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Amerks Weekly - Feb 25-Mar 3

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The AHL’s North Division is tighter than it’s been all season.

Micheline Velovolu | Rochester Americans

Amerks Games This Week

  • Wednesday - 2/27 - 7:00pm - at Utica Comets (29-20-5-2)
  • Saturday 3/2 - 7:00pm - at Syracuse Crunch (32-16-3-2)
  • Sunday 3/3 - 3:05pm - vs Syracuse Crunch (32-16-3-2)

AHL North Division Standings as of February 25th

The Amerks went 2-1-0-0 last week but Syracuse has now tied them for the North Division lead, and they still have one game in hand.

Overall, the Amerks dropped two positions to fourth place in both the Eastern Conference and the league.

What Happened Last Week?

Record Feb 18-Feb 24: 2-1-0-0

The week started out with a rare commanding Wednesday night win on home ice vs. Cleveland. The highlight of that game was William Borgen’s first professional fight (see below). This game also saw the return of Zach Redmond to the Amerks lineup and he immediately contributed by getting the game’s first goal less than three minutes in.

On Friday night the team traveled to Utica. After a scoreless first period, the Amerks quickly found themselves in a 3-0 hole less than ten minutes into the second, but in an impressive display of resilience, the team battled back, scoring four unanswered goals and ultimately winning in overtime.

They returned home on Saturday to face the red-hot Belleville Senators, who took advantage of a terrible Amerks performance to walk away with the win and inch closer to a divisional playoff spot.

There have been an inordinate number of overtime games involving all the teams in the North Division in recent weeks. All those three-point games are making the playoff race even more compelling, with a mere seven points separating first place Rochester from fifth place Belleville.

And, of course, we’ve bid adieu to Brendan Guhle. It’s rarely fun to say goodbye to a prospect who you’ve watched grow for several seasons and this one is no different. However, Guhle had clearly fallen down the depth chart with the addition of Lawrence Pilut to the Sabres organization, and so ultimately this could be a great turn of events for Guhle’s development and future. He’s already played his first game with the Ducks, getting just over 18 minutes of ice time. I wish him nothing but the best going forward.

Bright Spots

  • Will Borgen (D) - Will had his first professional fight last Wednesday, and it was a doozy. Stick taps all around for this impressive performance from the rookie.
  • Zach Redmond (D) - Returning from an injury that kept him out of eleven games, he put up 2+4=6 points in three games last week. He is undoubtedly the heart and soul of this team.

Room For Improvement

  • I’m not going to be a broken record this week. Let’s just hope for some improvements in the next three games...

Look Ahead

The games don’t get any easier this week. They’ll travel to face fourth place Utica on Wednesday and then follow that up with another home-and-home series with Syracuse on Saturday (away) and Sunday (home). If things don’t go well, by the end of this week the Amerks could very well be sitting in third place in the division. On the other hand, three wins could give them a much needed boost back into first place.

Transactions

  • February 18, 2019 - Myles Powell (F) ⬇️ from Rochester to Cincinnati.
  • February 22, 2019 - Scott Wilson (F) ⬆️ from Rochester to Buffalo.
  • February 22, 2019 - Lawrence Pilut (D) ⬇️ from Buffalo to Rochester.
  • February 22, 2019 - Danny O’Regan (F) ⬆️ from Rochester to Buffalo.
  • February 23, 2019 - C.J. Smith (F) ⬇️ from Buffalo to Rochester.
  • February 24, 2019 - Adam Wilcox (G) ➡️ signed NHL Contract with Buffalo. (Organizational depth signing as a result of Jonas Johansson’s season-ending surgery.)
  • February 24, 2019 - Brendan Guhle (D) ➡️ from Buffalo to Anaheim Ducks.
  • February 25, 2019 - Adam Wilcox (G) ⬇️ from Buffalo to Rochester.
  • February 25, 2019 - Tage Thompson (F) ⬇️ from Buffalo to Rochester. (Paper transaction for AHL Playoff eligibility.)
  • February 25, 2019 - Tage Thompson (F) ⬆️ from Rochester to Buffalo.
  • February 25, 2019 - Danny O’Regan (F) ⬇️ from Buffalo to Rochester.
  • February 26, 2019 - Danny O’Regan (F) ⬆️ from Rochester to Buffalo.
  • February 27, 2019 - Danny O’Regan (F) ⬇️ from Buffalo to Rochester.

Video Room

Game 53 - 2/20/2019 - Home Win vs Cleveland Monsters

Game 54 - 2/22/2019 - Away Win (OT) at Utica Comets

Game 55 - 2/23/2019 - Home Loss vs Belleville Senators

Injury Report

  • Kyle Criscuolo (F) - Lower Body - Day to Day
  • Wayne Simpson (F) - Upper Body - Day to Day
  • Kevin Porter (F) - Upper Body - Day to Day

Farmville

The Cincinnati Cyclones are 38-9-4-3 (!!!), remain in first place in their division, and are now the best team in the entire ECHL.

Jonas Johansson (G) finished his season with a 19-5-1-2 record, putting up a 2.60 GAA and a .908 SV%. He has undergone season-ending surgery and will begin his rehab with the hopes of a full-time role in Rochester next season, alongside Ukko Pekka Luukkonen - who is also expected to turn pro this summer.

Old Friends

  • Justin Bailey: 5+2=7 in 10 games with Lehigh Valley / 0+0=0 in 5 games with NHL Philadelphia Flyers.
  • Nicholas Baptiste: 10+9=19 in 52 games with Milwaukee / 0+0=0 in 0 games with Toronto.
  • Colin Blackwell: 7+5=12 in 23 games with Milwaukee / 0+0=0 in 6 games with NHL Nashville Predators.
  • Hudson Fasching: 12+13=25 in 48 games with Tucson.
  • Taylor Fedun: 1+7=8 in 12 games with Texas / 3+5=8 in 38 games with NHL Dallas Stars.
  • Seth Griffith: 8+31=39 in 48 games with Manitoba.
  • Brendan Guhle: 0+0=0 in 1 game with NHL Anaheim Ducks.
  • Matt Moulson: 22+24=46 in 49 games with Ontario.
  • Jordan Nolan: 13+11=24 in 41 games with San Antonio / 0+2=2 in 14 games with NHL St. Louis Blues.
  • Cliff Pu: 1+5=6 in 44 games with Charlotte. / 2+3=5 in 5 games with ECHL Florida Everblades / 0+0=0 with Springfield Thunderbirds

Name That Cartoon

Question of the Week

The Sabres playoff hopes are, for all intents and purposes, dead. In what ways do you think that might affect the Amerks in the next ~6 weeks - as they are in the thick of a very tight playoff race of their own?