Game Night: Amerks Host B-Sens At Blue Cross Arena
Tonight, the Rochester Americans return home as the Binghamton Senators make their final visit to The Blue Cross Arena this season. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the second matchup in as many weeks and the final get-together this season between the interstate rivals. Fans can tune into the live broadcasts on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester's Sports Talk. The game will also be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet Channel 26.
Promotions: Friday's game falls on the next installment of the Amerks Dollar Dogs 'N' Drafts promotion. Friday night, and now during every Friday night home game for the rest of the season, fans can take part in the "Dollar Dogs 'N' Drafts" promotion and purchase Zweigle's Hot Dogs and Draft Beers for just $1 each! Also, the first 2,500 fans will take home an Amerks puck, courtesy of the Principal Financial Group.
Taylor Joins Elite AHL Club: Veteran forward Chris Taylor became the newest member of an exclusive AHL club during Rochester's game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last Saturday night. Taylor's third-period goal was his second point of the game and the 500th point of his AHL career, making him just the 80th player in the 74-year history of the American Hockey League to reach that plateau. Further, the 18-year pro sits just a mere two goals away from moving ahead of Ron Garwasiuk for 13th on the all-time goals list.
Johnson Nears 70-Point Benchmark:
Amerks forward Jamie Johnson is seven points away from becoming the first player since the 2004-05 campaign to reach the 70-point benchmark. He has just nine games left to accomplish the feat, which was last achieved by Taylor in 2004-05.
March Road Warriors: After taking a 3-0-0-0 sweep on the road to kickoff the month of March, the Amerks have posted a 5-2-0-0 record since then in their seven road contests this month away from the friendly confines of The Blue Cross Arena. During that stretch, Rochester captured a season-high four straight on the road from March 5th to March 13th, the longest streak since winning three from January 15th to January 30th ( at Hamilton, Syracuse and Toronto).
The matchup will be the 10th and final meeting of the season for the non-divisional foes. The Amerks are 6-3-0-0 this season against the B-Sens, which includes an unblemished 4-0-0-0 mark at home, and have outscored their opponent 34-28 through the previous nine encounters. The Amerks, however, are 28-30-5 all-time against the Baby Sens after dropping a 4-2 decision in the last meeting between the two teams in Binghamton back on March 19th.
Panthers Recall Big Mac; Amerks Sign Hudson: The Amerks will be without the services of Steve MacIntyre tonight after the rugged forward was recalled by the Florida Panthers earlier this morning. MacIntyre earns his fifth promotion to the big club this season and will join the Panthers as they prepare for their National Hockey League contest against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, March 27th. Faceoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Scotiabank Place. A native of Brock, Saskatchewan, MacIntyre, 29, has skated in 12 games with the Panthers this season, recording 12 penalty minutes. In 33 AHL games with Rochester, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound forward has two points (0+2) and 86 penalty minutes. In his absence, the Amerks have also signed defenseman Carl Hudson to an amateur tryout. Hudson, a 24 year old native of Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario, joins the Amerks after recently completing his senior season at Canisius College. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound blueliner finished the 2009-10 campaign with career-highs in all offensive categories in goals (14), assists (20), points (34), penalty minutes (120) and games played (35) and finished as the Golden Griffins' top scoring defenseman three of the four years.
Amerks Notes: Rochester (39-30-2-0, 80 points) enters the contest after earning a 3-1 win over the Lake Erie Monsters Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The Amerks scored two early first period goals and added another late in the third to snap a three-game losing streak and reclaim sole possession of second place in the American Hockey League's North Division. The win was also Rochester's first on the road against Lake Erie this season.
Johnson, who shows 12 points (4+8) in his last 19 games, continues to be Rochester's top point-getter with a team-high 63 points (23+40). Playing at under a point-per-game pace, Johnson is 15th in the AHL in overall point production, while his 40 assists are also 15th best in the league.
Jeff Taffe netted a pair of goals last weekend to leapfrog Johnson as the team's leader with 25 goals to match his season totals from a year ago. He presently ranks tied for 13th in the league in goals scored and is second among Rochester's active roster with six power-play goals.
Veteran defenseman Clay Wilson, coming off a two-assist performance Wednesday night in Lake Erie, is first on the team and ninth in the league with 44 assists, in addition to leading his club with 178 shots on goal. He enters the week in the midst of a season-long seven-game point streak (1+9) and has 15 points (2+13) in his last 12 games. He also has a team-best 24 assists on the power-play this season, good enough for second in the AHL in that category. Wilson continues to be Rochester's top scoring defenseman with 56 points (12+44) and is second in scoring among league blueliners. Fellow defenseman Jordan Henry owns the team's best on-ice rating and is 18th in the league with a plus-23.
Rookie goaltender Alexander Salak, who has started eight of the last 12 games between the pipes for Rochester, boasts a 28-14-0 record with a 2.83 goals-against average and a.911 save percentage in 45 games. His 28 wins presently rank him third among league netminders. His counterpart, third-year goaltender Tyler Plante, earned his eighth win of the season Wednesday against the Monsters. Plante currently shows an 8-10-0 record with a 2.75 goals-against average and a.907 save percentage in just 20 games of service.
Veteran forward Mike York, who leads the team with eight power-play markers, has collected 16 points (6+10) in 14 games since returning to the lineup on February 19th. He sits three points away from 100 AHL points. Amerks captain Rory Fitzpatrick is three points from 200 as a pro, while 2010 AHL All-Star forward Graham Mink is just one goal shy from 200 pro goals.
Binghamton (31-33-5-3, 70 points), kicking off a two-game road trip tonight, comes into the matchup the winners of three in its last four, with the only loss in that stretch coming in a 5-2 setback to the Toronto Marlies Wednesday night at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The Senators have been hot as of late, going 6-3-1-0 in their last 10 to climb out of the basement of the AHL standings.
Fifth-year pro Martin St. Pierre presently leads the Binghamton offense with a team-high 42 assists and 65 points and ranks 11th and 12th in the AHL in each category, respectively. He also is fourth in the league with 23 power-play assists. Forward Ryan Keller is first on the team and seventh in the league with a team-best 31 goals, nine of which have come on the man advantage this season. The 2010 AHL All-Star is on pace averaging just under a point per game. Former Amerk Denis Hamel leads the Sens with 10 power-play tallies, good enough for 10th in the AHL. Tough-guy forward Jeremy Yablonski has recorded a team-high 128 penalty minutes this season.
Netminder Chris Holt, who's started six straight games and 12 of the last 13 between the pipes, has seen the majority of time in net thus far for the B-Sens. In 33 games, the fifth-year pro is 16-15-1 with a 2.95 goals-against average and a.905 save percentage. He is also tied for fourth in the AHL with four shutouts. Last Friday night against Rochester, Holt made history becoming just the 10th goalie in the 74-year history of the AHL goal to score a goal. His empty-netter at 19:36 of the third period was the first by any Binghamton goalie and the sixth in the league history to score a goal by actually shooting the puck into the vacated net.
Goaltender Mike Brodeur makes his fifth return to The Blue Cross Arena since calling Rochester his home in 2008-09. The 25-year-old netminder finished his service in the Flower City among the league's elite goaltenders, compiling an 18-13-4 record in 38 games. His 2.45 goals-against average and.921 save percentage were 11th and seventh best, respectively, at the conclusion of the regular season. This season with Binghamton, the former AHL All-Star is 10-10-2 with a 3.16 goals-against average and a.897 save percentage in 30 appearances. He also made his National Hockey League debut this season with the Ottawa Senators, recording a 22-save win against the Minnesota Wild on December 19th.
The Amerks head north of the border on Saturday, March 27th for the first of back-to-back tilts with the Toronto Marlies. Faceoff is slated for a 4:00 p.m. start at Ricoh Coliseum. The matchup can be heard live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester's Sports Talk.
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