Rochester hosts Hamilton tonight
Tonight, the Rochester Americans (21-7-1-0, 43 points) will host their North Division rivals, the Hamilton Bulldogs (19-10-1-1, 40 points), at The Blue Cross Arena. The game is a showdown between the top two teams in the division. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be broadcast live on Hot Talk 1280-AM WHTK, whtk.com and B2 Networks.
Head-to-Head: Tonight's game will be the fourth between the two teams this season and their third meeting in the last three weeks. In their last meeting on Friday, December 15th, the Amerks gave up a season-high eight goals to the Bulldogs en route to an 8-4 loss. Andrei Kostitsyn led Hamilton's offense with two goals and three assists. Kostitsyn has done significant damage against the Amerks, tallying three goals and six assists in three games against Rochester this season. Drew Stafford has led the Amerks against Hamilton, posting five points (3+2) and a plus-four rating in two games against the Bulldogs this season. The Amerks are 1-2-0 against Hamilton during their 2006-07 campaign.
Amerk Notes: The Amerks enter tonight's contest following a 6-5 comeback-win against the Binghamton Senators on Saturday, December 23rd. Andrej Sekera (2+1) and Mike Funk (1+0) netted their first professional markers and the Amerks netted four straight power-play goals to cap their 21st win of the season. Clarke MacArthur contributed an assist in the game to extend his point-scoring streak to seven games (6+5). MacArthur leads the Amerks and is eighth in the league with 36 points (12+24). Drew Stafford is third among league rookies with a plus-13 rating. Brandon Smith's 23 points (6+17) is third among league defensemen. The Amerks' have jump-started their power play, as they are an impressive 12-for-29 (41.3%) with the man-advantage in their last five games. Rochester is 17.8% overall on the power play this season, good enough for 11th in the AHL.
Player Moves: Today, the Florida Panthers reassigned defenseman Martin Tuma from the Florida Everblades (ECHL) to the Amerks. Tuma has played in 19 games with the Everblades and has three assists and 48 penalty minutes. Tuma spent 12 games with the Amerks last season. Forward Janis Sprukts was reassigned to Rochester on December 23rd, but was recalled earlier today by the Panthers.
Hamilton Notes: The Bulldogs, who trail the Amerks by three points in the North Division standings, have not lost in regulation in their last six contests (5-0-1-0) and are 7-2-1-0 in their last 10. The Bulldogs' offense is led by right winger Duncan Milroy who has 12 goals and 17 assists in 29 games. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak leads the AHL with a stifling 1.48 GAA, .950 SV% and five shutouts. The Hamilton defense leads the league in team GAA, allowing an average of just 2.39 goals per game.
Free pregame Open Skate: The Amerks are hosting a free open skate at The Blue Cross Arena from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Bring your game ticket and your skates to enjoy two hours of free ice skating entertainment.
Next Game: The Amerks will be in action again on Friday, December 29th when they take on the Binghamton Senators at The Blue Cross Arena. At the game, fans will be able to exchange an unwanted holiday gift for a $15.00 Amerks ticket. Only new, unwrapped gifts will be accepted. The game is also a College Student Discount Night. College students with a student ID will receive a ticket to the game for $8.00. The 7:35 p.m. contest will be broadcast live on Hot Talk 1280-AM WHTK, whtk.com and B2 Networks. The game will also be televised live on TWSN.
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