Victor Olofsson (12) stands between Toronto's Kasimir Kaskisuo (30) and Joseph Duszak (21) on Sunday afternoon. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks lose in overtime, fall behind 2-0 to Marlies

ROCHESTER – Chris Taylor was seething following Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 overtime loss. Can you blame the Americans coach? Through 122 minutes of hockey, his team has thoroughly outplayed the Toronto Marlies.

But the Amerks have nothing to show for it. Just like that, they’re on the brink, down 2-0 in the best-of-five series AHL North Division semifinal playoff series.

The Marlies can eliminate them Wednesday in Toronto.

“I’m upset, I’m mad,” Taylor said after the ... Read the full article

Kurt Gosselin has earned regular duty since arriving. ©2019, Hickling Images

College free agent Kurt Gosselin impressing Amerks

ROCHESTER – Since the Americans’ defense corps goes 11 deep, coach Chris Taylor has plenty of options at his disposal.

So among his five defense scratches for Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Toronto Marlies were NHL veteran Nathan Paetsch, a two-time Calder Cup champion; prospect Jack Dougherty, who compiled a plus-15 rating this season; and prospect Brandon Hickey, who earned a coveted spot on Team Canada’s 2016 World Junior Championship squad.

Meanwhile, rookie Kurt ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson unleashes a shot Friday. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Tage Thompson thriving with Amerks

ROCHESTER – The numbers jump out at you. Through nine AHL appearances, Buffalo Sabres prospect Tage Thompson has already compiled seven goals and 10 points.

Sure, it’s a small sample size. But Thompson, 21, has often been a dynamic presence for the Americans since the Sabres sent him down March 28.

“We’re looking for him to be a big-time player for us,” Amerks coach Chris Taylor said following Saturday’s practice at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex ... Read the full article

Toronto's Chris Mueller, a West Seneca native, tries to convert a chance in front of Rochester goalie Scott Wedgewood on Friday. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks can’t convert early chances, fall to Marlies in playoff opener

ROCHESTER – For the opening 25 minutes of Friday’s first-round playoff opener, the Americans blitzed the Toronto Marlies, beating goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo four times.

Of course, the puck never actually went in the net. The Amerks rattled it off the post or crossbar four times. They missed empty nets, a breakaway and pumped 15 shots on goal in the first period.

So instead of seizing a commanding lead, the Amerks let the Marlies hang around ... Read the full article

Los Angeles could hire Todd McLellan. ©2019, Hickling Images

Report: Todd McLellan won’t be Sabres’ next coach

Todd McLellan won’t be the Buffalo Sabres’ next coach, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The Sabres identified McLellan as a candidate and talked to him this week but never made an offer, McKenzie tweeted this afternoon. McLellan was in Buffalo to watch his son, Tyson, a junior defenseman with Denver, compete in the Frozen Four.

The Los Angeles Kings could be close to hiring McLellan, according to McKenzie.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill will head overseas next month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Botterill reluctant to talk about coaching search

BUFFALO – Out of respect for Phil Housley, the coach he fired hours earlier Sunday, Jason Botterill wouldn’t reveal what he’s looking for in a replacement. The Sabres general manager did, however, say a search has already started.

“Those are things I’m not going to talk about too much right now, and the simple fact is I just had a conversation with Phil Housley a couple of hours ago,” Botterill said Sunday afternoon inside KeyBank ... Read the full article

The Sabres ranked first overall in late November. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ awful second half led to Phil Housley’s dismissal

BUFFALO – The Sabres fired Phil Housley this afternoon, less than a day after the team completed a disappointing season in which it fell from first overall in late November to sixth in the Atlantic Division.

Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like Housley would return for a third season unless the team totally imploded down the stretch.

Well, the Sabres fell ... Read the full article

Phil Housley lasted two seasons with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres fire coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – The Sabres fired Phil Housley this afternoon, less than a day after the team completed a disappointing season in which it fell from first overall in late November to sixth in the Atlantic Division.

Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like Housley would return for a third season unless the team totally imploded down the stretch.

Well, the Sabres fell ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander recently caught fire in Rochester. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander ready to seize chance in NHL

BUFFALO – On Feb. 27, Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander played his 13th straight game without scoring a goal. At that point, nearly five months into his third AHL campaign, the chances of the slick winger earning a recall looked slim.

Nylander, 21, enjoyed a strong training camp this season, nearly forcing the Sabres to keep him. The Swede parlayed that into a terrific start with the Rochester Americans, scoring six goals and 17 points ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 28 saves Saturday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looks sharp in Sabres debut

BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is likely years away from cracking the Sabres.

The goalie prospect is just beginning his North American junior career with the Sudbury Wolves. After that, Luukkonen will probably need years of apprenticeship in the minors.

But Sabres got a glimpse of Luukkonen, a youngster many have tabbed as their goalie of the future, in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament.... Read the full article