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Playoff Time for (some) Panthers: Heat @ Rochester Amerks Tonight

RochrivROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Good evening from atop the Blue Cross Arena where the Rochester Americans -- the Florida Panthers Triple A affiliate -- opens its first round playoff series against the Abbotsford (Miami) Heat.

Abbotsford is in British Columbia, and their logo is a little similar to our playoff bound Heaters (check out the A in the logo below).

Old Panthers pal Duane Sutter is here -- the Heat are the Calgary Flames affiliate.

Also familiar to Panthers fans: Not only are there a ton of Panthers playing for the Amerks, but opposing goalie David Shantz spent a few years in the Florida system and played in Rochester for parts of three seasons.

Alexander Salak, who made his NHL debut in Florida's North American opener at Carolina way back in October, is between the pipes for Rochester.

Going to have a number of stories from here over the next few days, although my main story is being held until Saturday so it can get better play in the printed edition.

Which is cool. Gives me time to walk around aRochriv2 and talk to more people.

Great town, Rochester is. Serious. I have had a good time already and have only been here one day.

The area around the arena is real pretty (first two pics) and everyone is pretty cool. They have Tim Hortons as well, so you can't beat that. Thinking about having a sandwich along the river tomorrow after practice.

Randy Sexton is here and I will be talking to him as well -- not during lunch. Well, you never know.

Feel free to check in throughout the night for updates -- either here or on my Twitter Abbotsford (@OnFrozenPond) or Facebook (On Frozen Pond) pages.

Another great site for Amerks news is Kevin Oklobzija's site at the Rochester Democrat&Chronicle. You can access it right here.

He's going to be live throughout the night and the playoffs so if you want to check up on your Panthers on the farm, this is the place to do it.

Here are the lines from practice yesterday thanks to Kevin:


Evgeny Dadonov-Chris Taylor-Graham Mink

Jeff Taffe-Jamie Johnson-Mike York

Michael Duco-Shawn Matthias-Michal Repik

Steve MacIntyre-David Brine-Victor Oreskovich

See you in a bit....