The road to winning hockey games in The AHL is all about depth. Injuries and roster moves are the only things that stay constant especially for the Rochester Americans.
There was seven roster moves on Thursday. Two players to the Sabres (Kyle Criscuolo and Casey Nelson), one player from the Sabres (Nick Baptiste), two players to the Cyclones (Vaclav Karabacek and Brycen Martin) and two players signed to PTO’s from the Cyclones (Eric Knodel and Arvin Atwal).
“A lot of phone calls, airplanes and travel but it’s good. We got two new guys and with Evan and Nylander coming back its another two guys on forward as well,” Chris Taylor said when asked about the busy day. “Keeps our roster interesting.”
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Arvin Atwal (pictured) will be in the lineup tonight with Redmond and Goers out again (both still considered day to day – Redmond returned to practice Thursday, Goers has been out since Monday). They liked what they saw of Atwal before the season and he’ll have his chance to make an impression. He’ll join Brendan Guhle, Stuart Percy, Andrew MacWilliam, Conor Allen and Devante Stephens on defense.
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After the game on Wednesday night the topic of depth was addressed by Taylor, “Our depth carried us through another game and thats what it’s all about. We need depth all the time and injuries are going to happen in the minors and call ups are going to happen. We can’t complain and can’t sit here and feel sorry for ourselves we just have to let these guys grow and let them get their games in.”
Taylor also talked on Wednesday about returning players and if they’ll help saying, “For sure they’re going to help but we’re not going to change our game or style. They might think that we’re going to change a little bit but we’re not. We’re going to play the same way and thats how we’re getting results right now. We’re sticking with it as a team, our leaders are sticking with it and when they come back that’s the way they’re going to play too.”
It’s a team effort and the way the team has been playing says a lot about the group of players in the locker room and the coaching staff. They’re all on the same page and putting up points in the standings early in the season.
The Amerks are facing the Wolf Pack tonight who have lost their last two games in in over time. It’s great to talk about the Amerks being in second place but there’s a lot games to still be played. The win on Wednesday night was a great defensive effort and great saves by Ullmark and they’ll need that again.
Justin Bailey is out for another game but Taylor said that he’s hopeful he’ll play on Saturday night. He’s still a little sore and they want to make sure he’s completely healthy.
Garret Ross is the other forward scratch, day to day and reasons unknown.
Here’s the promotions for tonight from Amerks.com:
Pregame Happy Hour: The Amerks will host a Genesee Pregame Party Happy Hour prior to every Friday and Saturday home game this season in the Genesee Brew House Upper Atrium Bar, featuring live music and $2 drafts of Genesee and Genesee Light.
Zweigle’s Family Four Packs: Zweigle’s Family Packs are available for every Amerks Friday and Sunday home game during the 2017-18 Season. For just $79, fans will receive four Lower Level tickets (some restrictions may apply), four hot dogs and four sodas. A minimum of four tickets is required in order to purchase the Zweigle’s Family Pack.
Distillery Eats & Seats: This popular package returns for another year as fans can purchase a Lower Level ticket and $10 gift card to The Distillery for just $25.
Kids Tickets: The Amerks are offering a special Kids Ticket price of just $10 per seat for kids age 3-6 with the purchase of an adult ticket at the Box Office for all home games.
Moe’s Hot Player of the Game: At each home game, three Amerks players will be selected as the “hot players” of the game. If any of the three Amerks players scores a goal, fans will be able to redeem their ticket stub for 50% off any entrée at participating Moe’s locations the following day. If any of the three Amerks players scores a hat trick, fans will also be able to redeem their ticket for an enhanced offer (free burrito) at participating Moe’s locations the following day. Tonight’s Moe’s Hot Players are Andrew MacWilliam, Eric Cornel and Alexander Nylander.