The Rochester Americans will work for two points tonight as they meet the Hamilton Bulldogs for the second time this season. Tonight’s meeting comes 12 days after the Bulldogs took a 4-3 victory at home on October 25.
The Bulldogs currently sit at 7th place in the AHL Western Conference, with a 5-2-0-3 record, 13 points and an even goal differential. The Rochester Americans sit three spots below them in 10th place, with a 4-2-1-1 record, 10 points, and a minus-2 goal differential.
The Amerks have placed two less games than the Bulldogs and are one of five teams in the Western Conference to have played less than 10 games this season.
Rochester Americans center Luke Adam is fourth in the AHL in goals, with eight in as many games, while fellow centerman Phil Varone is tied for third in the league in assists (10). Varone has at least a point in each game that the Amerks have played so far this season.
Other notables on the Rochester Americans roster include defenseman Brayden McNabb, who has nine points in eight gaems, and center Mike Zigomanis who leads the team with a plus-6 rating. Left winger Frederick Roy leads the team with 47 penalty minutes.
Center Martin St. Pierre currently leads the Bulldogs with three goals and five assists for eight points in seven games, while defenseman Magnus Nygren has eight points (1-7) in 10 games this season.
Also on the radar should be right winger Sven Andrighetto, who has seven points and a team-high plus-5 in 10 games played. Defenseman Nathan McIver leads the team with 23 penalty minutes.
Two former Rochester Americans players currently sit on the Bulldogs roster: left winger Nick Tarnasky and defenseman Drew Schiestel. Tarnasky has five goals and 17 penalty minutes in 10 games, while Schiestel has three assists in 10 games.
For the Amerks, left winger Colton Gillies is expected to miss tonight’s game with a lower-body injury. Forward Joel Armia, recently assigned by the Buffalo Sabres, will not participate in tonight’s game as he is still nursing a broken hand, and Kevin Porter‘s muscle strain will also keep him out at least one more game. Lastly, newcomer Patrick Kaleta will not make his AHL re-debut until Friday, as coach Chadd Cassidy said he wants Kaleta to be fully acclimated with the team before his debut.
The teams met earlier this season, with the Bulldogs eventually coming out on top, 4-3. The Rochester Americans were able to rally back from a 3-1 deficit before Louis Leblanc eventually won it for the Bulldogs just 1:26 into the overtime period.
Louis Leblanc had a pair of goals for Hamilton, including the OT game-winner, while Nick Tarnasky and Magnus Nygren also scored. Nathan Lieuwen had 28 saves for Rochester, while Robert Mayer stopped 27 of 30 shots faced for the Bulldogs.
Hamilton went 3-for-7 on the power play, so staying out of the box may be key for the Amerks in tonight’s game.
After tonight’s game, the Amerks will host the Binghamton Senators on Friday before heading to Binghamton on Saturday. They’ll then host Lake Erie in an afternoon match-up on Veterans Day before traveling to Hamilton on November 13.