The Frozen Frontier was built up with months and months of anticipation and in a blink of an eye it was gone. For those of us who made our way to Frontier Field in downtown Rochester it will remain as something never to be forgotten. The festivities kicked off on Friday the 13th with the Rochester Americans hosting the Lake Erie Monsters.
Friday December 13th, Rochester Americans vs. Lake Erie Monsters – 7:05 p.m.
Rochester 5(SO) – Lake Erie 4
With almost perfect conditions for outdoor hockey, over 11,000 fans packed Frontier Field to witness what would be an incredible game as Captain Matt Ellis scored in the sixth round of the shootout to seal a 5-4 Rochester victory.
Matt Ellis opened the scoring only three and a half minutes in as he buried a behind-the-net feed from Jerome Gauthier-Leduc. Colton Gillies also earned an assist on the goal.
The Americans fell behind with two quick power play goals from Olver and Hunwick just moments apart in the middle of the opening frame. Aggozino earned an assist on both goals, while Lerg is credited with an assist on the Hunwick goal.
The Amerks would find themselves down 3-1 midway in the second period, with a goal from Meurs, before tallying three straight goals to take the 4 – 3 lead.
With literally a moment on the clock, Lake Erie found the back of the net on the power play to tie the game at the 19:59:50 mark of the third period.
Rochester was down 2-0 through three rounds of the shootout and was in the territory for a “must-score” and “must-save” to continue. With the game on the line Matt Hackett stopped the final three shooters for Lake Erie while Zigomanis, Larsson, and Ellis scored to guarantee an Amerk win. Matt Ellis earned first star of the night with a goal and an assist in regulation as well as the shootout winner. Jerome Gauthier-Leduc earned second star honors with a goal and an assist, and Hunwick (L.E.) earned the third star of the evening with two goals.
Saturday December 14th, RIT Tigers(w) vs. Clarkson Golden Knights – 12:00 p.m.
RIT 2 – Clarkson 6
“The most obvious challenge would be playing while it’s snowing. Most, well all of us are so accustomed to playing in a weather/temperature controlled environment, and therefore the snow would potentially compromise our vision of the puck,” said senior forward Erin Zach. This was the case Saturday afternoon that found Clarkson beating out RIT 6-2. The snow fell heavily over Frontier Field at a nearly constant rate throughout the entire game. Although it makes for a great experience for a fan in the stands, the heavy snowfall quickly ruined the integrity of the hockey game. Players were stumbling, passes were sloppier, and pucks took wacky
bounces. Multiple timeouts were called in order to clear snow from the rink. The delay got to the players as RIT forwards Erin Zach and Celeste Brown quickly volunteered to help the ice crew.
Clarkson led 3-0 midway through the second period with goals from Carly Mercer, Jennifer Rattray, and a second from Carly Mercer.
RIT would cut the deficit to 3-2 with two goals from Kolbee McCrea, however that is the closest they would find themselves.
Clarkson would bury three more in the third period to take a commanding 6-2 lead over the Tigers. Goals came from Vanessa Gagnon, Olivia Howe, and a second from Vanessa Gagnon.
Kolbee McCrea finished the afternoon with 2 goals, while Lauren Klein, Marissa Maugeri, and Erin Zach all had assists for the Tigers.
Saturday December 14th, RIT Tigers(m) vs. Niagara Purple Eagles – 7:00 p.m.
RIT 2 – Niagara 2
Though it slowed quite a bit from the women’s game earlier in the day, the snow and wind played a major role in this contest that saw the Tigers and Purple Eagles tie at 2-2. It was no surprise as the AHA rivals have gone to overtime in 8 of their last 11 meetings.
The Tigers went down 1-0 early in the second period with a goal from Matt Chartrain, however rebounded later in the period with two quick goals coming from Dan Schuler and Danny Smith.
RIT was able to hold the lead until midway through the third period when Ryan Rashid found the back of the net to tie the game at 2.
This tie extends RIT’s unbeaten streak to 6 games (5-0-1, W-L-T).
Sunday December 15th, Nazareth Golden Flyers vs. Geneseo Knights – 12:00 p.m.
Nazareth 2 – Geneseo 3
Sunday kicked off with a bit of Division III hockey as the red-hot Geneseo Knights defeated the Nazareth Golden Flyers 3 to 2.
Geneseo would get on the board first, early in the second period. Zachary Vit would find himself the beneficiary of a nice pass from Jack Ceglarski, and bury the puck in the back of the net.
Nazareth would tie it up rather quickly with a goal from Ben Blasko, assisted by Scott Dawson.
The Knights would regain the lead minutes later as Tyler Brickler found the back of the net. Assists going to Derek Stahl and Stephen Collins.
Geneseo would take the 2-1 lead late into the third period until Tyler Brickler would net the [much needed] insurance goal at the 15 minute mark on the power play. Ryan Stanimir and Matt Solomon were credited with the assists on Brickler’s second of the game.
Nazareth would score with under 10 seconds remaining on a power play opportunity of their own, however were unable to overcome the two goal deficit as Geneseo would come out victorious.
Sunday December 15th, Buffalo Jr. Sabres vs. St. Michael’s Buzzers – 2:30 p.m.
Buffalo 4 – St. Michael’s 5
Despite mounting an impressive comeback in the second period, Buffalo would find themselves on the losing end of the first ever outdoor game in OJHL history.
Late in the second period Nico Gonzalez, Pat Eagan, and Nick Smith would all score moments apart to bring Buffalo out of the 3-1 deficit they had found themselves in.
Even with the impressive second period comeback, the Buzzers were able to take control of the game late in the third period with two goals from Jake Evans.
Ryan Schmelzer had the other goal for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres.
Jake Evans, Jordan Schneider, and Bron Loiselle would be credited with the other Buzzers’ goals.
Sunday December 15th, Buffalo Sabres Alumni vs. Rochester Americans Alumni 5:00 p.m.
Buffalo Alumni 3 – Rochester Alumni 3
The Rochester Alumni came out on top in a laugh filled pond hockey styled game under the lights at Frontier Field.
Officially suiting up for the Buffalo Sabres Alumni team were; Martin Biron, Richie Dunn, Grant ledyard, Craig Muni, Darryl Shannon, Yuri Khmylev, Ric Seiling, Danny Gare, Derek Smith, Brad May, Rob Ray, Matthew Barnaby, Richard Smehlik, Craig Rivey, Jay McKee, and Andrew Peters.
Suiting up for the Rochester Americans were; Kenton Rein, Tom Askey, Daryl Drader, Mike Hurlbut, Ray Maluta, Steve Ludzik, Jody Gage, Steve Langdon, Scott Metcalfe, Geoff Peters, Scott McCrory, Randy Cunneyworth, Paul Brydges, Jim Wiemer, Scott Nichol, Kevin Bolibruck, Chris Palmer, Dan Frawley, Brian McKinnon, and David Cullen.
Despite being a joking atmosphere; Rob Ray breaking his stick in celebration over the crossbar; Mid-play interviews on ice with Don Stevens; some brotherly slashig between Andrew and Geoff Peters, things took a turn towards a more serious note when Jody Gage fell awkwardly into the boards midway through the second half. It appeared that he tweaked his knee or ankle as he favored his right leg as he was helped off the ice.
The night ended with laughs and autographs and some of the players stopped to talk to fans as they walked into the locker room.
Although the Sabres and Amerks portion of the Frozen Frontier is over, there is still plenty more hockey next weekend with 10 Section V hockey games.
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