The first place Rochester Americans have home games every Friday night in the month of December starting tonight against the Providence Bruins. The Amerks have been in first place in the North Division since the start of the season and with eight games against divisional teams before the end of the month they have the biggest challenge ahead.
Amerks have currently won four of their last six games and are coming off of one of their better games of the season this past Wednesday night. Five different goal scorers, contributions from everyone at both ends of the ice, and proof of what this team is capable of even with one their best defenseman in Lawrence Pilut called up to the Sabres.
The last time these two teams played was November 17 and the Bruins won 3-2 in overtime. Justin Bailey had scored two second period goals before the team sat back coughing up two goals before losing in overtime. Last time the Amerks beat the Bruins was January 18, 2009. Goals that night from Rory Fitzpatrick, Janis Sprukts, Kenndal McArdle, and Drew Larman. Winning goalie was Mike Brodeur. The Bruins had some goalie named Tuukka Rask sitting on the bench.
A caveat with that stat is that these teams rarely play each other. There’s only been 8 games between the two teams since that night in 2009. In those eight games the Amerks are 0-6-2-0.
Key to success for this Amerks team is every hockey catch phrase – stick to the game plan, start strong, finish strong. They’re 6-0-0-0 when leading after the first period and 10-0-2-0 when leading after the second. Score more than the opposing team in the first 40 minutes.
Zach Redmond has been scoreless the last three games and still leads the American League as the highest scoring defenseman with 22 points (13G+9A). Lawrence Pilut has missed the last three games while up with the Sabres and remains tied for the lead with Redmond.
Scott Wedgewood and Matt Tennyson were called up to the Buffalo Sabres this morning. Details on the reasons behind those to come.
Jonas Johansson is expected to start in net tonight for the second straight game. Johansson made 25 saves in the win on Wednesday night. He was helped by a strong defensive game from all 18 skaters in front of him. Jack Dougherty will fill in for the spot left open by Tennyson. Forwards are expected to remain the same.
Andrew Oglevie (concussion/indefinite) and Kyle Criscuolo (lower body/week to week) remain on the injured list.
TONIGHT’S PROMOTIONS (From Amerks.com)
Pregame Happy Hour: The Amerks will host a Genesee Pregame Party Happy Hour prior to every Friday and Saturday home game this season in the Genesee Brew House Upper Atrium Bar, featuring live music and $2 drafts of Genesee and Genesee Light.
Zweigle’s Family Four Packs: Zweigle’s Family Packs are available for every Amerks Friday and Sunday home game during the 2018-19 Season. For just $79, fans will receive Lower Level tickets (some restrictions may apply), four hot dogs and four sodas. A minimum of four tickets is required in order to purchase the Zweigle’s Family Pack.
Distillery Eats & Seats: This popular package returns for another year as fans can purchase a Lower Level ticket and $10 gift card to The Distillery for just $25.
Kids Tickets: The Amerks are offering a special Kids Ticket price of just $10 per seat for kids age 2-6 with the purchase of an adult ticket at the Box Office for all home games.