Updated: 09/26/2013 11:34 PM
Created: 09/26/2013 5:03 PM WHEC.com
By: Stephen Bond
The Amerks controlled the ice in their preseason overtime win against Wilkes-Barre Scranton last night. A mix of veterans with a will to win in the minors and a big time expectations for new goalie Matt Hackett have Rochester primed for another playoff run.
A first round exit in the playoffs isn't where the Amerks wanted to be at the end of last season, but the chill in the air means hockey is back and it's a new season for Rochester with plenty of new faces.
Matt Hackett, Amerks goalie, said, “We've got some new guys here. Some new faces, some older leaders and we are expecting to go a little bit further than we did last year. I mean last year was really sad going out in the first round, a little disappointing, but we're ready to go this year.”
Chadd Cassidy, Amerks head coach, said, “We can't be satisfied with where we were at last year. We ended the season really well. I think we won 16 or 17 out of our last 24. Then we get into the playoffs and get swept three straight, so we've got to make a step forward this year.”
A pair of new Amerks come to Rochester after spending time in a Toronto Marlies sweater, including Greece native Ryan Grimshaw. Grimshaw says the chance to wear the Amerks jersey is a lifelong dream.
Grimshaw said, “It's incredible. Being here a year ago when I played here after college, that was an experience. Last year, playing with Toronto, was a great time to have all my family and friends be around. A lot of people just hadn't seen me play anymore and it's nice to be at home right now.”
Mike Zigomanis, former Toronto Marlie, said, “Playing against the Amerks the last couple of seasons, built a big rivalry so it will be a change, but I'm definitely excited.”
The turnaround is quick for the Amerks. On Friday, they play their final preseason game and the following week, they welcome the defending Calder Cup championships.