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Amerks Review: Rolling Through The Deep

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The dog days of the AHL season are chewing up the Amerks’ North Division title hopes.

Micheline V / Rochester Americans

Rochester has found themselves busy since the last time we joined you. Six games from February 19 through the end of the calendar month.

The Amerks find themselves eight points back of the division-leading Belleville Senators in the North Division and nine points ahead of fifth place in the division. Their playoff lives are alive and well.

Time to catch up on everything Rochester Americans.

Here is to looking back at the past few weeks:

Results

February 19 - Belleville 3, Rochester 2 (OT)

ROC: J. Dea (15), J. Bryson (1)
ROC: U. Luukkonen – 15 saves (OTL - 3-3-2)

February 21 - Rochester 3, Lehigh Valley 2 (OT)

ROC: C. Smith (11), S. Malone (11), J. Bryson (2)
ROC: A. Hammond – 29 saves (W - 14-11-2)

February 22 - Cleveland 3, Rochester 2 (OT)

ROC: T. Leier (8), B. Murray (9)
ROC: U. Luukkonen – 10 saves (OTL - 3-3-3)

February 26 - Utica 3, Rochester 2 (SO)

ROC: C. Mittelstadt (8), S. Wilson (10)
ROC: A. Hammond – 19 saves (SOL - 14-11-3)

February 28 - Rochester 4, Laval 2

ROC: R. Elie (7), C. Mittelstadt (9), E. Cornel (11, 12)
ROC: A. Hammond – 34 saves (W - 15-11-3)

February 29 - Syracuse 4, Rochester 2

ROC: A. Oglevie (14), R. Asplund (3)
ROC: U. Luukkonen – 16 saves (L - 3-4-3)

Three Big Things

1: Casey Continues to Grow

One player we continue to highlight is much maligned forward Casey Mittelstadt. We have highlighted his struggles along with his successes along the way.

The exciting thing about Mittelstadt lately? He continues to improve, as we find his name scattered around the scoresheet.

In his last six games, Mittelstadt has amassed five points (two goals, four assists). This bumps his season total up to 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 32 games.

While Buffalo’s season flounders, it might help a little to know that sending Mittelstadt to the AHL for further development appears to have been the right move.

2: Extra Time

Rochester had an interesting stretch of games as of late.

In their last six games, the Amerks have gone to overtime or a shootout in four of those games. That includes a streak of four straight games that needed at least overtime to help determine a winner.

The name of the game continues to be collecting as many points as possible, which Rochester gathered seven out of their last 12 available points, but the gap is still relatively wide between the Amerks and the first-place Senators in the North Division.

3: Falling on Hard Times

Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was expecting to see some time with the Rochester Americans this season, as part of his rehab and recovery from offseason hip surgery.

Since Jonas Johansson’s recall to the Buffalo Sabres, Luukkonen has shouldered much more of the load in net with the Amerks.

After this most recent stretch of games, it appears that Luukkonen might have hit a plateau in his personal game.

In three starts this past stretch of games, Luukkonen finishes up with a record of 0-1-2. Luukkonen allowed 10 goals on 50 shots. That averages out to a very ugly .800 save percentage and a goals allowed average around 3.33 goals allowed.

Luukkonen certainly has falled on hard times as of late but these experiences should prove to be very valuable as the Sabres top goaltending prospect continues to develop.

Standings

Coming Up

Wednesday, March 4 - Rochester Americans vs Utica Comets
Friday, March 6 - Rochester Americans at Belleville Senators
Saturday, March 7 - Rochester Americans at Belleville Senators