Game Day: Amerks Look to Avoid Sweep Tonight Against MooseFebruary 25, 2011 - American Hockey League (AHL) Rochester Americans
Promotions: The first 3,000 fans will take home a Ted Nolan bobbleheadand will have the opportunity to receive an autograph from the former NHL Coach of the Year as part of the final installment of the Amerks Legends Series Night, courtesy of the Seneca Gaming Corporation. Nolan will be signing autographs in the upper atrium prior to the game from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Tonight's game also falls on the next installment of the "Dollar Dogs 'N' Drinks" promotion, presented by Molson Coors. Friday, and now during every Friday night home game for the rest of the season, fans can purchase Zweigle's Hot Dogs and select draft products for just $1.00. Starting this season, however, fans will also have the opportunity to enjoy any fountain Pepsi products for $1.00. Further, the game features the Mark's Family Value Night special, offering fans four tickets, four T-shirts, one large one-topping pizza, two orders of jumbo wings and one two-liter bottle of soda for just $69.00 from any area participating Mark's Pizzeria location. Fans can purchase the package online at ticketmaster.com or in person at The Blue Cross Arena Box Office. For more information, please call the Amerks office at (585) 454-5335 and speak with a ticket sales representative today.
Head-to-Head: The contest marks the fifth of eight get-togethers between the divisional foes this season. Rochester is 1-2-0-1 this season against Manitoba after suffering a 1-0 shootout loss to the Moose in the first leg on Wednesday night. Manitoba also maintains the upper hand with a 30-19-3 all-time record against Rochester. Dating back to last season, the Moose have taken six of the last seven games against the Amerks and bring with them an 18-5-2-1 record in Rochester to The Blue Cross Arena, where they have only lost twice since March 28, 2008.
By The Numbers: Rochester is just 12-14-3-1 against North Division opponents this season, but shows a 14-13-0-2 mark against non-divisional rivals. Home ice has not been very welcoming for the Amerks, who are just 11-17-1-3 within the friendly confines of The Blue Cross Arena. Conversely, Rochester's road dominance is prevalent with a 15-10-2-0 mark.
Milestone Watch: Veteran forward Mark Cullen needs just four more points to reach 400 in his professional career. Bill Thomas will officially reach the century mark century mark with his next assist, while newcomer Hugh Jessiman, who scored his first goal in an Amerk uniform last week, is six points away from eclipsing the 200-point plateau.
Taylor Nears 500 Games: The 2010-11 season has been one to remember for veteran forward Chris Taylor, who has spent the first 50 games of the campaign moving up the franchise's all-time lists and capturing several other career milestones. Having already scored more career goals than former fan-favorite Scott Metcalfe and recording more points than Stan Smrke, the 19-year pro is only three games away from 500 as an Amerk, a feat accomplished by only five others in team history.
Amerks Notes: Rochester (26-27-3-3, 58 points) enters the contest after coming up short in a 1-0 shootout loss to Manitoba Wednesday night in a game that saw both goaltenders earn respective shutouts for their teams. After going 65 full minutes with one goal scored, the Moose were able to eventually edge the Amerks in the skills competition as Michal Repikproved to be the lone scorer for the home team. Despite the loss, Rochester netminder Tyler Plante notched his first shutout of the season and made 32 saves during regulation. Although the loss was the second in three games for the Amerks, Rochester has won five of its last seven and has moved within 10 points of the Moose, who currently share a first-place tie with the Lake Erie Monsters in the American Hockey League's North Division. A mere two points separate the top four teams in the divisional standings, with Hamilton and Toronto currently locked in a tie themselves for second place with 66 points each. Another win tonight can potentially lift the Amerks out of the basement of the North Division and leapfrog the Grand Rapids Griffins for sixth place.
Special Teams Breakdown: Rochester currently has the seventh best power-play in the league (20.2 percentage), but its penalty kill ranks 24thout of the 30-team AHL with an 80.6 success rate. Rochester's power-play unit has proven to be more effective on the road as its 28.2 percentage is presently tops in the AHL. As a team, the Amerks have also allowed a league-worst 14 shorthanded goals against, nine coming at home and five on the road.
Team and League Leaders: Despite presently being on NHL recall, Repik continues to be Rochester's top point-getter with a team-high 34 assists and 45 points. Playing at under a point-per-game pace, Repik is currently tied for sixth in the AHL in assists, while also being among the league's top scorers. The 2011 AHL All-Star also paces the Amerks with a team-best 181 shots on goal, the seventh most in the AHL.
Third-year forward Michael Duco maintains the team lead with 15 goals, including a team-high nine on the power-play, placing him tied for 10th in the league in that category. Rookie left wing Eric Selleck has a team-best 137 penalty minutes, while he also ranks 18th in the league and third among AHL rookies who frequent the sin bin. Selleck is also sixth in the league with 21 major penalties. Triston Grant is right on his heels with 128 penalty minutes.
Though scoreless in his last four games, veteran defenseman Clay Wilson is currently second on the team and tied for third in scoring among AHL blueliners with 39 points (8+31). His 31 helpers are the most among league defensemen. Fellow D-man Mike Kostka remains at a close second in that category with 35 points (9+26), good enough for 10th among league rearguards. The trio of Wilson, Kostka and Taylor also share the team lead with 16 power-play assists, placing them tied for 13th in the AHL. Kostka is also the only member among Rochester's active roster to appear in all 59 games thus far this season.
With rookie goaltender Jacob Markstrom currently sidelined with an injury, Plante has readily taken over the starting duties for the Amerks. The fourth-year netminder has started a season and career-high nine straight games between the pipes and boasts a 10-10-2 record with a 3.01 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in 24 games. Despite missing the last nine games, Markstrom still presently ranks 17th among AHL netminders in wins (16) and is fourth in the league with 1,051 saves.
Manitoba Notes: Manitoba (31-20-1-5, 68 points), playing Game 2 of its current season-long 11-game road trip tonight, comes into the matchup the winners of the 1-0 shootout over Rochester just 48 hours ago at The Blue Cross Arena. Rookie goaltender Eddie Lack turned in a solid performance, stopping 23 saves in regulation, five more in overtime and denying four of five Rochester shooters in the shootout to snag his fourth shutout of the season. Sergei Shirokov and Garth Murray converted on their opportunities in the skills competition, with Murray's goal proving to be the eventual game-winner. The win lifted Manitoba into first in the North Division with a two-point cushion over two of the other top three teams vying for a playoff spot.
Coming into tonight, the Moose have allowed an AHL-low 32 power-play goals against, which can be attributed to two factors. One is that Manitoba's penalty killing unit has the best efficiency rating in the league (86.4%). The Moose are also among the league's least penalized teams, having only been assessed 804 penalty minutes, the third lowest in the AHL. The Moose have taken more penalties than their opponent in only 17 of 57 games this season.
Team and League Leaders: Shirokov, a second-year pro, currently paces the Moose in all offensive categories in goals (17), assists (25) and points (42), in addition to owning a plus-eight on-ice rating. A 2011 AHL All-Star, Shirokov has also netted a team-best four power-play goals this season while averaging .79 points-per-game. Shirokov, who set a new franchise record earlier this season with a 12-game point streak, has one goal and three assists in his last four appearances. He also had a four-assist night on February 12th, giving him eight points (1+7) in six games and the first four-point game of his young career in the AHL.
First-year winger Bill Sweatt is second on the team and tied for fourth among AHL rookies with 36 points (13+23) and is the only member of the Moose to appear in all 57 games thus far. Mario Bliznak leads Manitoba with an impressive plus-12 on-ice rating.
Just 36 games into his professional career, Lack has already established himself among the elite at his position. Coming into tonight, Lack, who served as a backup to Markstrom last season in the Swedish Elite League, shows a 20-13-3 record with 950 saves and four shutouts. His 2.06 goals-against average and .927 save percentage presently rank him fifth and seventh among league netminders, respectively. Further, he is presently seventh in wins (20), minutes played (2,182) and shutouts (four).
Local Product in 'The Show': The Moose own a piece of Rochester in forward Chris Tanev, who is currently on NHL recall with the parent Vancouver Canucks. Prior to turning pro and joining Manitoba this season, Tanev played his only season of collegiate hockey during the 2009-10 campaign at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). In 41 total games for the Tigers, the Toronto, Ontario, native scored 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points. Upon earning a promotion to the Canucks over a month ago, he became the first RIT graduate to play for an NHL team. Since his call-up, Tanev has one assist in 15 games with the Canucks.
Next Game: The Amerks head to the Southern tier on Saturday, February 26 th to exchange pleasantries with the Binghamton Senators at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the seventh of eight scheduled meetings between the intrastate rivals this season and can be heard live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester's Sports Talk.
American Hockey League Stories from February 25, 2011
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- Aeros Slip By Stars 4-3 In Overtime - Texas Stars
- Taffe's Tallies Help End Rockford's Losing Streak - Rockford IceHogs
- Admirals Bitten By Wolves - Milwaukee Admirals
- Cullen's Four-point Night Lifts Amerks Over Moose 5-3 - Rochester Americans
- Barons Slip Past Rampage 3-2 - San Antonio Rampage
- Sharks fall to Pirates 3-2 in Shootout - Worcester Sharks
- A Picture's Worth a Monarchs W - Manchester Monarchs
- Checkers Erase Three-goal Deficit, Fall In Shootout - Charlotte Checkers
- Bulldogs Power Past Phantoms 4-1 - Hamilton Bulldogs
- Crunch Bumped by Binghamton, 7-4 - Syracuse Crunch
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- Pirates Sink Sharks With Shootout Victory - Portland Pirates
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- Predators Recall Geoffrion, Halischuk - Milwaukee Admirals
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- Griffins Reel in Hook for Ticket Staff - Grand Rapids Griffins
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- Falcons Host Annual Floor Hockey Clinic - Springfield Falcons
- Oilers Recall Barons Goaltender Martin Gerber - Oklahoma City Barons
- Gustafsson Recalled by Philadelphia - Adirondack Phantoms
- Lightning Recall Goaltender Mike Smith from Admirals - Norfolk Admirals
- B-Sens Season Tickets Go on Sale Saturday - Binghamton Senators
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- Senators Recall Forwards Corey Locke and Roman Wick from Binghamton - Binghamton Senators
- Goaltender Jaroslav Janus Reassigned to Admirals from ECHL's Florida Everblades - Norfolk Admirals
- Game Day: Amerks Look to Avoid Sweep Tonight Against Moose - Rochester Americans
- Panthers Recall Trio from Amerks; Reassign Ellerby to Rochester - Rochester Americans
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