Home Minors Irondequoit’s Fitzpatrick Inducted Into Amerks Hall of Fame

Irondequoit’s Fitzpatrick Inducted Into Amerks Hall of Fame

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By Warren Kozireski —

The Rochester Americans ushered in the team’s 68th member of the Amerks Hall of Fame Friday night in defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick.

“It’s special; it’s an emotional night for us as a family,” Fitzpatrick said. “Having been raised here, been an Amerks fan for so long and I keep telling people that growing up we wanted to be a Rochester American. We didn’t have a ton of access to the NHL and the names I remember growing up are from the Amerks.”

Born and raised in Rochester, the 49-year-old spent his early professional career in various cities in the NHL and AHL before landing back in his hometown in 2001.

Fitzpatrick’s career began with the Rochester Monarchs before he headed north to the Ontario Hockey League with Sudbury Wolves before turning pro to join Fredericton in the AHL for their playoff run. He would go on to play in the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, and Nashville Predators organizations until getting the call from Buffalo.

“When I signed here in 2001, we had our daughter and one on the way, so the intention at that point was to play here as long as I could and create that home.

“My first game here was shortly after 9/11, it was a full barn and the (American) flag was draped through the whole ice and it was  a very surreal time, and the crowd was really into it. In the arena you felt part of something special, so I think that game, my first game here, was definitely one of the more memorable ones.”

From there, Fitzpatrick went on to spend five of his final nine pro seasons in an Amerks uniform, including his final two seasons from 2008-2010, where he served as team captain.

In total he played in 211 games with Rochester, accruing 14 goals, 50 points, and 240 penalty minutes. While the on-ice accolades are noteworthy, Fitzpatrick made a concerted effort off the ice, giving back to the community that made him the McCulloch Trophy recipient, given to the player whose commitment to the Rochester community goes above and beyond, in four of his five season with the Amerks.

“As a teenager you hope, and you have a lot of dreams but to have played in the NHL and then to be able to come home and play for my hometown team is beyond anything imaginable in my teenage years.”

(Photos From Rochester Americans Hockey Team)