Game 11: Hamilton Versus Rochester

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 faces off against their divisional rival the Rochester Americans once more in an early morning (10 AM EST) game. Hamilton takes on the Amerks for the 4th time this season. Hamilton has gone 1-1-1 against Rochester thus far, with a 7 goals for and 8 goals against during those games. Last time they met Hamilton won 4-3.

Hamilton

Rochester

Record

4-4-2

7-4-1

Goals For per Game

2.2

3.75

Goals Against per Game

3.1

3.25

Power Play

9.3

21.5

Penalty Kill

89.6

78.7

Shooting %

6.7

11.7

Save %

0.898

0.902

Shots For per Game

30.6

30.8

Shot Against per Game

29.5

33.1

Rochester and Hamilton are very different teams. Both are about even on special teams but Hamilton’s PK is strong and its PP weak while vice versa for Rochester. They get about equal shots per game but Rochester has converted on half again more of them and thus has a strong offense (2nd in the league) while Hamilton’s is weak (24th). Hamilton holds a positive shot differential but no where near as good a one as they had before back to back games against the Crunch, while Rochester sports a positive goal differential.

Expected Lineups

Foligino Flynn Rankin
Girgensons Porter Roy
Sundher Adam Mancari
Tarnasky Schofield Legault
Finley MacKenzie
McNabb Pysyk
Brennan Biega
Leggio

This verision of the Amerks lineup is an easier one to face that the squad that beat the Bulldogs in their first two matchs. Amerk’s top center Cody Hodgson, who dominated the Bulldogs is out with a hand injury. Without him, the most dangerous Sabre’s prospect the American’s can ice is likely power winger Foligino, who has 14 points in 12 games. Overall the American’s are strong offensively based off some top forward and defenseman talent, but they’ve been defensively weak this season and look to remain that way going forward.

Holland Bournival Gallagher
Quailer Dumont Palushaj
Blunden Boyce
Berger Nattinen Sortini
Beaulieu St. Denis
Tinordi Ellis
Nash Corbin
Mayer

Its not really clear yet how the Bulldog’s intend to cope with the loss of Blake Geoffrion to go along with Louis Leblanc’s injury. Without those two as well as the injured Greg Pateryn, the Bulldogs are down to dressing one of Hagel, Avtsin or Stesjkal as the 12th forward.

Robert Mayer has been realitively hot lately for a team that has failed to produce meaningful scoring. Expect the CHL line to find their grove again now that they are no longer facing the Syracuse Crunch. Gaberiel Dumont is the most likely forward to take Geoffrion’s place as center of the other offensive line. Also interesting to see what happens with Nattinen, he’s both the best choice to be the 4th center and the final plausible top nine forward remaining in the depth chart to play 3rd line RW.

With Geoffrion and Leblanc injured, Brendan Gallagher becomes the only forward in the lineup with better than a point in every 2 games scoring pace. It also means that only 76% of their goals scored so far this season are in the lineup (16 of 21), particularly worrying for an already weak offensive team.

Topics: Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal Canadiens

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