Rochester Americans Game Preview: Friday, December 13, 2019 at Laval Rocket
TONIGHT'S GAME OVERVIEW
- Fresh off a four-game homestand, the Rochester Americans (16-4-2-2) hit the road for three straight tonight in the first half of a two-game set with the Laval Rocket at 7:30 p.m. at Place Bell. In the last six meetings between the two teams dating back to the 2017-18 season, the Amerks have won five times. Tonight's contest will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
LAST TIME OUT
- The Amerks jumped out to a 4-0 lead midway through the third period against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and withstood a late push from the visitors to come away with a 4-2 win to close out their four-game homestand Wednesday night at The Blue Cross Arena.
- With the victory, the Amerks have earned points in 12 of their last 13 games dating back to Nov. 1, showing an 11-1-1-1 record over that span. Additionally, Rochester has picked up points in 18 of the last 21 contests overall, going 14-3-2-2 while also earning 36 out of a possible 48 points through their first 24 contests of the season.
- Jean-Sebastien Dea, Curtis Lazar and C.J. Smith, who returned to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 2, all recorded a pair of points as they netted a goal with an assist while Andrew Oglevie rounded out the scoring. Goaltender Andrew Hammond improved to 9-2-2 as he made 20 saves on the night. Taylor Leier made his long-awaited season debut and recorded one shot after missing the first 23 games.
ROAD AHEAD FOR ROCHESTER
- After a quick turnaround, the Amerks and Rocket will meet up for a 3:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday before Rochester makes its way to the southern tier on Wednesday, Dec. 18 for a North Division showdown with the Binghamton Devils at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Both contests will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
STREAKING INTO DECEMBER
- This past Saturday's 3-1 loss to Charlotte was the first in regulation for Rochester since Oct. 30 and just the second on home ice this season. The setback snapped a 12-game point streak for the Amerks, their longest since a 14-game run from Jan. 16 to Feb. 11 during the 2004-05 season. That same season saw the Amerks come within one win of tying their franchise record of 52 wins.
- Rochester's 12-game point streak was highlighted by five straight wins during the month of November, marking the team's longest stretch since a five-game win streak between Oct. 10 and Oct. 19 of last season. The month of November also the Amerks shutout their opponents on four different occasions, including back-to-back nights. for the first time since March 24 and 27 during the 2012-13 season.
TEAM AND LEAGUE LEADERS
- After an injury-riddled rookie season limited him to just 28 games, Andrew Oglevie has certainly made up for lost time in his second season with the Amerks. In just two months' time, Oglevie has already surpassed his goal (5), assist (5) and point (10) total from last season and now paces the Amerks with 10 goals and 18 points and is tied for fifth in assists (8). Oglevie, who's one of just three skaters to appear in all 24 games this season, enters the weekend with 12 points (8+4) over his last 11 games, a stretch which included a career-long seven-game point streak that produced his first hat trick.
- Rookie forward Brett Murray enters the weekend with one goal, six assists and a pair of multi-point efforts over his last nine games. He's currently tied for 13th in scoring among all AHL rookies with 14 points (3+11) in 19 games. Centering Murray and Oglevie is veteran Kevin Porter, who's second on the team with 17 points while his six goals are tied for third-best through 24 games this season.
- Rookie defenseman Jacob Bryson leads all AHL first-year players with a plus-15 on-ice rating.
DYNAMIC DUO IN THE CREASE
- Anchored by the goaltending duo of veteran Andrew Hammond and third-year pro Jonas Johansson, the Amerks own one of the top defenses in the league, having allowed 58 goals through the first 24 games of the season, the second-fewest in the AHL.
- Through his first 14 appearances, Hammond has already matched his career-high in shutouts (3), a mark he hit last season as a member of the Iowa Wild. He boasts a 9-2-2 record this season while ranking second among all netminders in shutouts (3) and tied for eighth in wins (9). Over his last eight games, the Surrey, B.C., native has posted six wins, three shutouts, a 1.50 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage. He's also contributed offensively with two assists over his last three games, the most since the 2013-14 season with Binghamton.
- Coming off his first AHL shutout last Friday against Charlotte, Johansson improved his record to an AHL-best 7-2-2 while also upping his personal win streak to five games. Coming into weekend, he owns the fourth-best goal-against average in the league (2.10) and is seventh with a .924 save percentage.
THE BEST OFFENSE IS A GOOD DEFENSE
- Rochester owns three of the AHL's top point-producing defensemen in Zach Redmond, Casey Nelson and Lawrence Pilut, all of whom have been mainstays on Rochester's blueline this season. The start of the 2019-20 season is just a different chapter in the same story for the 31-year-old Redmond, who's averaged nearly a point-per-game through his first 21 games of the season. The reigning Eddie Shore Award winner and two-time AHL All-Star is currently tied for 10th in scoring among all defensemen with 16 points and ranks ninth with a team-high 13 assists. Since returning from Buffalo on Nov. 3, Pilut has eight points (1+7) over his last 11 games dating back to Nov. 15.
- Rochester enters tonight's matchup with a 9-3-0 all-time record against Laval and winners in five of the last six games dating back to the 2017-18 campaign.
- The Rocket have used three different goaltenders this season with Charlie Lindgren handling much of the workload in the blue paint for the third straight season. Lindgren shows a record of 7-5-2 in 15 games while the other two goaltenders show a combined record of 8-5-1 in 14 appearances.
- Laval's roster includes former two-time team MVP and Rookie of the Year Phil Varone, who spent parts of his first five seasons (2011-16) in Rochester. He appeared in 306 career games with the Amerks and is tied for 19th all-time with 156 assists.
- Rocket rookie goaltender Cayden Primeau is the nephew of former Amerk Wayne Primeau, who was a member of the 1996 Calder Cup-winning team, and a cousin of current Amerks forward Dalton Smith.
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