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!
Tropp’s Toe Drag The 2011-12 campaign was a break-out year for forward Corey Tropp, who wound up playing more games for the Sabres than he did for the Amerks this season. The winger tallied three goals and five assists in 34 NHL games with Buffalo, along with 22 points (9+13) in 27 games for the Amerks. Among his nine AHL goals was this beauty, which featured a nifty toe drag and a top-shelf shot in a 5-4 overtime loss to Grand Rapids on April 10.
Teddy Bear Toss When the Hershey Bears came to town on Feb. 22 to renew the AHL’s oldest rivalry, the Amerks has something special in store. Following the first Amerks goal of the game, the fans would throw Teddy Bears onto the ice to celebrate. Those who brought bears to toss didn’t have to wait long, as Derek Whitmore beat Bears netminder Braden Holtby on the power play to tie the game at one and ignite the Teddy Bear Toss in the opening period. The goal would be the first of five straight for the Amerks, who cruised to a 5-2 victory.
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Adam’s Goal Helps Clinch Playoff Berth Luke Adam began the season in Buffalo and did not join the Amerks until Feb. 11, but the AHL’s 2010-11 Rookie of the Year wound up scoring perhaps the most important goal of Rochester’s season. In the regular season finale on April 14 in Cleveland, the Amerks and Lake Erie Monsters were essentially in a one-game playoff, where the winner would stay alive and the loser would be eliminated. With the score tied at one midway through the second period, Adam picked up the puck in the neutral zone, cut to the middle and rifled a shot past Monsters goaltender Cedrick Desjardins to give the Amerks a 2-1 advantage. The lead held, and Adam’s goal sent the Amerks into the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Leggio makes an MVP-caliber save After David Leggio claimed the starting goaltending position midway through the season, he wound up being selected as the Amerks’ Most Valuable Player by his teammates. His career-year featured a league-leading 1,579 saves and career-bests in wins (28), goals against average (2.63), save percentage (.917) and games played (54). Among the many game-saving stops he made over the course of the season was a breakaway save on Toronto’s Nicolas Deschamps.