Rochester Americans Game Preview: Saturday, November 2, 2019 Ay Utica Comets
TONIGHT'S GAME OVERVIEW
- The Rochester Americans (6-3-1-1) close out the first weekend of November tonight as they head east for another meeting with the first-place Utica Comets (8-1-0-0) at the Adirondack Bank Center. The matchup will be the second in three weeks between the two teams after Utica claimed the first meeting back on Oct. 19 by a 7-1 score. 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 a career-high three-point outing (2+1) by defenseman Casey Nelson and two third-period goals, the Amerks opened the month of November with a 4-2 victory over the Binghamton Devils last night at The Blue Cross Arena.
- By doubling up the Devils, the Amerks earned their seventh win in the previous eight meetings between the North Division rivals while also claiming a point in 17 of the last 21 contests dating back to the start of the 2017-18 slate. The Amerks hold a 13-4-3-1 record during that same span. Additionally, Rochester has picked up points in six of its last eight games overall to start the 2019-20 season.
- As Nelson netted his first and second goals of the campaign to go with an assist, fellow defensive partner Will Borgen tallied a pair of helpers to help the Amerks earn 14 out of a possible 22 points through their first 11 games of the season. Remi Elie, who missed the last four games due to an injury, also tallied a two-point night (1+1) while Jean-Sebastien Dea netted his team-leading fifth goal of campaign.
- Goaltender Andrew Hammond snapped his three-game winless streak as he made 27 saves to improve to 4-1-1.
ROAD AHEAD FOR ROCHESTER
- After tonight's contest with the Comets, the Amerks return to action on Friday, Nov. 8 when they welcome back the Binghamton Devils to The Blue Cross Arena. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and 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 every game so far this season, including a season-high 50 shots in Springfield on Oct. 27. The Amerks come into the weekend leading the AHL in total shots (392) and are averaging 35.64 shots per game, the most behind only the Iowa Wild. Rochester, which owns the top two shooters in the league in Tage Thompson (48) and C.J. Smith (47), currently remains the only team this season to have outshot the opposition in every game to start the 2019-20 campaign.
- With tonight's contest against the Comets, the Amerks continue a stretch in which the club will play nine of their next 10 games against North Division opponents. In addition, the Amerks are scheduled to play on the next 14 consecutive Friday nights as all but two will take place inside the friendly confines of The Blue Cross Arena.
THOMPSON TORMENTING THE OPPOSITION
- Despite being held off the scoresheet four times so far this season, Tage Thompson has totaled 20 points (12+8) over his last 22 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 10 goals in just 19 career regular-season games with Rochester, surpassing the total he set over a 30-game stint with San Antonio during his rookie season in 2017-18. The third-year pro leads the team with nine points and ranks second in goals (4) through his first 11 games of the season.
RED-HOT REDMOND: THE SEQUEL
- The start of the 2019-20 season is just a different chapter in the same story for veteran defenseman Zach Redmond, who's currently tied for seventh in scoring amongst all AHL blueliners with seven points (1+6) after averaging nearly a point-per-game through his first nine games of the season, with his only goal coming in Rochester's shootout win at Hartford back on Oct. 13. The reigning Eddie Shore Award winner and two-time AHL All-Star has collected eight points (1+7) in his last 15 games dating back to last season. His six assists also time him for sixth in the league among blueliners.
"JUST SCORING" DEA
- Coming off his third-period tally last night against Binghamton, forward Jean-Sebastien Dea leads the Amerks in goals (5) while his eight points are tied for second through the first 11 games of the season. Dea, who had his first four-point effort since Apr. 6, 2019 this past Saturday night in Syracuse, has recorded 15 points (8+7) over his last 16 AHL contests dating back to last season.
SCOUTING THE COMETS
- The Comets come into the matchup as one of the top teams in the league with an 8-1-0-0 record and 16 points, good for tops in the AHL's North Division standings and second overall. After opening the campaign with a franchise-record eight straight wins, including a 7-1 victory over Rochester back on Oct. 19, Utica was shutout last night by the Providence Bruins, 2-0, for its first loss of the campaign.
- Comets forward Reid Boucher was honored as the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October after scoring 10 goals and adding three assists for 13 points in eight games during Utica's perfect start to the season. Sparking a Comets offense that has scored a league-high 4.88 goals per game, the seventh-year pro and two-time AHL All-Star currently leads the AHL in goals and ranks second in points.
- Rochester has collected at least one point in 15 of the last 21 games against Utica dating back to the start of the 2017-18 campaign, going 10-4-2-3 over that span.
- Eleven of the last 19 games between the two teams have been decided by one goal.
- Former Amerk Justin Bailey began his career in the Flower City and totaled 118 points (62+54) in 196 games with Rochester in his first three and a half seasons from 2015 to 2019. This season with Utica, Bailey has recorded five points (3+2) in nine games.
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