Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rats lose to Norfolk, but clinch playoff berth

ALBANY — There was a silver lining for the Albany River Rats on Friday night in their quest to reach the playoffs.
Despite a 2-1 loss to Norfolk on Friday, Albany qualified for the American Hockey League postseason.
The River Rats came into the night needing only one point to secure a berth. But by virtue of Lowell’s 5-2 loss in Hartford, Albany (41-28-3-5) clinched its third postseason appearance in four years.
Justin Keller scored two goals, including the game winner with 6:31 remaining in the third period, to propel Norfolk (36-33-3-3), which remained alive in the playoff chase.
Nicolas Blanchard scored the lone goal for the River Rats.
Goalie Dustin Tokarski made 31 saves for Norfolk and Justin Peters stopped 22 of 24 shots for Albany.
The River Rats host the Adirondack Phantoms at 7 tonight — in the franchise’s final regular-season home game.
With a victory, Albany can clinch second place in the East Division and home-ice advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs.


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