Tonight’s Game: The Rochester Americans wrap up their 2013 preseason schedule tonight as the Amerks head south to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the back-end of the teams’ home-home series at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m.
Head-to-Head: This is the second straight year the Amerks and Baby Pens squared off in preseason action after the two teams split a home-and-home series in exhibition play a year ago. The Amerks come into tonight’s matchup looking for the two-game sweep after earning a 3-2 overtime win over the Penguins in Game 1 Wednesday night in Rochester. The teams entered the bonus session locked in a 2-2 tie until rookie forward Eric Locke sealed the victory 2:56 into the extra frame. Phil Varone and Chad Ruhwedel also scored for the Amerks in regulation while goaltenders Nathan Liuewen and Connor Knapp combined for 19 saves. Rochester and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will face-off twice during the 2013-14 regular season, beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 20 when the Penguins make their only visit to Western New York this season. The two teams are idle until the Amerks travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday, Feb. 1 for a 7:05 p.m. bout at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The Amerks are 13-14-7 all-time against the Baby Pens in regular season play.
Who’s Who: Of the 23 players on Rochester’s opening day roster, a dozen played at least one game with the Amerks last season, including forwards Varone and Frederick Roy and defensemen Nick Crawford and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc. The Amerks have since received their veteran leadership core in the latest wave of players to be reassigned from the Buffalo Sabres, including top forwards Matt Ellis and Mike Zigomanis as well as defenseman Drew Bagnall and goaltender Matt Hackett. In addition to the arrival of 13-year pro Zigomanis, who spent the last three seasons across Lake Ontario as a member of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, Rochester’s offense was immediately bolstered with the offseason acquisition of forward Jamie Tardif. A former fourth-round pick of the Calgary Flames in 2003, Tardif is coming off a career-year with the Providence Bruins in 2012-13 that saw him earn AHL All-Star honors as well as make his NHL debut for the Boston Bruins. This year’s roster also features a host of incoming rookies set to make their professional debuts, including forwards Locke, Johnny McGuire and Tim Schaller as well as defenseman and West Seneca native Alex Lepkowski.
Home Opener Set for Friday, Oct. 4: The Amerks will open their 58th season in the American Hockey League on Friday, Oct. 4 against the defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins at The Blue Cross Arena. The game will mark the first of four meetings on the season between the two teams and the second straight year Rochester will open its season against the AHL’s title holders from a year ago.
Season and Individual Tickets On Sale Now: Season tickets for the 2013-14 season are available for just $14 per game for any seat in The Blue Cross Arena. Keep your same seat for all 37 home games for just $518. The Amerks also announced standard pricing for all individual game purchases. This year’s pricing allows fans to purchase lower bowl seating for $20, while premium seats are available for $18 and all end/balcony seats for $15. Fans are encouraged to buy their tickets at least one day in advance to avoid a $1 day-of-game price increase. Group ticket packagea are also available starting as low as $12 per ticket. Groups can begin at a minimum of 10 and range to over 100.
Amerks Participating in the Spengler Cup: For the second time in franchise history, the Amerks will be spending the holiday season in Davos, Switzerland participating in the prestigious Spengler Cup. Considered to be one of the oldest invitational hockey tournaments, the event pits Rochester opposite a variety of opponents from all over the world, as this year’s tournament includes entrants from Canada, Switzerland, Russia and the Czech Republic. It’ll be just the second time that a North American club has participated after the Amerks played to a third-place finish in 1996.
Amerks Taking it Outdoors This Season: The highlight of the 2013-14 seasons comes on Friday, Dec. 13 when the Amerks host the Lake Erie Monsters in the first-ever outdoor game in franchise history at Frontier Field. The game will be the premier event of the “Frozen Frontier presented by Rochester Area Honda Dealers,” a 10-day festival to celebrate the game of hockey at all levels. In addition to the Amerks game, the event will also include a college hockey double-header for the RIT men’s and women’s hockey programs, several Section V High School hockey games, and an Alumni game featuring former Sabres and Amerks.