After weeks of preparation, it all comes down to this. Tonight, the Rochester Americans and the Lake Erie Monsters will face-off in an outdoor AHL game at the Frozen Frontier, held at Frontier Field in Rochester, New York at 7:05 p.m.
Tonight’s game will certainly be a unique experience for everyone involved. Both teams have been in Rochester since Wednesday, when they met in a sort-of “preview” matchup to tonight’s game.
Wednesday’s game ended in a 4-2 victory for the Amerks. Rochester opened the scoring with a goal by Jamie Tardif just 11 seconds into the game to take a (very) early lead. Kevin Porter would add his sixth goal of the season later in the first period to give Rochester a 2-0 lead.
Lake Erie wasn’t giving up, however, and came back with a pair of goals in the second period to tie the game. With just 29 seconds left in the middle frame, however, Mike Zigomanis tallied his eighth goal of the year to give Rochester the lead once more.
Tardif would add his second goal of the night just eight seconds into the third period to increase the lead on a penalty shot, and things would stay that way with Rochester eventually winning, 4-2. Matt Hackett stopped 16 shots faced for the Rochester Americans, while Sami Aittokallio had 27 saves in the loss for Lake Erie.
Following Wednesday’s game, both teams remained in Rochester. On Thursday, they each got the opportunity to practice on the Frontier ice prior to the Frozen Frontier game on Friday, giving them a chance to test the ice, adjust for weather conditions (including snow, wind and ice) and simply return to their roots of playing hockey on a big old pond. Players from both teams tweeted pictures and quotes about how excited and ready they were to play in tonight’s game.
The Frozen Frontier ice has already hosted several practices, including both the Amerks and Monsters as well as the RIT men’s hockey team. Other events will also be held as part of the Frozen Frontier series, including a Sunday game between alumni of the Sabres and Amerks.
Tonight’s Frozen Frontier matchup begins at 7:05 p.m. Here are some notes for those who are attending the game, and for those who will be watching from home:
If You’re Attending:
- Gates open at 5 p.m.
- You are allowed to bring blankets into the game.
- Parking will be available in Kodak Lots C and D. Tailgating is not allowed; lots open at 4:30 p.m, and parking in these lots will cost $10. There may also be limited street parking available in the area.
- Pre-game festivities kick off at 5 p.m. with a pregame party inside the Labatt Blue Zone – a heated tent located in the Walk of Fame area. There will be live music here from 5-7 p.m. as well as during intermissions. Food, beverages and merchandise will also be available for purchase here.
- Permanent restrooms at Frozen Frontier will not be open for the game; portable restrooms will be available on the first and third base sides of the stadium. If you’re asking “WHY?!?”, it’s due to the cold and exposed pipes. Don’t forget – baseball isn’t usually played in these sorts of conditions!
- Post-game festivities include a fireworks display at Frontier Field, followed by a postgame party at The Distillery on Mt. Hope Ave. The party will include half-price appetizers, drink specials, and appearances by Amerks alumni.
Watching From Home:
- The game begins at 7:05 p.m. and will be televised live across the United States – including the Buffalo area! – on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, DirecTV and the Dish Network.
- If you’re in Canada, watch the game live on Sportsnet.
- NHL Network will re-air the game on Saturday afternoon at 12 p.m.