**This Week’s Storylines**
VIEW FROM ABOVE
The Amerks come into the week sitting atop the AHL’s North Division standings with a three-point lead, having earned 14 out of a possible 16 points during their current eight-game point streak. The team has also notched 22 points in its last 15 games dating back to a 4-0 shutout win in Cleveland on Dec. 26. Among all AHL teams, only the Charlotte Checkers have more wins (31) than the Amerks (28), who are second overall in the Eastern Conference with a .667 points percentage coming into the week.
C.J. HEADS BACK TO BUFFALO
Despite seeing his career-long nine-game point streak end on Friday, second-year forward C.J. Smith responded with a pair of goals this past Saturday, which included his career-high 18th goal of the season, along with an assist in a 4-1 against Hartford. With his three-point effort, Smith took over the team lead in points (41) and has also recorded 22 points (11+11) in his last 16 games dating back to Dec. 14. On Monday morning, the 24-year-old winger earned his second recall of the campaign to the Buffalo Sabres.
RECORD BELONGS TO REDMOND
Veteran defenseman Zach Redmond broke the 46-year-old single-season franchise record for most goals by a defenseman back on Jan. 23, scoring his team-leading 19th goal of the season in a 7-5 win over the Binghamton Devils at The Blue Cross Arena. The 30-year-old blueliner surpassed Amerks Hall of Famer Rick Pagnutti, who set the original mark with 18 goals during the 1972-73 campaign, He’ll also become the first defenseman in the 63-year history of the franchise to reach the 20-goal mark on his next goal. Redmond also remains on pace to tie the AHL record of 30, set by John Stanley during the 1990-00 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Redmond has scored a team and career-high 19 goals this season, including nine on the power-play, good enough for sixth in the league in that category. Redmond, who had an AHL-best nine-game point streak to end the month of October, enters the week tied for 14th in the league in goals (19) and leading all AHL defensemen with 39 points, while his eight game-winning goals are tops in the AHL. His 19 goals and 138 shots are also the most by an AHL blueliner this season.
OLOFSSON OFF AND RUNNING…AGAIN
With 14 points (5+9) in his last 14 games, Victor Olofsson is one of four Rochester skaters with 30 or more points on the season. A year after pacing the SHL with 27 goals, Olofsson has been nearly a point-per-game player for Rochester, sharing the team lead with 23 assists and ranking third with 38 points through his first 42 games. Olofsson, who earned CCM/AHL Player of the Month honors for October, is also 10th in the league with 13 power play assists.
IRON MAN STREAK SNAPPED
Forward Wayne Simpson saw his consecutive games played streak end at 231 after missing Saturday’s 4-1 win at Hartford. The streak, which dated back to Jan. 29, 2016, was the longest in the AHL over that span. 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.
STAYING BUSY BETWEEN THE PIPES
Rochester goaltender Scott Wedgewood (15-7-1) has gotten the nod in 11 of the last 18 games for the Amerks, going 8-3-0 over that span while winning seven of his last eight dating back to a 31-save shutout at Cleveland the day after Christmas. After dropping his first two games of the season, the sixth-year netminder won a season-long 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 fifth among all AHL goaltenders in wins (16) while his three shutouts are tied for third. He’s also 13th in games played (26) and 17th in minutes (1446).
At 14-4-3-1 (32 points), Rochester has the second-best road record in the AHL and have the second-most regulation wins away from home with 14. The Amerks remain one of just two AHL teams this season with only four regulation losses on the road having collected at least one point in 18 of their 22 contests away from The Blue Cross Arena. Coming into this week, the Amerks have won eight of their last 11 road contests dating back to their 4-3 win at Syracuse on Dec. 8 while also outscoring the opposition 39-27 over that span.
HALL OF FAME ADDS TWO ON FRIDAY
The Amerks Hall of Fame welcomes in the Class of 2019 on Friday, as the team will induct former defenseman Doug Janik and forward Steve Langdon as the 63rd and 64th members of theprestigious club during a pregame ceremony.