Rochester Americans Game Preview: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 vs. Toronto Marlies
TONIGHT'S GAME OVERVIEW
- The Rochester Americans (13-3-2-2) open the final month of the calendar year tonight when they return back to The Blue Cross Arena for a rematch with the Toronto Marlies (15-3-2-1). The matchup will be the first of a season-long four-game homestand and second between Rochester and Toronto in a five-day span. 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
- Andrew Oglevie scored all three goals for his first professional hat trick on his way to single-handedly leading the Amerks to a 3-2 road victory over the Cleveland Monsters Saturday night.
- With the win, the Amerks closed out the month of November on a 10-game point streak (8-0-1-1) while also earning 30 out of a possible 40 points through their first 20 contests of the campaign. Additionally, Rochester has picked up points in 15 of the last 17 contests overall, going 11-2-2-2 over that span.
- In addition to a three-goal outing from Oglevie on Saturday, Brett Murray and Kevin Porter also finished with multi-point nights for the Amerks, who climbed back to within three points of first place in the AHL's North Division standings. Both Oglevie (7+3) and Porter (2+7) extended their point streaks to seven games for the Amerks, who show a record of 28-7-3-3 since the start of the 2011-12 seasons against Cleveland. Goaltender Jonas Johansson (6-2-2) pushed his win streak to four games as he made 24 saves while also earning his career-best sixth win of the season for Rochester.
ROAD AHEAD FOR ROCHESTER
- The Amerks continue their four-game homestand on Friday, Dec. 6 when they host the defending Calder Cup champion Charlotte Checkers at 7:05 p.m. in the first of back-to-back meetings at The Blue Cross Arena. The two teams will square off again the following night in Rochester to conclude the two-game set. Both matchups will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
STREAKING INTO DECEMBER
- The month of November was a productive one for the Amerks, who collected at least one point in all 10 games while posting an 8-0-1-1 record, the second-best mark in the league over that span behind only the Milwaukee Admirals. Rochester began the month with back-to-back wins before reeling off five straight victories between Nov. 13 and Nov. 23, marking the team's longest stretch since a five-game win streak from Oct. 10 to Oct. 19 of last season. With a point tonight, the Amerks can push the point streak to 11 games, their first since Oct. 12 to Nov. 10 during the 2009-10 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 16 points while tied for third in assists. Oglevie, who's one of just three skaters to appear in all 20 games this season, enters the week riding a career-long seven-game point streak, including goals in five of six games over that span.
- Kevin Porter (2+7) also enters tonight's contest amid a career-long seven-game point streak. Porter, who appeared in his 500th AHL game this past Friday, produced his first three-assist effort on Saturday since Feb. 10, 2017 as a member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
- Rookie forward Brett Murray pushed his point streak to five games as he has one goal, six assists and a pair of multi-point efforts during that span. He begins the month of December tied for sixth in scoring among all AHL rookies with 14 points (3+11) in 15 games while being held off the scoresheet only four times this season.
- On Saturday night, goaltender Jonas Johansson improved his record to an AHL-best 6-2-2 while also upping his personal win streak to four games as he made 24 saves. Andrew Hammond, the other half of Rochester's elite goaltending tandem, boasts a 7-1-2 record on the season while his seven wins are tied for 10th among all netminders. In his last six starts, Hammond has posted four wins, two shutouts, a 1.59 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.
THE BEST OFFENSE IS A GOOD DEFENSE
- The Amerks come into the week owning 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 17 games of the season. The reigning Eddie Shore Award winner and two-time AHL All-Star is currently tied for 12th in scoring among all defensemen with 13 points and is tied for 10th with a team-high 11 assists. Nelson's three goals this season are tied for 19th-most by a defenseman while his team-best plus-14 on-ice rating is tied for fourth in the league among all active blueliners. Since returning from the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 3, Pilut has registered seven points (1+6) over his last seven games.
SCOUTING THE MARLIES
- Toronto returns to Rochester with a 15-3-2-1 record and sits just three points ahead of the Amerks for the top spot in the AHL's North Division standings.
- On Monday, the Marlies named Greg Moore as their new head coach, replacing Sheldon Keefe, who was promoted to the big club. Moore spent the last two seasons as head coach of the Chicago Steel (USHL), compiling a record of 51-24-5 in 80 games behind the bench.
- The Marlies have lost just once on home ice to start the season, showing a near-perfect 9-1-0-0 record while outscoring the opposition 46-27.
- Toronto returns to Rochester fueled by sixth-year pro Pontus Aberg, who leads the Marlies with 24 points (10+14) while appearing in all 21 games so far this seasaon. He's currently tied for sixth in scoring among the AHL's top point-getters and comes into tonight riding a five-game point streak (2+6), which includes a three-point outing (1+2) in the previous get-together with Rochester just five days ago.
- Kenny Agostino leads the team with 11 goals and Jeremy Bracco, who won the Calder Cup with Toronto in 2018 and was named a First Team AHL All-Star last season, has a team-high 17 assists in 21 games, good for fourth in the league in that category.
- Forward Curtis Lazar was reassigned by the Sabres yesterday to the Amerks while forward Shaw Boomhower was reassigned to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL.
- In 14 of the last 19 meetings dating back to the 2016-17 season, the team that scored first has gone on to come away with the victory.
- After dropping three straight games against the Marlies, the Amerks have come away with the victory in eight of the last 10 meetings in the head-to-head series, while outscoring Toronto 45-30 over that span.
- In the previous 15 games against the Marlies, the Amerks' penalty kill has successfully killed off 46 of the 52 penalties.
In six of the last seven meetings dating back to last season, the winning team has scored five goals.
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