The Rochester Junior Americans 2013-14 pre-season schedule ended with the Elite team finishing 3-0 to end exhibition play before the United States Premiere Hockey League season opens. Despite the strong play, Elite team head coach Craig Macdonald said the focus in the pre-season is not on wins and losses.
“With this being pre-season, I’m not looking at the wins and loss column,” said Macdonald. “I just want our guys to get on the ice and get their legs and timing back.”
On September 2nd, Rochester opened the pre-season with a 6-1 home win over the Syracuse Stars. After a slow start, the Junior Americans got things rolling in the second period with a three goal burst, and continued with another three goals in the third period. The scoring was spread throughout the team, with veterans and rookies contributing at both ends of the rink.
Following the victory over Syracuse, the Junior Americans traveled to Buffalo to battle the Buffalo Junior Sabres of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League.
Despite being an exhibition game, it had the feel of a regular season game. Both teams were eager to win and it was an intense game from the start.
The teams were knotted at 5-5 at the end of regulation. In overtime, new comer Jeremy Marginsky earned the game winner after an incredible individual effort. Goaltender Will Massey saw all 63 minutes between the pipes on his way to the 6-5 win.
“Our guys had a good game against a tough opponent,” said Macdonald. “We still need to work on a lot of things but overall I’m pleased with the effort.”
Rochester wrapped up the preseason with another game against Syracuse. The Junior Americans again used a big second period to steal the momentum of the game on the way to a 5-1 final score.
The Elite team played well in the pre-season, but these games were all about preparing for the USPHL season, which begins September 14th at the New Jersey Hitmen Showcase.
“The preseason was encouraging but I was more interested in having our guys in games and working on systems,” said Macdonald. “I had an opportunity to see different guys in different situations, and see new line combinations. Overall we got what we wanted out of the exhibition games.”
New Look For 2013
After rebranding the former Rochester Stars and Maksymum Junior Hockey Clubs into the Rochester Junior Americans, the team needed a fresh look heading into 2013. The new look features the brand new “R” logo that the team shares with
Rochester Youth Hockey, as well as new jerseys based off the Washington Capitals uniform set.
“We wanted to start our first season as the Rochester Junior Americans with a fresh look, and these jerseys definitely accomplish that,” said co-owner Jeff Kolcon.
The white home jerseys and red away jerseys will be worn by the Junior Americans teams in the USPHL Elite and Empire divisions, as well as on the U18 and U16 teams which are partnered with Rochester Youth Hockey.
Junior Americans Golf Tournament Raises Money for Great Charities
On August 28th, the Rochester Junior Americans players and coaches hit the links to help raise money for two very important charities.
Held at Blue Heron Hills Golf Club in Macedon, over 100 golfers participated in this 18-hole, scramble tournament. Golfers battled for multiple prizes throughout the day, including closest to the pin and longest drive competitions.
Due to the generosity of the golfers as well as the many local businesses that sponsored the event, the Junior Americans were able to raise over $1,200 for the Tyler Putnam Foundation and the Rochester Youth Hockey Scholarship Fund.
“Both charities are very important to the Rochester hockey community, and we have a personal connection to each,” said co-owner Dave Maksymiu. “Getting to raise funds for a great cause while playing a little golf is wonderful.”
Sponsors of the event were: Athletic Republic, Casual Friday, Dixon Golf, Double Tree by Hilton, Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Hyatt Regency Rochester, JFS Curtze, Locker Room Sports, Mama Lor’s Café, Monroe County Sports Commission, Residence Inn Marriott, and Travel Team USA.