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Panthers Prospect Report: 12.30.09

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers


Position: D           Shoots: Left
Height:   6-4         Weight: 200
Born: 11/5/88 in Strathmore, Alberta
How Acquired: Florida's first choice (10th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
The Skinny
The Panthers first pick in the 2007 draft, defenseman Keaton Ellerby is quietly putting together a solid season for the Amerks.

Ellerby had a really strong week last week, netting five points (two goals) in two games for Rochester and finished the week a plus-four. He recorded his first four-point night (1-3-4) against Hamilton on Dec. 26. His 15 points (six goals) are good enough for second on the team among defensemen.

The Strathmore, Alberta native's play has earned him a spot in the AHL All-Star game this year in Portland, Maine for Team Canada.

32 6 9 15 7 18

(22-10-2, 1st in AHL Western Conference)

Wednesday December 30th at Hamilton (7:30pm)
Thursday December 31st at Lake Erie (5:00pm)
Saturday January 2nd at Wilkes-Barre (7:05pm)

WEEKLY NOTES: After a weekend that saw a season-high four-game losing skid turn into a two-game winning streak, the Rochester Americans have once again reclaimed the top spot in the American Hockey League’s North Division heading into the New Year. With the team continuing its fight to remain among the top of the league standings, the Amerks will usher in the start of 2010 with three straight games on the road, beginning with back-to-back divisional matchups. This week, Rochester takes to the road for midweek tilts with the Hamilton Bulldogs and Lake Erie Monsters before kicking off a new decade against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

FLORIDA SENDS AMERKS SOME REINFORCEMENTS: The Panthers reassigned forwards Steve MacIntyre and Shawn Matthias back to Rochester Monday morning in order to join the team for its three-game road trip. MacIntyre returns after receiving his second call-up to the National Hockey League this season. In seven games with the Panthers, the Brock, Saskatchewan, native has recorded 10 penalty minutes. In 10 games with the Amerks, MacIntyre has racked up 20 penalty minutes. Just one day after his fourth promotion to South Florida, Matthias rejoins the Amerks where he has three goals and four assists for seven points in 15 games. With the Panthers, the Mississauga, Ontario, native has scored five points (3+2) in 21 appearances.

HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE… NOT SO MUCH THE ROAD: With a third of the season already in the books, home ice advantage has been beneficial for the Amerks. After earning their first regulation loss of the season at home last weekend, the Amerks are now 13-2-2-0 on home ice. Conversely, eight of Rochester’s 10 losses in regulation thus far this season have been away from the friendly confines of The Blue Cross Arena.

AMERKS NOTES: Rochester (22-10-2-0, 46 points) enters the week currently at the top of the North Division and third overall in the AHL, just three points behind the league-leading Manchester Monarchs and two from the defending Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears.

The Amerks have won 21 of their last 30 games, including 13 of the last 16 at home, and have the league’s third best winning percentage (.676). The Amerks, who are tied for fourth in the AHL with six shorthanded goals, have outscored their opponents 103-81 in the last 29 games and have allowed the third fewest number of goals in their division with 97. Additionally, their 113 goals for are also the most in the division. Rochester is second in the AHL with a 20.6 power-play percentage and is 16th with an 81.7 penalty-killing percentage.

The Amerks, who are tied for third in the AHL with six shorthanded goals, have outscored their opponents 94-75 in the last 27 games and have allowed the second fewest number of goals in their division with 86. Additionally, their 102 goals for are also the most in the division. Rochester is second in the AHL with a 21.3 power-play percentage and is 15th with an 83.2 penalty-killing percentage.

Forward Jamie Johnson, in his seventh season of professional hockey, currently paces Rochester’s offense with a team-high 13 goals and 32 points and has skated in all 34 games for the Amerks this season. Averaging just under a point per game, Johnson is tied for fifth in the AHL in overall point production after collecting 28 points (13+15) in his last 23 outings, while his 13 goals also tie him for fourth in the league. Taylor, coming off a four-game point streak (2+4), remains at a close second with 29 points (8+21) and continues to be the team’s top playmaker with 21 assists. His 29 points and 21 helpers presently rank him tied for seventh and sixth in the league, respectively.

Second-year forward Michal Repik has recorded six assists in his last four games and owns the team’s best on-ice rating with a plus-12. Veteran centerman Jeff Taffe has notched two points in each of his last two games and rookie right winger Evgeny Dadonov enters the week on a three-game goal scoring streak.

With first-year goaltender Alexander Salak sidelined with an injury, Ryan Mior has been stellar between the pipes for Rochester, backstopping the Amerks to back-to-back victories since re-joining the team last week. The 22-year-old posted a season-high 45-save performance in the Amerks’ 4-2 win over Hamilton Saturday night before denying Binghamton with 33 more saves to improve his record to 3-2-0. In five games, Mior shows a 2.62 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. Mior played for current Amerks head coach Benoit Groulx for two seasons (2006-08) with the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL.

Despite missing the last three games, Salak boasts a league-best 16-4-0 record with 583 saves in 22 games. His 2.33 goals-against average and .927 save percentage are currently ninth and fifth among league netminders, respectively, while his 16 wins presently tie him for the league best. In 22 games, Salak has only allowed 46 goals.

(16-12-5, 5th in ECHL American Conference)
Thursday December 31st at South Carolina (7:05pm)
Saturday January 2nd at Gwinnett (7:05pm)

WEEKLY NOTES: The Florida Everblades began their longest road trip in fantastic fashion, going 2-0-1 in the first three games of the 11-game road trip. They kicked off the trip with a 3-0 shutout win in Charlotte last Saturday night before following it up with a 3-2 overtime loss to Gwinnett on Sunday afternoon. The Blades bounced back against Gwinnett, notching a 4-1 victory on Tuesday.
Florida continues the road trip with three games all in the division. The Everblades travel to Gwinnett for a game on Saturday night but first they make their first visit to North Charleston Coliseum this season as Florida takes on South Carolina on New Year’s Eve. The battle will be the fourth in the season series between the Everblades and Stingrays.


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