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Amerks eclipse 30-win mark again, host Cleveland Wednesday

Sabres.com's Amerks Update for the week of February 19, 2019

by Rochester Americans @AmerksHockey / Amerks.com

The Amerks come into the week sitting atop the AHL's North Division standings with a three-point lead on both the Syracuse Crunch and Utica Comets and seven ahead of the Toronto Marlies, all of whom joined Rochester in the postseason this past spring. 

The Crunch, however, have three games in hand of the Amerks while Rochester has two games in hand on Utica. 

 

Scoring leaders

Player GP G A PTS
1. Victor Olofsson 49 19 24 43
C.J. Smith (recalled by Buffalo) 41 18 23 41
3. Zach Redmond 41 19 20 39
4. Danny O'Regan 52 17 16 33
5. Wayne Simpson 51 17 15 32

 

Goaltending leaders

Player GP W L OTL GAA SV%
Scott Wedgewood 31 18 9 2 2.71 .911
Adam Wilcox 20 9 6 3 2.83 .899

 

News and notes

  • The Amerks went 2-1-0-0 over this past weekend, suffering a 1-0 setback to the Crunch on Friday before posting back-to-back wins to salvage four out of a possible six points and reclaim the North Division lead. The Amerks have collected 21 out of a possible 30 points in their last 15 games, which included a season-long 10-game point streak. 

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  • Rochester picked up its 30th win of the season by virtue of a 3-2 shootout victory over the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday, reaching the 30-win mark for the second straight season under head coach Chris Taylor. 
  • Taylor becomes the first Amerks head coach to lead his team to 30 or more wins in each of his first two seasons behind the bench since Hall of Famer Randy Cunneyworth, the all-time winningest coach in franchise history.

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  • After failing to produce a 20-goal scorer last season for just the second time in franchise history, the Amerks have five different players on pace to reach the mark in 2018-19. 
  • Olofsson needs one more goal to eclipse the mark for the second straight season while Redmond will continue his record-setting season by becoming the first defenseman in team history to score 20 or more goals. 
  • C.J. Smith, currently on recall with the Buffalo Sabres, established a new career-high with his 18th of the season prior to earning his second call-up to the big club earlier this month.
  • Wayne Simpson and Danny O'Regan each have 17 coming into the week. 
  • The last time Rochester had five different 20-goal scorers in the same season was during the 2000-01 campaign, which also included current Amerks head coach Chris Taylor.

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  • At 15-6-3-1 (34 points), Rochester has the third-best road record in the AHL and have the third-most regulation wins away from home with 15. The Amerks remain one of just two teams in AHL this season with only six regulation losses on the road having collected at least one point in 19 of their 25 contests away from Blue Cross Arena.
  • Coming into this week, the Amerks have won nine of their last 15 road contests dating back to their 4-3 win at Syracuse on Dec. 8 while also outscoring the opposition 46-39 over that span.

 

Coming up

The Amerks continue a busy stretch of four games over the next six days on Wednesday when the Cleveland Monsters make their second trip of the season to Blue Cross Arena. More importantly, Wednesday's matchup will be the sixth of 11 straight Divisional games for the Amerks, who will travel to Utica twice before the end of the month with a home contest with the Belleville Senators in-between. 

With a 4-1-0-0 mark through the first five games of the eight-game season-series against Cleveland this season, the Amerks show an impressive 24-6-2-3 record in their last 35 games against the Monsters since the start of the 2011-12 season. In the last five years, Rochester also holds a 10-2-1-0 record.

Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start on Wednesday and will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.

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Tickets are available at Amerks.com.

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Game recaps

Feb. 12: Amerks 2 - Monsters 5 

Watch: Youtube Video

The Rochester Americans came up on the short end of a 5-2 decision Tuesday night against the Cleveland Monsters (23-21-5-1) at Quicken Loans Arena. It was just the second time all season that the Amerks suffered back-to-back regulation road losses.

Forward Remi Elie scored his first goal as an Amerk and later assisted on Wayne Simpson's third-period goal for the Amerks, who show a record of 24-6-2-3 against Cleveland since the start of the 2011-12 season, which includes a 10-2-1-0 record in the last 14 meetings. Goaltender Scott Wedgewood (17-8-2), who has won eight of his last 11 games dating back to the day after Christmas, was tagged with the loss as he made 29 saves.


Feb. 15: Crunch 1 - Amerks 0

Watch: Youtube Video

Following a 1-0 loss to the Syracuse Crunch (30-15-2-1) Friday night at Blue Cross Arena, the Rochester Americans have gone three games without a point for just the second time through 51 regular-season games during the 2018-19 campaign. The contest was the first-leg of a home-and-home series between the two clubs and first of four matchups over the next nine days between the intrastate rivals.

Of Rochester's 18 skaters, 16 recorded at least one shot on net, including a team-high five shots from defenseman Brendan Guhle, while goaltender Scott Wedgewood (17-9-2) was tagged with the loss as he made 31 saves. Dating back to the day after Christmas, Wedgewood shows a 9-5-1 record during that span and has won has won eight of his last 12 games.


Feb. 16: Amerks 3 - Crunch 2 (SO)

Watch: Youtube Video

In the second game in as many days of the home-and-home series between the Rochester Americans and the Syracuse Crunch (30-15-2-2), newcomer Taylor Leier netted the only goal in a six-round shootout to lift the Amerks past the Crunch, 3-2, Saturday at the War Memorial Arena. The win snaps Rochester's three-game slide and moves the Amerks back atop the AHL's North Division standings heading into Sunday's weekend finale against Binghamton.

While Leier scored his second shootout-clinching goal of the season for the Amerks, Remi Elie and Will Borgen both tallied their second goals of the slate. Former Syracuse netminder Adam Wilcox (9-6-3) stopped 29 shots in the game plus six more in the skills competition to improve to 4-0-1 this season versus his former club.

The Amerks have now earned a point in six of the seven games this season with the Crunch and show a 4-1-1-1 record in the 12-game series.


Feb. 17: Devils 1 - Amerks 5

Watch: Youtube Video

On the strength of a pair of goals in each of the first two periods of Sunday afternoon's game at Blue Cross Arena, the Rochester Americans closed out their three-in-three weekend with a dominating 5-1 victory against the intrastate rival Binghamton Devils (23-27-5-0).

The line trio of Remi Elie (1+1), Andrew Oglevie (1+1) and Taylor Leier (0+2) combined for six points while Yannick Veilleux, Wayne Simpson and Andrew MacWilliam rounded out the scoring for the Amerks, who close dout the weekend with back-to-back wins. 

Goaltender Scott Wedgewood earned his 10th win in the last 13 games and set a new career-high with his 18th overall on the season while improving to 18-7-2 on the season as he stopped 27 shots on the afternoon. 

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