GAME 3 A "MUST-WIN" FOR THE AMERKSFeatures | 4/30/2013 6:22:10 PM | Lee Eyrick
The Rochester Americans gained entry into the Calder Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive year with a win over the Hamilton Bulldogs earlier this April. When the season concluded and playoff positions were finalized, the Amerks found that they were matched up with a familiar opponent in the Toronto Marlies.
“I don’t think [keeping them focused] is an issue with either one of those guys. You’re going to get their best no matter what the situation is. I thought that whatever situation we played those guys in this year they’ve been ready for it. Obviously [Hackett] coming in here late has known that [Leggio] was here and established and he played that role, what you could call a backup role very well for us, although I wouldn’t call him a backup because he’s 1-A”.
Still, the question of who was to start remained unconfirmed, even among the goalies. Leggio discussed how his approach to a must-win game Wednesday night remains the same either way.
“You always approach a game as if you’re playing… I think that we have made a case for both of us, we are a team with two good goalies. I feel confident that I can get the job done and I think that the team feels confident with both of us.”
The Amerks have also welcomed back two players, Brian Flynn and Mark Pysyk, who began the year in Rochester only to finish the regular season in the NHL playing for the Buffalo Sabres. Both are eager to contribute and help turn around the series in Rochester’s favor.
Flynn, who had success while in Buffalo by recording 11 points (6+5) in 26 games, talked about the significance of rejoining his former team in time for the postseason.
“Everybody loves to play in games that mean a lot, which is every night in the playoffs,” he said. “I’m just trying to enjoy myself but we need to get that first one tomorrow.”
The most recent addition to the lineup is highly-touted prospect and Buffalo’s first selection in last year’s draft, Mikhail Grigorenko, who made his Amerks debut in Game 2 on Sunday. The young forward hopes to contribute to the team while its playoff future is on the line.