Rochester is a small city. Though there aren’t any major league sports teams who call it home, the Rochester Americans, a minor-league hockey affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, hail from here. Affectionately known as the Amerks, they usually play at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, but on Friday night, it felt as though they were playing at UR.

It was a special day at the Blue Cross Arena. UR Night at the Amerks was in full swing and, for five hours, students were able to call the arena home, too.

The night kicked off at 4 p.m. Junior Karan Arul said, “They had a great chance for open skate. I was just amazed by the fact that the ice rink was so huge. I even saw one of the bio professors, Dr. Fu.” Junior Shamroz Farooq, however, said that the rink felt too congested, especially for those who might feel self-conscious about other people watching them fall.

Jared Videlefsky, a junior, was a late-comer to the event, and he explained, “I honestly didn’t care at all about this game at all. I’m not one for hockey—definitely would’ve rather gone to a basketball game or football game. You got to go to a major league game, for crying out loud!” Videlfsky eventually admitted, “I did get there kind of late [and] missed open skate, but I went to the reception before the game. I felt like I literally had no personal space. But after talking to randoms, I realized that we had a lot of people with serious pride in our city!” The vibe that Amerks Night consisted of much spirit in our collective city of Rochester seemed to prevail.

The game, which started at about 7 p.m., saw the Amerks snap a nagging three-game losing streak with an exciting overtime win against the Portland Pirates, a top affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers. The attack was led by former Philadelphia Flyer and right wing Jason Akeson, who scored the game-winning goal just over two minutes into the overtime period. With this win, the Amerks are now 26–24 for the year and in tenth place in the standings.  Utica, an affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, is one of those ten teams, and is only two spots ahead of the Amerks.  However, Utica solidified its lead over Rochester, as it has a much more favorable winning percentage than the Sabres affiliate.

There is still plenty of hockey to be played. So with at least 30 to 40 games remaining, don’t count out the Amerks. A winning streak could help this Rochester squad bounce back in the standings.

Tagged: Amerks

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