The future of the Buffalo Sabres goes through the Rochester Americans; and tonight the Americans face a tough test in the Hershey Bears.
Tonight against the Hershey Bears (4-2-1) the Rochester Americans (3-2-1) face their toughest test of the year yet. The Hershey Bears have a fierce offense including some of the AHL’s best players like Mike Sgarbossa who is off to a hot start with 4 goals and 4 assists.
Sgarbossa is 27 and has played in the AHL for much of his career, but has become a very good player at the AHL level. Also on the Hershey attack is Axel Jonsson-Fjallby who is one of the Capitals top prospects. Axel is off to a hot start with 3 goals already on the year.
The main threat from Hershey though comes in their goal with Phoenix Copley. Copley is 27 with some NHL experience, but this year in Hershey has been a whole new player. In 4 games Copley is 2-1-1 with a 1.35 GAA and a .948 save percentage. With the way Copley has been playing it wouldn’t be surprising if Washington brought him back to the NHL soon.
For Rochester, the team will be trying to recover from an embarrassing 1-7 loss to the Utica Comets. The team, specifically on the defensive end has yet to find their identity this season, and that will be a huge key moving forward. Jacob Bryson and Lawrence Pilut will need to inspire the defense to follow their lead, as both Bryson and PIlut are 2 of the Sabres top defensive prospects.
Offensively, look to Tage Thompson and Rasmus Asplund to lead the charge. Thompson has been off to a hot start with 6 points in 6 games, while Asplund has continued to develop into a very good passer of the puck. The offense needs to score more goals and expect Asplund to take that load.
Tonight’s game against Hershey will tell us a lot about Rochester, hopefully the Amerks can follow the lead of their NHL counterparts and just win baby.