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Amerks Invade Arena Tonight

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Tonight’s contest is the sixth of eight regular season meetings, and the third of four in Binghamton, between the Sens and the North Division Amerks.  The Sens lead the all-time series 7-2-2, including 4-0-1 in Binghamton, and have won the last three matches overall with the Amerks.  The teams will next meet Friday night in Rochester in a 7:35 p.m. faceoff.  Their last contest in Binghamton comes up on the final night of the regular season, April 10th at 7:05 p.m.

SEASON SERIES: 4-1-0, Binghamton
DENIS HAMEL scored twice against his former team, including the game-winner, in the clubs’ last meeting, March 3rd in Rochester, in a 3-1 Binghamton win to snap the Sens’ seven-game losing streak and ten-game road winless skid (0-8-2).  HAMEL leads the all scorers in the season series with six points (3+3).  DOMENIC PITTIS leads the Amerks with four assists in five games against Binghamton.

BINGHAMTON SENATORS: The sixth place Senators (64 points) are two points out of the final playoff spot in the East Division.  The club is working on a modest two-game winning streak entering a stretch of four games in five nights with tonight’s clash with Rochester the only home game in that stretch.  Overall, the Sens are on Arena ice for just the third time in the last 15 games.  DENIS HAMEL leads the club in goals, assists, and points (25+31=56) as well as shorthanded goals (3) and game-winners (6).  His 56 points ranks 7th in the AHL.  Following yesterday’s trade that sent ALEXANDRE GIROUX to the New York Rangers’ organization, BRIAN McGRATTAN takes over the team lead in power play goals (5) and his 284 minutes in penalties ranks second in the league.  RAY EMERY’s five-game suspension continues through Saturday as EMERY will be eligible to return to action Sunday in Albany (5 p.m.).  BILLY THOMPSON (10-12-1, 3.04 GAA, .895 save pct.) will get his third consecutive start.

BINGHAMTON STREAKS: The club has won two straight games, has posted a power play goal in each of the last four contests, and has killed off 13 consecutive shorthanded situations.  Individually, DENIS HAMEL (3+3=6) is on a three-game points streak and BRAD TAPPER (2+2=4) has points in two straight contests playing side-by-side in Binghamton’s top line.

BINGHAMTON TRANSACTIONS: LW ALEXANDRE GIROUX was recalled by Ottawa (NHL) Tuesday and subsequently traded to the New York Rangers.

ROCHESTER AMERICANS: The Amerks embark on a nine-game in 12-day stretch tonight in Binghamton tied for fifth place with the expansion Toronto Road Runners (66 points each) in the North Division of the Western Conference.  Rochester slipped from second place between January 21st and February 15th when the club managed just one win in 13 games.  The Amerks are 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games and took a 3-2, overtime decision Saturday in Cleveland with defenseman DAVID CULLEN netting a pair of goals, including the game-winner with 1:42 to go in the extra period.  Rochester brings the league’s top power play unit (17.9%) to town tonight.  DOMENIC PITTIS leads the club in assists (40) and points (52).  JASON POMINVILLE paces the Amerks with 26 goals and his 18 power play markers lead the league.  CULLEN’s 35 points from the blue line is t-6th among defensemen.  RYAN MILLER (20-20-5, 2.24 GAA, .924 save pct.) is the workhorse in goal with 45 appearances.

ROCHESTER STREAKS: The Amerks have won two straight on the road, both in Cleveland, and C CHRIS TAYLOR (1+9=10) is on a five-game point streak.

ROCHESTER TRANSACTIONS: The Amerks have not announced any transactions this week.

NHL AFFILIATES: The Ottawa Senators (88 points) are tied with Toronto for first place in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference follwing their 4-1 win in Washington Monday night.  The O-Sens continue their five-game road trip tomorrow night in Calgary.  Rochester is stocked by the Buffalo Sabres who are last in the Northeast Division with 67 points, seven points out of the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.  The Sabres are in Washington tonight against the Capitals.

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