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AHL Finals Essay, Research Paper

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


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.

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