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UB Downs Oswego in ACHA Women’s Action

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The University of Buffalo Lady Bulls hosted first-year ACHA contender Oswego University today (Sunday, Oct. 7) at the Northtowns Center.

In their winning fashion, the Lady Bulls came out flying scoring their first goal at 4:55 of the first period and dropping in the second at 8:14. Maddie Norton scored both goals with the second on the powerplay.

She had a hat trick after scoring the 5th goal of the day at 8:50 of the second period. That came after Brianna Purcio and Megan McCluskey scored taking the Bulls into the third with a 5-0 advantage.

Four minutes into the third and Norton had her fourth of the game followed by a goal at 6:06 by Megan Pofi and the eighth goal by Mamie Talty ending the game 8-0.

In goal for the Lady Bulls was Finley Vanhouten with Oswego starting with Kelly Rothschild and then putting Katerina Wehe in at the half-way mark.

Oswego joined the ACHA this season under Head Coach Matt Kirkpatrick. The Bull’s Head Coach, Mark  Lauber is in his second season with UB.

UB’s roster has a number of New York State girls playing including Ann Malcolm, Wingdale, Lynn Copeland, Camillus; McCluskey, Buffalo; Pofi, Wheatfield; Alexis Peters, Buffalo; Hannah Latour,f Saranac Lake; Kimberly Corrie, Lancaster, Kelsey Bannister, Clayton; Brianna Purcio, Webster; Victoria Smith, Cheektowaga, Madeline Norton, Buffalo; Frangelica Bautz, Buffalo; Mia Feola, Irondequoit; Stephanie Pickard, West Falls; Makenna Walp, Buffalo and Finley VanHouten, Wallingford.

The entire Oswego roster is made up of New York natives including Skylar Senn, Shelby Township; Kristen Brzyski, Cheektowaga; Lauren Downen, Buffalo; Kendra Martin, Saranac Lake; Kimberly Hirsch, Peekskill; Cecily Kawejsza, Syracuse; Sara Rousell, Rochester; Tahirah Abdo, New York; Eve Murray, Akron; Meghan Groth, Mahopac; Christina Ravesi, Fulton; Taylor Rechichi, Rochester; Alicia Bailey, Rochester; Maddie Block, Ithaca; Morgan Frawley, Thiells; Katerina Wehe, Niskayuna; Julia Ahr, Buffalo; Rothschild, Ossining and Allyson Voerg,f Kingston.

For those who followed the WNY Girls Varsity Ice Hockey League a few of those names will be familiar including Maddie Norton who played for Lancaster; Frangelica Bautz and Stephanie Pickard, Frontier/Orchard Park and Mackenna Walp, Monsignor Martin.

UB hosts the University of Delaware on October 20.

Oswego travels to the West Chester University on October 13 and the U.S. Naval Academy on October 14 before returning home to the University of Delaware on October 21.

A Day In The Life: Jalen Chatfield

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When Jalen Chatfield is in Utica, it’s hard for him to go unnoticed. Not much changes during his time away, either.

His summer is spent in Windsor, Ontario, separated from Detroit by the half-mile-wide Detroit River. Growing in Ypsilanti, Michigan, located about 40 minutes from the border, Chatfield was never too far away from his current hometown.

Chatfield was first introduced to Windsor when he was 18 years old and embarking on a career in the OHL with the Spitfires. Three seasons and a Memorial Cup later, Chatfield still has plenty of moments where he can’t avoid recognition while he’s out and about in town.

“I know hockey is a huge part of my life,” Chatfield said. “But every day I just want to be an easygoing guy.”

There’s plenty to do in Windsor, but summertime for Chatfield and his girlfriend, Drew, is a time to play catch up and enjoy each other’s presence. Last year, Chatfield came out to Uticachat-inline.jpg for his first year of pro hockey and Drew stayed at home. This time around, she’s getting her first taste of the town in Jalen’s second tour.

“She’s excited to take on a new adventure,” Chatfield said. “She’s leaving her hometown for the first time ever, but she was able to visit quite a bit last season, so there’s a little familiarity.”

He’s on the ice most of the week, and part of the reason he elected to spend his summer in Windsor was because of the quality of players that train around him.

The town also provides a laundry list of ways to stay entertained. Jalen and Drew can often times be found boating around on the Detroit River, by the pool, or enjoying a nice dinner out. They sometimes even cross the border into Detroit for an evening on the town, exploring all that the neighboring city can offer.

Though he’s enjoying his summer months, Jalen can’t wait to return to Utica in the near future. “I miss the guys when I’m gone,” he said.

When he does arrive in Utica, he’ll face a challenge that just about every one of his teammates faces. Relationships with family and friends are a little tougher to maintain with a distance, especially with a recent family move. His parents, Scott and Tomara, along with Jalen’s four siblings, have recently moved to Florida.

“They absolutely love it down there,” he noted. “They’re going to be watching a whole lot of games on the new AHL TV this season.”

(Reprinted from Utica Comets)

Crunch Plans For 25th Home Opener

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch have announced details for the team’s 25th Home Opener presented by Upstate University Hospital when the team hosts the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

The game will be highlighted by an opening ceremony featuring one former Crunch player from each of the team’s affiliations – Vancouver Canucks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning – accompanied by the mascot from that affiliation. Additional special guests will include former Onondaga County Executive Nicholas J. Pirro and Ryan McMahon, current chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature and successor to Joanie Mahoney as County Executive. The Crunch will also recreate elements from the team’s inaugural 1994 home opener.

Following introductions, the Crunch will begin the 25th season celebration with an opening video on the brand-new state-of-the-art scoreboard and ribbons lights looking back on the franchise’s history. During the game, the team will wear silver specialty jerseys.

Additionally, the first 2,500 fans in attendance on Oct. 13 will receive LED foam batons, courtesy of Upstate University Hospital.

The region’s largest employer with nearly 9,000 employees, Upstate Medical University is the only academic medical center in Central New York, serving the New Yorkers from Canada to Pennsylvania with its educational, clinical and research missions. Upstate University Hospital, with two campuses Downtown and Community, employ nearly 2,000 nurses. A highlight of Upstate’s leading role in the region is its ability to ensure access to vital one-of-a-kind services, such as burn and trauma care, an array of highly specialized pediatric services and the area’s only comprehensive stroke center.

Amerks Weekly Report

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**This Week’s Storylines**

**The Rochester Americans are still searching for their first win of the young season after dropping both ends of a two-game set to the Charlotte Checkers over the weekend.

**During Opening Weekend, 10 different players made their Amerks debut, including five that made their American Hockey League debut.

**Amerks rookie defenseman Lawrence Pilut leads the team with a pair of points through the first two games of the campaign. Pilut earned his first AHL point on C.J. Smith’s second-period goal in Friday’s loss before scoring his first goal as an Amerk later in the middle frame while Rochester was on the power-play. Entering the week, the 22-year old Sweden native is tied for the league-lead among all first-year blueliners with two points.

**The Amerks usher in Week Two of the season as they host the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday night at The Blue Cross Arena at 7:05 p.m. The contest will be the first meeting between the two rivals since the Crunch eliminated Rochester in the third game of the North Division Semifinals this past spring. Following the game, the Amerks travel to Webster Bank Arena for a weekend road set with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Beauts Agree To Terms With Forward Fonfara

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Meghan Fonfara

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Beauts announced the team has agreed to terms with forward Meghan Fonfara.

“Meghan came to our free agent camp and clearly showed that her athleticism would be a nice fit for our organization,” Beauts General Manager Nik Fattey said. “She is another strong local player that will add to our already competitive roster.”

Fonfara (6’0”, 11/27/1995) has spent the past four seasons (2014-2018) playing for Elmira College (UCHC). She recorded 65 points (34+31) in 93 games played for the Soaring Eagles, including a career-high 26 points (12+24) in 30 games during her senior season.

A native of Elma, New York, Fonfara was named to the ECAC West All-Academic Team in 2016 and 2017 and earned D3hockey.com National Team of the Week honors for the week of Nov. 17 to 25, 2015.

Letters From Hockey Drive: Yogi Loved His Hockey

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DEAR READER –

Yogi Berra was one of the most well-known athletes in American history. Four decades after he had retired as a baseball player, Berra was still being featured in major TV ads. The Hall of Fame catcher was even quoted by several Presidents of the United States.

Several years ago I had the opportunity to talk to Berra by phone. The interview was set up by one of his son’s, Dale. I was told no more than 20 minutes would be my limit with the legendary Berra.

The day of the scheduled interview I called Dale. Seconds later I had Yogi on the line. A little over 45 minutes later I finished the interview, totally amazed at the knowledge Berra had about hockey.

I found out that Berra was a huge fan of hockey, especially the NHL. And Yogi wasn’t just your casual fan. He knows his hockey and the players involved. His love of the game goes back over eight decades when Berra was growing up in his native St. Louis, MO.

“I never played ice hockey growing up in St. Louis,” recalled Berra, who played on 14 pennant winners and 10 World Series championships with the New York Yankees. “I played street hockey and roller hockey.

“We didn’t have any place to play ice hockey. And if we had, we really didn’t have the money for skates or some of the other hockey equipment needed.

“We had sticks. We used old rolled up magazines as shin guards. And we used wooden pucks. That’s right, wooden pucks. We couldn’t afford a real puck. So we made one.”

Berra followed pro hockey while growing up in St. Louis with the Flyers of the old American Hockey Association.

“I remember the day of a game, I used to take a nap in the afternoon so I could go with my brother to the hockey game that night down at the old St. Louis Arena,” remembered Berra, who played 18 seasons with the Yankees. “One of my favorite players with the Flyers was Eddie Olson.

“I remember he used to take batting practice with the St. Louis Cardinals in the summer.”

Once Berra made it to the majors with the Yankees he instantly became a fan of the New York Rangers.

“I really enjoyed the Rangers,” recalled Berra. “I really liked the old Garden. You were a lot closer to the game on the ice at the old Garden. I used to take all of my kids to Rangers games every chance I got.”

Not only was Berra a fan of the game, he and his wife, Carmen, were hockey parents. That’s right. Yes, they got up at 4:30 in the morning to get their boys to a practice or game.

“Our son, Dale, really like the game and excelled at it. Emile Francis (coach and GM) of the Rangers thought Dale was good enough that he would have given him a tryout.”

Dale didn’t go for a hockey tryout, but he did excel in baseball, eventually played in the Major Leagues.

Berra kept track of the Rangers, as well as the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils. But he always had a warm spot in his heart for the Rangers.

“I was really glad to see them finally win the Cup back in 1994,” stated Berra. “Ranger fans really waited a long time for that Cup.”

One rule Berra saw added to the NHL in his lifetime as the shootout.

“I guess the shootout is good,” concluded Berra. “I hear that a lot of the fans like it.”

One might say, using an original Yogism, “the game’s not over now, until it’s over.”

Until Next Time,

Randy Schultz

(Berra photo from NHL.com)

New York Raptors Hockey Report

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BY MICHAEL MEYERS – The New York Raptors hockey team is getting ready for the 2018-19 hockey season.

After holding a meeting at Coach Steve’s house, the Raptors have now held two practices.

There are several new players on the team for this season.

The team is looking forward to a very good hockey season.

Phantoms Loan WNY Native Branden Komm To Reading Royals

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Lehigh Valley, Pa. – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, top minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, have announced that they have loaned goaltender Branden Komm  to the Reading Royals of the ECHL.

Komm, a six-foot-one-inch goaltender out of Williamsville, New York, most recently wrapped up the fourth year of his professional career with Reading after his rights were acquired in a trade with the Manchester Monarchs on February 13, 2018. The 27-year old posted a 6-2-2-0 record with a 2.06 goals-against average and a 0.936 save percentage while with the Royals. He played in a total of 29 contests at the ECHL level this past season as he produced an overall record of 14-9-4-0 to go along with a 2.60 GAA and a 0.917 save percentage during time with the Idaho Steelheads (4GP), Quad City Mallards (1GP), Manchester Monarchs (13GP) and Reading Royals (11GP).

Taylor Announces Captains For 2018-19 Hobart Men’s Hockey

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Hobart College Head Hockey Coach Mark Taylor announced that seniors Jack Macnee, Tanner Shaw, and Jonas Toupal will serve as captains for the 2018-19 season. Macnee and Shaw were assistant captains last year.

“It seems like I say I am excited about our leadership group every year and frankly, I better be if we want to retain our level of success of the past few seasons,” coach Taylor said. “I have real confidence in this group, and it’s not just the individuals that will be singled out in this release, but we have good numbers right next to them that just enlarges our core.”

“On and off the ice, these three represent our program and culture on the ice and in the classroom. They all bring their own strengths in leadership but share the common required traits of good teammates and leaders.”

Macnee, a native of Ridgewood, N.J., returns for his fourth year on the Statesmen defense. He played in 22 games as a first-year, 28 games as a sophomore, and 25 games last year when he was named to the All-NEHC third team. Macnee played a key role in the Statesmen unit that led the NEHC in scoring defense (1.90 g/gm). He has three career goals and 15 assists.

In the classroom, Macnee has been just as successful. He has represented the Statesmen on the AHCA All-American Scholar, ECAC West All-Academic and the NEHC All-Academic teams. He was also a recipient of the Bob Arnold Scholar-Athlete Award.

Shaw, a native of Toronto, Ontario, returns for his fourth season as a defensive starter for the Statesmen. He has played in 83 career games, logging 13 goals and 35 assists. Shaw anchored the NEHC’s top-ranked Statesmen defense in 2017-18 while finishing second in the league in defensemen scoring (6g, 13a). He has piled up the accolades over the past three season, including a spot on the ECAC West All-Rookie Team (2015-16), the USCHO.com All-Rookie Team (2015-16), All-NEHC First Team (2017-18), and the AHCA All-American East Third Team (2017-18).

Academically, Shaw was named to the ECAC West All-Academic team as a sophomore, and the NEHC All-Academic team a year ago.

Toupal, a forward from Vcelna, Czech Republic, rounds out the group in his first season serving as captain. Much like Macnee and Shaw, Toupal has actively contributed since arriving on campus. He has played in 84 career games, notching 29 goals and 33 assists for 62 points. Toupal compiled a team-leading 15 goals and 32 points last year.

A geoscience major, Toupal has won the Bob Arnold Scholar Athlete Award, the Dr. Arnold Cohen Phi Beta Kappa Book Prize, been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District, and ECAC West All-Academic teams as a sophomore. Last year, he was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District first-team and the NEHC All-Academic team.

“I’ve been lucky as a coach to have been surrounded by some special young men at Hobart,” said Taylor. “They push me to answer the charge and not only keep the team culture and success at a high level but push to make it even better and stronger. Jack, Tanner and Jonas have been key factors of that happening throughout their time here. They are excellent Statesmen in my book.”

Hobart will open the 2018-19 season on Oct. 26 in a non-conference matchup with Elmira College. Hobart will kick off its second season as a member of the NEHC a week later when they travel to Castelton, Vt., to take on Castelton University.

USA Hockey Announces Inaugural Advanced Officiating Symposium

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey announced today that it will host its first-ever Advanced Officiating Symposium July 26-28, 2019, at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington, Minnesota. The first-of-its-kind symposium is open to any official who has been completely registered at Level 3 or Level 4 for each of the previous three hockey seasons and is seeking to obtain “tenured” status within the USA Hockey Officiating Program.

The 2019 Advanced Officiating Symposium will feature presentations from high-level speakers including Kevin Collins, long-time NHL linesman who was recently inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame; four-time Olympic referee Dennis LaRue, Brian Murphy, who was an NHL linesman for 29 seasons; and Joy Johnston, three-time Olympic referee and Ice Hockey United Kingdom director of officiating. General session presentations will cover a wide range of topics, including managing teams, developing a strong mental officiating game and career development.

“While USA Hockey’s Officiating Education Program continues to grow and evolve with each year, we’re excited to introduce the Advanced Officiating Symposium and the new ‘tenured’ classification,” said Matt Leaf, USA Hockey director of officiating education. “The symposium will provide a unique opportunity for officials looking to continue to develop their skills through advanced-level instruction and network with the top officials from throughout the country.”

The new “tenured official” category is designed to reward officials who demonstrate advanced competency through consistent Level 3 or Level 4 status earned by learning fundamental officiating skills and playing rules of USA Hockey. Officials applying for tenured status are required to attend an Advanced Officiating Symposium, and once earned, the tenured status will remain in effect for as long as the official continues to register with USA Hockey.

USA Hockey intends to stage its Advancing Officiating Symposium once per season.

Lockport Regals Assist With Novice Program In Lockport

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Each week, 2 or 3 Lockport Regals Junior players assist with the Lockport Lock Monsters Novice Hockey Program for beginners.

The Lockport Lock Monster Novice Program is geared to allow area youth a chance to experience ice hockey. For a minimal cost of $120 any child, age 3-8, can learn to play hockey. They have equipment rentals and gently used equipment that allow participants to be outfitted at no cost.

The Novice Program consists of two 10 week sessions during the winter – Sept – Dec and Dec – Feb – and one 12 week session during the spring/summer season. Players skate on Saturday mornings from 8:30-9:30am with an occasional weekday practice tossed in when weekend ice is not available due to tournaments. The coaches, led by Brooke Latchford, run well organized, fun practices focused on teaching skating and hockey basics.

For more information about Lockmonster hockey visit: www.lockportlockmonsters.com

2018-19 Rochester Americans Season Preview

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By Warren Kozireski —
The first step in the inaugural year for the new Buffalo/Rochester regime was the Amerks returning to the American Hockey League playoffs after finishing third in the North Division in 2017-18, but they were knocked out in the first round by Syracuse.
Step two is obviously to now win a playoff series for the first time in 13 seasons, but with the roster assembled by Buffalo General Manager Jason Botterill and Rochester GM Randy Sexton, don’t be surprised if this group exceeds those modest expectations.
If you believe that defense and goaltending win championships, then you will approve of the make-up of the opening night roster.
Two veteran goaltenders in Scott Wedgewood and Adam Wilcox, who combined have appeared in 221 AHL games and 25 NHL contests. Wedgewood played in 20 NHL games last season with Arizona.
In front of the goal are seven veteran or solid prospects on the blueline led by the Amerks leading scorer last season Zach Redmond, veterans Jack Doughtery, Nathan Paetsch, Andrew MacWilliam and Taylor Fedun plus future NHLers Brandon Guhle, Brandon Hickey and Will Borgen. Add 22-year old free agent signee Lawrence Pilut, who netted eight goals and 30 assists in 52 games in Sweden and was named SHL Defenseman of the Year last season and competition will be keen for playing time.
“That’s what we want—internally we want competition and for us to succeed we need hard choices,” head coach Chris Taylor said. “If we don’t have hard choices, then I wouldn’t have a bright look at our season. I thought last year we had some tough choices and this year we have even more and that’s good for the organization; it means we’re going in the right direction.”
The key to the season could well be where the team finds offensive production.
Returning forwards include C.J. Smith, captain Kevin Porter, Kyle Criscuolo, Justin Bailey, Danny O’Reagan, Alex Nylander, Eric Cornel and Dalton Smith. Prospect newcomers as Rasmus Asplund, Victor Olofsson and former St. Louis Blues fourth round draft pick Yannick Veilleux with Notre Dame free agent signee Andrew Oglivie along with depth forwards Tyler Randall, former RIT Tiger Myles Powell and Wayne Simpson and there are some questions about offensive production beyond the first five.
Smith and Porter finished last season third and fourth respectively in team scoring one year ago and O’Reagan netted 15 points in just 18 games after he was acquired in the Evander Kane deal with San Jose.
“He’s a guy we’re going to count on this year,” Taylor said about Smith. “Sometimes a lot people, especially in their second year, have a hard time but I thought he has played very well for us.”
Rochester will open their 63rd AHL season Friday, Oct. 5 in the first of two consecutive home games against Charlotte.

AHL Names Hall of Fame Class For 2019

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced the four people selected for induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019.

Honored by the AHL Hall of Fame Selection Committee as the 14th group of enshrinees are John Anderson, Don Cherry, Murray Eaves and Brad Smyth.

“For more than 80 years, the American Hockey League has been built upon a foundation of excellence,” said David Andrews, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer. “The AHL Board of Governors is proud to unanimously endorse the Selection Committee’s recommendation for the induction of these four individuals into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019.”

The Class of 2019 will be honored as part of the festivities at the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield, hosted by the Springfield Thunderbirds. The American Hockey League Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony is scheduled for January 28, 2019.

Formed in 2006 to recognize, honor and celebrate individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions in the American Hockey League, the AHL Hall of Fame is housed online at www.ahlhalloffame.com and is accessible to fans worldwide with the click of a mouse as part of the AHL Internet Network.

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives, broadcasters and staff of all 31 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2017-18, over 6 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America for the 17th year in a row.

CLASS OF 2019: JOHN ANDERSON

John Anderson spent most of his 17-year playing career in the National Hockey League, but he made his mark coaching with the Chicago Wolves.

A Toronto native, Anderson was drafted by his hometown Maple Leafs in the first round in 1977 and went on to skate in more than 800 games in the NHL with Toronto, Quebec and Hartford. As his playing days wound down, Anderson made a brief debut appearance in the AHL with the Binghamton Whalers in 1989-90 before spending a memorable 1991-92 campaign as a player/assistant coach in New Haven.

With the Nighthawks that year, Anderson scored 41 goals and collected 54 assists, finishing with 95 points and a plus-42 rating in just 68 games. He was voted a First Team AHL All-Star at left wing, the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the league’s most valuable player, and the recipient of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

Anderson joined the coaching ranks full-time in 1995 and was hired by the Chicago Wolves in 1997. He led the Wolves to two Turner Cup championships before the franchise joined the American Hockey League, and won a third championship in the Wolves’ inaugural AHL season by becoming the first – and still only – team to win five playoff series en route to the Calder Cup. Anderson and the Wolves returned to the Finals in 2005 and followed a 111-point regular season by winning the franchise’s second Calder Cup and fourth league title in 2008.

Following stints as head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers and assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes, Anderson came back to the Wolves in 2013 and spent three more seasons in Chicago, capturing another division crown in 2013-14. He returned to the NHL in 2016 and served for two seasons as an assistant with the Minnesota Wild.

Anderson ranks fifth in league history with 424 victories and seventh with 788 games over 10 seasons as a head coach in the AHL. He won three division titles and had seven 40-win seasons and four 100-point campaigns, and was behind the bench for two AHL All-Star Classics as well.

CLASS OF 2019: DON CHERRY

One of the most recognizable personalities in all of Canada, Don Cherry was a standout defenseman and award-winning coach in the American Hockey League before he ever sat behind the Coach’s Corner desk.

Cherry’s prolific career as a defenseman included 767 games in the AHL with the Hershey Bears, the Springfield Indians and the Rochester Americans, collecting 259 points and racking up more than 1,000 penalty minutes.

The Kingston, Ontario, native signed his first professional contract with the Bears in 1954 and played 63 games as a rookie – plus one playoff contest with the Boston Bruins, in what would be the only NHL appearance of his career. Cherry joined owner Eddie Shore’s Springfield club in 1957 and helped the Indians reach their first Calder Cup Finals in 1958, and then secure their first championship in 1960.

Cherry brought his rock-’em, sock-’em style of play to Rochester in 1963 and the Amerks were soon the class of the league, reaching four consecutive Calder Cup Finals and winning championships in 1965, 1966 and 1968. He settled in western New York after retiring in 1969, and after two years away from hockey he rejoined the Amerks as a player-coach in January of 1972. Rochester finished strong in 1972, qualified for the playoffs in 1973 and then posted the best record in the league in 1974, earning Cherry the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s coach of the year.

Cherry went on to coach the Boston Bruins and Colorado Rockies in the National Hockey League, and since 1980 has been an iconic commentator on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.

CLASS OF 2019: MURRAY EAVES

Forward Murray Eaves was one the American Hockey League’s premier scorers during a career that spanned 15 professional seasons.

Selected by Winnipeg in the 1980 NHL Draft after a record-setting season at the University of Michigan, Eaves made his debut in the AHL with the Sherbrooke Jets in 1982 and was a shining star despite playing on consecutive last-place teams. Eaves collected 174 points in 118 contests over his first two AHL seasons, including a 115-point campaign and First Team AHL All-Star honors in 1983-84.

Fortunes turned in 1984-85 when the Montreal Canadiens joined the Jets to form a dual affiliation in Sherbrooke. Eaves notched 68 points in 47 regular-season games and added 18 points in the playoffs as Sherbrooke captured the 1985 Calder Cup championship.

Following a 73-point campaign in 1985-86, Eaves was acquired by the Edmonton Oilers and spent a season in Nova Scotia before signing with Detroit. Eaves would continue to be a dominant offensive force with the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings, leading them in scoring in each of his three seasons with the team. In 1988-89, Eaves finished second in the entire AHL with 118 points to earn a Second Team AHL All-Star nod, and then tacked on 13 goals and 25 points in the playoffs as Adirondack captured the Calder Cup.

One of only two players in league history to record at least 115 points in a season twice, Eaves finished his AHL career with eight 20-goal seasons, three 40-goal campaigns and 680 points in 536 contests, making him the AHL’s all-time leader in points per game (1.27) among players with at least 400 games played. He was also a two-time winner of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey (1989, 1990).

CLASS OF 2019: BRAD SMYTH

Brad Smyth was one of the most dangerous goal-scorers in American Hockey League history, showing an incredible knack for finding the net during an era when goaltenders were becoming more dominant.

“Shooter” began his pro career in the Florida Panthers organization and made his AHL debut in a three-game stint with the Springfield Falcons in January of 1995. He joined the Carolina Monarchs for his first full AHL campaign in 1995-96 and scored twice on opening night, the beginning of a historic season that saw Smyth put up 68 goals in 68 games for the Monarchs. He added 58 assists for 126 points to run away with the AHL scoring title and earn league MVP honors.

After getting a taste of the National Hockey League in Florida and Los Angeles, Smyth was acquired by the New York Rangers in 1997 and helped the Hartford Wolf Pack reach the conference finals, notching 62 points in 57 regular-season games and a team-high 12 goals in the playoffs.

Smyth split the following season between the Rangers and Nashville Predators organizations, then helped Hartford to a Calder Cup championship in 2000, leading the Wolf Pack with 39 goals in the regular season and 13 more in the playoffs. In 2000-01, Smyth scored 50 again, reaching the milestone on the final weekend of the season and earning a First Team AHL All-Star nod – an honor he would receive again the following year.

Smyth was reunited with head coach John Paddock with the Binghamton Senators in 2002 and helped the first-year club reach the conference finals. He spent the 2004-05 season with the Manchester Monarchs and returned for a third stint in Hartford in 2006, completing his final AHL season with 34 goals and 86 points for his fifth career top-10 finish in the scoring race.

Ranking 12th in league history with 326 career goals, Smyth registered 667 points in 610 regular-season games over his AHL career. He is one of six AHL players ever to hit the 50-goal mark twice and one of seven players ever to lead the league in goals on two separate occasions, and is also ranked sixth all-time with 46 career postseason goals.

Kevin Porter Named Amerks Captain

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(Rochester, NY) — The Rochester Americans announced that veteran forward Kevin Porter has been named team captain for the 2018-19 season. Additionally, the team will rotate among forward Kyle Criscuolo and defensemen Taylor Fedun, Andrew MacWilliam, Nathan Paetsch and Zach Redmond as the five assistant captains throughout the course of the season.

Porter will serve as the Amerks captain for the second consecutive season and third time in his 11-year career. Last season, Porter, who also captained the Amerks during the 2012-13 campaign, finished second on the team with 17 goals and fourth in points while leading Rochester to its first playoff berth in four years. The Detroit, Mich., native has amassed 122 points (51+71) over 164 career games with the Amerks and has added eight points (1+7) in eight playoff appearances for Rochester.

“It’s a huge honor,” said Porter. “This is a great organization and to be the captain is pretty exciting. We have a great group of guys and anyone of them could have been the captain. I’m honored to be picked by the coaching staff.”

“We have a great group of guys here and as a staff we couldn’t just name just two alternates,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “By committee, they will run the locker room the way it should be.”