The Rochester Americans look to make it four in a row tonight against the North division rival Toronto Marlies, and bridge the gap between the two teams as the Amerks chase down the first place Toronto franchise.
The Amerks sit in fifth place in the Western Division standings, but can jump as high as second if they can surpass the Toronto Marlies for first in the division. They trail fourth place Charlotte Checkers by five points (Rochester has one game in hand), but only trail the Marlies by four points, a win tonight could hedge that lead to two points, with no teams having games in hand.
This is the 9th out of ten meetings for the cross border rivals. The difference between the two teams could be a lot worse, as the Toronto Marlies have beaten the Rochester Americans seven out of the first eight meetings of the season. If Rochester can manage to win the next two meetings, it would bring the teams even in points, and then the better team wins the division.
Rochester will catch Toronto on the tail end of a long road trip, and having lost three of their last four – if they can capitalize on momentum, Rochester should walk away victorious and on their way to catching Toronto for the division banner.
Last season the Marlies claimed first place in the division, and swept the Rochester Americans in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs.
While the Amerks are coming off a tough 1-0 victory over the Syracuse Crunch, they should have lost that game. With only three shots in the second period and a total of 14 in the game, it was Leggio’s standup 38 save effort that held the shutout and kept the streak alive for the Amerks.
Rochester will need an in kind performance from their goaltender again tonight – or the rest of the team has to show up and play with the emotion and passion befitting a team fighting for first place.
Game time is scheduled for 7:05 and is being broadcast on the Time Warner Cable Sports Channel.