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.


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