Arttu Ruotsalainen has been on a tear this postseason. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks rally to beat Comets, advance to next round of Calder Cup Playoffs

For the first time since 2004, the Rochester Americans have won two series in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Forwards Arttu Ruotsalainen, Sean Malone and Mark Jankowski scored third-period goals Thursday as the Amerks rallied to defeat the top-seeded Utica Comets 4-2 and win the best-of-five AHL North Division semifinal 3-2.

After Ruotsalainen’s power-play goal tied it at the 3:21 mark, Malone put the Amerks up at 6:45, beating Utica goalie Nico Daws from above the ... Read the full article

JJ Peterka (77) and Mitch Eliot celebrate a Rochester goal on Sunday. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect JJ Peterka becoming dominant presence with Amerks

ROCHESTER – JJ Peterka could be one-and-done in the AHL. The Buffalo Sabres prospect just enjoyed the greatest offensive campaign in a teenage season since 1976. Over the weekend, the German winger was the most dynamic player in the Calder Cup Playoffs, recording five points, including a hat trick, in two Americans wins.

After a 28-goal, 68-point regular season, the excitement and pressure that accompanies postseason hockey has helped Peterka transform into a dominant presence.... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen celebrates his overtime goal Sunday. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Arttu Ruotsalainen secures another Amerks OT win, puts Comets on brink

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

Sean Malone has enjoyed a breakout season in Rochester. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sean Malone’s career season filled with growth, frustration in Rochester

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

Buffalo prospect Jack Quinn has been on a tear all season with Rochester. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Jack Quinn dazzles for Amerks in return from injury

ROCHESTER – In the opening minutes of Friday’s third period, Americans center Mark Jankowski fought off a defender behind the net and laid the puck on the doorstep for his linemate, Jack Quinn, to convert.

When goal scorers receive a nifty pass like that in close, they shoot, oh, just about every time. But Quinn, the most dangerous threat the Amerks have had in a long time, displayed poise under pressure, quickly dishing the puck ... Read the full article

Casey Fitzgerald has played 21 NHL games. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Casey Fitzgerald, young defensemen taking over blue line

BUFFALO – In Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, five of the six defensemen the Sabres utilized were 25 or younger.

The graybeard of the group, Robert Hagg, 27, has played all of 282 NHL games.

The rest of the blue line consisted of neophytes. Only one other defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin, 21, has played more than 200 big league contests.

The Sabres dressed two rookies – Casey Fitzgerald, 25, and Mattias Samuelsson, who turns ... Read the full article

Sean Malone has recorded 22 points in 23 games this season for Rochester.

Amerks’ Sean Malone to be sidelined six weeks after undergoing surgery

Rochester Americans center Sean Malone has undergone surgery to repair a lower-body injury and will be sidelined six weeks, coach Seth Appert said.

Malone, having scored nine goals and 22 points in 23 games, is enjoying a career-best season.

“You feel for him,” Appert said on a Zoom call this morning. “I mean, it hurts us because he was a go-to guy, he was a real leader not only in his attitude and his character, ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has scored 12 goals this season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

As Tage Thompson enters COVID-19 protocol, other Sabres close to leaving

BUFFALO – Coach Don Granato knew it would happen again. COVID-19 has been clobbering the NHL, forcing hundreds of players into protocol over the past several weeks, including 11 Sabres.

“When’s it going to happen to the next guy the way it’s going around the league and around the world?” Granato said following Monday’s practice. “It happens today.”

On Monday, shortly after prospect Jack Quinn joined the Sabres, top center Tage Thompson, the team’s leading ... Read the full article

Anders Bjork is one of six Buffalo players in protocol. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres add three more players to NHL’s COVID-19 protocol

BUFFALO – Coach Don Granato said dealing with COVID-19 and the chaos it creates has become “almost a new normal.” For two weeks, the virus has been ravaging the Sabres, forcing players and staff members into the NHL’s protocol and five games to be postponed.

On Tuesday, three more players – forward Anders Bjork, Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch – went into protocol. Granato said the Sabres also held defenseman Henri Jokiharju out of practice ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis (pictured) played for Lindy Ruff before coaching against him. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Matt Ellis debuts against Lindy Ruff, coach he knows best

BUFFALO – Of all the coaches the Sabres’ Matt Ellis could’ve faced in his first game filling in for Don Granato, it turned out to be the one he knows best, Lindy Ruff.

These days, Ruff, 61, coaches the New Jersey Devils, the Sabres’ opponent Wednesday at KeyBank Center.

Ellis, 40, played under Ruff for parts of five seasons, growing from a forward the Sabres plucked off waivers into an NHL regular. ... Read the full article