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Race for division title heats up as Amerks take on Syracuse this weekend

Sabres.com's weekly Amerks Update

by Rochester Americans @AmerksHockey / Amerks.com

The Amerks have officially punched their ticket into the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs, marking the 46th time in the 63-year history of the franchise that the Amerks have advanced to the postseason. 

It's also the sixth time in 10 years Rochester has qualified for the playoffs, clinching on the road by way of a 6-4 win over the Binghamton Devils on March 30.

Trailing 3-1 in the final minute of the first period of Saturday's game in Binghamton, the Amerks scored five of the game's next six goals, including four in the third period, to complete the 6-4 win. The victory was the Amerks eighth win when trailing after 40 minutes of play, which is most in the AHL this season. 

The Amerks open up the month of April with a home-and-home series against the Syracuse Crunch beginning on Friday, April 5 when the Crunch make their final visit of the season to Blue Cross Arena at 7:05 p.m. Rochester is 5-2-1-1 against Syracuse this year.

The two teams will wrap up the weekend set on Saturday as the series shifts to the War Memorial Arena for a 7 p.m. showdown. Both contests will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.


Scoring leaders

Player GP G A PTS
1. Victor Olofsson (on recall with Buffalo) 64 27 33 60
2. C.J. Smith 57 27 29 56
3. Zach Redmond 53 21 28 49
4. Danny O'Regan 68 21 28 49
5. Wayne Simpson 66 19 20 39

 

Goaltending leaders

Player GP W L OTL GAA SV%
Scott Wedgewood 45 27 12 2 2.63 .909
Adam Wilcox 26 12 8 4 2.63 .898

 

News and notes

  • Of the remaining six games for the Amerks, who are second in the North Division, four are outside the Flower City while three will be played over the final weekend of the regular season with three games in three nights. Rochester will play five contests against North Division opponents, including three more against Syracuse. 


Tweet from @AmerksHockey: Passionate. Resilient. Hard Working. Time to Clock IN! #BlueCollarBuilt Tickets on sale April 5th: https://t.co/up4RMb6m1e pic.twitter.com/u98R9sk2cB

  • The Amerks have earned 46 out of a possible 66 points in their last 33 games heading into the final two weeks of the 2018-19 regular season. Among all AHL teams, only the Charlotte Checkers (46) and Crunch (43) have more wins than the Amerks (43), who are fourth overall in the AHL with a .657 points percentage.

Tweet from @AmerksHockey: Pink the Rink is this Friday! We will wear special Pink the Rink jerseys and proceeds from the night will benefit @GildasRochester! info: https://t.co/yKw16rxPit🎟���'s https://t.co/qWZqzWgWnS pic.twitter.com/HiOjMSJ3q8

  • After failing to produce a 20-goal scorer last season for just the second time in franchise history, the Amerks could potentially have six or more by the season's end. 
  • Defenseman Zach Redmond and forwards Victor Olofsson, C.J. Smith, Taylor Leier and Danny O'Regan all have reached the mark while Wayne Simpson remains on the brink having scored a career-high 19 goals this season.
  • The last time Rochester had six different 20-goal scorers in the same season was during the 1996-97 campaign when the team had seven. Rochester is just one of two teams in the AHL (Syracuse) this season with five different 20-goal scorers.

Tweet from @AmerksHockey: Only TWO (2���) regular season home games left! Want to watch them for FREE? Info: https://t.co/pHNngaaLJo pic.twitter.com/krIUBl3Esa

  • At 22-8-3-1, Rochester has the third-best road record in the AHL and have the second-most regulation wins away from home with 22. The Amerks also have the fewest regulation road losses in the AHL this season with eight, having collected at least one point in 26 of their 34 contests away from Blue Cross Arena. Coming into the week, the Amerks have won three straight and eight of the last 10.

 

Round 1 ticket info

Tickets for all first-round home games for the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs will go on sale on Friday, April 5 at 10 a.m. The complete opening round schedule will be released at a later date as soon as Rochester's first-round opponent has been determined.

Rochester secured its second straight playoff berth and fifth in the last eight years by virtue of a 6-4 road win over the Binghamton Devils on Saturday at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.

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.

Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase all potential home playoff games with a Playoff Pack, which will go on sale Wednesday, April 3. Convenient payment options are available and guarantee your seating at the lowest rates for all home playoff games at The Blue Cross Arena.

Additionally, beginning on Thursday, April 4, new and current Amerks Season Ticket Members will be able to purchase additional single-game tickets for all first-round home playoff games for as little as $12.

Amerks Calder Cup Playoff tickets are available for purchase either in person at The Blue Cross Arena Box Office, online at Amerks.com or by calling 1-855-GO-AMERKS.
 


    Game recaps

    March 27: Phantoms 4 - Amerks 3 (OT)

    Watch: Youtube Video

    The Rochester Americans erased a two-goal deficit and tied Wednesday night's game against Lehigh Valley Phantoms (33-27-4-3) before falling 4-3 in overtime at Blue Cross Arena.

    Forward and Amerks team-captain Kevin Porter notched his fifth two-point game of the season as he tallied his 10th goal of the season to go with an assist while Eric Cornel and former Phantom Taylor Leier each found the back of the net. Adam Wilcox (11-8-3) suffered the overtime loss despite making 13 saves in 30 minutes after replacing Scott Wedgewood with 7:33 left in the second period.


    March 29: Rocket 2 - Amerks 4

    Watch: Youtube Video

    Reassigned the day before to the Rochester Americans (42-21-4-2) from the parent Buffalo Sabres, second-year forward Tage Thompson surely did not disappoint in his Amerks debut as the newcomer erupted for a pair of goals to go along with an assist to lead Rochester to a 4-2 win over the North Division rival Laval Rocket (28-29-6-6) Friday at Blue Cross Arena.

    Rochester is 9-2-0-0 in its last 11 meetings with the Rocket.

    While Thompson tallied his first three-point outing of his pro career, Sean Malone and Danny O'Regan finished off the scoring for the Amerks, who now need just a single point to officially clinch a spot in the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. 

    With O'Regan's 20th goal of campaign, Rochester became the first team in the league to have five different players reach the mark and first Amerks team since the 2000-01 season, which included head coach Chris Taylor. In his third game in as many games, goaltender Adam Wilcox made 17 saves to improve to 12-8-4 on the season.

    "It feels good to get the win and help offensively," Thompson said. "Two days with these guys, most of whom I know from the summer and at various points of the season, I would say it has been a great start so far."

    "…It's a great group of guys and they are very easy to play with. The culture here is really special and I'm glad I can contribute to the group."


    March 30: Amerks 6 - Devils 4

    After falling behind 3-1 late in the first period of Saturday night's contest at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena against the Binghamton Devils (26-38-6-0), the Rochester Americans (43-21-4-2) countered with five of the last six goals, including four in the final 20 minutes of play, to come away with a 6-4 victory.

    C.J. Smith scored twice to grab a share of the team-lead with his 26th and 27th goals of the season while Nathan Paetsch, who celebrated his 36th birthday today, chipped in his first goal of the slate to go with an assist. Eric Cornel (1+1), Kevin Porter (0+2) and rookie Casey Fitzgerald (0+2), who made his professional debut, all contributed with a two-point effort. 

    Remi Elie completed the scoring as he picked up his eighth of the season. Netminder Scott Wedgewood (27-12-2) made 16 saves on the night to earn his 27th victory in the Rochester net.
     

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