For one night, hockey comes back to the First Niagara Center, home of the Buffalo Sabres. Marcus Foligno will lead the Rochester Americans in battle against the Hamilton Bulldogs, in a game that was changed from October 21st to tonight so that it can be played in Buffalo.
With the impending lockout strife threatening to cancel the regular season in its entirity, this could be the only time First Niagara Center hosts a hockey game.
With their eight goal explosion against the Hershey Bears, the Amerks head into tonights contest second in AHL scoring with 20 goals. With six points, the Rochester Americans sit third in their division and fifth in the Western Conference.
Tonights contest against the Hamilton Bulldogs, AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens – it is the first of 12 meetings – the most seen opponent on the Rochester schedule this year. The Amerks are 75-67-10 all time against the Bulldogs and are hoping to continue their win streak tonight, bringing it to three games. The Amerks need a win tonight to make up for the back to back losses it suffered opening weekend.
The Bulldogs have a near perfect record coming into tonight, winning their first two contests before dropping an egg against the Toronto Marlies in a 5-0 affair. The Bulldogs will look to come out on NHL ice looking to snap back from that win – so a tough match should ensue.
If the Amerks can lure the Bulldogs into the penalty box – the powerplay could help carry the team into the win column. Getting goals in eight of the last 11 times with the extra attacker, the Amerks special teams has been very active early in the year. They also need to stay out of the box, as the team has compiled 112 penalty minutes so far, 23 of which are owned by Nick Tarnasky. The Rochester Americans lead the Western Conference in penalty minutes, and only trail Binghamton (131) and Syracuse (163) in the league. Only one other team in the American Hockey League has over 100 penalty minutes, and that is last place Rockford Icehounds.