Rochester coach Seth Appert (left) chats with defenseman Ethan Prow earlier this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Seth Appert felt his Rochester Amerks would rally to win: ‘He truly believed’

ROCHESTER – As Americans goalie Devon Levi sat in the cramped visiting dressing room in Upstate Medical Arena soaking up Saturday’s unlikely 4-3 overtime victory, he noticed coach Seth Appert in the corner, admiring his team.

“Just so proud of us,” Levi said following Wednesday’s practice in Blue Cross Arena. “We were proud of each other.”

Appert then walked over and addressed his players, telling them, “Well, that’s exactly how we wrote it up.”

“And ... Read the full article

Rochester goalie Devon Levi stops a shot from Syracuse’s Devante Stephens on April 28. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

In grueling, high-stakes games, Sabres goalie prospect Devon Levi dazzles for Rochester Amerks

ROCHESTER – When the Syracuse Crunch increased its lead to a commanding 3-0 over the Americans on Saturday, goalie Devon Levi’s mind, only naturally, flashed to the summer.

The Amerks, after all, had to win Game 4 to stay alive in the best-of-five AHL North Division semifinal. They had scored just once in their previous seven periods.

Things probably felt bleak when they trailed by three goals after 40 minutes.

Of course, Levi, the Buffalo ... Read the full article

Rochester goalie Devon Levi freezes the puck in front of Syracuse’s Gabriel Fortier on Sunday afternoon. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Faceoffs, tips doom Rochester in loss; Devon Levi shines for Amerks

ROCHESTER – On the bench in overtime, coach Seth Appert heard it. Center Tyson Kozak touched the puck, seemingly negating an icing call against the Americans.

Instead, the officials let the icing stand, sending the faceoff into the Rochester zone.

“It’s a terrible call,” Appert said following Sunday afternoon’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Syracuse Crunch in Game 2 of the AHL North Division semifinal. “Clear as day, and Kozak is honest as the day ... Read the full article

Devon Levi made 35 saves Friday. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Devon Levi dazzles in playoff debut as Rochester grabs lead

ROCHESTER – Following the Calder Cup Playoffs, Devon Levi will likely bid adieu to the minors for good. In his brief time here, the Sabres prospect has morphed into the Americans’ backbone, emerging as one of the AHL’s elite goalies.

Next season, Levi, 22, is expected to graduate to Buffalo, where he will compete for playing time with Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. In the meantime, the rookie has an opportunity to lead the Amerks on a deep ... Read the full article

Nikita Novikov has acclimated to the AHL well. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Rochester rookie Nikita Novikov looks like special Sabres defense prospect

ROCHESTER – Buffalo Sabres defense prospect Nikita Novikov displayed special offensive instincts throughout his first regular season in North America.

“Borderline high-end,” said coach Seth Appert, whose Americans open the Calder Cup Playoffs tonight at Blue Cross Arena in a best-of-five series against the Syracuse Crunch.

Without the benefit of power-play time, the 6-foot-4, 209-pound Novikov compiled 20 assists, a high total for a rookie acclimating to a different brand of hockey.... Read the full article

Rochester coach Seth Appert spent two games with Buffalo this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Could the Sabres promote Rochester Amerks coach Seth Appert to Buffalo?

BUFFALO – General manager Kevyn Adams wants his new head coach to have already run an NHL bench, so the Sabres likely won’t consider Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert for their open job.

“Previous NHL head coaching experience, pedigree, is important,” Adams said Tuesday in KeyBank Center after firing Don Granato.

Appert, 49, is a hockey lifer, having coached since his days as a college goalie ended in 1996. He has enjoyed success at ... Read the full article

Devon Levi has played 23 games for Rochester. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Devon Levi developing in Rochester, ready for playoffs

ROCHESTER – Prior to goalie Devon Levi’s uncharacteristically weak outing, coach Seth Appert said the Americans had the rookie tentatively scheduled to play again less than a day later.

Then after Levi allowed four goals in Friday’s 6-3 home loss to the Belleville Senators, Appert informed the Buffalo Sabres prospect he would be starting Saturday so he could “snap from what happened to prepare for what’s coming.”

“He didn’t perform to his standards on Friday, ... Read the full article

Devon Levi has played 19 games for Rochester this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres send rookie goalie Devon Levi to Rochester after two starts

The Buffalo Sabres this morning assigned goalie Devon Levi to Rochester, where he will resume his role as the Americans’ starter.

Amerks coach Seth Appert said Levi, 22, will start tonight’s home game against the Cleveland Monsters.

The rookie started twice following his recall March 16, allowing the Sabres to rest goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for one game during back-to-back sets.... Read the full article

JJ Peterka has scored a team-best 25 goals this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: JJ Peterka earning keep on top line; Michael Houser injured with Rochester

BUFFALO – Before JJ Peterka moved up last week, the left wing spot on the Sabres’ top line alongside center Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch had been a revolving door.

Jeff Skinner, who usually occupies that spot, has struggled and moved around the lineup. So coach Don Granato has utilized Jordan Greenway, Zemgus Girgensons and even Eric Robinson there this month.

Peterka, who scored an empty-net goal in Friday’s 5-2 win over the New Jersey ... Read the full article

Ryan Johnson played 41 games in Buffalo before returning to Rochester. ©2024, Rochester Americans

Sabres notes: Ryan Johnson earning big minutes with Rochester Amerks

BUFFALO – A confident Ryan Johnson recently returned to the Rochester Americans following an unexpected 41-game stay with the Sabres.

As a first-round pick who played four seasons of college hockey at Minnesota, it’s hardly surprising that Johnson, 22, cracked the NHL as a rookie.

But after earning his first recall Nov. 4, the defenseman showcased poise that belied his limited experience, forcing the Sabres to keep him for more than four months.... Read the full article