Unlike Eric I’m a relatively green Amerks fan. While Eric has admirably supported the team for more than 3 decades I’ve spent less than a decade as a fan. I discovered the Amerks after moving to Rochester for college and I only became a season ticket holder in 2011. My interest in the team coincided with the discovery of accounting discrepancies involving then team owner Steve Donner. Countless changes resulted. An awkward dual affiliation with the Florida Panthers was signed along side the existing Buffalo Sabres affiliation. This dual affiliation coupled with continued financial woes resulted in the loss of the Buffalo Sabres affiliation. The Amerks were sold. The new owner, Curt Styres, bailed the team out of its financial situation and negotiated with the city of Rochester to keep the team in Rochester. The future looked brighter…for a moment. The lack of a local affiliation and the turmoil in ownership eroded the fan base. Moral among everyone–fans, players, and staff–was at an all time low. Even for a newer fan like myself the change in attitude was evident everywhere…from the parking garage to the arena. The eroding fan base led to an increase in promotions. So [...]Read More
Browsing posts in the ‘Amerks’ category
The cold hard fact is that in hockey, success is achieved only by playoff series victories.
This season featured a lot of nice moments:
- A great summer of vet signings
- A new GM who knows how to win
- An amazing Frozen Frontier event
- A visit to The Spengler Cup
- A great run to get into the playoffs
- A fun series against Chicago
But it’s not enough. The bottom line is that for the 10th season in a row the Amerks did not win a playoff series.
Why? There are several reasons to discuss:
- Injuries to veterans Bagnall, Tardif and Zigomanis hurt big time in the series against Chicago.
- Lots of injuries and recalls throughout the season hurt seeding and the chance to get momentum against a lesser foe.
- It was 5 game series rather than 7.
- The choke in game 1.
- The lost battles throughout game 5.
- The over-officious October penalty calling didn’t favor a team like the Amerks vs. a team like Chicago.
None of these really matter in the end. 10 seasons without a [...]Read More
@DonStevensAmerk: “He shoots, he scores! And the Amerks take the lead!” After a season of heartbreak and injuries, the Amerks playoff chances come down to one shot and this one moment.
Back in October I never would have pegged the Amerks as a playoff contender. They had an atrocious start to the season. Coupled with the management unrest in Buffalo it seemed like the 2013-2014 season was a destined for bust. Fast forward a couple of months and it seemed like the Amerks were a freight train with one scheduled stop. The playoffs. Unfortunately an inconceivable turn of events in Buffalo left the Amerks roster decimated. Countless injuries, difficult trades, and players that called it quits left the Amerks beaten and battered. One of the strongest defenses in the AHL became one of the weakest. The Amerks top scorers were recalled to the Sabres while the remaining forwards struggled to keep games within reach for the Amerks. The Amerks entered a losing streak and their playoff chances slipped away. Then, out of the blue, the remaining Amerks stepped up when it counted. A few HUGE wins and few stars aligning leave the Amerks just one point [...]Read More
If you’re an Amerks season ticket holder that made the trip out to the First Niagara Center for last night’s game versus the Grand Rapids Griffins you’re probably a little bitter this morning. Besides losing the game 5-1 after a completely uninspired 3 periods of hockey, you might not have seen very much of the game. The majority of Amerks season ticket holders were dumped in 300 level seats down near the ends. To add insult to injury the lower seats were more than half empty (the pic above is from halfway through the first period). While loyal Amerks fans suffered with poor sight lines and nosebleeds up near the roof, the seats they deserved sat empty. I considered whether or not to write about the seating situation–technically the tickets Amerks season ticket holders received were complimentary–but any hesitation I had was removed after listening to Rob Sanderson’s post game radio show. Why? Even with only 4 to 5 thousand actual bodies in seats, many of the fans with 300 level tickets that attempted to move down to better seats were turned away by ushers. You have 300 level tickets. No seat for you! So [...]Read More
If you missed last night’s game at Frozen Frontier, you missed a magical event. It was cold. It was snowy. It was the perfect setting for a winter classic. The Amerks almost etched out a 4-3 win but the Monsters managed to tie it all up with 1/10th of a second remaining in the 3rd period. After an uneventful overtime period the game was decided in a shootout. Ultimately the Amerks prevailed and won Frozen Frontier!
Eric Bourgeois adds “Major kudos need to be given to the Amerk front office for collaborating with several partners to organize and make this game possible. The amazing atmosphere of this game is a shining moment for this storied franchise – and ideally will spark the team on and off the ice. A sincere thank you to all involved”.
We’ve been waiting for this day since it was announced back in August. Tonight the Rochester Americans take on the Lake Erie Monsters in Rochester’s first outdoor professional hockey game! Here’s everything you need to know for tonight’s game.
- Gates open at 5pm with parking lots opening at 4:30pm. Parking is available in the Kodak lots surrounding Frontier Field for $10. Tailgating is prohibited.
- Bathroom facilities at Frontier Field are not winterized and are closed. Porta-Potties have been provided instead.
- Concessions will be open. Here’s the full menu.
- Pre-game entertainment is being provided by Labatt in the Blue Zone tent. There will be a band playing pre-game and during intermissions and there should be copiuous amounts of alcohol flowing. Just remember–Porta-Potties!
- At the time of writing this post the game is officially sold-out. There are, however, limited quantities of standing room tickets available. Standing room tickets are $20.
- Crowd Favorites Baylee Morrison (National Anthem) and Fred Costello (Organist) will be filling their ceremonial roles.
- Game start is scheduled for 7pm.
- EXPECT SNOW!!! Predictions are calling for anywhere between [...]Read More
Toronto who? We might be unimportant this side of the border and we’ve had our share of difficulty against Toronto in the past, but the Amerks showed the Marlies we can play at their level. Just 9 seconds into the first period, before half the fans even had a chance to settle into their seats, Catenacci stuffed one home with a sensational setup from Ellis and Hutchings. Catenacci’s goal set the tone for the evening. Second period aside, Toronto was playing catch-up all night. Was the first goal a fluke? Luke Adam answered that question at 9:46 when he blazed a shot past Toronto goalie Garrett Sparks for a gorgeous top corner goal. Adam’s game has dramatically improved this season. He looks more confident. He’s taking shots. More importantly he’s scoring. Adam leads the Amerks in both goals (4) and shots on goal (19). Friday night’s first period easily represented the Amerks best period of the season. They played commanding hockey and dominated the tough-to-beat Marlies.
More second period woes
The second period was thoroughly uninspired. A different Amerks team took to the ice. They sat back on their heels. They let the Marlies have (and [...]Read More
If you haven’t been to an Amerks game in a few years, you certainly got smacked with a dose of reality at the 2013-14 home opener. The same team that won it all in ’96 and went to the finals in ’99 and ’00, lost 8 to 1 in a completely one sided match versus the Grand Rapids Griffins. Even worse, the Griffins hardly broke a sweat. We knew the Griffins would be a tough team to beat–after-all, they won the Calder Cup in 2012-13. We just didn’t know they would be THAT tough. Just a week later the Amerks looked dramatically better and earned a decisive 4-1 victory against the Utica Comets. Then on Saturday night the Syracuse Crunch mopped the ice with the Rochester Americans winning 5-1. The worst part is, the game wasn’t nearly that close. One look at the second period stats is enough. The Amerks had only a single shot on goal. Nope, that isn’t a typo. They had ONE shot on goal during an entire 20 minutes of play. They also took a ridiculous number of penalties. Saturday night’s second period was one of the worst periods of hockey the Amerks have played in [...]Read More
The Amerks core is built, and it appears to be quite strong. Not only are these guys very talented, but many could be a C or A on any team at this level.
Center: Matt Ellis
Center: Mike Zigomanis
LW: Jamie Tardif
D: Drew Bagnall
D: Alex Sulzer
With a featured Outdoor Event and an entry into the Spengler Cup – a very strong team is mandatory this season.
Most importantly – a core like this could help the Amerks end their playoff series win drought of 9 seasons.
After a second frustrating trade deadline in a row, Eric Bourgeois and Jason Bonno discuss the Amerk playoff roster (who’s on it, who is not), playoff chances……..and Darcy Regier.
Eric: He was clearly very important to the team in many ways as its captain and is sorely missed. Good for him in getting NHL time, but I think he would have cleared waivers so that he could have played with us in the playoffs.
Jason: This was a tough blow to the Amerks. Porter’s speed and puck possession were elite at the AHL level, and are two things the Amerks severely lack currently. He was the backbone of the Amerks forwards. Beyond his offensive abilities, he was also responsible defensively and was a key PK’er. I can’t say 100%, but my guess is he would have cleared waivers. His 1-way deal next season was a nice security blanket and probably would have scared off teams from claiming him.
Cody Hodgson and Marcus Foligno
Eric: I’m okay with considering them “graduated” and therefore not eligible for the playoffs here, but boy does the Buffalo organization need some playoff experience for its young players. And it’s not like Hodgson [...]Read More
Darcy Regier answered our previous question of “Does Buffalo care about winning here” with a YES.
With the additions of Adam Pardy and Patrick Rissmiller, the Amerks now have a legitimate veteran core that is capable of a Calder Cup run. Rissmiller (34 years young) is particularly important because he gives some age to a rather young team.
Defined as having played 320+ pro games at the AHL or higher level, the Amerks now have 4 veterans in Pardy, Rissmiller, Mancari and Tarnasky to go along with the exempt spot (260-320 games) that Captain Kevin Porter fills. League rules allow up to 5 veteran spots to be used per game (plus the exempt spot, and goalies are excluded) so we still could use one more. Matt Ellis is a possibility and frankly I would like a little depth added to this most critical core, too.
So please Darcy, make that a YES – with a exclamation point! Teams who compete for the Calder Cup never have a shortage of veteran players, and Rochester’s storied history – as displayed in banner form in the War Memorial – are proof of this.