Pre-Game Primer: Rochester Americans vs. Hamilton Bulldogs

amerks1For the first time this season, the Rochester Americans head to our northern neighbor to face a pair of Canadian teams. The Amerks will face the Hamilton Bulldogs tonight at 7:30 pm before visiting the Toronto Marlies on October 26.

Tonight’s game marks the first meeting of the season between Rochester and Hamilton, with seven more meetings scheduled for the regular season. After tonight’s game, the Bulldogs and Amerks will next meet on November 6, with the teams facing off in Rochester.

Center Luke Adam currently leads the Amerks in scoring, with five goals in five games; he also has a pair of assists and is tied for the team lead in points (7). Tied with him is fellow center Phil Varone, who has one goal and six assists in five games. Adam also leads the team in shots, having taken 22 of the team’s 107 this season so far.

Defenseman Jerome Gauthier-Leduc has five points in as many games, while newcomer Mike Zigomanis has four points in his first five games in Rochester. Frederick Roy leads the team with 40 penalty minutes, while newcomer Johnny McGuire has notched 27 penalty minutes in just three games played.

Returning to the Amerks lineup soon – but not tonight – will be former Amerks captain Kevin Porter, who was up until recently with the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL. Porter was placed on waivers and cleared them and is expected to join the Rochester Americans in Toronto for tomorrow’s game against the Marlies.

A little note: third on the team in penalty minutes – with 18 – is goaltender Matt Hackett. He’s tied with center Phil Varone in that category.

Leading the Bulldogs is rookie right winger Sven Andrighetto, who has three goals and one assist for four points in five games. Several of the higher-scoring Bulldogs, such as defenseman Greg Pateryn, have been called up to the Montreal Canadiens and won’t be with the team to face the Americans tonight.

Making his season debut with the Bulldogs, however, is Jarred Tinordi, who spent parts of last season with Hamilton before going to play in the NHL. Tinordi is only expected to be a temporary relief for the Bulldogs and will likely return to Montreal shortly, but first, the Amerks will have to deal with him.

Also on the Bulldogs roster tonight is former Amerks defenseman Drew Schiestel, who signed with his hometown team in the offseason. Schiestel has two assists and six shots in five games with Hamilton this season.

The Bulldogs and Amerks are currently tied for second place in the North Division of the AHL, with six points each. The Amerks are 3-2-0-0 while the Bulldogs hold a 2-1-0-2 record. The Rochester Americans are currently on a two-game winning streak and look to extend that with a pair of wins in Canada this weekend.

Last season, the Rochester Americans won ten of 12 meetings with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Rochester won the first two meetings by scores of 3-1 and 3-2, before the Bulldogs captured a win in the third meeting of the year (4-3). The Amerks went on to win the next five meetings (4-1, 2-0, 5-2, 6-3, 2-0) before Hamilton would notch another victory (3-2). Finally, the Rochester Americans won the final trio of meetings, including the last two games of the regular season (4-2, 5-1, 4-1).

Can the Rochester Americans continue their commanding performance over the Hamilton Bulldogs as they did last year, or will the tables turn and will Hamilton come out strong tonight? Puck drop between the fairly evenly-matched teams is at 7:30 p.m. at Copps Coliseum. Listen live here.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Rochester Americans

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