Playoff History – Amerks vs. Crunch

We’ve discussed the Amerks/Crunch first round series a lot this week, and now we’d like to take a look back at the playoff history between these two clubs. If you’re an Amerks fan – you’re going to be a big believer in history repeating itself!

Both teams struggled in the regular season but managed to get on a roll in the playoffs. Despite being in the same Central division, Syracuse got seeded into the Atlantic division for the playoffs. As a result – they were able to meet up with the Amerks in May of 1996 in the conference finals. The Amerks – coming off a sweep of Adirondack in the first round (3-0) and a sweep of Cornwall in the second round (4-0) – won the first 2 games at home against the Crunch, giving them a 9-game winning streak going into game 3 in Syracuse. The Amerks then lost a hard-fought game 3. Dan Frawley said in hindsight that was the best thing that could have happened to them because the streak had become too much of the focus. The Amerks rebounded in game 4 with a big win keyed by Scotty Metcalfe’s hat trick and 2 short-handed goals. The series, and a ticket to the finals, was punched in game 5 as Dane Jackson scored the OT winner. The Amerks would go on to win the Calder Cup against the Portland Pirates with a thrilling game 7 victory at home in Rochester.

Game 1: Amerks 5-2 (Home)
Game 2: Amerks 6-4 (Home)
Game 3: Crunch 4-2 (Away)
Game 4: Amerks 4-1 (Away)
Game 5: Amerks 6-5 (Home)

The Amerks won the Empire division and met Syracuse in round 1. The Amerks dominated the Crunch and swept them 3-0. Greg Walters had the game winner in game 3. The Amerks would go on to lose in 7 to Albany in the second round, after battling back from a 3-1 series deficit.

Game 1: Amerks 7-4 (Home)
Game 2: Amerks 6-2 (Home)
Game 3: Amerks 3-2 (Away)

The Crunch and Amerks finished 2nd and 3rd respectively and met up in the first round in what was a 7 game (like it should be) first round series. After splitting the first 2 games in Syracuse (including a 6-0 game 2 victory), the Crunch came into Rochester and took both games 3 and 4 to go up 3-1. The Amerks rallied with another 6-0 blowout in game 5 in Syracuse and then tied things up with a wild 7-5 victory in game 6 in Rochester. The showdown in game 7 was an epic moment in the Amerks storied history. Game 7 and OT! In overtime the Crunch missed an open net with Ryan Miller out of position and the Amerks took off down the ice. Norm Milley scored the game winning goal (video below) and finished the comeback in the series and launched the Amerks into the second round. They swept Hamilton before losing to Milwaukee in the conference finals 4-1.

The game 7 victory in Syracusewas due in large part to over 2,000 Amerk fans making the trek down 90. Let’s fill both barns and be loud!

Game 1: Crunch 3-2 (Away)
Game 2: Amerks 6-0 (Away)
Game 3: Crunch 3-2 (Home)
Game 4: Crunch 3-2 (Home)
Game 5: Amerks 6-0 (Away)
Game 6: Amerks 7-5 (Home)
Game 7: Amerks 4-3ot (Away)

In total, the Amerks are 11-4 against the Crunch in the playoffs; winning all 3 series.

Even though the Rochester Americans franchise hasn’t won a playoff series since the 2004/2005 season they still have a lot of playoff experience to carry them in these games.

Amerk players playoff experience:

Paetsch 103 1
Goers 38 30
Redmond 35
Porter 33 4
Percy 32
Griffith 31
Fedun 28
Criscuolo 19
Blackwell 15
O’Regan 15
MacWilliam 13
Ross 8
Krause 6 7
Gill 4 17
Dsmith 3 11
Wilcox 1

With all of the playoff experience that Paetsch has, 25 of those 103 games are with Rochester, he isn’t going to be playing in game one of the series. Whether he plays in games after remains to be determined.

There will not be any televised games in the first round (later rounds TBD) so buy your tickets to games in both cities and support the Amerks!

First round schedule:

Friday April 20, 2018 7:00pm – Rochester at Syracuse [ Buy Tickets or call 315-473-4444 ]

Saturday April 21, 2018 7:00pm – Rochester at Syracuse [ Buy Tickets or call 315-473-4444 ]

Wednesday April 25, 2018 7:05pm – Syracuse at Rochester [ Buy Tickets or call 1-855-GO-AMERKS ]

Friday April 27, 2018 7:05pm – Syracuse at Rochester (if necessary) [ Buy Tickets or call 1-855-GO-AMERKS ]

Saturday April 28, 2018 7:00pm – Rochester at Syracuse (if necessary) [ Buy Tickets or call 315-473-4444 ]