Hockey history made at American League game Saturday night

Jared Clinton
Opening faceoff of the Frozen Dome Classic (Dave Kliment)

When the Frozen Dome Classic was announced it seemed like a stretch that the Syracuse Crunch could break the US hockey indoor attendance record of 28,183 set by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

On Saturday night, not only did the Crunch break the record, they smashed it.

With a grand total of 30,715 fans inside Syracuse’s Carrier Dome, the home of the NCAA’s Syracuse Orange basketball team, the Crunch now single-handedly own the US record for indoor hockey attendance. Read more

AHL announces Hall of Fame inductees for 2015

Jared Clinton
Bronco Horvath (top left), Frederic Cassivi (top right), James C. Hendy (bottom left), and Art Stratton (bottom right) are the AHL Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

While the stars of the American League may not be as synonymous with the game as the Gretzkys or the Howes, they deserve to be honored just the same. Local heroes who did it all for their small town teams, the AHL announced Frederic Cassivi, James C. Hendy, Bronco Horvath, and Art Stratton as 2015 Hall of Fame class.

In the modern era, it’s incredibly difficult for a goaltender to earn the continual faith of organizations while never making the jump to the NHL. That’s exactly what Frederic Cassivi did. Cassivi, who played 12 seasons in the AHL, was one of the most successful netminders of his time, with his best season coming during the NHL lockout campaign of 2004-05. In 46 appearances that season, Cassivi posted a 2.07 goals against average and .924 save percentage, helping lead the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks to the Division Finals of the Calder Cup playoffs. Read more

Rocco Grimaldi double dips, plays in AHL, NHL in the same day

Jared Clinton
Rocco Grimaldi

In the span of 11 hours, Florida Panthers winger Rocco Grimaldi played in two games in different leagues, covered 1,350 miles on a three-hour flight, crossed over an entire time zone, and suited up for his fifth career NHL game. Not a bad Tuesday for the 21-year-old prospect.

It all began at 10:30 a.m. (8:30 PST) in San Antonio as the Rampage, Florida’s American League affiliate, hosted the Oklahoma City Barons for their fifth annual Cool School Day. The game, which begins early and serves to host kids from around the region, would be the saving grace for the Panthers and allow Grimaldi to take part in both an AHL and NHL game in the same day. Read more

‘Buzz kill’ dry scrape gets scrapped by GMs

Ken Campbell
Dry scrape (Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

When the NHL announced it would be adopting a dry scrape of the ice before the overtime period, it flew in the face of all the gains it had made since the 2004-05 lockout. Ever since then, the league had been obsessed with the flow of the game and keeping things moving along. Then to try to reduce the number of shootouts, it ground everything to a complete halt with the dry scrape.

Well, the scrape was scrapped yesterday when the GMs voted unanimously to get rid of it. The new rule, which will see two Zambonis replaced by good, old man and woman power behind shovels, will come into effect for Saturday’s game, meaning the dry scrape was an experiment that will have lasted a total of 294 games. Read more

Wild waive Harding, but don’t count out a comeback

Jared Clinton
Harding

The Minnesota Wild have waived Josh Harding and, if no NHL team makes a claim for him, he will be back in the American League. It might be a step backwards, but there’s no reason to believe this will be even close to the end of the line for Harding.

There’s no shortage of documentation about Harding being able to battle through adversity to make it in the NHL. His fight with multiple sclerosis is no secret, and his performance his first night back after revealing he had the disease – a 1-0, 24-save shutout of the Dallas Stars – is proof-positive it’s going to take a lot more than a demotion to stop Harding. Read more

Troy Grosenick posts record-setting shutout debut, celebrates in style

Jared Clinton
Grosenick Featured

When the San Jose Sharks called up Troy Grosenick, it’s hard to imagine they could have wished for a better start from the goaltender. After posting average numbers in the American League over the past two seasons, the undrafted netminder blanked the Carolina Hurricanes in record-setting fashion.

In his debut, the 25-year-old from the NCAA’s Union College became the record holder for most saves in a shutout debut in the modern era. His 45 saves in the 2-0 victory over Carolina were four better than the previous record held by Andre Gill. Gill’s record came on Dec. 23, 1967 while he was a member of the Boston Bruins. Gill would only play five career NHL games.

After the game, Grosenick busted out a great celebration: Read more

Their team is dead, but these diehard fans keep its spirit alive

Ronnie Shuker
IMG_5854-Reds_fans

In Goddard State Park, R.I., a few hundred fans have gathered to reminisce about an American League team that played its last game nearly 40 years ago. They’ve brought books, pamphlets, jerseys, shirts, photos, hockey cards – anything alumni can sign.

And they’re not shy about pimping their paraphernalia: hats, DVDs, pens, mouse pads, shirts, license plate frames, pins, banners, golf shirts, gym bags, aprons, cookbooks, coffee mugs, ornaments, posters, lapel pins and even, yup, doggie hoodies. The island’s once-iconic Rhode Island Reds logo is everywhere.

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