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Amerks Weekly - Dec 26 - Jan 14

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The Amerks seem to be struggling a bit for the first time all season.

Micheline V | Rochester Americans

Amerks Games This Week

  • Wednesday - 1/8 - 7:05pm - vs Binghamton (13-17-4-0)
  • Friday - 1/10 - 7:05pm - vs Belleville (20-12-2-1)
  • Saturday - 1/11 - 7:00pm - at Syracuse (17-15-2-1)

AHL North Division Standings as of January 8th

The Amerks retain sole possession of first place in the North Division. They are now #3 in the Eastern Conference and #5 overall in the league.

What Happened Last Two Weeks?

Record Dec 25-Jan 7: 2-3-0-0

Check out our latest Amerks Review posts for details on the two prior weeks performance:

Notable: The team has hit its first skid of the season. The good news is that the rest of the division has also struggled during this time so they haven’t lost too much ground in the past 10 games. They still have some games in hand on the teams below them, but the cushion is dangerously thin.

Also Notable: The team is 2-4 since Andrew Oglevie went down with an injury on 12/20. While that doesn’t speak well for the Amerks depth (which carried them through a 12-game point streak in November and December), it does reflect positively for Oglevie’s performance this season. Before his injury an argument could be made that he was the team’s best player through the win-streak.

Additionally: The team lost two of three games while Dalton Smith earned some NHL money. Sabres fans have every right to question the logic behind using an NHL contract on Smith, but Amerks fans know the value he brings to this team - and it goes beyond his fists. Hopefully his return this week will be the spark the team needs as they head into a week with three more games against division rivals.

AHL All Stars: Congrats to Jonas Johansson and Lawrence Pilut on their selection to the 2020 AHL All Star game. This is Pilut’s second selection in as many years, and it’s also likely to be the second time he’ll miss the game as the result of a recall to Buffalo. I’m sure he’s not too upset.

Three Stars

.1. Taylor Leier (F) - Five goals in the last five games for Leier, who has come on strong since returning from offseason shoulder surgery. Unfortunately, he appeared to take a puck of the back of the head/neck on Saturday night and left the ice on a stretcher. Thankfully, reports are that the injury is not serious and he should be back soon.

.2. Casey Mittelstadt (F) - Alright, kid; a two-game goal streak is a step in the right direction. There is still work to do, but each game he appears more engaged in the play.

.3. Zach Redmond (D) - The goals might not be coming the way they did last season, but Redmond is still second on the team in points, scoring at .71ppg as a defenseman.

Stats Leaders

Look Ahead

Games this week versus Binghamton, Belleville, and Syracuse present the Amerks with another opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the teams behind them in the division. Belleville continues to surprise this season, sitting just 3 points behind Rochester in fourth place. The Amerks won the previous two meetings, but one was in OT. Every point counts in a tight division so hopefully the team can tighten things up when they have a third period lead.

Binghamton remains one of the worst teams in the league... and they also remain a thorn in the side of the Amerks, going 3-2-1-0 vs Rochester this season. Four more matchups remain, including Saturday night.

Syracuse’s struggles have been a surprise this season. The Amerks have won all three previous games and the teams still have a whopping nine more games to play before the season is through.

Transactions

Video Room

Game 30 - 12/27/2019 - Home Win vs Belleville

Game 31 - 12/28/2019 - Away Loss at :

Game 32 - 12/31/2019 - Away Loss at Utica

[Video not available]

Game 33 - 1/3/2020 - Away Win (OT) vs Belleville

Game 34 - 1/4/2020 - Away Loss at Toronto

Injury Report

  • Andrew Oglevie - Unknown - Week-to-Week.
  • Casey Fitzgerald - Unknown - Unknown.

Farmville

The Cincinnati Cyclones are 21-8-6-0 in their quest to return to 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.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (G) is performing great in his return from offseason surgery, with a 11-4-3-0 record, 2 shutouts, 2.08 GAA, and a .919% save percentage. His impressive performance has earned him a trip to the ECHL All Star game.

There is no new information about when he might get some games in Rochester, but with the excellent performance of both Jonas Johansson and Andrew Hammond this season, there is no rush for UPL.

Old Friends

  • Justin Bailey: 12+11=23 in 35 games with AHL Utica
  • Nicholas Baptiste: 3+5=8 in 23 games with AHL Toronto.
  • Kyle Criscuolo: 4+3=7 in 20 games with AHL Lehigh Valley
  • Jack Dougherty: 3+7=10 in 34 games with AHL Belleville
  • Brendan Guhle: 1+5=6 in 11 games with AHL San Diego, 1+3=4 in 18 games with NHL Anaheim
  • Hudson Fasching: 13+8=21 in 33 games with AHL Tucson
  • Alexander Nylander: 5+9=14 in 39 games with NHL Chicago
  • Danny O’Regan: 6+16=22 in 36 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