Posted at: 11/09/2012 5:05 PM
Updated at: 11/09/2012 8:28 PM
By: Robin De Wind
Friday nights have become hockey night in Rochester. The Rochester Americans have worked hard to make Friday night games a dominate part of their home schedule and it is paying off.
There are 21 Friday night Amerk home games on the schedule. The team wanted to avoid any conflict with the parent club, the Sabres, who had scheduled just seven Friday games, with the Sabres playing more on Saturday night. But with the NHL lockout dragging on, the Amerks are the only hockey to be found on a weekend. That has helped to draw fans to the box office to come and see their new heroes on the ice.
6,200 fans packed The Blue Cross Arena last Friday night to watch the Amerks pullout a win. A familiar name on the roster, a hero once again.
Marcus Foligno, Amerks forward, said, “This year has been going well to score that goal fans are getting into hockey it's becoming a big deal we want to keep that going.”
Exciting hockey with young NHL caliber players pumping up the roster. Forward Marcus Foligno has ignited interest in Rochester's team that hasn't been peaked in some time.
Rob Kopacz, Vice President of Business operations, said, “Our Friday night games have been strong. Our walk up is up significantly from the last couple of games to try to get here early, the lines have been longer this time of year so come out early if you're coming out.”
Attendance on Friday nights is up about 10,000 fans. Eight thousand people are expected to be in the seats when the puck drops Friday night against Adirondack..While the NHL lockout isn't good for the overall game, it has been good for the Rochester Americans with Foligno emerging as a fan favorite
Foligno said, “ You don't want to be that individual but also a role model. You embrace the community, you have to be good on and off the ice too.”
Amerk Night at the Fairport Library would usually draw a about 25 kids. This week with Foligno as the guest reader, 120 kids showed up to see the Amerk star.
Foligno will be one of the first players called up to Buffalo when and if the lockout ends for now he's making the best of the situation...
Foligno said, “I get to play and develop and develop my skills, its great. If it gets solved hopefully I can go up and this has been helpful.”
Here are a few other notes important for fans . The Amerks have cut the number of Sunday games. The Amerks are home Friday after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas. There is also a game on New Years Eve, a Monday at 3:05 versus Hamilton. The 6-1 Amerks host 4-5 Adirondack..face off at the blue cross arena set for 7:05pm./