AMERKS AND THEIR FANS CREATE A MEMORABLE DAY ON THE ICENews | 1/17/2012 1:08:45 PM | Dan Peters
The Rochester Americans took the ice at Manhattan Square Park and Ice Rink on Monday afternoon for an enjoyable afternoon with their fans and teammates. The skate began with a three-on-three tournament in which members of the coaching and support staff drafted their own teams to compete for the “Americans Cup” title.
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Upon the conclusion of the competition and the winning team determined, members of the Amerks remained on the ice to skate with fans and sign autographs, creating what was ended up as a memorable experience on a sunny, yet chilly Rochester day.
“I have been looking forward to it since they told us about it,” said goaltender David Leggio, who traded in his goalie pads and mask for an eye black-drawn mustache. “It was a great time. I wish I would have played more outdoors growing up, but it’s just old school… no pressure and have a good time.”
Defenseman Alex Biega described the event as “a little mixture of fun”, adding, “it definitely takes away from the practice philosophy to come out here, relax, and have some fun.”
The 23-year old also acknowledged that he enjoyed having the chance to be around the fans in such a different atmosphere.
“Our fans have been great all year and we have been lucky to have such a great fan base. This is one of those times where you reflect on it and take the time to get to know some of the fans and thank them for all they do for us.”
When all was said-and-done with the three-on-three tournament, the blue team of Biega, Nick Crawford, Drew MacIntyre, and Amerks’ assistant coach Jay McKee, came out victorious.
“We had a pretty good mix of skill out there,” Biega pointed out following his squad’s triumph. “We had a four-million dollar shot-blocking defenseman guarding our post (Jay McKee), (Shawn) Szydlowski with the nice ‘mits’, a goalie in (Drew) MacIntyre, my defensive partner ‘Crow’ (Nick Crawford), and myself.”
“We definitely have bragging rights and I think the coaches put down $20 apiece or something,” he joked.
“Big, big, big win for the blue,” said MacIntyre with a laugh. “Jay doing what he does best – that is how he got to the NHL – blocking shots.”
For MacIntyre and Leggio, the occasion gave them the chance to showcase their skills as a skater outside the crease without the added pounds of all their goalie gear. While the latter was able to muster up a pair of forward skates, the former was stuck using his goalie skates.
“I was at a little bit of a disadvantage,” noted MacIntyre. “Leggio is used to player skates so he brought his with him, but I always use goalie skates. It takes a little while to get used to the difference between the two.”
“I don’t really get to skate out and stickhandle and things like that, so I loved the idea,” Leggio said.
“Overall it was a great day,” said MacIntyre. “It’s a great idea to do this and I would love to see us do it again.”