(Photo: Melissa Kania)

A Closer Look At The Amerks: Feb. 25

As the Rochester Americans head out on a four-game road trip that will see them through the end of February and into March, let’s take a look at how the team is doing lately and how some individual players have been making names for themselves.

Right now, the Amerks sit 7th in the AHL’s Western Conference with 61 points.

They’re two points behind the Rockford IceHogs – with four games in hand – and three points ahead of the Milwaukee Admirals, with one game in hand.

And just for notes: Texas is the top team in the conference with 71 points, while the Manchester Monarchs are the top team overall with 80 points.

With less than two months remaining in the regular season, there’s still plenty of room for things to change, especially since the Amerks have a few games in hand over other teams, thanks in part to their Spengler Cup trip earlier in the year.

Rochester’s overall record at this point is 27-18-3-4, with 152 goals-for and 145 goals-against.

Only ten points separate the Amerks from the first-place Stars, and all the teams in between are pretty closely matched as well.

It’s still anybody’s game, and it’s not completely out of the question for the Amerks to kick the Toronto Marlies out of the division lead eventually. The Marlies are five points ahead of the Amerks with just as many games played, but if they fell into a slump and the Amerks kicked it into high-gear, anything could happen. Not to mention, there’s still several meetings between the Amerks and Marlies this season, so those games could prove to be crucial in the race for the division.

The Amerks have earned at least a point in each of their last four games, and are 6-3-0-1 in the last ten — all the games they’ve played in the month of February.

Also in that stretch:

  • The Amerks have pulled out wins over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Hershey, Utica, Texas, Iowa and Hamilton.
  • Rochester has outscored its opponents, 31-26.
  • The Amerks have outshot their opponents, 279-261.
  • Rochester has gone 9/44 on the power play; they’ve scored a power-play goal in four straight games.
  • Opponents have gone 3/45 on the power play.
  • The Amerks went a stretch of six games without allowing a power-play goal before allowing Hamilton to notch two on February 22.

There’s also a few individuals who have stood out this month so far.

  • Amerks goaltender Nathan Lieuwen has started seven of the 10 games in February, including each of the last three games. Overall he’s won five of the seven games he started this month, stopping 92 of 103 shots faced.
  • Amerks forward Luke Adam has points in six of 10 games this month. He has 11 points in February, including seven goals and four assists, and is on a two-game point streak (1G, 2A).
  • Johan Larsson also has points in six of 10 games for the Amerks this month. Larsson has nine points in February – 5 goals and four assists. He recently saw a four-game point streak come to a close.
  • Amerks blueliner Brayden McNabb is looking to extend a two-game point streak (1G, 2A). Overall, he has eight points in the month of February, including three multi-point games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen and Phil Varone each have seven points for the Amerks in the month of February.

As of right now, here’s the Amerks leaders in their respective categories:

  • Luke Adam leads the team in goals (22) and points (40). He also leads the team in power-play goals, with fifty percent of his tallies coming with the man advantage.
  • Phil Varone leads the Amerks with 28 assists and is also tied for the team points lead (40).
  • Frederick Roy leads the Amerks in penalty minutes (98).
  • Jamie Tardif has taken 122 shots on goal this season.

Here’s how the rest of the season looks for the Amerks.

  • 24 games remaining, including 17 against Western Conference opponents.
  • One-fourth (6/24) of the Amerks remaining games are against the Toronto Marlies.
  • Four games remaining against the Syracuse Crunch
  • Three games each remaining versus the Binghamton Senators & Lake Erie Monsters.
  • Two games against the Milwaukee Admirals
  • One game each against: Iowa, Chicago, Rockford, Oklahoma City, Hamilton & Utica
  • The Amerks have two sets of 3-in-3 remaining: March 7 through 9 and April 11 through 13.
  • Rochester will play 14 of its remaining games on the road, including two four-game road stands. They also have one four-game home stand (March 26 through April 4).

Stay tuned, because as the saying goes….. anything can happen!

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