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Rochester Americans Game Preview: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at Cleveland Monsters

January 22, 2020 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Rochester Americans News Release

TONIGHT'S GAME OVERVIEW

- The Rochester Americans (21-13-2-4) put the finishing touches on a three-game road trip tonight at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse when they take on the North Division rival Cleveland Monsters (18-20-1-2) in the second meeting between the two teams in less than seven days. The 7:00 p.m. matchup will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.

LAST TIME OUT

- The Hershey Bears scored three times in the third period on their way to a 4-1 win over the Amerks this past Sunday in the weekend finale at Giant Center.

- The matchup, which was the 460th all-time meeting among the league's two oldest franchises, resulted in a season split for the two teams after the Amerks prevailed with a 5-1 victory in the only other get-together with the Bears back on Oct. 23 in Rochester.

- Forward Remi Elie provided the lone Amerks tally in the final minute of regulation with his fourth of the season from Jean-Sebastien Dea while rookie goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (0-1-1) made his second appearance of the weekend. The Finnish netminder made 32 saves but suffered the loss.

- Despite the loss, the Amerks show a 16-10-1-3 record over their last 30 games dating back to Nov. 1, earning points in 20 games over that span. Rochester remains just six points out of first place behind the Utica Comets and Belleville Senators, who each have 25 wins and 54 points for a share of the North Division lead. The Amerks, however, have three games in hand on both the Comets and Senators entering the final week prior to the annual AHL All-Star break.

ROAD AHEAD FOR ROCHESTER

- Following tonight's matchup, the Amerks will host the Laval Rocket at The Blue Cross Arena on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7:05 p.m. before closing out the weekend in Syracuse with a 7:00 p.m. face-off against the Crunch from Upstate Medical University Arena on Saturday, Jan. 25. Both matchups will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.

AMERKS GET TRIO FROM BUFFALO

- The Buffalo Sabres reassigned forwards Rasmus Asplund and Scott Wilson as well as defenseman Lawrence Pilut to the Amerks on Sunday. Asplund returns to Rochester after spending nearly three months during his first-career recall with the Sabres. The Swedish forward posted three points (1+2) in 28 contests since making his NHL debut for Buffalo back on Nov. 16 against Ottawa. He recorded his first NHL point on Jimmy Vesey's second-period goal against Calgary on Nov. 27 and scored his first NHL goal at the 19:01 mark of Buffalo's 7-1 rout over New Jersey on Dec. 2.

TEAM AND LEAGUE LEADERS

- Jean-Sebastien Dea continues to lead the team in both goals (12) and points (28) in 38 games this season. Coming into week, Dea, who is also second among all Amerks forwards with 74 shots on goal, has 10 points (2+8) in his last 13 games dating back to Dec. 20.

SHARING THE CREASE

- Anchored by the goaltending tandem of veteran Andrew Hammond and third-year pro Jonas Johansson, the Amerks own one of the top defenses in AHL, having allowed only 108 goals through the first 40 games of the season, the third-fewest in the AHL coming into this week. The duo has also combined for six shutouts and continue to rank among the AHL's goaltending leaders with 10 and 11 wins on the season, respectively.

- Hammond (10-9-2) ranks second among all netminders after notching his fourth shutout of the season back on Dec. 14 in a 5-0 win over Laval, a new career-high. With four shutouts through 23 games this season, he's on pace to match the franchise record for most shutouts in a season (8) set by Ryan Miller during the 2004-05 campaign.

- Having won nine of his last 11 appearances, Johansson shows an AHL career-best 11-3-3 record with two shutouts this season. He has the fifth-best goal-against average in the league (2.23) and ranks sixth among all netminders with a .924 save percentage in 18 games. Dating back to Nov. 13, the third-year netminder boasts an impressive 9-1-1 record with two shutouts, a 2.15 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage while allowing just two goals or less in six consecutive starts over that span.

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 2019-20 season is just a different chapter in the same story for the 31-year-old Redmond, who hasn't gone more than five games without a point all season. The two-time AHL All-Star and reigning Eddie Shore Award winner is presently tied for 10th in scoring among all defensemen with 24 points and ranks 10th with a team-high 19 assists. He's also tied for 20th for goals by a defenseman with five through 37 games this season.

- Back from his second recall of the season with Buffalo, Pilut has 16 points (4+12) over his last 21 games dating back to Nov. 15, including goals in three of his last seven outings. Having already established a new AHL career-high in goals, the former SHL Defenseman of the Year is also on pace to set a new career-high in points.

- After missing two games and returning to the lineup this past Friday night, Nelson is tied for 12th among all active blueliners with a team-best plus-13 on-ice rating through 36 games.

SERIES NOTABLES

- Rookie defenseman Jacob Bryson is 18th in the AHL for all first-year players with a plus-6 on-ice rating while being the only Amerk to appear in all 40 games so far this season.

- Rochester holds a record of 28-7-3-4 over Cleveland since the start of the 2011-12 campaign.

- Forward Andrew Oglevie scored his first career hat trick in Rochester's previous trip out to Cleveland back on Nov. 30 when he single-handedly outscored the Monsters to lead the Amerks to a 3-2 win.

- Amerks assistant coach Toby Petersen spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons behind the bench with the Monsters. Petersen helped the team earn its first Calder Cup in 2016.


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American Hockey League Stories from January 22, 2020


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