**This Week’s Storylines**
LEADING THE NORTH
The Amerks enter the week having earned 26 out of a possible 32 points in the last 16 contests and have won seven of their last 11 games overall. Rochester’s 4-3 win over Binghamton on Saturday kept the team three points in front of the Syracuse Crunch for the top spot in the AHL’s North Division standings. In the Eastern Conference, only the Charlotte Checkers have more wins (16) and a better points percentage (.786) than the Amerks.
The Amerks have outscored the opposition 67-52 over their last 17 games and enter the week just four goals off the league lead with 71 goals scored, 16 of which have come on the power-play.
The BEST OFFENSE IS A GOOD DEFENSE
The Amerks own the top two defensemen in the AHL in Zach Redmond (13+9) and Lawrence Pilut (3+19), who enter the week tied for the team lead and pacing all league blueliners in scoring with 22 points each in 19 and 16 games, respectively. Of Redmond’s team-high 13 goals this season, six have held up as game-winning goals, a new career-high, while six have also been tallied on the man-advantage, good enough for second in the league in that category. Redmond, who had an AHL-best nine-game point streak to end the month of October, is second in the league in goals (13) and is tied for third in points (22), while his six game-winning goals are tops in the AHL.
Pilut, who returned from his first-ever NHL recall on Friday, begins the final week of November after seeing his career-long seven-game point streak end on Saturday night. It was just the third time all season that the former SHL Defenseman of the Year had been held without a point. Pilut has recorded nearly half of his 22 points on the power-play this season, including two of his three goals, which are tied for eighth-most among all AHL blueliners. He enters the week with points in 12 of his last 14 games and currently leads the AHL in with 19 assists while his team-best plus-19 on-ice rating is also the best mark in the league in that category.
REDMOND NEARING HISTORY
By scoring Rochester’s first goal of the game this past Saturday in Binghamton, Zach Redmond notched his team-leading 13th goal in just his 19th game of the season. Earlier this season, Redmond became the fastest Amerks defenseman to score 10 goals in the fewest amount of games to begin the season since Amerks Hall of Famer Don McSween reached the mark in his first 21 games during the 1989-90 campaign. McSween would later go on to become the top scoring defenseman in franchise history. Redmond, who last season was the first Rochester blueliner in seven years to lead the team in scoring, is three goals away from matching his career-high of 15 from last season and needs just six more to tie the single-season franchise record for the most goals by a defenseman of 18, set by Hall of Famer Rick Pagnutti during the 1972-73 campaign. The AHL record for goals scored by a defenseman is held by John Slaney, who netted 30 for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during the 1999-00 season.
BUSY BETWEEN THE PIPES
Scott Wedgewood has got the nod between the pipes in 10 of the last 13 games. After dropping his first two games of the season, the sixth-year netminder won five straight to close out the month of October, matching the career-best mark he set while backstopping the Albany Devils during the 2015-16 season. He enters the week tied for fourth among goalies in wins (7) and fourth in shutouts (1)
IRON MAN SIMPSON
Rochester forward Wayne Simpson is the AHL’s current leader in consecutive games played with 206. Prior to joining the Amerks, the Boxborough, Mass., native appeared in all 76 regular-season games with the Hershey Bears and Providence Bruins over each of the last two seasons, in addition to 35 straight appearances for the Portland Pirates dating back to the 2015-16 campaign. Simpson has tallied 10 points on six goals and four assists through 19 games with the Amerks this season.
CLOSING NOVEMBER, HELLO DECEMBER
The Amerks bring the month of November to a close on Friday, Nov. 30 when they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for an Eastern Conference showdown at The Blue Cross Arena. Following the contest with the Penguins, the Amerks return to Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena for their second time in as many weeks as they meet-up with the Binghamton Devils. Both of 7:05 p.m. games will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/ 95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.