leier - Leier was quiet in his first five games since returning from offseason shoulder surgery, but on Saturday night he finally connected for his first two goals of the season, the second of which was an impressive shorthanded rocket into the top corner. It’s great to have him back and hopefully he’s starting to pickup where he left off last season.

.2. Jonas Johansson - Another week, another shutout - this time with 40 saves against Binghamton on Friday night. Johansson is one of the best in the league right now. The Sabres brass couldn’t possibly be happier to see him excelling this season, giving them the gift of patience with UPL down in Cincy.

.3. John Gilmour - Goals in back-to-back games. Gilmour has been great since joining the team in late November. 3+5=8 in 12 games. Often playing alongside Will Borgen, they’ve formed a potent pairing, a strong combination of defensive responsibility and offensive skill.

Stats Leaders

Special Teams

Slow and steady... both the PK and PP are trending in the right direction. Bottom half of the league for both but there is noticeable improvement from both units.

Look Ahead

Friday night at home brings the first of six games against Belleville, a team on the rise featuring 2017 #19 overall forward Josh Norris who is having a strong rookie season.

Saturday night they’ll head back to Binghamton for the teams’ sixth matchup of the season. The teams have traded wins and losses in the previous give games.

Transactions

  • December 20, 2019 - Curtis Lazar (F) - ⬆️ from Rochester to Buffalo
  • December 20, 2019 - Pascal Aquin (F) - ⬆️ from Cincinnati to Rochester
  • December 23, 2019 - Curtis Lazar (F) - ⬇️ from Buffalo to Rochester

Video Room

Game 27 - 12/18/2019 - Away Loss vs Binghamton

[Video not available at press time]

Game 28 - 12/20/2019 - Home Win vs Binghamtom

Game 29 - 12/21/2019 - Home Loss vs Utica

Injury Report

  • Remi Elie - Lower Body - Day-to-Day.
  • Scott Wilson - Upper Body - Day-to-Day.
  • Kevin Porter - Unknown - Day-to-Day.
  • Casey Fitzgerald - Unknown - Day-to-Day.

Farmville

The Cincinnati Cyclones are 19-6-4-0 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.

After a slow start, the Cyclones are rolling and are right in the thick of the hunt for the league lead.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (G) is performing great in his return from offseason surgery, with a 10-3-2-0 record, 2 shutouts, 1.97 GAA, and a .924% save percentage. The timetable for his promotion to Rochester remains somewhat unsure, but it’s likely that will come sometime after the new year.

Old Friends

  • Justin Bailey: 10+9=19 in 31 games with AHL Utica
  • Nicholas Baptiste: 3+4=7 in 18 games with AHL Toronto.
  • Kyle Criscuolo: 4+3=7 in 20 games with AHL Lehigh Valley
  • Jack Dougherty: 1+7=8 in 28 games with AHL Belleville
  • Brendan Guhle: 1+5=6 in 9 games with AHL San Diego, 1+3=4 in 18 games with NHL Anaheim
  • Hudson Fasching: 11+7=18 in 28 games with AHL Tucson
  • Alexander Nylander: 5+9=14 in 37 games with NHL Chicago
  • Danny O’Regan: 6+15=21 in 31 games with AHL Hartford
  • Matt Tennyson: 0+0=0 in 1 game with AHL Binghamton, 0+3=3 in 19 games with NHL New Jersey
  • Scott Wedgewood: 7-4-1-0, 3.00 GAA, .891 SV% in 14 games with AHL Syracuse