AHL Preview: Syracuse vs. Rochester


Two of the five New York teams in the AHL face off tonight as the first-place Syracuse Crunch visit the Rochester Americans for a 7 p.m. intra-conference matchup.

• Syracuse Crunch: 22-7-2-3, 49 pts/34 GP — 122 GF, 91 GA, 7-1-1-1 in last ten games, 1st in Eastern Conference

• Rochester Americans: 17-13-2-1, 37 pts/33 GP — 111 GF, 104 GA, 5-4-0-1 in last ten games, 10th in Western Conference

Tonight’s meeting is the third of ten between the Crunch and Amerks this season. Rochester has won both games of the season series to date, beginning with a 6-5 shootout win in the team’s home opener.

Mark Pysyk, Mark Mancari and Marcus Foligno each scored for Rochester, with Corey Tropp adding a pair of goals in his lone game of the season – a game during which he suffered a season-ending injury. Mark Barberio, Mike Angelidis and Cory Conacher scored for Syracuse, with Tyler Johnson also scoring a pair.

After a game that was filled with penalties – including four fighting majors, three unsportmanlike conduct violations and a number of roughing and checking minors, the shootout saw just one goal, by Rochester’s Mark Mancari.

The teams met again on November 10, this time taking the ice in Syracuse. The Amerks would skate to a 5-2 victory in a game that saw a few more fighting and roughing violations.

T.J. Brennan, Alex Biega, Brian Flynn, Marcus Foligno and Nick Tarnasky scored for Rochester, with Syracuse’s goals coming from Richard Panik and Cory Conacher.

David Leggio had 24 saves for Rochester, with Riku Helenius stopped 19 shots for the Crunch in the loss.

The Crunch look to extend a three-game winning streak tonight, having claimed victories over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Norfolk (twice) dating back to December 31. Tonight’s matchup is the third of a three-game roadstand before the Crunch return home for a pair of games.

The Americans are coming off a 3-1 loss to Abbotsford on January 5, having won the two previous games over Abbotsford and Hamilton. After tonight, they’ll host the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday before a two-game road trip to Syracuse and Binghamton.

Notably missing from the Americans lineup will be Cody Hodgson and Marcus Foligno, who were both called up by the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.

Foligno has 27 points in 33 games with Rochester this season, while Hodgson has 19 points in 19 games with the team. T.J. Brennan is still with the Rochester squad but is expected to attend Sabres training camp when it begins sometime this weekend.

Coming up: Rochester and Syracuse meet eight more times this season: January 12 and 18, February 2 and 26, March 3 and 27 and April 13.