Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bears rout River Rats again

The Hershey Bears continued their recent dominance of the Albany River Rats on Saturday night.
Left wing Chris Bourque notched a five-point night with a goal and five assists and left wing Alexandre Giroux contributed two goals and two assists as Hershey rolled past Albany, 8-3 at the GIANT Center.
The league-leading Bears (36-9-0-2) routed the River Rats (26-17-3-2) for the second time this month, as Hershey posted a 10-4 triumph in Albany on Jan. 15.
Hershey, which takes a 3-2-0-0 lead in the eight-game season series, has outscored Albany, 18-7 over the past two meetings, after tallying only five goals in the first three encounters this season.
The Bears also halted Albany’s winning streak at three and snapped their four-game win streak on the road.
Ex-Rat Keith Aucoin also helped spark Hershey by scoring the game’s first two goals to spark the Bears, who built a 5-0 advantage, with their run capped by Bourque’s goal 4:39 into the second period.
That tally chased Albany goalie Justin Peters, who made only five saves on 10 shots — and was dealt only his second loss in his past nine starts. Mike Morrison relieved Peters and stopped 12 of 15 shots faced in his first appearance with the Rats.
Jason Bacashihua made 28 saves to register the win for the Bears.
Albany returns to host Syracuse on Wednesday night at 7.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Albany holds off Rochester

It’s not often that an empty-net goal ends up as the game winner.
Yet this happened on Friday night and the River Rats will take it as defenseman Brett Bellemore scored the deciding goal in the final minute as Albany edged Rochester, 4-3 on Friday in an American Hockey League game at Blue Cross Arena.
With the game deadlocked at two entering the third period, rookie left wing Drayson Bowman scored the go-ahead goal with a power-play tally for Albany at 9:30.
After Rochester had pulled goalie Alexander Salak in the final minute of play for an extra attacker, defenseman Brett Bellemore followed with his unassisted, empty-net goal as he fired a clearing attempt from behind Albany’s goal line which deflected off the glass and into the vacant net at 19:26.
Rochester’s Victor Oreskovich scored at 19:43 to pull the Americans to within 4-3.
Goalie Justin Peters made 26 saves to earn the win for Albany (26-16-3-2), which has won four of their past five games (4-0-1-0) and recorded its fourth consecutive win on the road. Peters (18-11-2) is within one win of tying a career season-high in victories.
Center Mike Angelidis and rookie left wing Chris Terry also scored for the Rats and center Nick Dodge chipped in with two assists.
Salak finished with 23 stops for Rochester (27-20-2-0).
Albany completes its two-game road swing at East Division- and league-leading Hershey tonight at 7.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rats emerging as road warriors

The River Rats hit the road this weekend looking to continue their recent success away from downtown Albany.
After taking on Rochester on Friday night at 7:05, the River Rats travel to face East Division rival and league-leading Hershey on Saturday night at 7.
Albany has won its past three road games — including Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout win at Bridgeport — and four of its past five outings on the road.
This is in stark contrast to the start this season for the River Rats, who lost eight consecutive road games over the first months of the campaign.
Since then, Albany has lost only twice in regulation in its past 11 road games (8-2-1-0) to reach the .500 mark (in points percentage) on the road (9-9-1-1).
“Right now the guys are really bringing consistency with their game both at home and on the road,” Albany coach Jeff Daniels said of the Rats, who practiced at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Houston Field House on Thursday before departing for Rochester. “Now we’ve got two tough road games that will be another test for us.”
The Rats are 1-1-0-0 in two home games this season versus Rochester, which occupies second place in the North Division.
Albany is 2-2-0-0 against Hershey, including a 4-1 loss on Oct. 31 in Pennsylvania.
Overall, the second-place Rats have won four of their past five games and six of their last eight outings.
On the injury front, Albany has 20 healthy players for this weekend, including seven defensemen and two goalies.
Rookie goalie Mike Murphy (hip), center Rob Hennigar (hand), defenseman Jay Harrison (lower body), right wing Matthew Pistilli (concussion) and left wings Michael Ryan (lower body) and Brad Herauf (upper body) all remain sidelined.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

River Rats edge Bridgeport in SO

Albany and Bridgeport continue to show a flair for the dramatic.
Rookie left wing Drayson Bowman and defenseman Bryan Rodney each scored in the shootout and Justin Peters didn’t allow a goal after regulation as the River Rats edged the Sound Tigers, 2-1 on Tuesday in an American Hockey League at Arena at Harbor Yard.
Goalie Justin Peters made 34 saves for Albany (25-16-3-2), which blanked Bridgeport, 2-0 in the shootout to extend its point streak to five games (4-0-1-0) and improved to 6-1-1-0 over its past eight outings.
The Rats and Sound Tigers battled beyond regulation in the third consecutive meeting.
Bridgeport edged Albany, 2-1 in overtime on Friday and the Rats trimmed the Sound Tigers, 4-3 in OT on Jan. 16.
In this meeting, Bowman and Rodney scored in the fourth and fifth round of the shootout, and Peters didn’t allow a goal in four rounds to help secure the win.
Peters, who was recalled by Carolina on an emergency basis on Sunday as netminder Manny Legace (vision problems) was sidelined from the Hurricanes’ 5-1 win over Boston, was reassigned to Albany on Monday; has won six of his past seven starts.
Nathan Lawson made 31 stops for Bridgeport (22-20-2-4).
Right wing Steven Goertzen scored 5:45 into the game to give the Rats a 1-0 lead and center Greg Moore drew Bridgeport even at 6:06 of the third period.
The four-game season series is complete with both teams registering two wins, but Bridgeport edged out Albany on points (6-5).
Albany continues to hit the road as it plays at Rochester on Friday at 7:05 p.m. and play at Hershey on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Boychuk lifts Rats over Phantoms again

GLENS FALLS --- Zach Boychuk continues to flourish in Albany's Northway rivalry against Adirondack this season.
The rookie centerman scored the game winner at 15:58 of the third period to lift the River Rats past the Phantoms, 3-2 on Saturday before a crowd of 5,309 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Goalie Justin Peters made 26 saves to earn the win for Albany (24-16-3-2), which takes a commanding lead in the season series between the East Division rivals at 6-1-1-0.
The River Rats' power play continues to heat up as left wings Nicolas Blanchard and Jacob Micflikier each scored on the man advantage.
Blanchard, playing in his first game at Adirondack since serving a five-game suspension for his hit on Phantoms left wing Patrick Maroon, and Adirondack's David Laliberte traded power-play goals in the second period.
After Micflikier scored a power-play goal 4:35 into the third period, defenseman Joonas Lehtivuori drew the Phantoms even at 2-2 at 10:47.
Following an Adirondack turnover, Boychuk took a pass from rookie left wing Drayson Bowman and finished off a 3-on-2 rush by beating goalie John Grahame (30 saves) for the deciding goal.
Boychuk also scored the game-winning goal in Albany's last trip to Glens Falls in a 1-0 victory over Adirondack (20-19-2-1) on New Year's Eve.
Albany defenseman Casey Borer returned to game action for the first time since suffering a broken neck last February. Borer, who underwent neck surgery in September, played sparingly in the first period and had more playing time as the game went on.


Bridgeport trims Albany in OT

ALBANY — For the second consecutive Friday, the River Rats rallied to force overtime against Bridgeport.
Yet this time was a different result as left wing Trevor Smith scored on a rebound 3:30 into extra time to lift the Sound Tigers to a 2-1 victory.
Albany (23-16-3-2) fired a season-high 50 shots on goalie Nathan Lawson, but the netminder made a career-best 49 saves to record the win for Bridgeport (22-19-2-3).
With the game scoreless through two periods, the Sound Tigers’ Greg Moore scored on a shot from behind the net which deflected off Albany goalie Justin Peters and in between the netminder and the right goal post at 6:24.
Right wing Jerome Samson drew the Rats even by converting on a one-timer at the top of the right faceoff circle off a pass from left wing Chris Terry.
Peters finished with 31 saves for Albany, which plays at rival Adirondack tonight at 7.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Report: Rats franchise likely to be sold

According to a published report, the Albany River Rats franchise will likely be sold and moved to North Carolina.
In its fourth season as the primary affiliate of Carolina, the Albany River Rats’ American Hockey League franchise will likely be sold and moved to Charlotte, N.C., the Raleigh News and Observer said in story published on Friday. "It appears the franchise will be sold and moved to Charlotte," the newspaper reported. River Rats owner Walter Robb has been trying to sell the franchise, which is in its 17th year in Albany, but no deal has been finalized, according to team president and CEO Garen Szablewski. "It may be, but I can’t tell you for sure if it’s going to be true for probably another four, six or eight weeks weeks — something like that," Szablewski said on Friday. "I think it’s a little premature and maybe the headline is a little strong in their story." Robb was unavailable for comment as he was out of town traveling. The Rats owner has expressed interest in selling the franchise — with the stipulation that the buyer keeps the franchise in Albany. In addition, Hurricanes management wouldn’t confirm or deny the report of the sale of the franchise and the potential move to Carolina. Yet Hurricanes’ management "has expressed a desire to have an AHL team close to Raleigh and in North Carolina, if possible," the Raleigh News and Observer reported. Szablewski stressed selling the Rats franchise is only one of options Robb has been exploring. "This is not a done deal," Szablewski reiterated on Friday. Bob Belber, general manager of the Times Union Center, also said no deal of a sale has been made. "We are committed to keeping AHL hockey in Albany," Belber said in a statement. "We have not received a notice of such a deal being finalized. The TU Center is in communication with Dave Andrews, commissioner of the AHL and we will use all efforts to either keep the River Rats in Albany and/or bring another team to Albany with perhaps another NHL affiliation with a different team home-based in the Northeast."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Borer gets clearance to return

TROY — The River Rats come off the American Hockey League's All-Star break with high hopes for a playoff push.
The team’s spirits were buoyed even more as it was announced defenseman Casey Borer had received medical clearance to return to action.
Borer, who suffered a broken neck in the team bus crash last February, hoped to return to open this season, but instead underwent neck surgery in September.
The 24-year-old Borer returned to Rats team practice in December wearing a yellow (non-contact) jersey, but has gradually stepped up his tempo in practice.
Borer can return, but it’s likely the Albany coaching staff won’t rush him back into the lineup.
The defenseman helped lead the River Rats to the playoffs in the 2007-08 season.
Albany, which sits in second place in the East Division, hosts Bridgeport on Friday night at 7 and plays at Adirondack on Saturday night at 7.
The River Rats lead both Adirondack, which has won its past three games, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by eight points (50-42) and Binghamton and Syracuse by 12 points (50-38).
After Friday, Albany’s next four games — and five of its next six games — are on the road.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rodney saves the day for Canada

Bryan Rodney saved the day for the Canadian All-Stars on Tuesday night.
Representing the Albany River Rats, Rodney blocked a shot by Nathan Gerbe of the hometown Portland Pirates which likely would have been the clinching empty-net goal in the final minute of regulation and the Canadian team completed its comeback by edging PlanetUSA, 10-9 in the American Hockey League All-Star game in Portland, Maine.
River Rats goalie Justin Peters also competed for the Canadian All-Stars, making nine saves on 11 shots faced in the second period.
The Canadian All-Stars trailed 9-5 with on Gerbe’s goal 7:33 into in the third period, but reeled off four unanswered goals to force the shootout.
After Rodney made his game-saving play, Hershey’s Alexandre Giroux scored the tying goal with 17.3 seconds left.
Center Logan Couture of Worcester and P.K. Subban of Hamilton scored in the third and fourth rounds of the shootout, respectively, for Canada, which won the shootout, 2-1.
Hamilton goalie Cedrick Desjardins allowed only two periods in the third period and allowed only one goal in the shootout, as former Rats captain Keith Aucoin of Hershey tallied in the third round.
Rookie Tyler Ennis of Portland, who contributed a goal and two assists for the Canadians, was named the event’s most valuable player.

Peters helps lead Canada in skills

Albany goalie Justin Peters helped pace the Canadian team past PlanetUSA, 18-12, in the AHL All-Star Classic skills competition at Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine.
Peters combined with Hamilton goalie Cedrick Desjardins and Manchester netminder Jonathan Bernier for Canada, which ended a three-event losing streak in the skills competition.
Claiming the top goaltender award in the event, Desjardins stopped 16 of 19 shots for Canada, while Peters and Bernier made 12 saves each to help seal the win.

Bowman reassigned to Rats

Rookie left wing Drayson Bowman has been reassigned by Carolina to the Albany River Rats.
The 20-year-old Bowman made his NHL debut in the Hurricanes’ 5-3 home loss against Atlanta on Saturday.
Bowman has tallied 15 points, including eight goals — including two power-play goals and one game winner in 26 games with Albany this season.
The Rats return from the American Hockey League All-Star break by hosting Bridgeport on Friday and play at Adirondack on Saturday, both 7 p.m. starts.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Micflikier sparks win in Providence

PROVIDENCE — After being routed to start the weekend, the Albany River Rats hit the all-star break on a roll.
Left wing Jacob Micflikier scored three goals and goalie Justin Peters made 29 saves as Albany turned back Providence, 4-1 on Sunday in the American Hockey League.
Micflikier recorded his first AHL hat trick for Albany (23-16-2-2), which defeated Bridgeport, 4-3 in overtime on Saturday after yielding a franchise-tying record for goals allowed in a game in a 10-4 setback to league-leading Hershey on Friday.
The Rats, who have won four of their past five games, scored the first goal in each period to build a 3-0 lead, sparked by right wing Jerome Samson’s team-leading 15th goal in the opening frame. Micflikier scored Albany’s next three goals, including a power-play tally in the third period.
Rookie defenseman Jamie McBain chipped in with three assists.
Peters and defenseman Bryan Rodney will represent the Rats in the AHL All-Star Classic in Portland, Maine, which kicks off with the skills competition at 6 tonight and the AHL All-Star Game on Tuesday night at 8.
Albany returns to action when it hosts Bridgeport on Friday night at 7 and plays at Adirondack on Saturday night, also at 7.

Boychuk back with Albany

Center Zach Boychuk was reassigned by Carolina to the Albany River Rats on Sunday.
The rookie played in all seven of the Hurricanes games from Jan. 2-16 on two separate recalls from the American Hockey League.
This completes the third National Hockey League recall of the season for Boychuk, who registered one assist in nine games with Carolina this campaign.
The 20-year-old Boychuk came into Sunday’s game at Providence tied for second in goals (11) for the River Rats and second in points (24) in 34 games.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dodge lifts Rats in OT

ALBANY — The River Rats received the bounce back win they needed on Saturday night.
Center Nick Dodge scored 1:41 into overtime, converting on a pass from behind the net from left wing Chris Terry, to lift Albany past Bridgeport, 4-3 in the American Hockey League.
The victory was much needed for the Rats, coming a night after they were routed, 10-4 by Hershey, a contest in which they tied a franchise record for goals allowed in a game.
Defenseman Jonathan Paiement scored the tying goal with 14.5 seconds remaining in regulation on a drive from the left point for Albany (22-16-2-2).
Justin Peters made 22 saves to earn the victory for the Rats.
Albany received three goals from its defensemen as Jay Harrison scored 9:02 into the game and Bryan Rodney converted on a 5-on-3 man advantage at 13:21 to build a 2-0.
Bridgeport (21-18-2-3) rallied with two goals within a span of 37 seconds in the second period on a goal each from Victor Bartley and Jesse Joensuu. The Sound Tigers took a 3-2 lead on Sean Bentivoglio’s shorthanded goal at 9:07 of the third period.
The Rats play at Providence today at 4:05 before they hit the AHL All-Star break.

Rats recall Morrison

ALBANY -- The Albany River Rats recalled goaltender Mike Morrison from Florida of the ECHL on Saturday.
Morrison was called up after rookie goalie Mike Murphy was injured while playing in relief of netminder Justin Peters in Friday's 10-4 loss to the Hershey Bears.
This is the second callup of the season to Albany for the 30-year-old Morrison, who has yet to make his River Rats debut. After arriving in town, he backed up Peters in Saturday's game against Bridgeport.
After signing a one-year, two-way ECHL/AHL contract with Albany in August, Morrison attended River Rats training camp. He's posted a 9-10-3 mark with a 2.89 goal against average and .899 save percentage in 22 games this season with the Florida Everblades.
Morrison has appeared in 29 career NHL games with Ottawa, Phoenix and Edmonton, registering an 11-7-3 record with a 4.14 GAA.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bears shell River Rats

ALBANY — It had been open Bear season for the River Rats against Hershey heading into Friday night.
But not in this encounter between the two East Division rivals as league-leading Hershey scored six unanswered goals to open the game, including five tallies in the first period, and went on to rout Albany, 10-4.
Alexandre Giroux scored three goals and assisted on two others to propel the Bears (30-9-0-2), who had lost their previous two games against the Rats (21-16-2-2), both in Albany.
The 10 goals allowed equals an Albany franchise record set in a 10-1 loss to the Carolina Monarchs on March 22, 1996. The five goals yielded in the first period also ties a franchise mark set 11 other times.
Former Rats captain Keith Aucoin and Mathieu Perreault each scored a power-play goal in the opening eight minutes to spark Hershey, as Aucoin tallied two minutes in and Perreault scored on a 5-on-3 man advantage at 7:40.
Alexandre Giroux followed with the Bears’ devastating third goal at 13:22 as Hershey scored three goals within a span of 1:30.
Chris Bourque scored at 13:44 to chase Albany starting goaltender Justin Peters. After rookie goalie Mike Murphy allowed a goal to Jay Beagle at 14:52, the netminder left the game with an undisclosed injury at 18:10, with Peters returning.
Murphy’s injury is serious enough that the Rats will likely attempt to find a goalie to take his roster spot for Saturday’s game against Bridgeport, according to Albany coach Jeff Daniels.
Hershey’s Boyd Kane scored a shorthanded goal 1:14 into the second period, but Albany right wing Jerome Samson averted the shutout with his team-leading 14th goal at 8:10 after he was reassigned by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Aucoin and Bourque each totaled a goal and two assists for the Bears, who have won 13 of their past 14 games, including a 12-game unbeaten streak.
Left wing Brad Herauf scored two goals and assisted on another — all in the third period — for his first multiple-point in the AHL.
Albany hosts Bridgeport on Saturday afternoon at 5 and play at Providence on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. before hitting the All-Star break.

Bowman called up; Samson sent down

Rookie left wing Drayson Bowman has been recalled from the Albany River Rats by the Carolina Hurricanes, while right wing Jerome Samson has been reassigned to Albany.
This is the first NHL recall for the 20-year-old Bowman, who has registered 15 points, including eight goals, in 26 games with Albany this season. Bowman scored the Rats’ first goal in each of their past two games heading into Friday night’s encounter with Hershey.
Samson, 22, appeared in five games with Carolina in his first NHL recall, registering his first assist at that level in his NHL debut, setting up a Rod Brind’Amour goal in the first period of a 4-2 loss to Nashville on Jan. 7.
A third-year pro, Samson leads Albany in goals (13), assists (17) and points (30) in 38 games.
In a separate move, the Rats have signed left wing Tom Zanoski to a professional tryout contract.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Borer takes another step forward

TROY — Defenseman Casey Borer continues to make progress in his comeback bid from neck surgery as he shed his yellow (non-contact) jersey in River Rats practice this week.
“I’m just getting used to a little more contact,” Borer said after practice on Thursday at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “I was going a little bit with the yellow (jersey) on and doing some of the stuff. I’m full on for now and just kind of waiting to see what will happen.”
Borer, who underwent neck surgery in September, is now awaiting word from another doctor who may give Borer further clearance in his comeback attempt to return to game action.
“I feel sturdy and I’ve worked really hard to get my range of motion back,” he said. “Just the last month, being here and working with (Rats trainer Brian) Maddox and some people in town at the Core Physical Therapy (in Albany), they’ve done a great job to get me back where I feel comfortable.”
Borer suffered the concussion in the team bus crash last Feb. 19 on the Massachusetts Turnpike and had been sidelined until early December, when he began skating in practice again.
“I was telling Petey (goalie Justin Peters) yesterday ‘now it seems like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel — even if it’s just a flashlight,’” Borer said. “There’s something there and that’s exciting. But at the same time, I’ve waited this long and I just want to make sure I’m ready.”
Borer, 24, appeared in 51 games last season with Albany, totaling 10 (4-6) points in his third pro campaign and played in three games with Carolina.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rats announce first Hall of Fame class

ALBANY — The inaugural class of the Albany River Rats Hall of Fame is now complete.
Ex-River Rat players Steve Sullivan and Geordie Kinnear and former head coach John Cunniff comprise the Hall of Fame’s first class of inductees.
The three will have their names and biographies with the organization displayed in the Times Union Center’s Exhibition Hall. The Hall of Fame display will also include a replica of the 1995 Calder Cup American Hockey League championship trophy, along with team and league awards, as well as signed memorabilia.
“When we began this process there was plenty of conversation as to the long list of worthwhile candidates that have skated for our organization,” Albany team president and CEO Garen Szablewski said. “Coach Cunniff, Geordie and Steve perfectly represent what Albany River Rats should be and we look forward to 2011 when we announce another deserving Hall of Fame class.”
Cunniff was named the second River Rats coach in May of 1996 and spent five seasons behind the bench in Albany, guiding the Rats to a 187-165-39-20 regular season record and a pair of division championships (1996-97, 1997-98). He led Albany to a 21-18 postseason mark and to consecutive trips to conference finals (1996-97, 1997-98) and his coaching tenure is the longest in team history.
Cunniff passed away in May of 2002 after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Kinnear, 36, is currently in his seventh season as an assistant coach with the River Rats.
An original River Rat, Kinnear skated for the club during his first six pro seasons (1993-94 to 1998-99) and the team reached the playoffs each year. A member of Albany’s Calder Cup championship team in 1995, the rugged defenseman was selected to four consecutive AHL All-Star Classics (1995-1999) and served as Albany captain for three campaigns (1996-97 to 1998-99).
Sullivan also helped lead the River Rats to the 1995 Calder Cup title, as he tallied 11 (4-7) points in 14 playoff games that season.
In the 1995-96 season, the center recorded 75 (33-42) points in just 53 games to help guide the River Rats to a then AHL record 54 regular-season victories.
The 35-year-old Sullivan is a veteran of 811 NHL games with New Jersey, Toronto, Chicago and Nashville.
Sullivan, who played in three seasons (1994-95 to 1996-97) with the Rats, still ranks second in Albany franchise history with a plus-83 plus/minus rating, eighth in goals (72) and points (171), and is tied for 10th place in assists (99).

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Blanchard's breakaway goal sparks Rats

ALBANY — Nicolas Blanchard continues to flourish in his return to the River Rats lineup.
The left wing scored for the second consecutive game since his return from a three-game suspension, this time tallying on a shorthanded breakaway midway in the second period which wound up as the game winner as Albany shut down Hartford, 3-1 on Saturday night.
Rookie Drayson Bowman scored the game's first goal for the second straight night for the River Rats.
After Blanchard provided Albany with a 2-0 advantage, right wing Dale Weise scored on a shorthanded breakaway to draw the Wolf Pack within a goal with 7:42 remaining in the third period.
Left wing Jacob Micflikier added an empty-net goal for Albany with 2.9 seconds remaining.
Goalie Justin Peters made 19 saves to record his second straight win for the Rats. Matt Zaba finished with 26 stops for the Wolf Pack.

Cavosie released from tryout

After two games with the River Rats, forward Marc Cavosie was released from his professional tryout with the club.
A former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute standout who grew up in Cohoes registered one assist and was a minus-one in two games this week.
An eighth-year pro, the 28-year-old Cavosie appeared in 16 games with the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL this season before he was released from a tryout and then skated in 15 games with Reading of the ECHL.
The AHL veteran started last season on a PTO with Albany and has totaled 17 (4-13) points in 29 games over three seasons with the Rats.

Peters, Bowman spark shootout win

ALBANY — Rookie Drayson Bowman scored in regulation and tallied the clinching goal in the shootout as Albany edged Manchester, 3-2 on Friday.
After being named as a replacement to compete in the AHL All-Star Classic Jan. 18-19, goalie Justin Peters made 38 saves to secure the victory.
Peters, who didn’t allow a goal in the shootout, won for the first time in seven starts.
Left wings Jacob Micflikier and Chris Terry scored in the first and fourth rounds of the shootout, respectively for Albany, which won the shootout, 3-0.
After Bowman scored 1:36 into the game, the Monarchs seized the lead on a goal each from Viatcheslav Voynov and Marc-Andre Cliche within the first 3:44 of the third period.
In his return from a three-game suspension, left wing Nicolas Blanchard drew the Rats even with a power-play goal at 15:54.
Manchester nearly pulled out the win in overtime, but Cliche’s apparent goal was waved off on a high-sticking call.
Goalie Jonathan Bernier made 33 saves for Atlantic Division leader Manchester.
Peters, a fourth-year pro who ranks eighth in the league in goals against average (2.22) and seventh in save percentage (.928) and saves (693) — will represent the River Rats on the Canadian All-Star team along with teammate and defenseman Bryan Rodney.
“The guys were happy for him,” Daniels said of Peters, who will replace injured Brent Krahn of Texas. “I felt and the guys felt, too, that he should have been on the (all-star) team right away. It’s an opportunity to play in an all-star game at this level and it will be a good experience for him.”

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Samson posts first NHL point

It didn’t take Jerome Samson long to make an impact in his NHL debut.
The right wing assisted on veteran center Rod Brind’Amour’s goal 2:52 into the first period for Carolina against Nashville on Thursday.
The Predators went on to score four consecutive goals to prevail, 4-2.
Samson logged 7:10 of ice time, including nine seconds on the power play. The third-year pro was credited with four shots and finished as a plus-one with one minor penalty.
The forward is on his first NHL recall after he was called up by the Hurricanes late Wednesday night following the River Rats’ 3-2 overtime loss to Adirondack.

Samson at last gets the call

Jerome Samson finally got the call.
The right wing was promoted to the Carolina Hurricanes for the first time in his three-year pro career.
Samson got the news on Wednesday night, just minutes after Adirondack edged Albany in overtime, 3-2.
“I’m real excited for Sammy,” Albany coach Jeff Daniels said. “The way he finished last year and the way he started this year, he’s been very consistent and there are some games he’s dominated out there. ... Just to see his reaction last night when I told him he was getting the call, he was pretty excited.”
Samson, who scored 21 and 22 goals in his first two seasons with the River Rats, respectively, leads the club this season in goals (13), assists (17) and points (30).
With Samson up with the parent club, four of the Rats’ top six scorers — Samson, center Zach Boychuk (11-13-24), right wing Pat Dwyer (11-8-19) and left wing Jiri Tlusty (8-7-15) were all up with the Hurricanes as of Thursday night.

Legein lifts Phantoms in OT

ALBANY — Right wing Stefan Legein scored a wrap-around goal 4:05 into overtime as Adirondack completed its comeback to edge Albany, 4-3 on Wednesday night in the American Hockey League.
The Phantoms trailed 3-2 late in the third period, but right wing David Laliberte scored with 1:07 remaining in regulation for the tying goal.
Goalie Johan Backlund made 25 saves for the Phantoms (17-16-2-0), who won their second game in their past three outings over the past week against the River Rats. Albany (19-15-2-2) now leads the 12-game season series with its Northway rivals, 5-2-0-0.
Rookie left wing Chris Terry scored a goal and assisted on another for the Rats, who have lost five of their past six games. Albany goalie Justin Peters stopped 30 of 34 shots faced.
The two teams next square off on Saturday, Jan. 23 at Adirondack at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cavosie signs PTO with Albany

The River Rats have signed forward Marc Cavosie to a professional tryout.
A former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute standout and an ex-River Rat, the 28-year-old Cavosie has played this season for both Lake Erie of the AHL and Reading of the ECHL.
An eighth-year pro who grew up in Cohoes, Cavosie played with the River Rats in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, totaling 16 (4-12) points in 27 games. He began last season on a PTO with Albany before signing with the Binghamton Senators, where he registered 23 (10-13) points in 64 games.
Originally Minnesota’s fourth round selection (99th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Cavosie is a veteran of 359 AHL games, in which he’s compiled 140 points, including 40 goals.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blanchard reflects on suspension

Nicolas Blanchard displayed genuine concern about the status of Patrick Maroon’s health, but didn’t apologize for his style of play, either.
Blanchard, who knocked Maroon unconscious with a hit early in the first period of Adirondack’s 4-2 win at Albany last Wednesday, was officially suspended for three games by the American Hockey League on Monday.
The Rats centerman, who sat out both the New Year’s Eve game at Adirondack and Saturday’s game at Syracuse, will complete his suspension by missing Wednesday’s game versus the Phantoms in Albany.
“I knew that I hit him, but I didn’t try to hurt him,” Blanchard said. “I was kind of surprised … when you look at the video, you can tell I did nothing wrong, I just tried to grab him and tried to get one of my teammates out of trouble, but I guess I hit him pretty hard.”
Maroon, who was taken off the ice on a stretcher and suffered a concussion and back and shoulder injuries, is out indefinitely.
“I think he’s going to come through and I hope he’s feeling good,” Blanchard said after practice on Tuesday.
“He feels bad. He really does feel bad about it,” Albany coach Jeff Daniels said of Blanchard on Thursday.
Blanchard is eligible to return to action when Albany hosts Manchester on Friday.
“I just try to stand up for my teammates and every shift I go hard,” Blanchard said.
This was the second suspension of the season for Blanchard, who also missed the remainder of last season because of injuries suffered from the Albany team bus’ crash in the early morning hours of last Feb. 19 on the Massachusetts Turnpike.
“I’m not going to change my game at all,” Blanchard said. “Maybe I’m going to be more intense and hungry because I missed these games, I really want to play.
“I sat out a lot of games because of the bus accident, so it’s frustrating, but I can’t wait to get back out there.”

Boychuk, Tlusty back with Carolina

Left wing Jiri Tlusty and rookie center Zach Boychuk are back with the Carolina Hurricanes again.
Tlusty and Boychuk, both recalled by the Hurricanes on New Year’s Day --- after Boychuk scored the game winner in a 1-0 victory at Adirondack on New Year's Eve --- and both forwards were reassigned to Albany on Saturday.
Earlier on Saturday, Tlusty recorded his first point with Carolina, an assist in the Hurricanes’ 2-1 overtime win in New York over the Rangers.
Both forwards have been recalled again by Carolina, which plays at Nashville on Thursday.
This is the fourth NHL recall of the season and his third of the campaign for the 21-year-old Tlusty, who appeared in two games with the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this season before he was traded to the Hurricanes.
Boychuk, 20, now on his third NHL recall this season, has posted one assist in three games with Carolina.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Crunch rout River Rats

SYRACUSE — Right wing Michael Blunden and center Mike Radja each scored two goals to propel Syracuse past Albany, 6-3 on Saturday night in an American Hockey League clash at Onondaga War Memorial at Oncenter.
Blunden scored both of his goals to complete a four-goal third period for the Crunch (12-19-3-2).
After rookie left wing Chris Terry scored with 11 minutes in regulation to pull the Rats within 4-3, Blunden scored an unassisted goal at 16:19 and also scored at 18:29.
Center Tomas Kana added a goal and two assists for last-place Syracuse.
Right wing Jerome Samson scored twice for second-place Albany (19-15-1-2), which has now lost four of its past five games.
Kevin Lalande made 29 saves to earn the win for the Crunch, which have won two of their last three outings.
Making his second straight start, rookie goalie Mike Murphy stopped 23 of 29 shots faced and had his win streak halted at four games. Albany will hosts Adirondack on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tlusty, Dwyer assist in 'Canes win

A day after he was recalled by Carolina, left wing Jiri Tlusty contributed to the Hurricanes’ 2-1 overtime victory over Rangers in New York on Saturday.
Tlusty and right wing Pat Dwyer (Albany’s team captain who was recalled by Carolina on Dec. 12) assisted on Tom Kostopoulos’ goal 19:14 into the game. Ray Whitney followed with the game winner 3:45 into overtime for Carolina. Tlusty’s assist was his first point with Carolina and Dwyer has three (2-1) points in 17 games with the Hurricanes this season.
Tlusty was recalled by the Hurricanes on Friday along with rookie center Zach Boychuk.
Also on Friday, forward Matthew Pistilli was recalled from Florida of the ECHL and assigned to Albany; and forward Matt Schepke was signed to a professional tryout.