It was an up and down roller coaster of a 76 game season and at many times it didn’t seem likely but the Rochester Americans clinched a playoff birth on the last day of the American Hockey League season, when they weren’t playing. The team defeated the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday night and the right scenarios played out on Sunday for them to earn the 7th seed in the Western Conference.
They’ll be playing against the Toronto Marlies, a team they only beat three out of ten times this season but every game was decided by one goal. The Amerks were also without a full lineup in many of those games due to all of the call ups to the Sabres throughout the season.
It’s a new season and anything is possible. The Binghamton Senators got key players back from the Ottawa Senators for the 2010/2011 playoffs and snuck into the playoffs as a 5th seed crossover and went on to win the Calder Cup. This is what it’s all about for fans and players at this level, to get into the playoffs and win the Calder Cup. There isn’t a single player that wants to end the season after 76 games, they want to prove their team is the best at this level.
“There were times when it looked gloomy,” Whitmore said of the playoff outlook. “When you go on a five-game losing streak when you’re in a playoff fight, it’s not good. We probably played our worst game of the year in that 4-0 loss at Abbotsford (on April 3).
“But we managed to find a way. That’s been the story of our team all year.”
The season started with a lot of alumni coming back to kick off the season and it’d be great to have them all invited back again in June for a celebration.
More in the days to come!
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 19 – Rochester at Toronto, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Rochester at Toronto, 3:00
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 23 – Toronto at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Toronto at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Rochester at Toronto, 3:00
* if necessary.