Trio of Newfoundlanders skating for AHL's Rochester Americans
They say you can go almost anywhere in the world and find a Newfoundlander or an ex-pat Newfie. Pat Dillon will attest to that. Born and raised in the Rabbittown area of St. Johns, and a former Telegram photographer, Dillon is a retiree living in Rochester in upstate New York. On Sunday, Dillon attended the Rochester Americans first ever fan-fest at The Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial and happened across three fellow Newfoundlanders in Andrew Sweetland, Doug OBrien and Mark Lee. Sweetland, a native of Bonavista, ended up with the Amerks after being cut from the Florida Panthers camp last week. Sweetland left the University of Maine after one season looking to go pro. He signed a contract with the Panthers in the off-season. OBrien, who has a contract with Rochester, returns to the AHL this year after a year playing for Lukko Rauma in the Finnish Elite League. Prior to last season, the majority of the townies four-year career has been spent in the AHL with Springfield and Portland. Mount Pearls Lee signed a contract with the ECHLs Florida Everblades earlier this year, but has stuck around in the Rochester camp. The 24-year-old split his time last season between the ECHLs South Divisions Charlotte Checkers and the AHLs Hartford Wolf Pack. Anyway, Dillon says the trio are great kids and he was kind enough to provide an update on their preseason performance. As of Monday, each had scored a goal. Lee, in the Amerks 5-2 loss to the Syracuse Crunch, while OBrien and Sweetland lit the lamp in 3-0 win over the Lake Erie Monsters. How cool is this for the the guys though? I know theyre not young fellas and theyve all been away from home for a few years now, but its gotta be somewhat comforting to have two fellow Newfoundlanders in the dressing room and on those long bus rides. Or at the very least, someone with whom they can share care packages of Purity hard tack and bottled moose.