Posts Tagged ‘Playoffs’

Gameday: Amerks Can Move on With Win; Games 3 and 4 Highlights

April 23, 2010 - By

The Rochester Americans can move on to the second round for the first time since the 2004/2005 season with a win tonight against the Abbotsford Heat.  Considering the way the Amerks have played the last two games I think it’s safe to say that it’s probably, but overconfidence can be dangerous.

To borrow from the comment left by Dubblenikle yesterday, “They need to step on the throat of the Heat Friday.  They need to not let off the gas at all.  With the power play clicking they need to keep pressing with it.”

Couldn’t have said it better.  From the first second the puck hits the ice the Amerks need to go hard and not stop for 60 minutes so they can relax on the long flight home.

Tyler Plante needs to continue making big saves.  Mike York needs to continue setting up goals.  The defense needs to continue giving the offense confidence that they can help out.  Steve MacIntyre needs to continue to show his presence to the Heat.  Shawn Matthias needs to continue his AHL farewell tour (if he keeps this up he’ll be with the Panthers out of training camp).

The Amerks have shown confidence and consistency [...]Read More

Amerks Win Gives Them a Commanding 3-1 Series Lead

April 22, 2010 - By

The Rochester Americans lit up the scoreboard on Wednesday night with four power play goals in a 6-1 win over the Abbotsford Heat to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.  Rochester could win the series with a win on Friday night.  Ever since the game one loss last Thursday I don’t think anyone would have predicted the Amerks would be scoring goals like they are.

Well, David Shantz has been the starting goalie for the Heat so it’s not that far fetched.

Tyler Plante stopped 46 of 47 shots on Wednesday night.

The Amerks have outscored the Heat 18-6 since last Thursday and just about every player on the Amerks roster is producing points in this series.  They’re playing the way a team should play in the playoffs.  Ignoring game one, they’ve done a decent job not taking as many dumb penalties.  They’ve scored big goals in the second period to build leads.  They’ve had strong goaltending.  They’ve played physical and proved that they could not be pushed around.

The chemistry that this team had back in October as they won game after game is back.

Here’s the scoring:

1. RCH Johnson, (1) (Garrison, Matthias), 8:49 (PP)
[...]Read More

Gameday: Amerks Defense is Winning, Game 4 at Abbotsford

April 21, 2010 - By

A pivotal game #4 is tonight at 10pm on the road against the Abbotsford Heat for the Rochester Americans.  Take a 3-1 series lead and everything is in favor of the Amerks, allow the Heat to tie the series 2-2 and there could be something to be concerned about.

The game is at 10pm Eastern Time and you can listen at 1280AM in Rochester or buy the game for $9.99 through AHLLive.com.  The feed for the last game was pretty good, a decent enough quality that I had it playing through my big screen TV.  I’ll have the Live Chat up and running again starting at around 9:45 EST at http://letsgoamerks.com/livechat

If the Amerks keep playing they have the last two games they should do alright.  Besides the first eight minutes or so of game 3 the Amerks have been in control and leading the play on the ice making the Heat play catch up.  Tyler Plante has made key saves when needed, the defense has scored, Mike York has assisted on seven goals, Shawn Matthias has played very well and of course Graham Mink is playing his best hockey in a while.

One key area for the [...]Read More

Huge 8 to 4 Win for the Amerks in Game 3

April 20, 2010 - By

The Amerks got out to a slow start on Monday night on the road against the Abbotsford Heat but came back in a big way ending the game with an 8-4 win.  Abbotsford had a 2-1 lead up until 8:03 of the second period when Shawn Matthias tied the game and that opened up the scoring.  By the end of the game  Shawn Matthias, Graham Mink and Clay Wilson each had two goals and Mike York and Jason Garrison each had three assists.

The win gives the Amerks a 2-1 lead in the series heading into the next game on Wednesday night.  The win also guarantee’s at least one more Amerks home game whether it’s the end of this series or the next round.  Keep the ice cold and the locker room doors unlocked, the Amerks will be coming back home!

I wrote prior to game one that Shawn Matthias has the big game experiences this time of year and it doesn’t come down to just the veterans and he’s proving that.  Mike York and Graham Mink are also playing huge but Matthias has been the one to step up in these past two games.

David Shantz was pulled [...]Read More

Gamenight: Amerks at Heat 10pm EST, Join the Live Chat

April 19, 2010 - By

The Amerks and Heat travelled to the other side of the country on Sunday for games 3, 4 and 5. The series is tied 1-1 with the Heat winning the first game and the Amerks the second.

The first two games were hard hitting with a lot of chirping, pushing, shoving and punches. The key to the Amerks winning this series is more solid goaltending by Tyler Plante and getting an early lead on the scoreboard.

Pretty simple. Hit them hard, hit them often and score a power play goal or three.

Stop back after 9:30pm EST to talk hockey in a live chat at http://letsgoamerks.com/livechat

To watch the game you’ll have to pay $9.99 at http://ahllive.com on 1280AM WHTK.

Hard Nosed Hockey Leads Amerks to Tie Series

April 18, 2010 - By

Saturday night in Rochester was the definition of playoff hockey.  The Rochester Americans defeated the Abbotsford Heat in game 2 on Saturday night, an excellent rebound of a game from the way they played on Thursday night.

“It’s playoff hockey and both teams were trying to set the tone and trying to get the teams going,” Shawn Matthias said.  “It’s going to be a long series so we wanted to show them we’re not scared of them.  If you watch they’re always starting things after every whistle so we’re responding well and trying to play a hard nosed style.”

That’s not a style of hockey the Amerks have had to play every other night but it’s what they’re going to have to do in this seven game series against the Abbotsford Heat.

“We knew we needed to win this game,” Tyler Plante said talking about the game.  “Tonight it really felt like playoff hockey, we worked hard for 60 minutes and I really give the team credit for that.”

Plante was excellent in net and proved he should have been the starter to begin with in this playoff series.  The only goal scored on him in this series was not [...]Read More

Saturday Night Fight Videos with Roy and Matthias

April 18, 2010 - By

The game on Saturday night between the Amerks and Heat was hard hitting and filled with a lot of punches, pushing and shoving.  Tyler Plante set the tone early keeping his crease safe and clearing it out when the Heat got too close.

Mathieu Roy got into the first fight of the night against Matt Pelech at 4:14 of the first period.  Just prior to the fight, as you’ll see in the video, Pelech gave Shawn Matthias a big hit at the blue line.  Right after the hit Roy challenged Pelech and this is the outcome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2YGsDvjK-k

There were a lot of other scraps in the game but the only other complete fight was between Shawn Matthias and Carter Bancks.  We’ve seen Matthias score goals and throw some decent hits but a fight was completely unexpected.

I asked Matthias about the fight after the game and Matthias said, “He really wanted to fight. I’ve never been asked to fight before so I kind of jumped on the opportunity and had fun with it.”

I then asked him about having a fight card at HockeyFights.com and he laughed and said, “I don’t know if my mom will like [...]Read More

Game 2: Stay Out of the Box and Play Physical Near the Net

April 17, 2010 - By

It’s only game two of a seven game series tonight between the Amerks and Heat but it’s possibly one of the most important games.  If the Heat win and return home for three games everything is in their favor.  If the Amerks win the series starts over as a best of five with three straight in Abbotsford and the Heat are not as good on home ice.  I’m heading down to the arena shortly for the morning skate and hopefully it’s not the last.

The game plan should be pretty simple, stay out of the penalty box, create some battles in front of David Shantz and do not let Keith Seabrook shoot the puck from the blue line.  Seabrook had two goals on Thursday night, the first and the game winner.

Attendance should be better tonight for game two at 7:05pm at Blue Cross Arena.  The Red Wings are scheduled to open their season today at home but the weather does not look to be very baseball like.  Pass the word, get some fans in the building to cheer on the hometown team.  The Sabres play at 1pm so keep the day going with more WNY playoff hockey!

A few [...]Read More

Regular Season Mistakes Sink the Amerks in Game 1

April 16, 2010 - By

Benoit Groulx made the decision to start rookie goaltender Alexander Salak in the first game of the 2010 playoffs for the Rochester Americans and the decision back fired on him.  The Heat scored three first period goals against Salak and that was enough for him, he was pulled after the first period and replaced by Tyler Plante who had a two period shutout.

Tyler Plante was the hot goalie down the stretch and will get the start on Saturday night for game 2.  Just about everyone in attendance was wondering why that did not happen in the first place.

The Heat had 11 power play opportunities, the Amerks had eight.  Both teams scored two power play goals.  The penalties were an issue but both teams had plenty of chances, the difference was playing at even strength and the Heat had that advantage scoring a goal only 35 seconds into the game.  Rochester was not able to recover from that at all.

Chris Taylor could have wrote this article in one sentence with his comment saying, “One bad period really cost us the game.”

The Abbotsford Heat also deserve credit for a well played and well coached game.  They got [...]Read More

Gameday: Rory Out, Observartions, Matthias has the Experience

April 15, 2010 - By

The Rochester Americans and Abbotsford Heat face off tonight for Game 1 of their Calder Cup playoff series.  The Amerks missed the playoffs the last two seasons after having two of the worst teams in franchise history.  A pretty remarkable turnaround, big thanks to the wallet of Amerks Owner Curt Styres.

A few quick things before the part about Matthias:

** Rory Fitzpatrick is a healthy scratch, that’s the biggest news.  Mathieu Roy is in.  Roy has only played in one game for the Amerks and is coming off of an ankle injury. Sucks for Fitzpatrick, but a healthy Roy is probably better.  Is game #1 of the playoffs the time to really take a gamble and expect 20 minutes out of the guy?  Groulx is taking a gamble, hopefully it pays off.

Has the Captain of a team ever been forced to sit in game 1 like this? Rory didn’t sound too happy in his comments to Kevin O at Hockey O-Zone.  It’s part of the game, but… why make him the captain if you don’t think you can count on him?

** Rob Tallas, the Panthers goalie coach has already left town.  At least Salak and Plante got [...]Read More

Round 1 Preview of the Amerks vs Heat

April 14, 2010 - By

The Amerks begin their run for the Calder Cup on Thursday night against the Abbotsford Heat in I’m guaranteeing will be a great round of hockey.  The two teams met four times during the regular season with the Heat winning three of those games but the teams that played each other during the regular season are not the same teams playing now in the playoffs.

Only one of the four games was a “blowout” where the Heat were the clear winners and that was on December 5th when the Amerks had Chris Beckford-Tseu in net.  Chris Taylor had also been kicked out of that game half way through the first period.  The defense was also without Rory Fitzpatrick at the time.

In other words, the four previous games do not really mean anything heading into the first round.

“They play hard, a lot of fast little forwards that finish their checks,” Jeff Taffe said talking about the Heat this past Friday.  “It’s something we have to battle through and expect.”

Speed has not been a redeeming quality of the Amerks this season so slowing down the Heat will be one of many keys to the Amerks winning some games.

Every [...]Read More

Alexander Salak Likely the Starting Goalie for Amerks

April 14, 2010 - By

As I would have predicted, Alexander Salak is all but confirmed by the coach to be the starting goaltender for the Rochester Americans when they open the first round of the playoffs on Thursday night against the Abbotsford Heat.  Benoit Groulx said that he will officially announce it on Wednesday but Tyler Plante had let the cat out of the bag on Tuesday when he said he was not starting.

“It’s disappointing but it’s playoff time and everyone has a role,” said Plante.  “You have to fill those roles. Sally had a great year and coach decided to go with him so I’m going to support that and be there for my teammates.”  (Source: YNN News)

Salak played in 49 games this season for the Amerks and ended the season tied for fourth with 29 wins amongst AHL goalies.  Salak was also the starting goaltender for Planet USA at the 2010 AHL All-Star Game.  The only people who’d be concerned about Salak are Amerks fans, a lot of other people I’ve talked to around the league have been impressed with Salak this season.

Alexander Salak also told YNN News, “At the start of this season, coach asked me how [...]Read More