Pre-Game Primer: Rochester Americans vs. Toronto Marlies


Photo: Melissa Kania

The Rochester Americans host the Toronto Marlies this evening in the fourth of 10 meetings between the teams this season. To date, Rochester has won two of the three meetings so far, both 4-1 victories.

The Rochester Americans prepare to face a Toronto Marlies team that is just one point ahead of them in the standings. A regulation win tonight for Rochester would bump Toronto out of first place in the North Division.

The Marlies currently have a record of 14-9-1-0 and are on a two-game winning streak. They’re also 7-3-0-0 in their last ten games and are coming off victories over the Hamilton Bulldogs and the St. John’s IceCaps this past weekend.

Rochester, meanwhile, sits second in the division with a 12-11-2-2 record and 28 points. The Amerks are coming off a loss to Syracuse on Saturday and are 5-5-0-0 in their last 10 games.

The Amerks have scored more goals (81) this season than the Marlies (68), but that also correlates to goals-against, where the Marlies have allowed just 60 to Rochester’s 87.

One player that the Rochester Americans will have to watch is former Amerks defenseman T.J. Brennan, who currently leads the Marlies with 12 goals this season. His 25 points are tied with right wing Spencer Abbott for first on the team.  Brennan also leads the Marlies with six power-play goals, 82 shots on goal and averages 1.04 points per game.

Left winger Brad Ross is on a two-game goal streak, so he’ll be another player the Amerks will have to watch out for as he looks to extend that mark. Rookie Josh Leivo has 12 points in 20 games this season, while Greg McKegg and Sam Carrick each have 10 points – all players to note and keep track of during tonight’s meeting.

The Marlies are without several of their top players, including defenseman John-Michael Liles, third on the team in scoring, who is up with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Center – and captain – Trevor Smith, who has 12 points in seven games with the Marlies this year, is also up in the NHL. Newly missing is left wing Jerry D’Amigo, called up to the NHL for the first time recently. D’Amigo had eight points in 19 AHL games prior to being called up to the Maple Leafs.

Center Phil Varone leads the Rochester Americans with 26 points (6-20) in 27 games this season. Right wing Jamie Tardif and Mike Zigomanis each have eight goals and 11 assists on the season. Tardif also leads the team in shots on goal, with 76 on the year to date.

The Amerks also got two of their top five leading scorers back yesterday, as center Luke Adam (18 pts/15 gp) and defenseman Brayden McNabb (15 pts/16 gp) both returned to the team from the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. Defenseman Mark Pysyk also joins the Amerks from the Sabres, returning to face the Toronto Marlies – the same team he played his last AHL game against back in May during the Calder Cup playoffs.


October 18 @ RCH – Amerks win, 4-1

  • Goal scorers for Rochester: Catenacci, Adam, Ellis, Varone
  • Goal scorer for Toronto: MacLeod
  • Marlies outshot Americans, 37-22
  • Power plays: Toronto: 0/6, Rochester: 1/4
  • Goaltending: Sparks (TOR) – 18 saves; Lieuwen (RCH) – 36 saves

October 26 @ TOR – Amerks win, 4-1

  • Goal scorers for Rochester: Adam, Zigomanis, Sulzer, Varone
  • Goal scorer for Toronto: Abbott
  • Amerks outshot Marlies, 30-29
  • Power plays: Toronto 0/6, Rochester 2/7
  • Goaltending: Sparks (TOR) 26 saves (1 EN goal); Hackett (RCH) – 28 saves

November 30 @ TOR – Marlies win, 3-2

  • Goal scorers for Rochester: Tardif, MacKenzie
  • Goal scorers for Toronto: Carrick, Liles, Biggs
  • Marlies outshot Amerks, 29-27
  • Power plays: Toronto 1/5, Rochester 0/3
  • Goaltending: MacIntyre (TOR) – 25 saves; Hackett (RCH) – 26 saves

After tonight, the Rochester Americans and Toronto Marlies will meet six more times during the regular season – but not until mid-March! The teams will meet in Rochester on March 14, March 28 and April 11. They’ll also face off in Toronto on March 25, April 5 and April 19.