AMERKS HALL OF FAME NIGHT SET FOR FRIDAY MARCH 4
The Rochester Americans have announced the Amerks Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Defenseman Richie Dunn, goaltender Daren Puppa and the Amerks Booster Club have been selected by the Amerks Hall of Fame Committee to be inducted into the exclusive club on Friday, March 4 when Rochester hosts the Springfield Falcons at The Blue Cross Arena at 7:05 p.m. on a Seneca Resorts & Casinos Legends Night.
Dunn played parts of five seasons for the Amerks from 1985-86 to 1989-90 and put together one of the all-time great runs by a Rochester blue-liner. In 276 games, Dunn recorded 161 points on 41 goals and 120 assists, along with 226 penalty minutes. His 161 points rank him 8th all-time among Amerks defensemen. He also ranks 7th in both goals and assists among Rochester defensemen and served as a team captain during the 1988-89 season.
After splitting the 1985-86 campaign between the Amerks and Buffalo Sabres, Dunn posted arguably his best season in 1986-87. In 64 games, he registered 32 points on six goals and 26 assists to lead all Amerks blue-liners in scoring and was named to the AHL First All-Star Team. In the postseason, he collected seven points (1+6) in 18 games to help the Amerks win the Calder Cup championship. Dunn upped his offensive contributions the following season, scoring an AHL career-high 12 goals and adding 35 assists to rank 5th on the team in scoring and tops among defensemen, earning a place on the AHL Second All-Star Team. He went on to add 58 more points (16+42) over 110 games over his final two seasons with the Amerks before retiring in 1990.
In addition to his Hall of Fame career with Rochester, Dunn spent significant time in the NHL, recording 176 points (36+140) in 483 career games with the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames and Hartford Whalers. He also won the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman in 1984-85 as a member of the Binghamton Whalers.
Puppa joined the Amerks in 1985-86 and played in 105 games over parts of four seasons in Rochester, compiling a record of 55-35-8, making him one of the winningest goaltenders in franchise history. His 55 victories rank 13th in Amerks history, though only one of the goalies ahead of him on the list appeared in fewer than the 105 games Puppa played in. He also recorded three shutouts along with a 3.12 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage during an era of high-scoring hockey.
A fourth round draft choice by the Buffalo Sabres in 1983, Puppa began his professional career with the Amerks in 1985-86 after a standout college career at RPI. The native of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, went 8-11-0 as a rookie while also making his NHL debut with the Sabres. It was the following season when Puppa emerged as a star. In 57 games during the 1986-87 regular season, he went 33-14-6 with a 2.80 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage. Those numbers earned him the honor of being the AHL First All-Star Team goaltender, becoming just the fourth Amerks netminder to earn the honor at the time. Puppa then backstopped the Amerks to the 1987 Calder Cup championship, going 10-6 during the postseason and making 31 saves in their Game 7 victory over Sherbrooke in the Final.
After going 14-8-2 in 1987-88 while splitting the season between Rochester and Buffalo, Puppa went on to spend the next 12 seasons in the NHL with the exception of two brief conditioning stints. He finished his NHL career with a record of 179-161-54 while appearing in 429 games with the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning. In 1989-90, he finished as the runner-up to Hall of Famer Patrick Roy for the Vezina Trophy.