Rochester Americans Game Preview: Saturday, November 16 at Utica Comets
TONIGHT'S GAME OVERVIEW
- The Rochester Americans (9-3-1-2) close out the weekend tonight as they head east for their third meeting of the season with the Utica Comets (10-5-0-0) at the Adirondack Bank Center. The matchup will be the third in four weeks between the two teams after splitting the first two games of the series. Game time is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
LAST TIME OUT
- With multi-point efforts from Lawrence Pilut (1+2), Jean-Sabastian Dea (1+1) and Andrew Oglevie (1+1) - all of whom combined for the overtime game-winning goal - the Amerks grabbed sole possession of first place in the AHL's North Division standings with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Cleveland Monsters Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
- Rochester has now earned 21 out of a possible 30 points through its first 15 games of the campaign and has picked up points in 10 of the last 12 contests overall, going 7-2-1-2 over that span. The win also improved the Amerks to 27-7-3-3 against Cleveland since the start of the 2011-12 campaign.
- In addition to Dea turning in his team-leading third multi-point effort of the season, Pilut and Oglevie each registered their second of the campaign. Goaltender Jonas Johansson (4-2-2) made his third straight appearance, earning his fourth win while making 25 saves.
ROAD AHEAD FOR ROCHESTER
- Following tonight's contest with the Comets, Rochester will take a temporary break from North Division opponents as they welcome the Hartford Wolf Pack to The Blue Cross Arena on Friday, Nov. 22. After the contest with Hartford, the Amerks will make their first trip of the campaign to the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena to face the Binghamton Devils on Saturday, Nov. 23. Both of the 7:05 p.m. contests will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
- One of the biggest factors attributed to Rochester's early season success is the fact that the Amerks have outshot their opponents in all but one game so far this season, including a season-high 50 shots in Springfield back on Oct. 27. The Amerks come into the contest ranked third in the AHL in total shots (512) and are averaging 34.13 shots per game, the most behind only the Iowa Wild. Last night's win over Cleveland was the first time this season that Rochester failed to outshoot the opposition, and up until last night, the Amerks were the only AHL team to have outshout their opponent through the first 14 games of the 2019-20 campaign.
THOMPSON CONTINUES TO TORMENT THE OPPOSITION
- Despite being held off the scoresheet in back-to-back games for just the first time so far this season, Thompson has totaled 23 points (14+9) over his last 26 games with the Amerks dating back to last season, including the two goals he scored in the first round of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Marlies. More impressively, Thompson has scored 12 goals in just 23 career regular-season games with Rochester, easily surpassing the total he set over a 30-game stint with San Antonio during his rookie season in 2017-18. The third-year pro has a share of the team lead in points (12) while tied for second in both goals (6) and assists (6) through his first 15 games of the season. He also is second in league with 64 shots on goal and is averaging at least four shots per game.
THE BEST OFFENSE IS A GOOD DEFENSE
- The Amerks come into the weekend owning three of the AHL's top point-producing defensemen in Zach Redmond, Casey Nelson and Lawrence Pilut. 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 12 games of the season. The reigning Eddie Shore Award winner and two-time AHL All-Star has collected nine points (1+8) in his last 17 games dating back to last season. Nelson and Pilut, too, are both playing at almost a point-per-game pace. With two goals each on the season, they come into the contest tied for 14th amongst all defensemen while Nelson's team-best plus-11 on-ice rating is tops in the league among all active blueliners.
- Rochester's 3-2 overtime win last night against Cleveland was the seventh game so far this season that went beyond regulation for the Amerks, the most behind only Hartford. The Amerks, who tied an AHL record during the 2017-18 season with 29 overtime games, are 3-1 in the bonus period this season and show a 1-2 record in the shootout.
MALONE ON THE MOVE
- Third-year forward Sean Malone saw his career-long seven-game point streak come to a halt last night, which was the third-longest in the AHL this season. After being held without a point in his first four games of the 2019-20 campaign, the West Seneca native responded by recording three goals and four assists dating back to Oct. 19.
SCOUTING THE COMETS
- After beginning the season with a franchise-record eight-game win streak, the Comets come into the matchup having won just twice in their last five games. Utica, however, remains the only team in the AHL's North Division with 10 wins and sits just one point behind the Amerks for the top spot in the Division.
- Utica owns two of the league's top point-getters in forwards Reid Boucher and Nikolay Goldobin, who rank first and second on the team in scoring, respectively. Goldobin is fourth in the AHL with 12 assists.
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