Tonight’s Game: The Rochester Americans open their 2013 preseason slate tonight with the first of back-to-back tilts against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 7:05 p.m. at the Bill Gray’s Iceplex. Youth Hockey players who wear their jersey to the game will receive a complimentary ticket at the door. General Admission tickets to the game are available for $5.00 apiece and can be purchased at the Customer Service desk inside Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex or at the Amerks Main Office located at The Blue Cross Arena. Doors open for the preseason game at 6:00 p.m.
Head-to-Head: It’ll be the second straight year the Amerks and Baby Pens square off in preseason action after the two teams split a home-and-home series in exhibition play a year ago. Rochester and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will face-off twice during the 2013-14 regular season, beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 20 when the Penguins make their only visit to Western New York this season. The two teams are idle until the Amerks travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday, Feb. 1 for a 7:05 p.m. bout at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The Amerks are 13-14-7 all-time against the Baby Pens in regular season play.
Who’s Who: Of the 23 players on Rochester’s opening day roster, a dozen played at least one game with the Amerks last season, including forwards Phil Varone and Frederick Roy and defensemen Nick Crawford and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc. The Amerks have since received their veteran leadership core in the latest wave of players to be reassigned from the Buffalo Sabres, including top forwards Matt Ellis and Mike Zigomanis as well defenseman Drew Bagnall and goaltender Matt Hackett. In addition to the arrival of 13-year pro Zigomanis, who spent the last three seasons across Lake Ontario as a member of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, Rochester’s offense was immediately bolstered with the offseason acquisition of forward Jamie Tardif. A former fourth-round pick of the Calgary Flames in 2003, Tardif is coming off a career-year with the Providence Bruins in 2012-13 that saw him earn AHL All-Star honors as well as make his NHL debut for the Boston Bruins.
Next Game: The Amerks will conclude their preseason schedule as the home-and-home series shifts to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza for Game 2 on Friday, Sept. 27 in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Home Opener Set for Friday, Oct. 4: The Amerks will open their 58th season in the American Hockey League on Friday, Oct. 4 against the defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins at The Blue Cross Arena. The game will mark the first of four meetings on the season between the two teams and the second straight year Rochester will open its season against the AHL’s title holders from a year ago.
Season and Individual Tickets On Sale Now: Season tickets for the 2013-14 season are available for just $14 per game for any seat in The Blue Cross Arena. Keep your same seat for all 37 home games for just $518. The Amerks also announced standard pricing for all individual game purchases. This year’s pricing allows fans to purchase lower bowl seating for $20, while premium seats are available for $18 and all end/balcony seats for $15. Fans are encouraged to buy their tickets at least one day in advance to avoid a $1 day-of-game price increase. Group ticket packagea are also available starting as low as $12 per ticket. Groups can begin at a minimum of 10 and range to over 100.
Amerks Participating in the Spengler Cup: For the second time in franchise history, the Amerks will be spending the holiday season in Davos, Switzerland participating in the prestigious Spengler Cup. Considered to be one of the oldest invitational hockey tournaments, the event pits Rochester opposite a variety of opponents from all over the world, as this year’s tournament includes entrants from Canada, Switzerland, Russia and the Czech Republic. It’ll be just the second time that a North American club has participated after the Amerks played to a third-place finish in 1996.
Amerks Taking it Outdoors This Season: The highlight of the 2013-14 seasons comes on Friday, Dec. 13 when the Amerks host the Lake Erie Monsters in the first-ever outdoor game in franchise history at Frontier Field. The game will be the premier event of the “Frozen Frontier presented by Rochester Area Honda Dealers,” a 10-day festival to celebrate the game of hockey at all levels. In addition to the Amerks game, the event will also include a college hockey double-header for the RIT men’s and women’s hockey programs, several Section V High School hockey games, and an Alumni game featuring former Sabres and Amerks.