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Amerks Weekly - Apr 1 - Apr 7

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No foolin’, the Amerks have clinched a playoff spot!

How’s the weather up there? Micheline Velovolu | Rochester Americans

Amerks Games This Week

  • Friday - 4/5 - 7:05pm - vs Syracuse Crunch (43-20-4-3)
  • Saturday 4/6 - 7:00pm - at Syracuse Crunch (43-20-4-3)

AHL North Division Standings as of April 1st

The Amerks went 2-0-1-0 last week which was enough to punch their ticket into the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs!

Overall, the Amerks remain in third place in the Eastern Conference and fourth place in the league.

Three of the Amerks’ final six regular season games are against Syracuse. With just three points separating them in the standings, and Rochester with a game in hand, the North Division title - and home-ice advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs - are far from decided.

What Happened Last Week?

Record Mar 25-Mar 31: 2-0-1-0

It may have taken a few games longer than they wanted, but the Amerks finally clinched a playoff spot on Saturday night.

The week started with a Wednesday night OT loss against Lehigh Valley.

Notable was Taylor Leier scoring against his former team (of course, because that’s what hockey players do).

The Amerks trailed 3-1 in the third but came back to force OT where they would ultimately lose thanks to a 2-on-0 break.

On Friday night, in Tage Thompson’s first game as an Amerk, he scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Amerks to a 4-2 win over Laval, including a nice long empty netter.

The game also featured this beauty of a slapshot from Danny O’Regan.

Saturday was the night that the Amerks clinched their playoff spot, with a thrilling 6-4 comeback victory against Binghamton. Thompson added his third goal of the weekend.

The Amerks scored four goals in the third period to earn the victory and a guaranteed playoff spot.

Bright Spots

  • Tage Thompson (F) - Tage has made an immediate impact, with three goals and assist in his first two games as an Amerk. The best news is the positive attitude that he has exhibited since joining the team; he’s excited to be here and doesn’t view this as a demotion.
  • Adam Wilcox (G) - Coming on in relief of Scott Wedgewood recently, Wilcox has had solid performances, making clutch saves to keep the games close and allow the Amerks to mount some comeback wins.
  • Taylor Leier (F) - He’s now up to 20 goals on the year, and he brings more than just scoring to this team. He plays aggressively and never avoids contact. Case in point:
  • Chris Taylor (HC) - With the Sabres struggles... and the Amerks successes... most hockey fans in Western NY are thinking the same thing these days... this offseason should be interesting.

Room For Improvement

  • Scott Wedgewood (G) - Wedgewood has been pulled in two of his last three starts, and gave up three first period goals on Saturday before settling in and helping the team to a 6-4 comeback win. Whatever the issue might be, he has two weeks to tighten things up before the playoffs begin.

Look Ahead

This weekend could decide the division. Rochester and Syracuse will split a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday night. Now is as good a time as any to take a look at the AHLTV service and tune in. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the AHL broadcasts one of the games as their Facebook game of the week, but that has yet to be announced.

Transactions

That was an exceptionally busy week of transactions... so here’s a screenshot.

Video Room

Game 68 - 3/27/2019 - Home Loss vs Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Game 69 - 3/29/2019 - Home Win vs Laval rocket

Game 70 - 3/30/2019 - Away Win at Binghamton Devils

Injury Report

  • Zach Redmond (D) - Unknown - Day to Day
  • Andrew Oglevie (F) - Upper Body - Unknown
  • Danny O’Regan (F) - Unknown -Day to Day

AHL Playoff Primer

Full playoff scenarios are updated daily over at TheAHL.com

Farmville

The Cincinnati Cyclones are 49-12-5-3, crossed the 100 point mark and have now clinched first place in their division. The remain atop the ECHL league standings and are close to locking down the title of regular season champions.

Old Friends

  • Justin Bailey: 6+2=8 in 17 games with Lehigh Valley / 0+1=1 in 10 games with NHL Philadelphia Flyers.
  • Nicholas Baptiste: 12+10=22 in 55 games with Milwaukee / 2+3=5 in 13 games with Toronto.
  • Colin Blackwell: 12+9=21 in 37 games with Milwaukee / 0+0=0 in 6 games with NHL Nashville Predators.
  • Hudson Fasching: 15+16=31 in 58 games with Tucson.
  • Taylor Fedun: 1+2=3 in 3 games with Texas / 4+7=11 in 51 games with NHL Dallas Stars.
  • Seth Griffith: 14+35=49 in 62 games with Manitoba.
  • Brendan Guhle: 0+1=1 in 7 game with NHL Anaheim Ducks.
  • Matt Moulson: 25+32=57 in 62 games with Ontario.
  • Jordan Nolan: 16+14=30 in 54 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

At this point, with just two games remaining in a lost NHL season, should any of the Sabres prospects still be risking injury by playing meaningless games in Buffalo?