As the Rochester Americans prepare to face the Chicago Wolves in the upcoming round one of the Calder Cup playoffs, it’s time to take a look at their regular season, some of the numbers, and how things ended up as the team finished off its regular season play on Saturday in Toronto.
ROCHESTER AMERICANS: FINAL STANDINGS
The Rochester Americans finished the AHL regular season in 7th in the Western Conference, with an overall record of 37-28-6-5 and 85 points on the year. Despite struggling with a lengthy losing streak toward the end of the year, the Amerks were able to solidify a playoff spot prior to the end of the season, so they weren’t forced to rely on the last game or on other teams for their playoff push.
The Amerks finished the season on a 7-2-0-1 run in their last ten games. They allowed 217 goals on the season, second-most of any Western Conference playoff-bound team. Oklahoma City allowed the most, at 256. The Amerks were also the second-lowest scoring team in the top eight in the West, with 216 goals scored on the year. Only Milwaukee (215) scored less.
Luke Adam led the Rochester Americans in goal-scoring this season, with a career-high 29 goals on the year. Phil Varone led the team in assists (43) and points (61). Adam was second with 49 points on the year, while Nicholas Deslauriers and Johan Larsson also put up 40+ point seasons.
A GOALTENDING CAROUSEL LIKE NO OTHER
Thanks in part to the Sabres’ goaltending issues with injuries and such, the Rochester Americans had quite a goaltending carousel of their own. Though most of the beginning of the season was spent exclusively with Matt Hackett and Nathan Lieuwen, in the end, seven different goaltenders dressed at one point or another for the Amerks. Six of them played in at least one game.
The Amerks season saw three of their goaltenders get recalled to the NHL at one point or another, including two separate recalls for Hackett. Andrey Makarov stepped up in a big way towards the end of the season after being recalled from the ECHL, where he’d spent most of the season. Connor Knapp was also part of the goaltending core for the Amerks when things got rough, and Rochester native Billy Sauer was signed on multiple occasions to help fill in when needed. Other than that, it was Kevin Kapalka and Mark Guggenberger who stepped in at the end of the season to fill in as back-up or starter when necessary.
INJURIES & CALL-UPS GALORE FOR THE AMERKS
The Rochester Americans had to deal with many NHL call-ups from the Buffalo Sabres this season. At some points, the team was absolutely depleted. Fifteen different players were called up by the Sabres at one point or another, including first-ever call-ups for guys like Phil Varone, Connor Knapp and Andrey Makarov. If it wasn’t one guy going up, it was another, and although the very point of the Amerks’ existence is to provide players for the NHL squad, it’s hard to put together consistency at the AHL level when the roster is continually changing like a revolving door.
Not only did the Rochester Americans have to deal with a lot of call-ups this season, they had many injuries of their own to contend with. They lost their captain, Drew Bagnall. Then they lost his replacement, Jamie Tardif, as well as alternative captain Mike Zigomanis for a while, then lost replacement captain Matt Ellis to callup. Patrick Kaleta missed a large portion of the year. Alexander Sulzer, Joel Armia, Nick Petrecki, Mark Pysyk, Alex Hutchings, Kevin Sundher, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Chad Ruhwedel…. all missed time due to injuries at one point or another.
In the end, between everything, only one player appeared in all 76 games for the Amerks this season: rookie forward Dan Catenacci.
THE SEASON OVERVIEW
In the end, the Rochester Americans faced 16 of 29 other teams in the AHL. The teams they never faced in the regular season: Manchester, Springfield, St. John’s, Albany, Providence, Norfolk, Hartford, Worcester, Adirondack, Bridgeport, Portland, Abbotsford, or Charlotte. Here’s their records against all the others:
- vs. Binghamton Senators (8 games): 2 wins, 5 losses, 1 overtime loss
- vs. Chicago Wolves (2 games): 1 win, 1 loss
- vs. Grand Rapids Griffins (4 games): 4 losses
- vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (8 games): 6 wins (including 1 shootout), 1 loss, 1 overtime loss
- vs. Hershey Bears (2 games): 1 win, 1 loss
- vs. Iowa Wild (2 games): 2 wins (including 1 OT)
- vs. Lake Erie (10 games); 4 wins (including 1 shootout), 2 losses, 1 overtime loss, 3 shootout losses
- vs. Milwaukee (2 games): 1 loss, 1 overtime loss
- vs. Oklahoma City (2 games): 1 win, 1 overtime loss
- vs. Rockford (2 games): 1 win, 1 loss
- vs. San Antonio (2 games): 1 win, 1 shootout loss
- vs. Syracuse (8 games): 4 wins, 3 losses, 1 shootout loss
- vs. Texas (2 games): 1 OT win, 1 loss
- vs. Toronto (10 games): 5 wins (including 1 shootout), 4 losses, 1 overtime loss
- vs. Utica (10 games): 7 wins, 3 losses
- vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2 games): 1 win, 1 loss