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by Kevin Snow / Buffalo Sabres
Luke Adam didn’t play alongside Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville until September 30 in Washington. They combined to score all three of Buffalo’s goals in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Capitals, and collected seven of the team’s nine points. That roll has continued through the team’s first two regular season wins. 

Vanek scored twice in the season opener against Anaheim, and Adam chipped in a pair the next night in Berlin against Los Angeles. The trio currently occupy the top three spots in team scoring, having combined for 13 of the team’s 23 points.

With four points (2+2) in two games, the 21-year-old Adam has already matched his 19-game point total from last season. When asked about his individual accomplishments, Adam is quick to compliment his veteran linemates.

“Van and Pommer are both great players, and for myself to be given the opportunity to play with those two guys makes the game a lot easier for me. We’ve been having some success, but it’s early in the season and we can’t forget that.”

Pominville said that Adam’s play in training camp “forced the hand of the organization to keep him here.” But Adam knows that he’s far from having a position locked up for the rest of the season.

“Ever since the end of last year, my goal was to play on this hockey team. I took it one day at a time this summer, and one day at a time through training camp, just trying to get better and better every day. Fortunately I found myself on the opening day roster. But like I said, it’s two games and there’s still a lot of work ahead to stay here.”

Lindy Ruff said Jochen Hecht was upgraded for contact today, and he’s now at the “moderate level” of performance. Hecht was injured on the second day of training camp when he collided with Shaone Morrisonn during a drill. He appeared to be making progress as camp progressed, but said last week that he’d started experiencing headaches following workouts.

Ruff said he was encouraged by what he saw from Hecht during today’s practice. 

“I think he took it as far as he’s taken it so far, and should continue to progress unless he has a setback during the week.”

Ruff hasn’t ruled Hecht out for Friday’s home opener against Carolina, but explains that a lot needs to happen over the next few days to consider adding him to the lineup.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to rule him out right now. I don’t think there’s a good enough reason to say he could play Friday yet either,” Ruff said. “We’re in kind of that situation where you evaluate after each practice. When we ramp up the physical play again tomorrow, he will do extra work after practice and be more involved in some physical stuff. Then you wait to see the next day if there’s any ramifications from how he worked.”

The early season success of the Buffalo Bills isn’t lost on the Sabres. While the teams are competing for the media spotlight, Ruff said that it only benefits the city in the long run. 

“I hope they keep winning and we keep winning because it makes this a fun city to live in.”

Pominville says his conversations frequently revolve around the local sports teams.
“People want to talk about our new ownership and the Bills. It’s fun to see that atmosphere throughout the city.”

More than 50 members of the Rochester Americans alumni have confirmed their attendance for Thursday’s red carpet event prior to the team’s home opener at Blue Cross Arena. Included among the attendees are Donald Audette, Jason Botterill and Chris Taylor.

The event is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. when the current Amerks players enter Blue Cross Arena.  Following that, fans will be able to re-live the storied history of the Rochester Americans by watching Alumni walk the red carpet, where they will sign autographs and pose for pictures.  The list of scheduled attendees includes 13 Amerks Hall of Famers, 14 Amerks Calder Cup champions and 13 former Amerks captains.
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