Just a few short days stand between us and the Frozen Frontier, and how I am thankful for that. Officially; The Greater Rochester Honda Dealers Frozen Frontier presented by Labatt; is a 10 day outdoor hockey festival at Frontier Field in downtown Rochester. Teams from all levels, all across the state will make their way to Rochester to celebrate the game that we all love.
The Rochester Americans will open up the festivities this Friday night as they take on the Lake Erie Monsters at 7:05 pm. The hockey continues on Saturday with some NCAA Division I hockey.
We open up with a noon time game that pits the RIT Women’s Hockey team against the Clarkson Golden Knights. Later that day the RIT Men’s Hockey team will take on the Niagara Purple Eagles for an AHA match up at 7 p.m.
Sunday opens up with a Division III match up between the Nazareth Golden Flyers and Geneseo Knights. Immediately following that game at 2:30 is an OJHL match up between the Buffalo Jr. Sabres and St. Michael’s Buzzers. To top of the first glorious weekend of hockey is a Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Americans alumni game featuring a number of former players such as Matthew Barnaby, Rob Ray, Brad May, Jay McKee and many many more.
Here is a more in depth look at the upcoming games;
Friday, December 13th
7:05 pm – Rochester Americans vs. Lake Erie Monster
What better way to open the hockey festivities than with a bit of AHL action? The Amerks will play the Monsters for the 4th time this season. The season series between the two is currently tied at 1 a piece, with their third game coming up later tonight, the 11th, at Blue Cross Arena.
Although it is technically just another regular season game for the Americans, it is much more than that to the players. It is a chance for them to get out and experience the nostalgia that is playing outdoors on a chilly winter night under the lights. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m
Saturday, December 14th
12 pm – Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers (women’s) vs. Clarkson Golden Knights
The Tigers will take the ice at noon as they take on the nationally ranked Clarkson Golden Knights. RIT currently holds a 9-9-1 record and is coming into the game riding a 2 game losing streak. Both of those loses came at the hands of another nationally ranked program, the Robert Morris University Colonials. The Golden Knights are currently ranked as 6th in the country, boasting a 13-4-2 record. The Tigers last played the Golden Knights (then ranked 3rd nationally) in late September where the Knights rolled to a 12-1 win over the Tigers.
7:00 pm – Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers (men’s) vs. Niagara Purple Eagles
Closing out the hockey activities on Saturday night is the RIT Tigers men’s team in an AHA match up versus the Niagara Purple Eagles. RIT comes into the game at 6-7-2, having won their last 5 games. This impressive run, while a complete team effort, can also be attributed to Rochester, NY native Mike Rotolo. Rotolo has started the previous 5 games, his only five games played of the season, and has compiled a GAA of 2.00 and a .935 SV%. The Niagara Purple Eagles find themselves the opposite end of the spectrum, having lost their last five games. This will be the first meeting of the year between the AHA foes, so expect a hard fought, intense game when puck drops at 7:00 pm on Saturday night.
Sunday, December 15th
12:00 pm – Nazareth Golden Flyers vs. Geneseo Knights
The Nazareth Golden Flyers open up Sunday’s hockey games by taking on a tough opponent in the nationally ranked Geneseo Knights. The Golden Flyers are 1-8-1, having lost their past 7 games. On the other end of the spectrum are the Knights who sit at 8-2 on the season, having won their past 4.
2:30 pm – Buffalo Jr. Sabres vs. St. Michael’s Buzzers
The West Division leading Buffalo Jr. Sabres will take on the second place team in the South Division on Sunday afternoon. In 30 games so far this OJHL season the Buffalo Jr. Sabres have 18 regulation wins, 1 shoot out win. They have lost 2 games in over time, 1 in the shootout, and 8 in regulation for a total of 41 points.
5:00 pm – Buffalo Sabres Alumni vs. Rochester Americans Alumni
The alumni game will close out the weekend of outdoor hockey with a number of Sabres and Americans greats returning to the ice. Though it is more for the show and entertainment of older players, it is a good opportunity for fans to see some of their favorites on the ice one last time.
As of now the roster is as follows; Tom Askey, Matthew Barnaby, Marty Biron, Kevin Bolibruck, Paul Brydges, David Cullen, Randy Cunneyworth, Darly Drader, Richie Dunn, Dan Frawley, Jody Gage, Danny Gare, Mike Hurlbut, Jim Jackson, Yuri Khmylev, Steve Langdon, Grant Ledyard, Steve Ludzik, Ray Maluta, Brad May, Scott McCrory, Jay McKee, Brian McKinnon, Scott Metcalfe, Craig Muni, Scott Nichol, Chris Palmer, Andrew Peters, Geoff Peters, Rob Ray, Kenton Rein, Craig Rivet, Ric Seiling, Darryl Shannon, Richard Smehlik, Derek Smith, Chris Taylor, and Jim Wiemer.
Coming along for the festivities, and not to play in the game, will be other such as Joe Crozier, Jim Hofford, Gates Orlando, Jim Pettie, Rene Robert, and Geordie Robertson.
Rick Jeanneret will also be on hand as he announces the line-ups at game time, and Don Stevens will be there to do in-game interviews.
Be sure to check back after the hockey festivities conclude for a recap.