Back in 2008, the Buffalo Sabres participated in the first ever NHL Winter Classic against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Five years later, the Sabres farm team, the Rochester Americans, will participate in an outdoor game of their own.
The Frozen Frontier is a multi-day outf=door hockey affair that will kick off on Friday with a game between the Amerks and the Lake Erie Monsters, affiliates of the Colorado Avalanche. It will include an Amerks alumni game, Buffalo Junior Sabres game, matches for RIT's men's and women's teams, an open skate, and a whole slew of Western New York high school games. The entire schedule, courtesy of the Frozen Frontier website, can be found below.
The Amerks, for their part, are extremely excited about this unique opportunity, much as we hear from every NHL team in the annual event. Take this quote, for example, from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and Amerks captain Matt Ellis.
"That's one day that has been circled on the calendar for a long time," Ellis said. "It will be something special. It stirs up those feelings of being outside in the fresh AIR and, for lack of a better term, the purity of the game."
Anybody else getting shades of 2008 reading that?
The Amerks are entering the game in a bit of a slump, going 3-7-0 in their last ten and falling to 10th place in the AHL's Western Conference. However, they're only one point out of the eighth seed currently held by, wouldn't ya know, the Lake Erie Monsters.
We'll have more coverage of this historic event as the week rolls on, and we'll be heading down to Rochester on Friday night to take in the game first-hand. Will anybody else be there? Let us know in the comments!
Schedule of events
- Friday, December 13 (7:00 p.m.): Rochester Americans vs. Lake Erie Monsters
- Saturday, December 14 (12:00 p.m.): RIT Tigers (women) vs. Clarkson Golden Knights
- Saturday, December 14 (7:00 p.m.): RIT Tigers (men) vs. Niagara Purple Eagles
- Sunday, December 15 (12:00 p.m.): Nazareth Golden Flyers vs. Geneseo Knights
- Sunday, December 15 (2:30 p.m.): Buffalo Junior Sabres vs. St. Michael’s Buzzers
- Sunday, December 15 (5:00 p.m.): Sabres/Amerks Alumni Game
- Friday, December 20 (6:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.): Labatt Blue 3-on-3 Pond Hockey Tournament
- Friday, December 20: Open Skate Sessions
- 7:00 pm: Open Skate with Santa Claus
- 8:30 pm: Open Skate with Santa Claus
- 10:00 pm: Moonlight Open Skate
- Saturday, December 21: Section V Rivalry Day
- 11:00 am: Canandaigua vs. Victor
- 1:00 pm: Hilton vs. Irondequoit
- 3:00 pm: McQuaid vs. St. Joe’s (Section VI)
- 5:00 pm: Webster Schroeder vs. Webster Thomas
- 7:00 pm. Pittsford vs. Fairport
- Sunday, December 22: Section V Rivalry Day
- 11:00 am: Churchville vs. Batavia
- 1:00 pm: Brockport vs. Batavia Notre Dame
- 3:00 pm: Brighton vs. Spencerport
- 5:00 pm: Greece Thunder vs. Greece Lightning
- 7:00 pm: Gates-Chili vs. Penfield