- Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE
With the Buffalo Sabres watching the Stanley Cup playoffs wondering what could have been, many of the prospects that helped them in their race for eighth are still playing hockey.
With the regular season finale offering no help in the standings, the parent club returned all AHL eligible players to the farm to help the Americans in the push for their playoff quest in the Western Conference.
Tomorrow night, the race for glory starts as the Amerks start their best of five series in the quarter finals against the Toronto Marlies.
The Rochester Americans head into the playoff race as underdogs, as they clinched the seventh seed in the Western Conference. While their chances to win the Calder Cup are slim, the Calder Cup has been awarded to a 7th place team in the past, so not an impossibility. The Amerks have the ability to score more goals than the Marlies, as the red, white, and blue buried the puck 224 times (tied for 1st in the Western Conference with Texas Stars, 6 Eastern Conference teams scored more). The Marlies are stingy on defense though, only allowing 175 goals, fewest goals allowed in the entire AHL this year.
While the experience that many players earned in Blue and Gold this year will no doubt help them come training camp time, the chance to play in a championship scenario is going to help the future core of the Buffalo Sabres in their quest to bring a Stanley Cup to Hockey Heaven.
Series “F” of the Calder Cup is a best of five matchup. The first team to win three games will move on to the second round and faceoff against the next opponent. Series F between the Marlies and the Amerks features two Saturday matinees, Game 2 and Game 5 if necessary.
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 19 – Rochester at Toronto, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Rochester at Toronto, 3:00
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 23 – Toronto at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Toronto at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Rochester at Toronto, 3:00