Rochester Americans Game Preview: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
TONIGHT'S GAME OVERVIEW
- The Rochester Americans (15-4-2-2) close out their four-game homestand tonight as they welcome the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (13-8-3-1) back to The Blue Cross Arena for the only time this season. In the last four meetings between the two clubs over the previous two seasons, the Amerks have completed the season sweep while outscoring the Penguins 23-9 over that span. 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.
LAST TIME OUT
- For the first time in 14 games and 39 days, the Amerks suffered a regulation loss as they come up short in a 3-1 setback to the defending Calder Cup champion Charlotte Checkers Saturday night at The Blue Cross Arena to split the two-game weekend set.
- Prior to Saturday's loss, the Amerks produced a 12-game point streak, showing a 10-0-1-1 record dating back to Nov. 1. Rochester, however, has picked up points in 17 of the last 20 contests overall, going 13-3-2-2 over that span, while also earning 34 out of a possible 46 points through their first 23 contests of the season.
- Jean-Sebastien Dea scored the lone Amerks goal during the second period for his eighth of the season from Jacob Bryson and John Gilmour while netminder Andrew Hammond (8-2-1) made 27 saves.
ROAD AHEAD FOR ROCHESTER
- Following tonight's game with the Penguins, the Amerks hit the road on Friday, Dec. 13 for the first half of a two-game set with the Laval Rocket at 7:30 p.m. at Place Bell. After a quick turnaround, the same two teams will meet up for a 3:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Both contests will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
STREAKING INTO DECEMBER
- 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 while winning the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL's regular season champions.
- 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 nine goals and 17 points and is tied for fifth in assists (8). Oglevie, who's one of just three skaters to appear in all 23 games this season, enters the week with 11 points (7+4) over his last 10 games, which included a career-long seven-game point streak that produced his first hat trick.
- Rookie forward Brett Murray enters the week with one goal, six assists and a pair of multi-point efforts over his last eight games. He's currently tied for 13th in scoring among all AHL rookies with 14 points (3+11) in 18 games while being held off the scoresheet only seven times this season. Centering Murray and Oglevie is veteran Kevin Porter, who's second on the team with 16 points while his six goals are tied for third-best through 23 games this season.
- Rookie defenseman Jacob Bryson leads all AHL first-year players with a plus-14 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 56 goals through the first 23 games of the season, the second-fewest in the AHL.
- Last Wednesday's shutout against Toronto was Hammond's third in his last seven appearances, matching his season total with the Iowa Wild last season. He boasts an 8-2-2 record this season while ranking second among all netminders in shutouts (3) and tied for 11th in wins (8). In his last seven games, Hammond has posted five wins, three shutouts, a 1.42 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage.
- Fresh off his first AHL shutout 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 week, he owns the fourth-best goal-against average in the league (2.10) and is eighth 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 20 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. Casey Nelson ranks fifth among blueliners with a plus-13 on-ice rating. Since returning from Buffalo on Nov. 3, Pilut has eight points (1+7) over his last 10 games dating back to Nov. 15.
- Tonight is the 45th all-time meeting between the two teams with the Amerks having won five of the last seven get-togethers.
- Rochester's 1-0 shutout win on Nov. 30 versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton marked its first 1-0 victory since Mar. 27, 2013 against the Syracuse Crunch.
- Amerks head coach Chris Taylor along with team captain Kevin Porter spent the 2016-17 season with the Penguins while Scott Wilson made his pro debut with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the Spring of 2014 before winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Amerks forward Jarrett Burton spent the last four seasons in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while Jean-Sebastien Dea played his first five seasons in Pittsburgh's organization.
- Amerks assistant coach Toby Petersen spent parts of three seasons as a player with the Penguins from 2000-2004.
- Amerks general manager Randy Sexton also spent seven seasons (2010-11 to 2016-17) with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization while playing a key role in leading the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. He's also the father of current Penguins forward Ben Sexton.
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