***This Week’s Top Storylines***
*The Amerks earned four out of a possible six points to begin 2017 and have won four of their last five games overall. On Friday, the Amerks defeated the Syracuse Crunch 4-3 in a shootout before splitting a two-game road set against the Toronto Marlies. In Game 1 of the back-to-back series, the Amerks took a 5-0 loss and responded with a 4-3 overtime win thanks to Mac Bennett’s game-winning goal just 1:42 into the extra session.
*Evan Rodrigues extended his hot play since the Christmas break as he recorded a pair of assists over the weekend. Since the Christmas break, he has eight points in seven games. Going into Saturday’s matchup, he was riding a career-long five-game point streak (2+4). In his second season with the Amerks, Rodrigues has 21 points (7+14) through 35 games.
*Cole Schneider continues to lead the Amerks and ranks third in the league scoring with 35 points (14+21). Schneider, who was named to his first career AHL All-Star Classic earlier in the week, is also tied for ninth in the AHL with 14 goals and paces the Amerks with 12 multi-point games this season.
*Linus Ullmark, also named to the AHL All-Star roster, continued his stellar play after earning the win on Friday. The former Swedish Goalie of the Year enters the week leading all AHL netminders in saves (804), shots-against (887) and minutes played (1,626) while tied for third with 14 wins. He has won three of his last four games and boasts a 6-3-0-0 record over his last nine appearances.
*The Amerks enter the week tied for fourth-place in the North Division with the Toronto Marlies. Rochester hosts the Hartford Wolf Pack for the second-time Wednesday night before welcoming the league-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Friday night for the first and only time of the campaign. The Penguins’ lone appearance also sees the return of assistant coach Chris Taylor, who spent the last five years in the same capacity in Rochester. As a player, Taylor spent nine seasons as an Amerk and was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2015.