Rochester Americans Game Preview: Saturday, December 14, 2019 at Laval Rocket
TODAY'S GAME OVERVIEW
- After a quick turnaround, the Rochester Americans (17-4-2-2) and Laval Rocket (15-11-3-0) meet up again this afternoon for a rematch at Place Bell. The 3:00 p.m. matinee will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV. In the last six meetings between the two teams dating back to the 2017-18 season, the Amerks have won six times.
LAST TIME OUT
- On the strength of multi-point efforts from forwards Eric Cornel (1+1) and Sean Malone (1+1), the Amerks opened the first half of a two-game set against Laval with a narrow 3-2 victory Friday night at Place Bell. The win also put the Amerks back into sole possession of first place in the AHL's North Division standings heading into today.
- With the win, the Amerks have earned points in 13 of their last 14 games dating back to Nov. 1, showing a 12-1-1-1 record over that span. Additionally, Rochester has picked up points in 19 of the last 22 contests overall, going 15-3-2-2, while also earning 38 out of a possible 50 points through their first 25 contests of the season.
- Both Cornel and Malone each contributed a goal and an assist for the Amerks. Defenseman Casey Nelson opened the scoring on the night with his fourth tally of the season while goaltender Jonas Johansson extended his personal win streak to a career-best six games as he made 35 saves. The Swedish netminder shows an 8-2-2 record while his 2.09 goals-against average is second-best in the AHL.
ROAD AHEAD FOR ROCHESTER
- After today's contest, the Amerks close out their three-game road swing as they make their 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. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
STREAKING INTO DECEMBER
- Last 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 saw the Amerks shutout their opponents on four different occasions, including on back-to-back nights for the first time since 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 a little over 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 19 points and is tied for fifth in assists (9). Oglevie, who's one of just three skaters to appear in all 25 games this season, enters the weekend with 13 points (8+5) over his last 12 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 10 games. He's currently tied for 13th in scoring among all AHL rookies with 14 points (3+11) in 20 games. Centering Murray and Oglevie is veteran Kevin Porter, who's second on the team with 18 points while his six goals are tied for third-best through 25 games this season.
- Rookie defenseman Jacob Bryson shares the lead for 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 60 goals through the first 25 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 ninth 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 sixth straight win last night against Laval, Johansson shows an AHL career-best 8-2-2 record, including his first AHL shutout against Charlotte on Dec. 6. Coming into the weekend, he owns the third-best goal-against average in the league (2.09) and is tied for sixth among all netminders with a .927 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 22 games of the season. The reigning Eddie Shore Award winner and two-time AHL All-Star is currently tied for 11th in scoring among all defensemen with 16 points and 12th with a team-high 13 assists. Since returning from Buffalo on Nov. 3, Pilut has eight points (1+7) over his last 12 games dating back to Nov. 15.
- Rochester comes into today with a 10-3-0 all-time record against Laval and winners in six of the last seven 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 7-6-2 in 16 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.
- Casey Nelson's four goals this season lead all Amerks defensemen and are tied for 12th-most among AHL blueliners.
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