By Ryan Harr
As a kid growing up in Rochester, like every young hockey player, Matthew Lane had the dreams of one day being able to put on the Buffalo Sabres uniform.
After signing a one-year American Hockey League contract with the Rochester Americans this past spring, the 22-year-old is slowly making that dream a reality and it begins by playing for the very team he grew up watching.
“I grew up watching the Amerks and as a young kid I spent many nights at the arena watching and cheering them on. Starting my professional career here in Rochester is something that is pretty special to me, as I obviously had no idea where I would start as a post-graduate student.”
Prior to signing with the Amerks in April, Lane played at Boston University while earning a business administration and management degree in four years. As a member of the Terriers, he compiled 69 career points (33+36) in 152 contests.
Coming from Boston University, Lane becomes the fourth BU product to sign with Buffalo Sabres organization in the past two seasons, following Evan Rodrigues, Cason Hohmann, and, of course, Jack Eichel.
“Playing with Eichel was definitely special as Jack was a freshman and I was a junior. He was the type of player I was able to watch and learn from despite being older than him. It is exciting to see him excel in the National Hockey League and be an elite player and role model on and off ice.”
“Rodrigues was also great to play alongside at BU, so it is going to be great to be on a team again with him here in Rochester,” added Lane. “Rodrigues is someone I already know and he has been there to offer me advice just a few days into my first professional camp.”
Last season as a senior, Lane chipped in with 28 points (14+14) in 39 games while serving as one of the team’s alternate captain. His 14 goals ranked third among Terriers skaters.
Aside from his offensive contributions, Lane admitted his biggest asset last season at BU was his leadership.
“I felt I was a leader all four of my seasons at BU, so I think that can only help me. It will be a little different here in the professional leagues because really every guy leads. It’s not just the one wearing the C’s or the A’s on the jerseys.”
Lane is a rookie on the ice this season but he is an older first year-skater and that is a good thing to have, according to head coach Dan Lambert.
“Matthew is an older player based on his age if you look at our roster. He is a guy that we feel will bring maturity both on and off the ice. In addition, he is someone who brings the energy on a nightly basis, and that is something our team can feed off.”
Lane might not be the biggest guy on the ice in this year’s camp, but Lambert believes him to be the kind of player who can make up for his lack of size in a different way.
“He is a guy that is a smaller in weight, but he is more the gritty type of player that will play the full 200 feet. He hopefully can be a guy that we can count on to play some quality minutes for us.”
With Rochester’s season now just weeks away from opening, the 5-foot-10 Lane is out to prove he can do just that. Like many players about to embark on their pro careers, Lane undoubtedly has a list of goals he’d like to accomplish this season, but only one that he’s focused on right now while in camp.
“My main objective is I want to come to the rink every day and work hard and then hopefully be rewarded by making the team. Then we’ll go from there.”