Wednesday, February 11, 2009

AHL in Buffalo

The Portland Pirates played a game against the Albany River Rats at HSBC arena Tuesday night. Without the game on television I didn't actually see it, but following a large brawl the Pirates lost 5-4 in a shootout.

The game was pretty well attended, and while the Arena was not full it drew a bigger crowd then most AHL games tend to do. Trying to do this more then once a year would be difficult, but showcasing the farm team once a year is a good move by the Sabres, and should be repeated again.

When Rochester was the Sabres farm team, they were just a short trip down the road from Buffalo and well within Sabres territory. Now in Portland Maine, things are a bit more distant and the tie between the teams isn't as close. Games like this help restore that connection.

Also the AHL is currently running five player shootouts like soccer does. I'm still not a huge fan of the shootout, but going for a full five players is a better system then having just three.

Nathan Gerbe will be playing with the Sabres tonight as they face the Ottawa Senators.

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