**This Week’s Storylines**
OPENING THE SEASON
The Amerks opened their 64th American Hockey League season on Friday with a 3-2 overtime win over the Syracuse Crunch at The Blue Cross Arena. Forward Tage Thompson scored twice, including the game-winner with 43 seconds remaining in overtime, while Rasmus Asplund and Zach Redmond each notched two assists as Rochester opened the season with a victory for the fifth time in the last six years. The win also improved the Amerks to 39-19-6 all-time in home openers and 33-24-7 in season-openers dating back to when the puck first dropped on Rochester’s inaugural season in 1956.
DINEEN ALREADY MAKING HISTORY WITH AMERKS
Never before in the 63-year history of the franchise have the Amerks began a new season under an interim head coach. That all changed on opening night as Gord Dineen, who was appointed the team’s interim head coach on Tuesday of this past week, not only led Rochester into its 64th season, but became the first in his position to open the season with a coaching win.
THOMPSON, REDMOND PICK UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF
Coming off his two-goal performance on Friday, Thompson has totaled 13 points (10+3) over his last 12 games with the Amerks dating back to last season, including the two goals he scored in the first round of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Marlies. More impressively, Thompson has scored eight goals in just nine career regular-season games with Rochester, matching the total he set over a 30-game stint with the San Antonio Rampage during his rookie season in 2017-18. The third-year pro enters the week tied for second in the AHL in goals. Redmond, meanwhile, is tied for second amongst all AHL defensemen in scoring after opening the season with a pair of assists. The reigning Eddie Shore Award winner has collected three assists in his last five games dating back to last season.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Rochester sets out on its first three-in-three of the season next weekend on a three-game trek through the Atlantic Division with stops in Springfield, Providence and Hartford. The Amerks concluded the 2018-19 campaign with an AHL-best 25-9-3-1 road record, finishing one point ahead of the Charlotte Checkers with a .711 points percentage. Rochester’s 25 road wins last season tied a franchise record originally set during the 1998-99 season and were the most in the AHL. The team also finished with the fewest regulation road losses with nine, having collected at least one point in 29 of their 38 contests away from The Blue Cross Arena.