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Amerks' Round 1 series against Toronto begins Friday's weekly Amerks Update

by Rochester Americans @AmerksHockey /

The Rochester Americans will face the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies in the first round of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Amerks begin the postseason on home ice for Games 1, presented by Nissan, and 2 of the best-of-five opening round series on Friday, April 19 and Sunday, April 21 at Blue Cross Arena. Rochester will also host a decisive Game 5, if necessary, on Sunday, April 28.

The opening round series will mark the third meeting in the postseason between the two teams since 2012.

Rochester, the No. 2 seed in the North Division, secured its second straight playoff berth with a 6-4 win over the Binghamton Devils on March 30 and clinched home ice for the first-round following its 2-1 victory at Cleveland on April 8.

The first 3,000 fans in attendance for Game 1 will receive a custom Amerks hard hat, courtesy of Nissan.

Game 1: Friday, April 19 - Toronto at Rochester | 7:05 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena
Game 2: Sunday, April 21 - Toronto at Rochester | 3:05 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena

Game 3: Wednesday, April 24 - Rochester at Toronto | 7 p.m. at Coca-Cola Coliseum
Game 4*: Friday, April 26 - Rochester at Toronto | 7 p.m. at Coca-Cola Coliseum
Game 5*: Sunday, April 28 - Toronto at Rochester | 5:05 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena

*If necessary

Tickets for all first-round home games are on sale now. Individual game tickets for Round One of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs start as low as just $14 and range in price up to $28 depending on seat location. All tickets purchased on the day of the game will increase by $2.

The games will also be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.

Tweet from @AmerksHockey: READ | The #Amerks will face the @TorontoMarlies in the First Round of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs!Game 1��� of the best-of-five North Division Semifinals is set for Friday, April 19 in The @BlueCrossArena at 7:05 p.m. 🗒���:

Scoring leaders

Player GP G A PTS
1. Victor Olofsson 66 30 33 63
2. C.J. Smith 62 28 30 58
3. Zach Redmond 58 21 29 50
4. Danny O'Regan 70 20 28 48
5. Wayne Simpson 72 21 24 45


Goaltending leaders

Scott Wedgewood 48 28 14 2 2.68 .908
Adam Wilcox 28 13 8 5 2.82 .896


News and notes

Tweet from @AmerksHockey: WHAT 👏 A 👏 YEAR👏 See ya this weekend for ROUND 1��� of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs vs. Toronto������ #BlueCollarBuilt4.19 🎟���'s --> 4.21 🎟���'s -->

  • Defenseman Zach Redmond has been named to the 2018-19 AHL First All-Star Team.
  • Redmond, 30, earns year-end honors for the second straight season after being named to the AHL Second All-Star Team in 2017-18, becoming the first Amerks defenseman to be selected in back-to-back years since Terry Hollinger in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
  • Redmond surpassed his 47-point output from last season in 10 fewer games during the 2018-19 campaign, recording career-highs in goals (21) and points (50) while adding 29 assists and a plus-14 on-ice rating in 56 games for Rochester.

Tweet from @AmerksHockey: With a pair of goals tonight, @vickeo is the first #Amerk to score 30 goals in a season since Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville both reached the mark during the 2004-05 campaign.#GOALofsson

  • On Monday, the Sabres signed defenseman Jacob Bryson to a three-year, entry-level contract. Bryson will sign an ATO and report to the Rochester Americans (AHL). The entry-level contract will begin starting with the 2019-20 season.
  • Bryson recently completed his junior season at Providence College, earning Hockey East Second Team All-Star honors after recording 28 points (4+24) in 42 games and serving as a team captain for the Friars.
  • Bryson set new career highs in both assists and points in 2018-19 and recorded an assist in all three NCAA Tournament games to help lead his team to a Frozen Four appearance.
  • He was selected by the Sabres in the fourth round (99th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft.

Game recaps

April 12: Devils 4 - Amerks 3 (OT)

Watch: Youtube Video

After forcing overtime by tying Friday's regular-season home finale at 3-3, the Rochester Americans (45-22-5-2) earned a point for the seventh straight game against the Binghamton Devils (28-40-6-0), but Binghamton stole the extra point as they left The Blue Cross Arena with a 4-3 overtime win.

Despite the loss in the extra frame with 15 seconds remaining, Rochester closed out its season series with the Devils with a 7-2-1-0 record, and dating back to the start of the 2017-18 season, the club has recorded at least one point in 16 of the last 20 meetings while showing a 12-4-3-1 record during that span.

Rookie forward Rasmus Asplund, who was named the club's Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player prior to the game, and first-year defenseman Will Borgen each tallied a pair of points (1+1) for Rochester. In his first game back with the Amerks since returning from a six-game stint with the Buffalo Sabres, Victor Olofsson scored his 28th goal of the season to complete the scoring. 

Goaltender Adam Wilcox (13-8-5) stopped 23 of the 27 shots he faced but was dealt the overtime loss. Over his last six appearances, Wilcox shows a 3-0-2 record.

April 13: Amerks 3 - Crunch 4

Watch: Youtube Video

Despite a pair of goals from Victor Olofsson, the Rochester Americans (45-23-5-2) saw the Syracuse Crunch (47-21-4-3) claim the North Division title with a 4-3 win on Saturday night at the War Memorial Arena.

Despite the road loss, just the ninth in regulation away from The Blue Cross Arena this season for the Amerks, Rochester secured a second-place finish in the AHL's North Division, setting up a first-round matchup with the defending champion Toronto Marlies for the start of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. 

The Amerks concluded a 12-game head-to-head series with the Crunch earning at least one point in eight contests while showing a record of 6-4-1-1.

With Olofsson's 29th and 30th goals of the season, he becomes the first Amerks skater to score 30 goals in a season since Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville both reached the mark during the 2004-05 campaign. Former Crunch forward Dalton Smith rounded out the scoring for Rochester, which has points in eight of the last 10 games. Goaltender Scott Wedgewood (28-14-5) stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced but was dealt with the loss.


April 14: Amerks 4 - Senators 2 

Watch: Youtube Video

Thanks to three points apiece from Taylor Leier (2+1) and Wayne Simpson (0+3), as well as three power-play goals, the Rochester Americans (46-23-5-2) closed out the 2018-19 regular-season with a 4-2 victory over the Belleville Senators (37-31-3-5) at CAA Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Rochester finished the campaign with an AHL-best 25-9-3-1 road record and its nine regulation losses were tied for fewest in the AHL this season. The 25 wins away from The Blue Cross Arena were also tied for most by any AHL team and matched a single-season franchise record which was set during the 1998-99 season.

As Leier tallied his first three-point outing of the season, he also reached the 40-point mark for the second time in his career, while Simpson recorded his first three-assist effort for the Amerks, who finished the season winning 11 of the last 14 road games. Tage Thompson (1+1) and Kyle Criscuolo (0+2) also turned in multi-point efforts while Casey Fitzgerald scored his first professional goal to wrap up the scoring. 

Netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made his professional debut for the Amerks and stopped 32 shots he faced to earn his first-career win in the crease.

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