**This Week’s Storylines**
Rochester comes into the week riding a three-game point streak (2-0-0-1) and have won three of its last six games, with all three wins coming against North Division opponents. With Friday’s shootout loss versus Binghamton, the Amerks have earned 17 out of a possible 26 points through their first 13 games of the season, putting them just two points away from the top spot in North Division.
One of the biggest factors attributed to Rochester’s early season success is the fact that the Amerks have outshot their opponents in every game so far this season, including a season-high 50 shots in Springfield on Oct. 27. The Amerks come into the week third in the AHL in total shots (464) and are averaging 35.08 shots per game, the most behind only the Iowa Wild. Rochester owns one of the top two shooters in the league in Tage Thompson (56) and currently remains the only team this season to have outshot the opposition in every game to start the 2019-20 campaign.
THOMPSON TORMENTING THE OPPOSITION
Despite being held off the scoresheet four times so far this season, Thompson has totaled 23 points (14+9) over his last 24 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 12 goals in just 21 career regular-season games with Rochester, easily surpassing the total he set over a 30-game stint with San Antonio during his rookie season in 2017-18. The third-year pro leads the team six goals and 12 points while his six assists are for the team-lead through his first 13 games of the season. He also is second in league with 56 shots on goal.
THE BEST OFFENSE IS A GOOD DEFENSE
The Amerks come into the week owning two of the AHL’s top point-producing defensemen in Zach Redmond and Casey Nelson. The start of the 2019-20 season is just a different chapter in the same story for the 31-year-old Redmond, who’s averaged nearly a point-per-game through his first 11 games of the season. The reigning Eddie Shore Award winner and two-time AHL All-Star has collected eight points (1+7) in his last 16 games dating back to last season. Much like his counterpart, Nelson, too, is playing at almost a point-per-game pace. His two goals are tied for 10th-most in the AHL amongst defensemen while his team-best plus-nine on-ice rating ranks third. The fourth-year pro enters the week with five points (2+3) over his last three games, including a career-high three-point effort (2+1) against Binghamton to open the month of November.
Rochester’s 4-3 shootout loss to Binghamton on Friday was the sixth game so far this season that went beyond regulation for the Amerks, the most behind only Hartford. The Amerks, who tied an AHL record during the 2017-18 season with 29 overtime games, are 2-1 in the bonus period this season and show a 1-2 record in the shootout.
MALONE MOVING UP
After being held without a point in his first four games of the 2019-20 campaign, forward Sean Malone has recorded three goals and three assists for six points in the last six games, a new career-high for the third-year pro. With points in each of his last six games, Malone has the second-longest active point streak in the AHL behind only Matt Puempel of the Grand Rapids Griffins. The West Seneca native is tied for eighth on the team with six points while being one of 10 Amerk forwards with two or more goals on the season.