Posted at: 04/17/2014 3:38 PM
Updated at: 04/17/2014 5:59 PM
By: Stephen Bond
The Amerks are going to the playoffs for the third consecutive season. With their win in Utica Wednesday night, Rochester clinched the seventh seed.
More call-ups to the Sabres than in recent memory make Wednesday’s night playoff clinching win impressive. The team is better than its record. With the team back intact, a Calder Cup is a reality.
The Amerks are headed back to the postseason for the third straight year. After a season filled with roster changes, the Amerks say they're happy to finally be focused on postseason hockey.
Chadd Cassidy, Amerks Head Coach, said, “To have the outdoor game this year and the Spangler Cup and just a lot of transition and turnover on our roster and injuries, it's hard to believe that it all happened in one year and that we're here today, you know, a playoff team.”
Phil Varone, Amerks center, said, “Time does fly, but it’s been a long year and I don't know if we'll have time to reflect on it yet. We should probably do that after the playoffs and hopefully with a ring on our finger.”
The atmosphere at practice was loose now that the Amerks have clinched a playoff spot. Head coach Chadd Cassidy said his team needs to play and practice loose, but understands the road only gets tougher from here.
Tim Schaller, Amerks forward, said, “We know that we aren't perfect right now and we need to strive to be as close to perfect as possible every game. We're on our way there.”
Rochester still has two more regular season games before the playoffs begin a week from Friday. Now all that is left is to find out who the Amerks opponent will be. Toronto, Chicago or Grand Rapids could all clinch the second seed.