THE WEEK THAT WAS
Friday, January 30: CRUNCH 6 – AMERKS 4
The Rochester Americans returned from the AHL All-Star break last Friday in Syracuse, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Crunch at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena. Despite two goals from Brayden Irwin and a goal from Evan Rankin in his first game in an Amerks uniform since 2013, Rochester was unable to complete a third-period rally and fell to 18-25-1-0 on the season with the loss.
In addition to the pair of goals by Irwin and a tally by Rankin, AHL All-Star Phil Varone recorded a goal and an assist in the game. Dan Catenacci, Brady Austin, Tim Schaller, Jerry D’Amigo and Jake McCabe each registered an assist while goaltender Andrey Makarov finished with 27 saves on 32 shots.
Saturday, January 31: FLAMES 3 – AMERKS 2
Rochester goaltender Travis Fullerton made 31 saves in his AHL debut, but it was not enough as the Amerks came up short on the losing end of a 3-2 decision to the Adirondack Flames at the Glens Falls Civic Center. With the loss, Rochester falls to 18-26-1-0 on the season and remains winless against the Flames in Glens Falls.
Brayden Irwin finished with a goal and an assist and closed out the weekend with four points after scoring twice in Rochester’s loss to Syracuse on Friday. Jake McCabe also found the back of the net while top point-getter and AHL All-Star forward Phil Varone tacked on his team-leading 33rd point of the season with an assist. Fullerton, who rejoined the Amerks from the Elmira Jackals, stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced while becoming the fifth different Amerk goaltender this season to see game action for Rochester.
Tuesday, February 3: AMERKS 3 – WOLVES 2
The Rochester Americans scored once in each period and held off a late comeback by the Chicago Wolves as the Amerks snapped a three-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the Wolves in a Tuesday morning matchup at Allstate Arena. The win is Rochester’s first on its season-long eight-game road swing and improves the Amerks to 19-26-1-0 on the season.
Tuesday’s win also marked Rochester’s first regular season victory in Chicago since Feb. 11, 2009 and guarantees a season split with the Wolves for the second straight year.
William Carrier and Phil Varone each recorded a goal and an assist to lead the Amerks while second-year forward Dan Catenacci scored the eventual game-winner early on in the third period to keep his hot streak intact. Johan Larsson, Jake McCabe, Joel Armia and Jerome Leduc all picked up assists and Andrey Makarov finished the day with 23 saves to improve to 14-13-1.
- Friday, February 6: Rochester @ Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.
- Saturday, February 7: Rochester @ Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.
- Sunday, February 8: Rochester @ Milwaukee, 4 p.m.
- Tuesday, February 11: Rochester @ Utica, 7 p.m.
Phil Varone’s torrid play has the reigning team MVP back in sole possession of the team scoring lead, and with goals in two of his last three games, the fourth-year pro has now reached double digits in goals in each of his first four pro seasons since joining Rochester for the 2011-12 campaign.
Second-year forward Tim Schaller leads the Amerks with 13 goals and is on pace to become the first Amerk this season to reach the 20-goal mark. Schaller, who also made his NHL debut with Buffalo this season, headlines a list of six different Amerks to have reached the 10-goal mark, making Rochester and Texas the only two teams to have six skaters with 10 or more goals on the season.
Chad Ruhwedel remains Rochester’s top scoring blueliner with 21 points (7+14) while being one of just two skaters to appear in all 46 games thus far. All seven of Ruhwedel’s goals this season have come on the power-play, placing him sixth in the league and second among rearguards.
Dan Catenacci enters the weekend having produced 11 points (4+7) in the last 15 games, including four points over his last five outings.
Points: Varone (35), Grigorenko (30), Schaller (28)
Goals: Schaller (13), Varone (11), Grigorenko/Larsson/Armia/Dalpe (10)
Assists: Varone (24), Grigorenko (20), Larsson (18)