The Rochester Americans, AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, managed to hang on to their playoff spot as they defeated the Hershey Bears 4-1 in game five of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals

For the record, this is a big deal.

The last time the Amerks made it this far was in 2004, while boasting a roster of names like Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy…

Yeah, we could go on. But they were good.

The Rochester Amerks from nearly twenty years ago look a lot like their players today, who are young, hungry, and eager to move up the ranks.

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Rochester Americans Struggle During Conference Finals

After effortlessly sweeping the Toronto Marlies in the prior round, the Amerks started off the AHL Eastern Conference Finals with all of the swagger, easily defeating the Hershey Bears 5-1 in game one.

That confidence wouldn’t last, though, as their next three games would lead to three straight losses - partly due to the tremendous defensive effort of Bears’ goalie Hunter Shepard.

After trailing the Bears 3-1 this series, a win on Wednesday night was a necessity to keep the Amerks moving forward. And they made sure to deliver.

Rochester Amerks Win 4-1 In Game 5

The Americans gave their fans a sigh of relief on Wednesday night in Hershey, with an early cushion at 4:43 in the 1st period thanks to a goal from forward Jiri Kulich.

The score stayed the same throughout the rest of the first and second period, until finally Lukas Rousak gave the Amerks an extra push with an early goal at 1:22 in the third period. 

As Amekrs fans know, though, the Hershey Bears aren’t one to take a great play lying down. 

Hershey Bears Score Early In 3rd Period

Amerks fans barely got a breath in at 3:44 in the 3rd when Aliaksei Protas scored his fifth goal of the series during a Bears’ power play. 

Amerks Finally Score On Power Play In 3rd Period

Rochester fans have been frustrated at the lack of momentum from the Amerks whenever they had a power play opportunity against Hershey.

They had yet to score once while a man up this series, until captain Michael Mersch sealed the deal at 13:11 in the third period of game five. 

The Americans’ Lukas Rousak soon put a cherry on the win with his second score  - an empty-netter goal at 18:38, just like the Bears had done to them the prior two games before.

Sweet, sweet revenge.

Wednesday night’s victory puts the Amerks at two wins in this series to the Bears’ three, making game six another must-have to keep their playoff hopes alive.

When Is The Next Rochester Americans Game?

You won’t have to wait long to see if the Rochester Amerks can pull off an upset, as game six will be held this Friday night at Blue Cross Arena with a 7:05 pm puck drop. 

Their last two home appearances have sold out, so if you're anxious to see some soon-to-be Buffalo Sabres during their AHL playoff run, be sure to get your tickets here while you can. 

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