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Rochester Americans Season Preview

The Amerks kick off the 2022-23 AHL season Friday night.

AHL: APR 19 Calder Cup Playoffs - Toronto Marlies at Rochester Americans

The Rochester Americans kick off their 2022-23 AHL campaign Friday night, hosting the Toronto Marlies for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop at Blue Cross Arena. If you can’t make it to Rochester, you’ll be able to watch the game for free on AHL TV. (All Opening Weekend games are free to watch.)

As the Amerks head into a new season, here’s a quick primer on what you need to know about the Rochester squad for the year ahead.

Last Season Recap

The Amerks finished last season with a record of 37-29-7-3, good for 84 points and fifth in the North Division. It took until the very end of the regular season for them to clinch that final playoff spot, but clinch they did. After handily taking care of the Belleville Senators, they knocked off the Utica Comets in five games in the semifinals, in a toughly-contested round. Rochester ultimately fell flat to the Laval Rocket in the North Division Finals, as they were swept in three games.

Moving On Up

The biggest departures this year for the Amerks are, understandably, some of the biggest arrivals for the Buffalo Sabres. JJ Peterka was an outstanding AHL rookie last season; with 68 points (28-40) in 70 games, he led all rookeis and was 10th overall in the league in scoring. Jack Quinn, also an AHL rookie, had 61 points (26-35) in just 45 games and finished the season 20th in scoring.

This Year’s Roster

Here’s the expected opening night roster for the Amerks:

Forwards: Brandon Biro, Filip Cederqvist, Mason Jobst, Aleksandr Kisakov, Tyson Kozak, Jiri Kulich, Sean Malone, Michael Mersch, Brett Murray, Kohen Olischefski, Isak Rosen, Lukas Rousek, Brendan Warren and Linus Weissbach.

Defensemen: Kale Clague, Jeremy Davies, Mitch Eliot, Oskari Laaksonen, Lawrence Pilut, Chase Priskie, Ethan Prow and Peter Tischke.

Goaltenders: Michael Houser, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Malcolm Subban. (Subban is injured, expected to miss several weeks with a lower-body injury.)

Newcomers to Watch

There are a handful of players on the Amerks this season who should be really interesting to watch. Tyson Kozak earned himself an entry-level NHL contract over the summer, and he’s got a flair to his play that will translate well into the pros. The 19-year-old captained the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks last season and had 69 points (32-37) in 66 games.

Aleksandr Kisakov is another one to watch, as he makes his North American debut. It’s also exciting to see Lawrence Pilut back in the Sabres system, and he’ll provide a quiet but steady presence to a renovated blueline. Clague, Davies and Priskie are also newcomers.

The Goaltenders

The obvious name to watch in net for Sabres fans is 23-year-old Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. Last season, he appeared in 35 games with the Amerks, putting up a .900 save percentage and 3.28 GAA. In nine games in Buffalo, he had .917 save percentage and 2.74 GAA. Lukkonen’s development has been admittedly slower than some expected, so we’ll see what happens this season.

Malcolm Subban is currently injured and expected to miss several weeks, so Michael Houser will step up as the team’s backup goalie for the start of the season. Houser split last season between the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones and the Amerks. With Cincinatti, he had a .893 save percentage and 3.39 GAA in 18 games. With Rochester, he had a .900 save percentage and 2.98 GAA in 11 games. He also appeared in two NHL games.

The Schedule

  • Fri., Oct. 14, 7:05 pm vs. TOR
  • Sat., Oct. 15, 4:00 pm @ TOR
  • Wed., Oct. 19, 7:05 pm vs. BEL
  • Fri., Oct. 21, 7:05 pm vs. SYR
  • Sat., Oct. 22, 7:00 pm @ SYR
  • Fri., Oct. 28, 7:00 pm @ LAV
  • Sat., Oct. 29, 3:00 pm @ LAV
  • Wed., Nov. 2, 7:05 pm vs. SYR
  • Fri., Nov. 4, 7:05 pm vs. UTI
  • Sat., Nov. 5, 7:00 pm @ UTI
  • Wed., Nov. 9, 7:00 pm @ SYR
  • Fri., Nov. 11, 7:05 pm vs. CLE
  • Sat., Nov. 12, 7:05 pm @ BEL
  • Fri., Nov. 18, 7:05 pm vs. UTI (Hockey Fights Cancer)
  • Sat., Nov. 19, 7:00 pm vs. UTI
  • Wed., Nov. 23, 7:05 pm vs. PRO
  • Fri., Nov. 25, 7:05 pm vs. BRI
  • Sat., Nov. 26, 7:05 pm @ LHV
  • Thu., Dec. 1, 7:00 pm @ CLE
  • Sat., Dec. 3, 7:00 pm @ CLE
  • Wed., Dec. 7, 7:05 pm vs. SYR
  • Fri., Dec. 9, 7:05 pm vs. UTI (Youth Hockey Night)
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 4:00 pm @ TOR
  • Fri., Dec. 16, 7:00 pm @ CHA
  • Sat., Dec. 17, 6:00 pm @ CHA
  • Fri., Dec. 23, 7:05 pm vs. SYR (Home for the Holidays)
  • Wed., Dec. 28, 7:05 pm vs. UTI
  • Fri., Dec. 30, 7:05 pm vs. BEL
  • Sat., Dec. 31, 4:00 pm @ TOR
  • Wed., Jan. 4, 7:05 pm vs. BEL
  • Fri., Jan. 6, 7:05 pm vs. LHV (Segar & Sciortino hat giveaway)
  • Sat., Jan. 7, 7:00 pm @ SYR
  • Wed., Jan. 11, 7:05 pm vs. LAV
  • Sat., Jan. 14, 6:05 pm vs. TOR (Military salute)
  • Wed., Jan. 18, 7:05 pm vs. LAV
  • Fri., Jan. 20, 7:00 pm @ BRI
  • Sat., Jan. 21, 7:30 pm @ HAR
  • Wed., Jan. 25, 7:05 pm vs. WBS
  • Fri., Jan. 27, 7:05 pm vs. CHA
  • Sat., Jan. 28, 6:05 pm vs. CHA (Pride Night)
  • Thu., Feb. 2, 7:05 pm @ BEL
  • Sat., Feb. 4, 7:05 pm @ BEL
  • Fri., Feb. 10, 7:05 pm vs. SPR (Hometown Heroes)
  • Sat., Feb. 11, 7:00 pm @ SYR
  • Tue., Feb. 14, 7:00 pm @ CLE
  • Fri., Feb. 17, 7:05 pm vs. TOR
  • Sat., Feb. 18, 4:00 pm @ TOR
  • Sun., Feb. 19, 3:05 pm vs. SYR (Kids Day)
  • Fri., Feb. 24, 7:05 pm vs. LAV (Defend the Ice)
  • Sat., Feb. 25, 7:05 pm @ SPR
  • Sun., Feb. 26, 3:05 pm @ PRO
  • Wed., Mar. 1, 7:00 pm @ LAV
  • Fri., Mar. 3, 7:00 pm @ LAV
  • Sat., Mar. 4, 7:05 pm @ BEL
  • Fri., Mar. 10, 7:05 pm vs. HAR (Irish Night)
  • Sat., Mar. 11, 7:00 pm @ SYR
  • Sun., Mar. 12, 3:05 pm vs. TOR (Halfway to Halloween)
  • Wed., Mar. 15, 7:05 pm vs. LAV
  • Fri., Mar. 17, 7:05 pm @ WBS
  • Sat., Mar. 18, 7:00 pm @ HER
  • Fri., Mar. 24, 7:05 pm vs. HER (Women in Sport)
  • Sat., Mar. 25, 7:00 pm @ UTI
  • Sun., Mar. 26, 3:05 pm vs. CLE (Bills Day)
  • Wed., Mar. 29, 7:05 pm vs. CLE
  • Fri., Mar. 31, 7:00 pm @ UTI
  • Sat., Apr. 1, 5:05 pm vs. UTI (Rochester Red Wings Night)
  • Wed., Apr. 5, 7:05 p.m. vs SYR
  • Fri., Apr. 7, 7:00 pm @ SYR
  • Sat., Apr. 8, 3:21 pm @ UTI
  • Fri., Apr. 14, 7:05 pm vs. BEL
  • Sat., Apr. 15, 5:05 pm vs. CLE (ROC the Rink)
  • Sun., Apr. 16, 3:00 pm @ CLE