Janis Sprukts had an eight point weekend, leading the Amerks to two victories out East. On Friday night he posted a hat trick and an assist. Tonight, Sprukts had another goal and three assists. The player everyone has been waiting for has returned.
Team captain Rory Fitzpatrick had a goal and an assist in tonight’s win over the Providence Bruins. He took 6 shots which sometimes is as many as the whole team gets in a game.
The Amerks played without many key players. Stefan Meyer is still out with a knee sprain. Mike Caruso is out. Riley Emmerson is out. Franklin MacDonald had to travel home this weekend because of a death in the family (our condolences to you and your family Frank). And Jason Garrison didn’t play in tonight’s game after having a four point night on Friday.
Players stepped up this weekend to make sure the team didn’t slump because of injuries. Drew Larman, who has been nearly impossible to find on the ice this season, had three points this weekend (an assist on Friday and a goal and an assist on Sunday). Peter Aston did his job, getting a +2 rating on Friday night and a +1 tonight with an assist. Jordan Henry was a +2 tonight (with only one hooking penalty).
Tanner Glass seemed to be mostly invisible all weekend. Besides being on the ice for one goal on Friday, he really didn’t do anything.
Mike Brodeur was in goal both nights, once again showing that with him in goal the team is more confident. In all three away games this week, there were three goals against. In the two that Brodeur started, the Amerks won them and played with much more confidence. The Amerks were outshot in both games, but Brodeur kept them in the game without too much hassle.
On Wednesday’s loss against the Senators, the Amerks led in shots throughout the game, but two early goals let in by Beckford-Tseu kept the Amerks behind the whole time. Once those two goals were in, the team never looked the same. They immediately became the sloppy, unprepared team that we knew and hated at the beginning of the season.
The Amerks are 6-2 for the new year and not really looking to slow down, even with a rash of injuries going around. The All-Star break is coming up after this weekend and that will be good for injured parties.
This weekend, the Amerks are back at home for two games. On Thursday night, the Syracuse Crunch come to town again. The game starts at 7:05PM. I hope that Emmerson will have his ankle ready to go…I still want to see him drop the gloves with Mirasty. Although, watching Mirasty have nothing to do the whole game is always amusing.
Friday night, the Manitoba Moose will be strolling into Rochester. They will be looking for retribution for the two losses the Amerks handed to them a few weeks ago. We can all expect Cory Schneider to be in goal for the Moose, making the Amerks’ scoring a little harder. With effort like they put in this weekend, there is no reason they can’t beat Manitoba for the third time in a row.
Saturday night, the Amerks travel out to Albany to take on the RiverRats. The last time the Amerks met the Rats was in Mike Brodeur’s first game with the team. He shut them out and the team scored more goals than they were used to at the time winning 4-0. A repeat of that would be nice going into the All-Star break.
Make sure to check in to lga585.com during the All-Star weekend. We will be there, updating as often as we can. We are looking forward to a good time in Worcester, MA! We will have plenty of coverage of Mike Brodeur, Rory Fitzpatrick and the rest of the best in the AHL.