Rochester Americans Game Preview: Sunday, October 13 at Hartford Wolf Pack
TODAY'S GAME OVERVIEW
- The Rochester Americans (2-1-0-0) wrap up their three-game trek through New England this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. against the Hartford Wolf Pack (3-0-0-0) at XL Center. The contest will be the first of just two meetings between the two teams this season and can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV. The Amerks and Wolf Pack will close out their season series next month as Hartford makes its lone visit to Rochester on Friday, Nov. 22.
LAST TIME OUT
- A late goal by the Providence Bruins in the final minute of regulation ultimately proved to be the difference as the Amerks came up short in suffering their first loss of the 2019-20 season Saturday at Dunkin' Donuts Center.
- Amerks forward Jean-Sebastien Dea scored his first goal of the season and as an Amerk while C.J. Smith also tallied his first of the campaign.
- Goaltender Jonas Johansson stopped 27 of 30 shots in his season debut but was dealt the loss.
- Along with Dea, Curtis Lazar also earned his first point as an Amerk last night as he was credited with the lone assist on Smith's second-period goal.
ROAD AHEAD FOR ROCHESTER
- Following this afternoon's matchup with the Wolf Pack, the Amerks return to the Flower City for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop against the Cleveland Monsters on Friday, Oct. 18. All of the action can be heard live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
HOMECOMING FOR THOMPSON
- This afternoon's matchup in Hartford may feel like a bit of a home game for Amerks forward Tage Thompson. Thompson, who was held without a point last night for the first time this season, spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons at the University of Connecticut before joining the pro circuit.
- As a sophomore during the 2016-17 season, Thompson led all Huskie skaters with a career-high 19 goals as well as 32 points in 34 contests. His 13 assists were fourth-best among all UCONN forwards.
- In his first season with UCONN, Thompson ranked second on the team with 32 points on 14 goals and 18 assists.
- Scored 19 points (13+6) on the power-play, which included 13 goals that led the entire NCAA.
- Finished third in points (32), second in goals (14) and tied for third in assists (18) in the UCONN Division I rookie scoring record book.
AMERKS BEGIN SEASON UNDER DINEEN
- Prior to the start of the season, Gord Dineen assumed Rochester's head coaching duties on an interim basis as Chris Taylor joined the Buffalo Sabres coaching staff in the absence of Sabres assistant coach Don Granato, who took a medical leave from the team.
- Dineen is currently in his 18th season as an AHL coach and third with the Amerks in 2019-20. He became the 33rd head coach in franchise history and the very first to start the season behind the bench on an interim basis. Never before in the 63-year history of the franchise have the Amerks began a new season under an interim head coach. That all changed on opening night as Dineen became the first in his position to open the season with a coaching win.
RETURNERS EMERGING AS EARLY SEASON LEADERS
- Despite being held off the scoresheet last night for the first time this season, Thompson has totaled 14 points (10+4) over his last 14 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 eight goals in just 11 career regular-season games with Rochester, matching the total he set over a 30-game stint with the San Antonio Rampage during his rookie season in 2017-18. The third-year pro leads the Amerks with three points (2+1) and enters today's matchup tied for 16th among the AHL's top goal-scorers.
- Zach Redmond is tied for sixth amongst all AHL defensemen in scoring after opening the season with three assists. The reigning Eddie Shore Award winner has collected four assists in his last seven games dating back to last season. His three assists are also third in the league among blueliners.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
- As the Amerks conclude their first road trip of the season this afternoon, they do so coming off a year in which they posted an AHL-best 25-9-3-1 road record, finishing one point ahead of the eventual Calder Cup champion Charlotte Checkers with a .711 points percentage.
- Rochester's 25 road wins last season tied a franchise record originally set during the 1998-99 season and were the most in the AHL.
- The team also finished with the fewest regulation road losses with nine, having collected at least one point in 29 of their 38 road contests.
SCOUTING THE WOLF PACK
- The Wolf Pack enter the matchup as one of six unbeaten teams thus far sitting after opening the season with three straight wins. Hartford sits atop the Atlantic Division with a perfect 3-0-0-0 record and have outscored its opponents 12-7 through its first three games.
- Hartford's offense is led by second-year pro Filip Chytil, who leads the Pack with four points (1+3), 11 shots and plus-four on-ice rating.
- After leading the team in goals for the second straight year last season, Vinni Lettieri has two goals through his first three appearances.
- Tonight is just the 26th all-time meeting between Rochester and Hartford with the Amerks owning a 13-10-2 record. The Amerks have won eight of the last 15 meetings with the Wolf Pack.
- During the 2018-19 season series between the two clubs, the visiting time won all four games.
- Hartford's Danny O'Regan is a former Amerk forward who spent the majority of the 2018-19 season with the Amerks and part of the 2017-18 campaign.
Last season, O'Regan reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career and recorded a personal-best 28 assists in 70 games. He currently leads all Wolf Pack skaters with four assists.
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