Photo: Melissa Kania

Rochester Americans Riding Hot Streak

There’s only one word to describe the Rochester Americans lately: streaking.

On both team and individual levels, the Amerks have been hot lately. The team is on a four-game winning streak, with its last loss coming 12 days ago.

Since then, they’ve defeated Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Lake Erie and Binghamton, all on the road. They’ve outscored their opponents 16-8 in that stretch and outshot them 133-127, a close margin but still notable. Although the first two victories came by just one goal, the most recent two have come by three-goal leads.

Fifteen players have notched at least one point in the last four games for the Rochester Americans, with a heap of players notching multiple points over the stretch, or at least one multi-point game in the winning streak.

Several players are boasting streaks of their own right now:

Goaltending over the stretch has been split.

Matt Hackett had 31 saves in the win over Oklahoma City, with Nathan Lieuwen suiting up to make 26 saves the following night in San Antonio. Lieuwen faced the Lake Erie Monsters five days later, making 31 saves, while Hackett came in to face the Binghamon Senators two days later for a 31-save performance.

Despite the ups and downs the team has faced between injuries and call-ups, they’ve managed to pull together win after win. Center Phil Varone, recalled by the Sabres last week, remains the team’s leading scorer with 33 points. Veteran Mike Zigomanis still hasn’t returned from injury, but may play this week against either Chicago or Rockford.

Joel Armia is also out with a hand injury; Patrick Kaleta also still missing due to injury. Chad Ruhwedel’s up with the Sabres now, but McNabb recently returned to the Amerks lineup in his place.

The Amerks did get a little help on defense with the arrival of Mark Pysyk, who was sent down to the AHL squad by the Sabres on Friday. The move allows Pysyk to play in Rochester during the Olympic break. He had an assist in his first game back with the club, a 5-2 win over Binghamton on Saturday.

Here’s how the current Amerks streak looks:

  • Jan. 17: 4-3 win @ Oklahoma City (Varone, Catenacci, Tardif, Gillies)
  • Jan. 18: 3-2 win @ San Antonio (Larsson, Sundher, Tardif)
  • Jan. 23: 4-1 win @ Lake Erie (Adam (2), Porter, Tardif)
  • Jan. 25: 5-2 win @ Binghamton (Irwin, Porter, Tardif, Larsson, Adam)

The Amerks are hot on the road, but how about at home?

The team’s last game at the Blue Cross Arena was way back on January 10, a 2-1 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs. Overall since the beginning of December, they’ve gone 4-2 at the BCA, not including the Frozen Frontier game – not too shabby.

After a 19-day stretch without playing at home, it’ll be interesting to see if the Amerks can maintain the momentum and extend their four-game winning streak tomorrow when they host the Chicago Wolves. We’ll also have to keep an eye on guys like Larsson, Adam and Tardif to see if they can extend their personal streaks, or if perhaps some other players will start streaks of their own.

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Tags: AHL Rochester Americans

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