Typically game day skates are optional and a majority of the time everyone is on the ice, except for today. Missing from the ice is Drew Larman, Dan Collins, Mike Caruso, Rory Fitzpatrick, Karl Stewart, and Michal Repik. Fitzpatrick isn’t expected to play tonight which would explain his absence.
The Amerks will have a new defensemen on the ice soon when Matt Duffy from the University of Maine arrives. U of Maine was eliminated on Sunday in the Hockey East playoffs in a 6-2 loss against Boston. Duffy was selected by Florida Panthers in round 4 and #104 overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. In 39 games this season he had 7 goals and 10 assists along with 64 penalty minutes. He’s listed at 6′ and 201lbs.
A player that is finally back on the ice is Tanner Glass. Glass is recovering from a shoulder injury and expects to be playing again by the end of the month. In 44 games played this season Tanner has 4 goals, 9 assists, and 100 penalty minutes. For as long as he’s been out of action he’s still third on the team in penalty minutes.
The Amerks are currently on a six game winless streak and hoping to end that skid tonight. The longest winless streak of the season is seven, hopefully that doesn’t get tied tonight. The last time these two teams played the Amerks lost in a shootout 3-2 back on January 23rd. The only wins of the season against the Moose came back in early January when the Amerks won a two game road trip in Manitoba.
The key to victory is scoring goals, as usual. Stopping goals will also be a deciding factor. Stating the obvious is always a good time.
Tyler Plante is expected to start in goal tonight. Tyler Plante is 5-5-1 since his return to the Amerks and is 5-10-1 on the season with a 3.17 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.
If some goals are to be scored the team will be relying on Repik, Duco, and McArdle.
First-year forward Michal Repik, who has 23 points (11+12) in his last 23 games, currently paces Rochester’s offense with a team-high 18 goals and 42 points. His 42 points presently rank him 13th among AHL rookies in scoring. Rookie defenseman Jason Garrison has a team-best 26 assists and remains Rochester’s top scoring defenseman with 30 points overall, good enough for fourth on the team.
First-year forward Michael Duco is first on the team with 137 penalty minutes (PIM). Goaltender Mike Brodeur boasts a 16-11-3 record in 33 games for the Amerks. His 2.39 goals-against average and .922 save percentage currently rank him sixth and third among AHL netminders, respectively. Further, his two shutouts tie him for fifth in the league. Tyler Plante is 5-5-1 since his return to the Amerks and is 5-10-1 on the season with a 3.17 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.
Further, McArdle has two goals in two of his last three games since returning to the Amerks lineup after missing 21 games with an injury. Brine enters the week currently riding a three-game point streak (1+2). (Amerks press release)
The only thing the players can do at this point in the season is continue to work hard to earn themselves contracts here or somewhere else next season and play spoiler by beating other teams. A win against the Moose would end the winless streak, but would not do much to damper the playoff race for the Moose.
With twelve games left the race is on for someome to win the points race as well as scoring. Players in the hunt to hit the 20 goal mark are Janis Sprukts (15), Stefan Meyer (15), Michael Duco (15), Karl Stewart (16), and Michal Repik leading the team with 18 goals.
Face off is at 7:35pm, see ya at the War Memorial!