Amerks update: Three's a streak
The Amerks have won four of their last five. Let's party!
I'm not going to go so far as to say that a wise person once misquoted Teen Wolf to me (he's misquoted a lot of things to me), but he told me that "two is a coincidence and three is a streak." I may not know much more about that movie (lay off) but I do know that the Amerks have won three games in a row, and four of their last five, and that's something to smile about.
"I never dwell on leaving, only getting somewhere." (Between First & A, Punch Brothers)
After beating long-time rival Syracuse Crunch on October 25 in the shootout, the Amerks hit the road for their first three-in-three of the season. This is not necessarily a habit any longer in the AHL, thankfully, although it will be for the Amerks for a bit (more on that later). Their first stop didn't go so well. The Amerks were welcomed into Springfield for the first time since 2006 by some familiar faces. Both Doug Janik and Mike Bavis spent time playing in Rochester and now share the bench with former Amerks head coach Ron Rolston. The Falcons would score a pair of goals :14 apart in the third in their 6-1 routing of the Amerks. Phil Varone had the lone goal in the Amerks loss.
The Amerks next stop was to Portland, ME, to visit the Pirates. Their last meeting was March 2001. Portland was sporting their throwbacks for the game, a replica of the sweater that they were wearing in 1996 when the Amerks defeated them to win their last Calder Cup. It was an omen for Portland, and not a good one. The Amerks would take the victory 4-3, on goals from Justin Bailey - his first professional goal - William Carrier, and two from Varone. The win moved head coach Randy Cunneyworth into 7th all-time in wins as an Amerks coach. It also marked Varone's 200th AHL point.
The next stop on the Amerks dream tour was the Hartford Wolf Pack, whom they hadn't seen since March 2002. That was a fun win (I'd imagine. I won't say how old I was, but I don't recall the game) that involved a goal by now-assistant coach Chris Taylor, among others (Doug Houda and Ales Kotalik, because I know you'll ask. I just that know you will). The Amerks, backed by a 22-save performance - including a penalty shot - by Nathan Lieuwen, topped Hartford 3-2. Amerks goals were scored by Cal O'Reilly, Bailey, and Bobby Sanguinetti.
The Amerks returned home November 6 for Military Appreciation Night and welcomed the Binghamton Senators to the BCA for the first time this season. They did not turn down the fire for their special guests, either, easily handing Binghamton a 3-1 loss on goals from Colby Robak, Jean Dupuy, and Jack Nevins. Phil Varone had an assist on Robak's goal, giving him nine (5+4=9) points in eleven games.
The Amerks take their winning streak on the road for another three-in-three this weekend, this time to Pennsylvania. Friday the 13th, they visit the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) and former Amerk (and one of my favorites) Evan Rankin. Though technically in their first year, the Phantoms are the latest reincarnation of the Adirondack Phantoms. Saturday, the Amerks visit the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) and former Amerks captain Kevin Porter. Sunday, they wrap up the trip in style with literally their oldest rival in the league, the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals). I'm so, so excited that they get to play the Bears this year after they were suspiciously absent from the schedule last season. While I don't see any former Amerks standing out on their roster, I do see everyone's favorite - or maybe just mine - former Twitter superstar Dan Ellis. I guess the AHL is now a hashtag Dan Ellis problem? Let's reconvene next week before the Toronto Marlies come back to Rochester, shall we?
I am joining with #HockeyFightsDV again this season, to benefit the Willow Center in Rochester, NY. I have pledged $1/Patrice Bergeron goal, $5/Amerks Goalie SO, $1/Amerks win, $2/"Ryan Miller Shutout," $25/Amerks or Sabres goalie point, to be updated at the end of each month this season. You can pledge, too, at hockeyfightsdv.tumblr.com