The 2011-12 Rochester Americans’ season was filled with great moments – highlight reel goals, Hall of Fame inductions, unforgettable nights at The Blue Cross Arena and memorable events in the community. We’re taking one last look back at the season and are asking Amerks fans to vote and tell us what YOU thought was the Best Moment of the 2011-12 Amerks season!
Joe Crozier AHL Hall of Fame Induction One of the most identifiable figures in the history of the Rochester Americans, Crozier helped lay the foundation for what would become a flagship franchise through a dominating run of achievements. In 1963, Crozier became the franchise’s ninth head coach in eight seasons, and in 1964-65, Crozier’s club was the class of the American Hockey League. They went 48-21-3, setting a team record for wins that would stand for 34 years, then captured the franchise’s first Calder Cup. Crozier kept his Amerks on top of the league in 1965-66, winning a second consecutive Calder Cup after another dominating regular season. And following a loss to Pittsburgh in the 1967 Finals, he became the third head coach in AHL history to win three Calder Cups when Rochester reclaimed the title in 1968. During his six full seasons as an AHL head coach, Crozier reached five Finals and won three league championships. On Jan. 30 of this year, Crozier was officially inducted into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Atlantic City.
Amerks Hall of Fame Night Goaltender Darcy Wakaluk and defenseman Rick Pagnutti were inducted into the Amerks Hall of Fame on Friday, Mar. 30 prior to the team’s game against the Toronto Marlies, becoming the 51st and 52nd members of the exclusive club as selected by the Rochester Americans Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Wakaluk, who played parts of five seasons with Rochester from 1986-87 to 1990-91, ranks fifth all-time in wins in Amerks history and helped the team to a Calder Cup championship in 1987. Wakaluk also contributed offensively and is perhaps best remembered for becoming the first goaltender in North American professional hockey to score a goal on Dec. 5, 1987. Rick Pagnutti enters the Amerks Hall of Fame as one of the highest-scoring defensemen in team history. Pagnutti spent four seasons with the Amerks and his the second-highest scoring defenseman in team history. He is one of only seven Rochester blue-liners to be named to multiple AHL All-Star teams. In addition, his 18 goals during the 1972-73 season remains the highest single-season total by a defenseman in franchise history.