In the words of Barney Stinson, it’s time to suit up and prepare for a legendary night.
It’s all on the line tonight for the Rochester Americans in game seven against the Abbotsford Heat.Â The winner starts preparing for the Hamilton Bulldogs, the loser reserves a tee time.Â We know the Amerks can defeat this team and they have to do it again tonight.
The game on Sunday was not something to be proud of but it’s in the past.Â It’s time to get excited again.Â The Amerks have home ice advantage and get to play the last game of the series in their barn, on their rink.Â Tell your family, friends, neighbors and keep the kids out late on a school night and get to the game.Â To steal the line from the NHL commercials, history will be made.Â Time to send the Heat home packing and start preparing for the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Of course for that to happen the Amerks need a hero.Â It could be someone who’s done it before, a Chris Taylor, Jamie Johnson, Jeff Taffe, Graham Mink or Mike York.Â Keaton Ellerby could step up and make everyone forget about his past mistakes.Â Jordan Henry could score another end to end highlight reel goal like he did earlier in the season.Â Steve MacIntyre would love to score his first goal of the season, there’s no better time than now.Â Shawn Matthias may fly past the Heat defense and score on his farewell tour of the AHL (I expect him to earn a full time job in the NHL next season).
Here’s a great excerpt from Hockey O-Zone about Graham Mink:
â€œI think weâ€™re getting ready,â€ right winger Graham Mink said. â€œYou canâ€™t let anything bother you. You just leave it all out there.â€
Mink speaks from experience. He has played in a Game 7 twice, both with the Hershey Bears, and both during runs to Calder Cup championships.
In 2006, the Bears opened a 3-1 series lead on Portland in the conference finals. The Pirates won Game 5 and Game 6.
â€œThey smoked us in Game 6,â€ Mink recalls.
Is this sounding familiar? Mink sure hopes so. The Bears regrouped and won Game 7 in overtime, 5-4.
I’d prefer they don’t play with our emotions and have the game go into overtime, but whatever needs to be done has to be done to win.Â That’s just proof that these guys know what is on the line.
They can win, it can be done.Â There’s no need to talk about anything else other than winning.
David Brine and Evgeny Dadonov have only had one assist the entire series.Â Remember when David Brine was leading the league in short handed goals early in the season?Â Now would be the time to score another one of those.
Tyler Plante will be the starting goalie and even if the defense leaves him all alone against the Heat it’s his turn to make that huge save that changes the entire momentum of the game.
Victor Oreksovich and Mike Duco need to create some big hits that results in turnovers and goals.
MacIntyre needs to send someone through a pane of glass in a corner or send a Heat player back into his own bench.
Even if none of those things happens as long as they win everything will be great and start over again for round two.
It’s going to be a long day at work thinking about the game…. See you at the rink!