The Bulldogs`game of the season is tomorrow (October 22th), facing off against the Buffalo Sabres`affiliate and AHL North Division rival the Rochester Americans. Rochester is off to a decent start to the 2012-13 campaign going 3-2 with a -2 real (no SO) goal differential with a single SO win. Rochester is on a two game winning streak, most recently defeating the Hershey Bears 8-7 in a back and forth offensive slugfest. Coming off that 15 goal match, the Americans are the AHL`s highest scoring event team, averaging 4 goals for and 4.2 goals against per game.
The Americans have also been outshot in each of their 5 matches so far, giving up an average of 35.6 shots per game and also getting only .882% save percentage from their goaltenders. Combined with their 27.6 shots for per game, we can surmise that the Americans have been running a 43.8% shot ratio so far, being brought to even by their 1020 PDO over that span. In comparison Hamilton is at 53.4% shot ratio, -2 real goal differential and a 965 PDO over 3 matches.
Rochester is lead by a group of players with NHL experience, including Marcus Foligino, Cody Hogdson, Luke Adam, TJ Brennan and Brayden McNabb. Foligno is the AHL`s top goal scorer with 5 and 2nd in points with 8 and Brennan leads defensemen in scoring with 3 goals and 7 points while Hogdson is tied for 2 with 7 points (all assists). In goal they have 3rd year AHL veteran David Leggio, who posted a .917 save percentage last year and is .912 for his AHL career.
Hamilton may be without top forward Louis Leblanc as the nature of the injury he left Saturday`s game with has yet to be disclosed. Expect Jonas Nattinen to draw into his spot if he`s unavailable No word if defenseman Morgan Ellis will make his pro debut. Rochester has lost scoring RW Corey Tropp for the rest of the year with a knee injury.
The Americans ice one of the youngest AHLers with 2012 first round pick Girgensons having joined them from the USHL.
On special teams its the battle of the irresistible forces against immovable objects, Rochester is 9 for 29 on the powerplay while 21 for 30 on the penalty kill (101.0% special teams) while Hamilton is 1 for 17 on the man advantage while 14 for 16 when down a man (93.4%).