Amerks Open 54th Season Tonight Against Lake ErieOctober 3, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) Rochester Americans
Promotions: The first 5,000 fans in attendance will take home a 2009-10 Amerks magnet schedule, courtesy of M&T Bank. New to The Blue Cross Arena this season, fans can now enjoy Amerks games from the Party Deck. Fans can partake in a fully catered meal and beverages from a menu of your choice with all the non-stop, in-your-face action of Amerks hockey. Please call the Amerks office at (585) 454-5335 for more information.
Head-to-Head: The matchup is the first of back-to-back encounters and the first of eight meetings this season for the North Division opponents. Rochester posted a 3-3-0 record a year ago in the season series against Lake Erie, which included a 2-1-0 record at home. The Amerks are 6-5-1 all-time against the Colorado Avalanche's affiliate.
Amerks Notes: Rochester enters the 2009-10 campaign with a 33-14-6 all-time home-opening record, outscoring its opponent 225-161. The Amerks also own an all-time 26-20-7 season-opening record, scoring an even 200 goals while allowing 179. Fans will have the opportunity to see the return of veteran forward Chris Taylor, in addition to several new veteran faces in forwards Mike York, Jamie Johnson, Jeff Taffe, Graham Mink and defenseman Clay Wilson.
Oh Captain, My Captain: Amerks Head Coach Benoit Groulx announced Thursday the captains for the 2009-10 season. Local hockey product Rory Fitzpatrick will serve as team captain for the second straight season, while veteran forwards Chris Taylor and Graham Mink have been appointed alternates.
In 2008-09, Fitzpatrick served as team captain for the first time in his professional career. Fitzpatrick has played in 717 professional games, including 287 in the National Hockey League with teams in Montreal, St. Louis, Nashville, Buffalo, Vancouver and Philadelphia.
Taylor, who makes his return to Rochester this season, will serve as one of two alternate captains for the 2009-10 campaign. Taylor, 37, returns to the red, white and blue after spending the last three seasons (2006-09) with the Frankfurt Lions of the German Elite League (DEL). Taylor played parts of seven seasons (1999-2006) with Rochester and sits eighth in scoring among all-time forwards with 369 points (115+254) in 367 games. A three-time team MVP (2001-03, 2004-05), Taylor is the only player in Amerks history to be named MVP in three different seasons, in addition to taking home the scoring champion title in three of four seasons as well.
Mink, one of Rochester's several offseason signings, will also serve as an Amerks alternate captain this season. Mink, a two-time Calder Cup winner with the Hershey Bears, completed the 2008-09 regular season, scoring a career-high 32 goals, along with 59 points in 68 games. He continued his offensive output during the playoffs, finishing the postseason second on the team with seven goals and fourth with 15 points to help the Bears clinch their AHL record 10th Calder Cup. Mink also saw action in two contests with the Washington Capitals, Hershey's NHL affiliate.
Lake Erie Notes: During the offseason, the Monsters, in conjunction with the Colorado Avalanche, bolstered their offense with the signing of former two-time Calder Cup winner Darren Haydar. The 29-year-old native of Milton, Ontario, finished the 2008-09 season as the top performer in Grand Rapids, leading the Griffins in goals (31), assists (49) and points (80). His 80 points were sixth best in the AHL, while his 31 goals and 49 assists ranked 10th and 12th in the league, respectively. Lake Erie also returns last season's top two point-getters in Philippe Dupuis and Chris Durno, the only two players to reach the 45-point plateau for the Monsters.
Home Sweet Home: Lake Erie goaltender Billy Sauer and defenseman Kevin Montgomery will have a bit of a homecoming tonight despite being members of the visiting team. The pair of Rochester natives each started their careers in the Rochester Youth Hockey program. Sauer, a former McQuaid Jesuit netminder, tended goal for the University of Michigan the past four seasons. Selected in the seventh round (201st overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Sauer posted his best season for the Wolverines in 2007-08, boasting a 1.95 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. A former member of the U.S. National U-18 Team, Montgomery registered one assist and two penalty minutes in five games with Lake Erie last season. He has 10 games of professional experience under his belt, all with the Monsters.
Next Game: The Amerks remain at home on Friday, October 9th as the Lake Erie Monsters return to The Blue Cross Arena to complete the two-game set. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be carried live on SportsRadio 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3, Rochester's Sports Talk. The game will also be televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet Channel 26.
American Hockey League Stories from October 3, 2009
- Aeros Earn Weekend Split with 4-2 Victory in Manitoba - Houston Aeros
- Rampage fall 3-2 in OT at Texas Stars - San Antonio Rampage
- Stars defeat San Antonio in OT - Texas Stars
- Rampage fall 3-2 in OT at Texas Stars - San Antonio Rampage
- Grand Rapids Takes Game One From Rivermen - Peoria Rivermen
- Falcons Beat Pirates 5-2 In Season Opener - Springfield Falcons
- Tigers defeat Lowell 4-3 in OT - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Griffins Open Season with 3-1 Win in Peoria - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Wolves edged by Admirals in 16th season opener - Chicago Wolves
- Binghamton opens with win over Wolf Pack - Binghamton Senators
- No. 18 Loks Out The Rats - Manchester Monarchs
- Senators win over Wolf Pack - Connecticut Whale
- Admirals Take 3-2 Win over Chicago - Milwaukee Admirals
- Sharks Late Power Play Goal Stuns Phantoms - Adirondack Phantoms
- Rats Drop Season Opener 6-3 - Albany River Rats
- Pirates Drop Season Opener - Portland Pirates
- Sharks late heroics shock Phantoms - Worcester Sharks
- Bears Power Past Admirals in Regular Season Opener - Norfolk Admirals
- Derek MacKenzie Named 11th Captain in Syracuse Crunch History - Syracuse Crunch
- Opening Night Roster Set for Providence Bruins - Providence Bruins
- Amerks Open 54th Season Tonight Against Lake Erie - Rochester Americans
- Wolves Name Krog Seventh Captain In Franchise History - Chicago Wolves
- Rivermen Open 2009-10 Season Tonight - Peoria Rivermen
- Admirals Open the 2009-10 Season Tonight - Norfolk Admirals
- Columbus Recalls Defenseman Mathieu Roy - Syracuse Crunch
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.