AHL Finals When the Rochester Americans started the AHL finals, they were looking to add to their sixth Calder Cup banner to the ceiling. To get to this feat, they would have to go through the Portland Pirates. For teams making the playoffs, all teams start fresh and every team has a shot to win it all. This year’s finals, is true of that last sentence because both teams had losing records for the regular season. When the playoffs arrive, that’s the sign that the best hockey is yet to be played.
When the Rochester Americans skated into the first two games on home ice, they had a chance to leave Rochester with a two game to none lead. They won the important first game 5-3 and won the second game of the series 5-1, taking a 2-0 lead into Portland. Portland had the same chance that Rochester had in winning the first two games on home ice and they sure did that. They won game three, 3-2 and also won game four, 5-4 tying the series at 2. Since the series is tied at 2, the AHL final is now a best of three games.
The next game is critical for both teams because the winner of game five has to win only 1 game while the losing team has to win both of the games to win the championship. Now that the series is tied at 2, the teams will play game five in Portland and then travel to Rochester to play the remainder of the games until the champions are crowned. For most of the game, Portland lead at the end of the 1st period and 2nd period. That’s when Rochester decided to take over the 3rd period by scoring the only goal and setting the stage for overtime. Whoever scores the first goal, wins game five and has to win just one more game to win the championship. In overtime, Rochester’s Scott Nichol scored at the 4:17 mark of overtime to win game five.
Now all Rochester has to do is win game six or seven to add to their championship banners. For the rest of the series, the teams would travel to Rochester for games six and seven. With Rochester leading 3-2, the fans of the Americans fled to the War Memorial in a flurry. The game itself was very interesting for both teams because the only team showing up to rink to play was the Portland team. With that in mind, many Rochester fans had visions of a win but Portland decided to ruin the celebration by winning game six, 5-1 and sending it to game seven. Many Rochester fans were disappointed because they wanted their team to win the league championship.
Since the Portland Pirates won game six, some of the fans at the game stayed at the rink to assure them of a ticket to game seven. That’s when the city of Rochester got excited and many more fans showed up to buy tickets to the final game in North America. When comparing the line of fans wanting tickets to game seven was nothing compared to game six. The difference in the two lines was probably the distance. The closer you were to the box office, the better chance you had of attending game seven. When Portland won game six at the hockey rink, they had Rochester fans scurrying for tickets the next day.
The last game of the series was the most important to any player. Game seven was a very memorable hockey game for the fans in Rochester. After the first period, the Pirates had a 1-0 lead and looking to increase it during the second. In the second period, the momentum changed with Rochester scoring the only goal in the period. With the score tied at 1, the third period would be the most important period of the entire season. In that 3rd period, only one goal was scored and that goal was scored by Rochester’s Brian Holzinger at the 2:34 mark. That goal was the one that captured the franchises sixth Calder Cup championship banner. Looking back on the AHL finals, who would’ve been able to tell that both teams had losing records during the regular season.
When the Rochester Americans won game seven, that victory granted the Americans a chance to raise their sixth Calder Cup banner. For the players, it means a lot for winning the league championship for the season. The first reason being that many players on the winning team will collect money for winning the championship. The second reason is the championship rings, physically tell many people that you won a championship. Finally the last reason and probably the most important, each player is a champion and no one can take that away from them.
Whenever a team wins the championship of any league, many teams will be looking for you, when your contract has expired with that winning team.