AMERKS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION SET FOR THIS FRIDAYNews | 2/12/2013 4:52:36 PM | ROCHESTER AMERICANS
The Rochester Americans will induct former team captain Dane Jackson and former WHEC-TV news/sports anchor Rich Funke into the Amerks Hall of Fame on Friday, Feb. 15 as part of Seneca Casinos Legends Night when the team hosts the Houston Aeros at The Blue Cross Arena at 7:05 p.m.
Jackson and Funke will become the 53rd and 54th members of the exclusive club as selected by the Rochester Americans Hall of Fame Committee when they are inducted in an on-ice ceremony prior to the start of Friday’s Amerks game against Houston. Jackson and Funke will also be available to sign autographs for fans in the main concourse during the first intermission.
Jackson, a native of Castlegar, British Columbia, played five seasons with the Amerks (1995-98, 1999-2001) and served as team captain of Rochester’s 1996 Calder Cup Championship team. In 246 career regular season games with the Amerks, Jackson recorded 170 points on 83 goals and 87 assists, along with 410 penalty minutes. He also registered 27 points (14+13) and 75 penalty minutes in 36 career postseason contests with Rochester.
A third round draft choice (44th overall) in 1988 by Vancouver, Jackson spent his first three professional seasons in the Canucks organization before signing with the Buffalo Sabres as a free agent on Aug. 4, 1995. During the 1995-96 campaign, Jackson’s first with the organization, he played in 50 games with the Amerks and was named captain of the team while recording 46 points on 27 goals and 19 assists, as well as 132 penalty minutes. He also scored nine points (5+4) in 22 games with the Sabres.
During the 1996 postseason, Jackson collected 10 points (4+6) and 53 penalty minutes in 19 games while providing leadership and toughness during Rochester’s run to the sixth Calder Cup championship in franchise history. Following a dramatic 2-1 home win over the Portland Pirates in Game 7 of the ’96 finals, Jackson became the first Amerks captain to raise the Calder Cup in Rochester since Larry Hillman in 1965.
Jackson, who went on to play four more seasons with Rochester (1996-97, 1997-98, 1999-00, 2000-01), currently ranks 36th all-time in scoring by an Amerks forward and is noted for his commitment to the Rochester community during his time as a player. In 1997-98, Jackson represented the Amerks at the AHL All-Star Game and served as captain of the Canadian squad. The 42-year old Jackson retired from professional hockey after spending his final two seasons (2001-2003) with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs, and is currently in his seventh season as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of North Dakota.
Funke, who recently retired from WHEC-TV after a 44-year career in broadcasting, is a longtime supporter of the Amerks who covered the team through three Calder Cup championships, including the 1987 finals in which he served as a member of the Amerks television broadcast team.
A two-time winner (1976-77 and 1985-86) of the American Hockey League’s James H. Ellery Memorial Award for his outstanding contributions to the AHL by a media member, Funke is considered a pioneer in Rochester sports broadcasting for expanding coverage of local teams and events, and is credited with convincing WHEC to pick up Amerks television broadcasts in the early 1980’s. He was a member of the team’s original TV broadcast team. Funke has also contributed to charitable endeavors for the Amerks organization and Alumni Association, and as a charter member of the team’s Hall of Fame Committee, has been involved in honoring Amerks legends for nearly 30 years.
Funke, a native of Batavia, NY, began his broadcasting career in Rochester at WHAM Radio in 1971 before moving to WAXC Radio a year later. In 1974, Funke was hired as sports director at WHEC and, except for a one-year stint in Miami, FL, has remained there ever since. Despite taking on full-time news anchoring duties in 2005, Funke has remained involved in the Rochester sports community.
For more information or to purchase tickets to an Amerks game, visit www.amerks.com or call 1-855-GO-AMERKS.