Amerks Games This Week
- Friday - 3/22 - 7:05pm - vs Cleveland Monsters (30-26-7-1)
- Saturday 3/23 - 5:00pm - at Toronto Marlies (34-21-6-4)
- Sunday 3/24 - 4:00pm - at Toronto Marlies (34-21-6-4)
AHL North Division Standings as of March 18th
The Amerks went 1-2-0-0 last week and slipped to second place in the AHL’s North Division.
Overall, the Amerks fell one spot to third place in both the Eastern Conference and the league.
What Happened Last Week?
Record Mar 11-Mar 17: 1-2-0-0
The week started out slow as the Amerks were locked in a scoreless battle with the Utica Comets on Wednesday night, until midway through the third period when C.J. Smith finally opened the scoring. That was all the team would need, as Scott Wedgewood played a perfect game to give the team an important 3-0 home win and boosting the team to sole position of first place in the division.
Unfortunately that’s where the good ended.
The Amerks made this season’s only (regular season) trip down to Charlotte for two weekend games against the league’s best team, and they came home with zero points, falling three points behind Syracuse for the division lead. For anyone who isn’t sure, Charlotte is the real deal. They beat Rochester four times this season, outscoring the Amerks 17-6 in the process.
The Amerks losses, combined with Syracuse going undefeated, means the Amerks are now three points back, with Syracuse still having a game in hand. These teams still have three more head-to-head games so it’s too early to stick a fork in the division, but the Amerks are in a bit of a hole at the moment.
- Game 62 Recap (3-0 Win vs Utica) (LetsGoAmerks.com)
- Game 63 Recap (4-1 Loss at Charlotte) (LetsGoAmerks.com)
- Game 64 Recap (3-1 Loss at Charlotte) (LetsGoAmerks.com)
- Victor Olofsson (F) - He played a great game on Wednesday night, including this beautiful assist on the game winning goal.
Here’s the full play on the Smith goal, in video form because a gif would be too long and doesn’t do this play justice. pic.twitter.com/g1dp68ubAk— steelopus (@steelopus) March 14, 2019
Scott Wedgewood (G) - He posted his fifth shutout of the season on Wednesday night at home, and played two strong games in Charlotte despite walking away the the losses.
LetsGoAmerks.com published a nice feature article on Wedgewood’s career year. It’s well worth a read.
Room For Improvement
- Amerks Power Play - 2-for-22 last week, including 0-for-9 on Saturday night in Charlotte. Rolling out some combination of Olofsson, Smith, O’Regan, Asplund, Leier, Porter, Simpson, Criscuolo, Redmond, Pilut, Tennyson... these guys should be able to put the puck in the net more often.
- The AHL Officiating - Eric Cornel (F) earned himself a game misconduct early in the game on Wednesday on one of the worst calls of the Amerks season. Dalton Smith gets dangerously slew-footed at the start of this gif, that doesn’t earn a call, but Cornel lets up and barely touches a player at the boards... and that draws a game misconduct. Yikes.
Eric Cornel and the team deserve an apology from the league. There's no way that's a game misconduct for boarding. #20 along the glass, not Dalton getting Dalton'd. pic.twitter.com/NA9MtkgcAR— Let's Go Amerks (@LetsGoAmerks) March 13, 2019
In the Utica player’s defense, he may have been genuinely concussed on the play. He returned to start the second period but then I saw him puking into a bucket in the tunnel. He left and did not finish the game. Regardless, I don’t think this was deserving of a game misconduct.
The Amerks are off until they play another three-in-three next weekend, including two suddenly very important games in Toronto. The Marlies now sit just five points behind the Amerks in the division. If the playoffs started today, these two teams would play each other in Round 1, so this will surely be an intense and hard-fought weekend.
- Kurt Gosselin (D) - Signed one-year, two-way AHL contract for the 2019-2020 season, as the Amerks start to replenish their defensive ranks in advance of offseason moves/promotions.
Game 62 - 3/13/2019 - Home Win vs Utica Comets
Game 63 - 3/15/2019 - Away Loss at Charlotte Checkers
Game 64 - 3/16/2019 - Away Loss at Charlotte Checkers
- Sean Malone (F) - Lower Body - Day to Day
AHL Playoff Primer
Full playoff scenarios are updated daily over at TheAHL.com
The Cincinnati Cyclones are 45-10-4-3 (!!!), remain in first place in their division, and are now the best team in the entire ECHL. They have clinched an ECHL playoff spot.
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.
- Justin Bailey: 6+2=8 in 17 games with Lehigh Valley / 0+0=0 in 7 games with NHL Philadelphia Flyers.
- Nicholas Baptiste: 12+10=22 in 55 games with Milwaukee / 0+2=2 in 8 games with Toronto.
- Colin Blackwell: 9+7=16 in 32 games with Milwaukee / 0+0=0 in 6 games with NHL Nashville Predators.
- Hudson Fasching: 12+14=26 in 52 games with Tucson.
- Taylor Fedun: 1+7=8 in 12 games with Texas / 4+7=11 in 46 games with NHL Dallas Stars.
- Seth Griffith: 12+33=45 in 56 games with Manitoba.
- Brendan Guhle: 0+1=1 in 7 game with NHL Anaheim Ducks.
- Matt Moulson: 25+30=55 in 57 games with Ontario.
- Jordan Nolan: 16+13=29 in 49 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 / 1+0=1 in 8 games with Springfield.
Question of the Week
Excluding current Amerks, which young Sabres prospect are you most excited about?