Last weekend, my wife and I decided to go to tonight’s Amerks game with my parents. We decided that we were going to try to go and reap the benefit of tonight’s Salute the Troops night (my dad is a former Marine).
The following, is the events that transpired in Rochester, NY, at Blue Cross Arena.
We decided to park a few blocks away due the heavy flow of traffic heading into the parking garage. However, it was packed by the time we got into the lobby of the arena. It was an absolute zoo. There was a huge turnout tonight for the game vs the Adirondack Phantoms. After a long wait in line, we finally got into the arena, got food (and beer), and headed to our seats.
We got to our seats just in time to see Adam take a slashing penalty that Marc-Andre Bourdon didn’t take too kindly to. However, as Bourdon started to head towards Adam, Marcus Foligno stepped in and threw the gloves off. The fight that ensued was pretty bad for Bourdon. He took a few big hits and went down onto his knees. Foligno hesitated in the fight, until Bourdon made 1 large error; he got back up. Three straight shots from Foligno, and Bourdon was curled up on the ice and Foligno was skating to the penalty box, pumping up the crowd.
Then, the inconsiderate fans started to interfere with our viewing. For those fans who go to a game, take some advice. Wait to get up until there is a stoppage of play. Also, don’t stand while the game is going on. There were several muttered comments from those sitting around me about not being able to see, and a couple jeers of “Down in front!” So please, for other fan’s sake, keep these things in mind.
As I was trying to see around a group of people standing and conversing during play, I heard the gentlemen in front of me discussing people being placed on the jumbotron. Suddenly, I heard this; “Kiss cam’s like soft porn”. People, I can’t make this stuff up. My wife started to crack up, and leaned over to tell my parents what was just said. This is just the type of the iceberg of quotes coming from tonights game.
The period ended fairly uneventfully aside from the Foligno fight. Rochester ended with more shots on goal than the Phantoms, but the score remained 0-0. Rochester seemed to be in good control of the game. Rochester was playing a physical game, and was generating good scoring opportunities.
The second period started with the individual sitting to my right (non family member, need to emphasize that) hollered “Philly’s the anti-Christ!” For those of you who don’t know, the Phantom’s are the Flyer’s farm team. Yes folks, it was that kind of night, and the quotes keep coming too.
1:16 into the second period, Zac Rinaldo took a hooking penalty and sent the Amerks to the power play. I watched as Luke Adam made two brilliant passes that lead to the Phantoms being able to clear the puck with ease. The Amerks finally got a shot on goal that was covered up by Phantoms goalie, Cal Heeter. Suddenly, my wife starts giggling next to me. She informs me that the blonde (no, not kidding) sitting behind us had just asked “How can you tell when a power play is over?” I almost turned around and said “You see dear, there’s this timer on the scoreboard, that’s counting backwards. When the clock hits 0:00, it’s over!” However, I ket my trap shut. Shortly after this, the Amerks started to set up on their power play and TJ Brennan left a slap shot go from the point. Heeter got a piece of it, but not enough of it as the puck trickled into the net. The Amerks converted on their only power play and went up 1-0. I contemplated saying “Power plays over!” but resisted.
Throughout the entire game, there were several scrums and shoving matches. In several situations, the players on the ice joined into a shove fest and had to be separated by the officials. In the midst of one of these scrums, we saw an individual reading a book. Like literally reading an actual book during play. Why buy the ticket?
Once another scrum had been broken up, MacKenzie was sitting in the box for a crosscheck and the Phantoms had a power play. All they needed was 32 seconds on the power play before Syvret let a shot from the point go that beat David Leggio low glove side to make it a tie game at 9:02 in the second.
For the rest of the period, the Phantoms had the majority of the pressure. Rochester had a lot difficulty just getting over the blue line. They continued to put pressure on Rochester and Mark Mancari finally took a holding the stick penalty and gave the Phantoms their second power play. Rochester’s penalty kill was the highlight of the period (Brennan’s goal excluded). Rochester applied good pressure to the Phantom’s shooters, and forced several good turnovers.
However, the penalty kill to end the 2nd period wasn’t the only highlight. From behind me, I heard “When I finally pass the 7th grade, I’m gonna shove it in your face.” This was followed by “That’s a lot of peppers. You’re sleeping on the couch!” Immediately followed with a “Smell the pain!”. The sad thing is, these guys sitting behind us were sober. The period ended with the score tied, and entertaining confusion coming from behind us. They were proud, as they walked off to do the star toss, that”We’re going into the 3rd period, and no one’s been kicked out yet.” They actually made it through the whole game.
My wife got fried dough to start the 3rd period. I take one bite and I’m told by my mother that I now need to exercise for an hour to work it off. My wife nodded in agreement. I think they’re trying to tell me something. The Amerks period started better as they applied solid pressure on the Phantoms. Then they went right back to sleep. The Phantoms kept the pressure on, until there was a momentum changer. Maxime Legault leveled one of the Phantoms on the forecheck. Oliver Lauridsen didn’t take kindly to his teammate getting smashed, and went after Legault. Nick Tarnasky stepped in and challenged Lauridsen. Tarnasky finished him off quickly, and skated to the bench attempting to pump up the fans. This occurred at 7:37 in the 3rd period. Amerks have momentum and the fans are pumped!
After 12 seconds, Garrett Roe let a weak shot go towards Leggio that was deflected into the net. The Amerks seemed to lack motivation for the rest of the evening. They generated a couple good shifts in the remaining 12 minutes of the game, but failed to connect on a scoring play. The coup de grâce was when Mark Mancari, who was trying to get down the ice to go on the attack, decided to ice the puck with 1:03 remaining in the game. Rochester went down quietly, although they did block several empty net opportunities that the Phantoms had, keeping the game 2-1 as time expired.
2-1 Phantoms, Final.
Garrett Roe- Game winning goal
TJ Brennan- 1 goal
1. Cal Heeter- 25 saves
Rochester didn’t look too exceptional tonight. They failed to try to adjust their game plan as the Phantoms began to stand them up at the blue line. Rochester failed to adapt their game plan for the night and struggled as the Amerks failed to be able to generate opportunities. The Phantoms played the better game tonight. David Leggio kept the Amerks in the game with several spectacular saves, and great awareness in the crease. In my eyes, Leggio deserved to be one of the top stars of the night. However, the way Rochester played tonight doesn’t win hockey games.
The right team walked away with 2 points tonight.