**This Week’s Storylines**
**The Amerks made their inaugural visit to Charlotte over the weekend, where they took three out of a four possible points during a weekend set with the Checkers. Sunday’s game saw Rochester rally from 4-1 deficit behind a pair of third-period goals from Kevin Porter. The Amerks have compiled points in 30 of their last 35 games dating back to Nov. 1, including eight of their last nine games since the turn of the New Year.
** Goaltender Linus Ullmark has carried the majority of the workload between the pipes as he has won 16 of his last 26 starts and is 14-3-6 in his last 23 games. Ullmark, who will represent the Amerks next week at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic for the second straight season, enters the week second in the AHL in minutes played (1,734) and third in saves (848) while being one win shy of tying for the league-lead in wins (17). The former Swedish Goaltender of the Year and reigning team MVP is also ranked seventh and eighth amongst all AHL goaltenders with a .926 save percentage and 2.35 goals-against average, respectively.
**Joining Ullmark at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic is rookie forward C.J. Smith, who shows seven points (4+3) over his previous eight games following a season-long seven-game scoring drought. The 23-year-old forward paces the team in all offensive categories with 14 goals, 23 assists and 37 points while being one of just two skaters to appear in all 43 games thus far this season. His plus-nine on-ice rating is also tops among team forwards. The Des Moines, Iowa, native currently ranks second in scoring among all AHL rookies and tied for eighth overall among the league’s top point-getters. His 23 assists are second-most between all first-year skaters and are tied for 12th-most in the league.
**The Amerks own three of the top 16 point-producing defensemen in the AHL in Zach Redmond, Stuart Percy and rookie Brendan Guhle. Redmond leads all Amerks defensemen and is tied for fifth among all AHL blueliners with 27 points (8+19) through 35 games. He’s also tied for fourth in goals by a defenseman with eight. Guhle, meanwhile, is tied for second in scoring among all AHL rookie defensemen with 21 points (7+14) while his seven goals are third among first-year blueliners in the league.
**With his eighth goal of the campaign in Sunday’s 5-4 overtime loss, forward Seth Griffith extended his point streak to four games. Griffith, who remains on a point-a-game pace, shows 24 points (8+16) in 24 games with the Amerks. Following his only three-game pointless stretch of the season, the former AHL All-Star has recorded 15 points (5+10) over the last 13 games since Dec. 23, which includes a pair of three-point performances.
** Rochester continues its season-long five-game road swing this weekend as the Amerks head north of the border for matchups against the Toronto Marlies and Belleville Senators on back-to-back nights prior to the All-Star break.
**The 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino gets underway on Sunday, Jan. 28 with the 2018 AHL All-Star Skills Competition at 8:00 p.m. The 2018 AHL All-Star Challenge will then take place on the evening of Monday, Jan. 29 at 7:00 p.m. using the 3-on-3 format. All events will be held at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY.