Amerks Playoff Series Keeps Buffalo in Love with Hockey
On Tuesday night, even though they were going into the third period with a 4-0 deficit, the Rochester Americans still managed to keep things interesting by scoring twice against the Utica Comets with less than five minutes left to play. The Amerks left the area with a 4-2 loss. Now with the series tied 2-2, the Amerks are facing a ride-or-die game five against Utica on Thursday, the winner of which will move on to round three of the AHL playoffs.
Buffalo. Is. Pumped.
After a disappointing year, the Buffalo Sabres ended their season with a 32-39 record, sitting in 4th place in the NHL Atlantic division. To most, the Rochester Amerks - the Sabres (and the Pegula’s) AHL little brother - didn’t look like they would fare much better. The Amerks ended the season with a 37-29 record and 84 points, leaving them barely any breathing room for a playoff appearance. Dedicated fans started every game at the end of their season with crossed fingers and a wish for a miracle.
Well, look at that. I guess miracles can happen?
The Amerks barely made the playoffs thanks to a must-needed win against said Utica Comets on April 30th, and …phew. That was fun to watch, and a great memory of the end of the season, right?
But. Then they won their first playoff appearance in over two years (we’ll choose to blame COVID) against the Belleville Senators with a nerve-wracking OT win. And then another (what?!) to sweep the series. They slowly but surely crawled their way to the second round of the AHL playoffs - their first appearance since 2005. Soon, this team of “shoulda woulda coulda”s won the hearts and excitement of not just the city locals devoted to their team, but Buffalo Sabres fans excited to see the future of the team they love.
Blue Cross Arena in Rochester - filled with hope, anxiety, and Genesee beer, and decked out in Amerks, Sabres, and Bills gear - has been gathering by the thousands to show that hockey season is far from over for us.
And, most importantly - during a devastating and emotional week for Buffalo - to celebrate some much-needed wins for Western New York.