Game 7: Rochester Rematch

Dec 31, 2011; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman TJ Brennan (33) on the bench during the game against the Ottawa Senators at the First Niagara Center. Senators beat the Sabres 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Hamilton has 24 games combined against nearby Rochester and Toronto teams, so don’t surprised to see the two of them take up the bulk of the schedule so far.

The last time these teams met the Rochester Americans muzzled the Bulldogs with a 3-1 win. Hamilton had terrible difficulty solving David Leggio, getting only one goal in 37 shots. It was the first goal by the CHL line as a unit, with Patrick Holland making a solid pass from the half-board to Michel Bournival in the slot who one-timed it home while Brendan Gallagher occupied two defenders on a kamikaze run towards the net. The Amerks scored 2 goals on even strength and and sealed the deal with 1 goal on the power play, which the Bulldogs proved unable to match. Cody Hodgson in particular controlled the play whenever he touched the ice that night, scoring the winning goal for the Buffalo affiliate.

Tale of the Tap

Rochester

Hamilton

Goals For

33

15

Goals Against

29

18

+/-

4

-3

Shots For per Game

32.0

34.0

Shots Against per Game

34.4

28.2

Shooting%

12.5

6.9

Save%

0.895

0.893

PP

12/48

3/28

PK

34/44

24/28

ES

2

-2

Rochester is a particularly high-scoring event team thus far, 2nd in the AHL in goals for (4.13) and 6th worst in goals against (3.63). Which reflects their special teams play is strong on the powerplay but weak on the penalty kill. They’ve been generally outshot, even with 32.0 shots per game for due to a dismal 34.4 shots against leading to a 48.2% shot ratio.

Hamilton by contrast is a fairly middle of the pack team in terms of scoring event having a small goals against deficit. They sport a very impressive shots ratio though, with 54.7% shot ratio. The currently hold the 2nd best shot differential in the entire league with a +5.32 per game, based off a league leading 34.0 shots per game. If the Bulldogs could get a decent shooting percentage (currently 6.9%) they might become impressive offensive team rather than back in 22nd.

 

Expected Lineups

Hamilton

ES

1

Holland Bournival Gallagher

2

Quailer Dumont Palushaj

3

Blunden Geoffrion Nattinen

4

Berger Boyce Sortini

1

Beaulieu St. Denis

2

Tinordi Pateryn

3

Nash Ellis

SG

Mayer
PP

1

Holland Geoffrion Palushaj
Beaulieu St. Denis

2

Quailer Bournival Gallagher
Nash Pateryn
PK

1

Boyce Blunden
Tinordi Pateryn

2

Dumont Nattinen
St. Denis Ellis

The strength of the forward group so far seems to be the “CHL” line of Holland-Bournival-Gallagher, which has put 35 shots on net in 3 games. Only 2 goals so far, but there should be many more coming in the future. But there have been also signs of life from the second scoring unit of Quailer-Dumont/Geoffrion-Palushaj as well.

The recent games have shown a lot of promise from the Bulldogs defense, who have a lot of talent but are still very raw. Playing up to potential they have 3 units that can play reliable two-way hockey. Playing down to inexperience they have real difficulty defending their own zone against opposing forwards.

Rochester

1

Foligno Hodgson Rankin

2

Adam Varone Mancari

3

Girgensons Porter Flynn

4

Tarnasky Schofield Roy

1

Brennan Biega

2

Finley Crawford

3

McNabb Pysyk

For those curious, the Roy on forward is St. Patrick’s son Fredrick.

The strength of the Amerks forward corps lies in 4 top level AHL players, top prospects Cody Hodgson, Luke Adam and Marcus Foligino with AHL veteran Mancari.

TJ Brennan is one of the top scorers amoung defensemen in the AHL.

Topics: Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal Canadiens

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