Amerks Take On Bulldogs at First Niagara Center

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With the NHL Lockout still in place, the AHL will serve as a temporary tenant of First Niagara Center this evening when the Rochester Americans host the Hamilton Bulldogs.

The Amerks (3-2-0) enter tonight’s contest fresh off a wild match with the Hershey Bears on Sunday, where the Amerks won 8-7 and secured their first winning streak on the young season. The Amerks’ six points currently have them sitting at fifth place in the Western Conference.

Buffalo Sabres regulars continue to play major roles for the Rochester club. Marcus Foligno leads the team in both goals and points (5,8), while Cody Hodgson has already amassed seven assists in his five games as an American.

Looking to earn a roster spot with Buffalo when the NHL season eventually begins, defenseman TJ Brennan has earned three goals and seven points thus far this season. Mark Mancari, who spent last season with the Vancouver Canucks system before returning to the Sabres in a one-year contract, has claimed five points and currently leads the team with 15 shots on goal alongside Brennan.

The 14th overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft Zemgus Girgensons will look to make his first big impact for the Americans tonight. The 18-year-old Latvian center has only accounted for one assist in his first five games with Rochester.

Also hoping to find his rhythm is highly-touted goaltending prospect David Leggio. Despite being in net for all three of Rochester’s wins this season, Leggio has allowed 20 goals in just five games.

The Hamilton Bulldogs (2-1-0) come into Buffalo tonight following a 0-5 shutout at the hands of the Toronto Marlies. The AHL affiliate of Sabres division rival Montreal Bulldogs only features a handful of players who Buffalo fans may recognize from seeing in the NHL, including Blake Geoffrion, Zack Stortini and goaltender Cedrick Desjardins.

Leading the Bulldogs in scoring after just three games is 23-year-old Aaron Palushaj of Livonia, Michigan with two goals and one assist. Palushaj has so far proven to be the Bulldogs’ most active member of team offensively, averaging five shots on goal per game.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:35 this evening.

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