|Matt Hackett (Photo: Micheline Veluvolu)
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Friday, February 27: MARLIES 4 – AMERKS 3
Despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead midway through the game, the Rochester Americans surrendered four unanswered goals, including Greg McKegg’s second of the night 4:47 into overtime, as the Toronto Marlies rallied for a 4-3 win at The Blue Cross Arena.
Defensemen Jake McCabe (1+1) and Chad Ruhwedel (0+2) each finished with multi-point outings for the Amerks, while Brayden Irwin and Allan McPherson added goals in a losing effort for the Amerks. McPherson’s goal, which served as the Amerks third and final tally of the night, was the first of his AHL career while Irwin found the back of the net for the sixth time in his last eight appearances.
Fifth-year goaltender Matt Hackett started his third consecutive game in net for the Amerks and made 23 saves. He is now 6-4-2 on the year in his 12 starts since being assigned to Rochester at the turn of the New Year.
Wednesday, March 4: COMETS 3 – AMERKS 2
Rochester’s Matt Hackett matched his season-high with a 37-save performance, but the Amerks lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Utica Comets at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Despite the loss, the Amerks have now earned at least one point in each of their last four games.
After Utica jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, the Amerks came back by scoring once in the second period and once in the third to force overtime. Comets defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti then scored in the sixth round of the shootout to secure the victory for Utica.
Hackett, who is now 6-4-3 on the season, made several highlight-reel saves throughout the game to keep his team in it, then continued his strong play in the shootout, stopping four of six Utica attempts. Mikhail Grigorenko and Brodie Reid each scored for the Amerks, while William Carrier collected two assists. Chad Ruhwedel and Jerome Leduc also picked up assists in the game.
- Friday, March 6: Rochester @ Hamilton, 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, March 13: Hamilton vs. Rochester, 7 p.m. – CLICK TO BUY TICKETS
Rochester (24-29-5-1) sits nine points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the AHL’s Western Conference with 17 games remaining in the regular season. Texas (25-18-12-1, 63 pts.) occupies the eighth spot, two points behind seventh-place Hamilton (28-21-9-0, 65 pts.). Rochester will play eight of its nine games this month against divisional opponents, with the lone exception being a road matchup with intrastate-rival Syracuse on March 28.
The Amerks own a perfect 16-0-0-0 record with the advantage heading into the second intermission this season, with five of those wins coming on the road.
Matt Hackett is 2-0-2 with a .925 save% in his last four starts, including a 37-save performance against Utica on Wednesday.
Chad Ruhwedel has five points (0+5) in his last four games, giving him 29 points (7+22) in 57 games. All seven of Ruhwedel’s goals have been scored on the power play.
Rookie forward William Carrier posted his sixth multipoint game of the season with a pair of assists in Wednesday’s loss to Utica. The 20-year-old Carrier now has seven goals and 13 assists in 56 games.
Irish Night – Friday, March 13
The Amerks will host Irish Night presented by MillerCoors in honor of St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, March 13 when they play the Hamilton Bulldogs. For just $20, fans can purchase a specialty St. Patrick’s Day T-shirt, along with one “best-available” ticket.
Pucks & Paws – Sunday, March 22
The third annual “Pucks & Paws” Game will take place on Sunday, March 22 when Rochester plays host to the Utica Comets. Fans are encouraged to bring their dogs to the game to enjoy the action alongside them. “Pucks & Paws” tickets are available for just $20 and include admission for both owner and dog, with $5 of each ticket sold going to Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester.
Pink the Rink – Sunday, March 29
Rochester will host a Breast Cancer Awareness game on Sunday, March 29 when the Amerks play the Toronto Marlies. A portion of the proceeds from the game will be donated to the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. For just $20, fans can purchase a specialty pink Amerks T-shirt and one “best-available” ticket, with $2 from each package sold going to the game’s overall fundraising effort.