Friday, October 06, 2006

Hockey Resumes in Rochester Tonight!

The greatest sport on the planet returns to Rochester tonight with the start of the Rochester Americans' 51st season of AHL hockey. I hope most of you are already planning on coming to the Blue Cross Arena at least once this season. While Rochester has achieved the monikers of Baseball City USA and SoccerTown USA, this really is a hockey town. No matter how the Amerks play on the ice, they're guaranteed to have a decent and passionate crowd in the stands. We are consistently among the tops in minor league hockey attendance and this year promises to be no different. Plus, our area has produced three current NHLers (Brian Gionta, Marty Reasoner, and Rory Fitzpatrick) and three current AHLers (Stephen Gionta, Ryan Callahan, and Chris Collins).

While the majority of players on this year's Amerks roster are either rookies or new to the team, the Amerks return a number of top-notch crowd-pleasing players like Daniel Paille, Stefan Meyer, Clarke MacArthur, and Greg Jacina. Among the newcomers are future stars Marek Zagrapan, Drew Stafford, and Andrej Sekera. Finally, the goaltending is likely to be much improved over last year with the arrival of former NHLer Craig Anderson and prospect Adam Dennis. While they are not expected to contend for the Calder Cup this year, the 2006-07 Rochester Americans promise to bring plenty of excitement to the Flower City this winter and with the world of talent they possess, they may very well surprise us all.

If you are a casual fan or a newcomer to Rochester, I suggest that you attend a game against one of our arch-rivals to get a good taste for Amerk hockey. The Amerks' most hated foe is the Syracuse Crunch and those games are the most spirited as hundreds of hapless Crunch fans make the trip down the Thruway every game proudly displaying the world's worst team logo. Another fierce rivalry is with another upstate team, the Binghamton Senators. This rivalry stems from many years ago when the Binghamton Whalers/Rangers were among our most hated opponents. Another rivalry which has held over for years is with the Hershey Bears, the oldest team in the league and last year's Calder Cup champions. The other rivalry I recommend is a relatively new one, with the Manitoba Moose. In recent years, the Moose have consistently been among the top teams in the league and they have taken Rochester out of the playoffs on multiple occasions. For more info, check out the Amerks website.

Hope to "see" you all at the arena tonight and all season long.

UPDATE: It was a very successful weekend for these young Amerks as they went 2-0 outscoring their opponents 12-3. Next home game is this Friday (10/13) against Binghamton - be there or be lame.