ROCHESTER – The Americans battled adversity and beat long odds for weeks, eking into the Calder Cup Playoffs on the last day of the regular season before beginning their deepest and most memorable postseason run in 18 years.
They rallied to win games, earned four overtime victories and triumphed in a do-or-die Game 5 against a top seed.
So when the Amerks dropped the first two games on the road against the Laval Rocket in ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – In opening up a series lead and putting the Utica Comets on the brink of elimination from the Calder Cup Playoffs, the Americans hadn’t seen the best out of the AHL powerhouse.
The top-seeded Comets only showcased flashes of their slick regular-season form throughout the first three games of best-of-five AHL North Division semifinal. In a do-or-die scenario Tuesday, you figured they would come out roaring.
Well, in Game 4, the Comets gave ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – In his brief time playing with Peyton Krebs, winger Arttu Ruotsalainen has learned he must always be ready for the Americans center to adroitly feed him the puck anywhere on the ice.
“He’s an incredible player and he sees those passing lanes that others can’t see,” Ruotsalainen said Sunday after converting Krebs’ slick feed on the power play 1:39 into overtime, securing another wild 4-3 win and a 2-1 series lead against ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Right now, winger Jack Quinn acknowledged he’s frustrated. In the Americans’ first three playoff games, opponents neutralized the slick Buffalo Sabres prospect, holding him pointless.
How significant is that? Well, in establishing himself as one of the AHL premier talents this season, Quinn never went more than two games without recording a point.
“As an offensive player, we all want to produce and score,” Quinn said following Thursday’s practice at Blue Cross Arena. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In assessing Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s play, Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams looks beyond the suspect numbers the goalie prospect has compiled.
“Better than his numbers,” Adams said prior to Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at KeyBank Center. “That’s why I think you got to be careful in the American League getting too caught up in that.”
Still, Luukkonen hasn’t exactly been the Rochester Americans’ backbone. The Finn has struggled at times this ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Ten minutes after the Americans blew a late two-goal lead Sunday afternoon and fell out of a playoff spot, center Sean Malone hadn’t let go of the potentially devastating loss.
In the hallway outside the dressing room in Blue Cross Arena, an agitated Malone searched for the right words to describe his feelings.
“A lot of it falls on me,” Malone said following the stunning 6-5 overtime loss, a game in which the ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Sabres prospect JJ Peterka was recently working his way back into the lineup when the Americans wanted him to start killing penalties during practice.
For Peterka, 20, earning the coaches’ trust signaled his development had reached another level three months into his rookie season.
“He was very proud, he was very excited,” Amerks coach Seth Appert told the Times Herald last week.
The German was so excited that whenever he made a nice ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – It took four years for this opportunity to materialize. During his first stint in the Buffalo Sabres organization, the Americans utilized Sean Malone as a checker, often giving him short minutes as their third- or fourth-line center.
Malone, 26, scored with some consistency despite playing down the lineup, hitting the 12-goal mark twice. Still, the West Seneca native craved a larger role.
“I’ve always wanted to show my offensive side,” Malone said after ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Historically, NHL teams that score first or hold the lead at the end of the first period go on to win the game.
The Sabres won only 15 of their 56 games last season, finishing dead last. Still, when they opened the scoring, they compiled a strong 8-6-5 record. When they led after 20 minutes, they went 4-3-4.
Sabres coach Don Granato brought up the value of an early goal or lead Wednesday ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons represented Latvia in an Olympic-qualifying tournament late in the summer, NHL players hadn’t committed to participating in the 2022 Beijing Games.
“But I still decided to go over and compete in the qualification because even if I wasn’t going, what it means to other players back home to go is a big thing,” said Girgensons, who played for Latvia in the 2014 Sochi Games, the last time the ... Read the full article