ROCHESTER – It was around 12:20 a.m. Thursday morning, nearly 40 minutes after the heartbreaking conclusion to his first pro season, when JJ Peterka walked into the interview room deep within Blue Cross Arena. And it was clear that despite all that lies in front of him with the Buffalo Sabres, the kid from Germany wasn’t going to easily let go of what he had.
Peterka’s grey Amerks hoodie was up over his head and his eyes were sunken. But you had to look down to notice the real statement as he stood at a dais. His hockey pants were still on. So were his socks. And even his skates.
Told he clearly didn’t look like he was ready for this to be over, Peterka said quietly, “Yeah, I’m still in my gear.”
But there are no more games to play. The Amerks’ season ended in a three-game sweep at the hands of the speedy Laval Rocket, with the finale coming in a 6-5 triple-overtime crusher that ended on the visitors’ 60th shot on goal. It came off the stick of former Sabres/Amerks forward J-S Dea on a power play at 1:51 of the sixth period.
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JJ Peterka admitted he’s not ready for this to be over. Still in skates nearly 45 mins after it’s over. #Amerks #Sabres pic.twitter.com/0aMDY8MjMG
— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) May 26, 2022
The end came abruptly at 11:38 p.m. Wednesday. Less…