It only took us five states and 643 miles to arrive in Portland, ME for the AHL All-Star Classic and it will be well worth it. You probably ask, why five states? On the way we took a detour to Providence to see the Providence Bruins take on the Albany River Rats for a 4pm game. The purpose of the trip was to watch former Amerks Drew Larman and Jacob MicFlikier play against each other.
(Scroll down for AHL All-Star Info….)
Jacob MicFlikier led the Albany River Rats to a 4-1 win on the road by scoring a hat trick in the game. MicFlikier has come a long way since last season and is a real asset to the River Rats. His second goal of the game was hard work as he went hard to the net and caused Bruins goalie Kevan Regan to lose the puck. After the puck bounced free to another Bruins played MicFlikier went back to the front of the net and was able to tip in the goal. He’s worked hard for every point and is likely staying with Albany for the rest of the season. I’m sure the Florida Everblades would love him back but that’s very doubtful.
If you’re wondering, yes I did throw my hat out on the ice for him and it was the only one thrown. Thanks to the River Rats equipment guy for giving it back after the game!
I have to wonder what could have been if the Amerks had signed him to an AHL deal for this season. The real issue comes down to where would he have fit into the roster? With the veteran players signed there really wasn’t any room for him. Would the fan base have accepted five vets and MicFlikier? I’m not so sure. It’s good to see a young player though working hard and making a name for himself.
Drew Larman did not play because he earned his first call up to the Boston Bruins. Larman sat the game out because Monday would be his fourth game in four nights, something no one wants to do. The Boston Bruins take on the Ottawa Senators featuring another former Amerk, Mike Brodeur. When we told Larman about having to take on Brodeur he smiled and appeared to look forward to the challenge. It was very tempting to acquire tickets for the game since it’s very close but that’d make for another long day of driving.
The whole purpose of the trip was to come to the AHL All-Star Classic in Portland where I am now. The game will feature three Rochester Americans, Alexander Salak, Graham Mink, and Keaton Ellerby.
Salak was named the started on Sunday for Planet USA since Hershey Bears goalie Michal Neuvirth was called up and will not be playing. Graham Mink has been nursing a back injury but I’m expecting he’ll still be here and suited up to represent PlanetUSA as the captain. If he plays it’ll only be for a shift or two and then let the younger guys take over. Keaton Ellerby will be skating on defense for Team Canada and I imagine he’ll be looking to light the lamp behind Salak early in the first period.
I’ll be covering everything from the skills competition, state of the league address, and the actual game itself. We’ll also be attending the other festivities that surround the game but anything that happens at those will be off the record.
If you have any questions for any players or league President Dave Andrews leave a comment.