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DUFFER: 5 Amerks to keep an eye on

Important pieces for the Rochester Americans this spring and for the Buffalo Sabres moving forward

by Brian Duff @duffersabres / Sabres.com

The Rochester Americans open up their first-round Calder Cup Playoff series against the Toronto Marlies on Friday at Blue Cross Arena

The Amerks roster features many interesting names - including Defenseman of the Year Zach Redmond and 30-goal scorer Victor Olofsson - so here are five players I'll be watching closely during the postseason who could make a big impact. 

 

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Eichel to play for Team USA at World Championship

Sabres captain was one of 17 players named to preliminary roster

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Jack Eichel will represent the United States at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia next month, USA Hockey announced Thursday.

Eichel was one of 17 players included on Team USA's preliminary roster. South Buffalo native Patrick Kane will captain the team, while former Sabres captain Chris Drury is serving as general manager. 

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Eichel selected as Sabres' nominee for King Clancy Trophy

Award is given to player who "exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice"

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Jack Eichel has been selected as the Sabres' nominee for the 2018-19 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, the NHL announced Wednesday. 

The trophy is awarded annually to the player who "best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community." Rob Ray won the award in 1999 for his work with Roswell Park and Children's Hospital, among other organizations. 

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Amerks' Round 1 series against Toronto begins Friday

Sabres.com's weekly Amerks Update

by Rochester Americans @AmerksHockey / Amerks.com

The Rochester Americans will face the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies in the first round of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Amerks begin the postseason on home ice for Games 1, presented by Nissan, and 2 of the best-of-five opening round series on Friday, April 19 and Sunday, April 21 at Blue Cross Arena. Rochester will also host a decisive Game 5, if necessary, on Sunday, April 28.

The opening round series will mark the third meeting in the postseason between the two teams since 2012.

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Sabres alum Leopold helped wish come true at Frozen Four

Alex Tingay, 18, had his wish granted following fight with Hodgkin's lymphoma

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Alex Tingay was in denial he when he received his diagnosis. 

It began with a bump on his neck, which he initially assumed was nothing more than a cyst. As summertime turned to Christmastime and the bump grew larger, his parents took him to his doctor for an ultrasound, which yielded a visit to a specialist for further testing.

The prognosis: Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. 

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Sabres, Bryson agree to entry-level deal

Defenseman completed junior season with Providence at the Frozen Four last weekend

by Sabres PR @SabresPR / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed defenseman Jacob Bryson to a three-year, entry-level contract. Bryson will sign an ATO and report to the Rochester Americans (AHL). The entry-level contract will begin starting with the 2019-20 season.

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Sharpen Up: April 15, 2019

Here's what you need to know this week

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

While the Buffalo Sabres' coaching search continues, the Rochester Americans are gearing up for a Calder Cup Playoff run. 

The Amerks will face the Toronto in the first round, starting Friday night at Blue Cross Arena. Tickets are on sale now.

Here's what you need to know. 

 

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Minnesota Duluth repeats as champions with victory over UMass

Shepard posts 18-save shutout for Bulldogs

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Hunter Shepard insists that he's prepared for games the same way since he was 14 years old, save for a tweak here and there. That consistency is evident in his postseason play. 

Shepard, who attended development camp with the Sabres last summer, stopped all 18 shots he faced to help lead Minnesota Duluth to a 3-0 win over Massachusetts in final game of the Frozen Four at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

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Bryson not focused on future following loss to Minnesota Duluth

Defenseman tallies assist, but Providence falls in Frozen Four

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Jacob Bryson could one day make a habit of playing in Buffalo. He's compiled an impressive collegiate resume since being selected by the Sabres in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Draft, one that includes 73 points and a pair of Hockey East All-Star honors. 

Yet, in the aftermath of his KeyBank Center debut on Thursday, the junior defenseman was more interested in reflecting on a memorable run to the postseason than contemplating his future. Bryson saw his campaign come to an end with Providence College's 4-1 loss to Minnesota Duluth in the Frozen Four. 

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Frozen Four preview: Who's in, players to watch and more

The Frozen Four kicks off in Buffalo on Thursday. Here's what to look for.

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

The Frozen Four begins tonight at KeyBank Center with Providence's matchup against Minnesota Duluth at 5 p.m., followed by Denver taking on UMass at 8:30. 

The winners will meet for the championship on Saturday at 8. 

Coming down for the games? Make sure to read up on this weekend's festivities here, and keep scrolling for info on the four teams left standing.

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