Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: albany river rats
On Tuesday night, the Albany River Rats suffered a heartbreaking 6-5 overtime loss to the Hershey Bears. Twice in the game, they led by two goals and they led by one with less than five minutes to play, but the Bears did as they have done for the entire series and they answered the bell every single time. At 16:08 of the overtime period, Jay Beagle beat Justin Peters with a rebound chance and the Rats are down three games to none.
They always say in any sport that a playoff series isn’t really a series until someone wins a road game. Well, it’s officially a series. Unfortunately, it may as well be officially over.
On Thursday night, the Rats will try to stave off elimination with what might be the final game in the Carolina Hurricanes portion of the Albany River Rats history.
On Sunday afternoon, the Albany River Rats got themselves into trouble on the ice, and in the end they are in a two game hole in the best-of-seven series. The final score in Sunday’s game was 6-3, but in fairness it was much closer than that.
In a carbon copy of Saturday’s game, the Rats spent the entire third period in the box. There might be some speculation that the officials tilted the ice, but the fact of the matter is that the Rats have played undisciplined. They took four consecutive penalties in the third period on Saturday, then four consecutive in Sunday’s game two. Hershey, on the other hand, committed no third period penalties on Saturday. The only third period penalties against them on Sunday were fighting majors to match those of the Rats.
The Rats started the third period today with a shorthanded goal by Nick Dodge to take a 3-2 lead, but it all went downhill from there. The parade to the penalty box led to three straight power play goals and finally an empty-net goal in the dying seconds. This was followed by a lot of extracurricular activity that did nothing other than risk injuries and/or suspensions to Rats players. Naturally, Tim Conboy was involved in some of the rough stuff.
In the East Division finals, the Hershey Bears have taken a one games to none lead of the best of seven series. Jerome Samson tallied two goals in the losing effort, as the Rats fell 4-3 in overtime.
Winger Jiri Tlusty suffered a “lower body injury” in the first period and did not return. With game two less than 19 hours away, I guess they’ll have to use one of the “in residence” players or one of the guys who was just recalled from the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.
The theme of the night was penalty trouble. The Rats dug a lot of holes for themselves, amassing 33 minutes of penalties. They were already a man down, and they spent the better part of the third period on the penalty kill. They managed to kill six of the seven penalties, but the killers were spending too much time on the ice and the forwards were already double shifting after losing Tlusty.
Justin Peters made 44 saves in the loss. Due to the back-to-back situation with the short turnaround, I suspect that we’ll see Justin Pogge in nets for the Rats on Sunday.
In AHL Calder Cup playoff action, the Albany River Rats and the defending Cup champ Hershey Bears (Capitals) are set to begin their East division finals series. Because the AHL playoffs aren’t re-seeded between rounds and because they don’t wait for all first round series to conclude, this series might be three games deep while one first round series is still going. I don’t really like that set-up. It could potentially lead to a situation where some team is sitting around for two weeks or more waiting for an opponent.
Anyway, this series will begin with a back-to-back in Hershey on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. In regular season action, the Rats were 2-6 against the Bears, and they lost all four games played in Hershey. Interestingly, the Rats were also 2-6 in the regular season against the Baby Pens, losing all four games played in Wilkes-Barre. That, obviously, had no bearing on the playoff series that the Rats won in straight games.
On Monday night, the Albany River Rats completed their clean sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins with a 5-3 win on the road. The four game sweep puts them through to the Eastern Division final where they will meet the winner of the Bridgeport (Islanders) v Hershey (Capitals) series. The Hershey Bears lead that series 3-1, and game five will be Wednesday night.
The hero of game four was defenseman Jamie McBain, who scored two goals including an empty netter. He’s got four goals in four playoff games, which is best among AHL defensemen. Zach Boychuk scored his first, which turned out to be the game-winner. Oscar Osala and Jerome Samson also added tallies for the Rats.
The Rats will have several days off before the next round begins, and they’ll need to work on their power play. They’ve had 20 power play opportunities and have yet to cash in. This is definitely going to have to change.
On Sunday afternoon, the Albany River Rats took a commanding 3-0 series lead in their Calder Cup playoff series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins with a 2-1 win in Wilkes-Barre. Rats leading scorer Jerome Samson was shut down in the first two games of this series, but he potted the game-winner at 5:45 of the third.
The game was scoreless through the first 40 minutes, but Mike Angelidis got the Rats on the board early in the third, and Samson followed a couple of minutes later.
Game four will be Monday night in Wilkes-Barre at 7:05, when the Rats will have a chance to break out their brooms for a season sweep. The River Rats haven’t won a playoff series since 1998, when they advanced to the Calder Cup semifinals.
The Albany River Rats took a 2-0 series lead against the WBS Baby Pens in Calder Cup playoff action on Friday. They won game two 3-2 with defenseman Jamie McBain potting the game-winner.
The Pens focus has been shutting down Rats leading scorer Jerome Samson, and they’ve done that. Tonight, he only had two shots on goal and had a -1 rating. The Rats, though, are getting big things from other guys. McBain scored his second of the postseason, and Nick Dodge scored his third of the second season. Left wing Chris Terry also contributed with his first goal of the playoffs.
The series resumes Sunday afternoon in Wilkes-Barre. I’m guessing that the Pens might want to dial up a defensive plan that keys in on Nick Dodge.
On Friday, the Carolina Hurricanes announced that they’ve signed defenseman Michal Jordan to a three-year entry level contract. His Plymouth Whalers were eliminated from the OHL playoffs by the Windsor Spitfires, and he wasted no time in getting a professional contract. The 19-year old will report to Albany and join the Rats in the Calder Cup playoffs.
Like Zac Dalpe, the remainder of this playoff season doesn’t count as far the organ-eye-zational payroll is concerned. He’s technically on an amateur tryout contract until his two-way contract kicks in next season.
Jordan, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2008 entry draft, could have played one more season in the Ontario Hockey League, but there’s a lack of blue line depth in the Canes system, so it’s a good thing. He’s a little on the small side, at just 180 pounds, but he’s 6’1” and will probably grow a little taller and certainly heavier. He’s just 19 years old and will be quite a ways away from being ready for the NHL.
On Wednesday, the Albany River Rats won the first game of their first round Calder Cup playoff series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins. Nick Dodge had the game-winner in the last minute of regulation, his second of the game. The Rats play at home again tonight and will hope to gain a 2-0 series lead.
Left wing Jacob Micflikier and defenseman Jamie McBain also tallied goals for the Rats.
Nick Johnson led the Baby Pens with two goals (including a short-handed goal) and an assist. The Pens will see a change in goal on Friday night due to an illness and a call-up.
Following Saturday’s season finale against the Bruins, the Hurricanes assigned a slew of players to the Albany River Rats as they prepare for the Calder Cup Playoffs. The Rats finished second in the East division and will face either the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins or the Lowell Devils in the first round. Each of those teams plays its season finale today.
Tim Conboy had already been reassigned. He was joined by forwards Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk and Jerome Samson. Also, defensemen Casey Borer, Jamie McBain and Bryan Rodney were assingned. This article doesn’t name Jay Harrison as one of the assigned players, but he’s on the Clear Day roster, and I assume that it must have been an oversight to leave his name out.
Barring a miracle, the Carolina Hurricanes will be out of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Their American League affiliate, though, will play on this spring. On Friday night, the Albany River Rats lost 2-1 to the Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lightning), but they managed to clench a spot in the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs anyway.
This is a result of other AHL action, in which the Lowell Devils (New Jersey Devils) lost 5-2 to the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers).
In all likelihood, the Rats, who missed the playoffs last season, will have home-ice advantage for the first round. The Rats won the Calder Cup in 1995 as the top affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, and they haven’t won a playoff series since 1998.
Zac Dalpe, who was Carolina’s second round selection in the 2008 entry draft has made an immediate and big impact with the Albany River Rats.
He left Ohio State, signed an entry-level contract which kicks in next season, and is playing the remainder of the season with the Rats on an amateur tryout. Through five games, he’s tallied six (5/1) points including a hat trick on Saturday. Not bad for a 20-year old kid.
The Rats are one win away from clinching a Calder Cup playoff berth, and will most likely end up with home-ice advantage in the first round.
Friday night, the Hershey Bears gave the Albany River Rats an 8-2 beatdown. The scoreboard was ugly, and so was the scoresheet. There were a total of five fights in the game, including four separate fights in the third period. The teams combined for 114 penalty minutes in the third period alone. There should be suspensions to follow, as each team had two players get game misconduct penalties in the melee. The Rats had two additional players pick up misconduct penalties including one for “abuse of officials”.
If and when footage is available, it should be fun to watch.
On Thursday afternoon, the Hurricanes signed their 2008 second round draft pick Zac Dalpe to a three-year entry-level contract. The 20-year old forward has decided to forgo his final two years at THE Ohio State University after the Buckeyes were eliminated from the CCHA playoffs. Dalpe led the team in goals (21) and points (45) this season and was a first team all-conference selection.
The Paris, Ontario native has been assigned to the Albany River Rats of the American League, where he will play the balance of the season and Calder Cup playoffs on an Amateur Tryout Contract. He will join the Rats on the road at Binghamton on Sunday night and will presumably be added to the team’s final roster.
On Saturday, the Albany River Rats defeated the Adirondack Phantoms 2-1 to clinch victory in the inaugural Time Warner Cable Cup challenge. The two teams will meet 12 times this season, and Albany is now 7-1-1 in the season series with three games to play. This was going to be an annual grudge match between the two Eastern NY hockey clubs, but it turns out that it will be the one and only challenge cup. The Rats will be moving to Charlotte next season, and it’s unlikely that the Checkers (I hate that name) will play the Phantoms more than eight times in the regular season.
Jerome Samson scored his 24th goal and added an assist to give the Rats the win over former Hurricanes backup Johnny Crackers. Zach Boychuk scored the game-winning goal and Justin Peters earned his 20th win of the season for the Rats.
The Rats will face the Hershey Bears on Sunday afternoon.
I apologise about the infrequency of and the quality of posts around here lately. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of a Sony Vaio desktop that was top of the line when I bought it during the Clinton administration, but it just can’t cut it anymore. I’m lucky when I can make it connect to the internet long enough to write anything at all, and I have to hold my breath anytime I open more than one tab, so it’s been hard.
I’m trying to rectify this situation and at the same time finally enter the wireless age, but I’ve had some nightmarish issues with my shopping. Hopefully I’ll get it all sorted out in the next few days.
Anyway, the developments are that Nic Wallin was finally traded to San Jose in exchange for Buffalo’s second round pick in the 2010 draft. On Wednesday, the Hurricanes will announce that they’re moving their American League affiliate to Charlotte. This’ll be great for the fans, but a bit rough for the other teams in the AHL’s Eastern Conference. Traveling between cities has usually been done by bus, but back-to-backs with any of the games in Charlotte will necessitate air travel and added expenses. More on this later.
Tuomo Ruutu injured his right hand in a fight with Colorado’s Darcy Tucker on Friday night, and the first “official” news is that he’ll be out of the lineup for a couple of weeks. So far, there are no further details about the extent of his “upper body” (right hand) injury. This means that Carolina is now simultaneously missing six of its top nine forwards and one of its top four defenseman.
Some of the previously injured players are starting to skate in no-contact drills, but none is ready to return. Eric Staal is attending a funeral today, and it’s extremely unlikely that he’ll be back for Sunday afternoon’s game. They will need to call up yet another River Rat. There will be almost as many Rats in the room as Canes. At this point, the fans should be wearing Rats gear in the stands of the RBC Center.
My guess is that Drayson Bowman will be the newest callup. We’ll probably find out sometime today.
This season has been a house of horrors for the Canes. Not only have they been losing a lot of games, but they’ve been losing a lot of players too. For Friday night’s game against the Avalanche, six skaters were from the American League. For Sunday’s game against the Senators, we’ll need to make that seven.
Back in late October, the Canes traveled to Denver where they lost a rollercoaster game to the Avs. In that game, Tuomo Ruutu was given a boarding major, game misconduct and a two game suspension for running Darcy Tucker from behind. Ruutu was taken to task for this, and he won the battle but lost the war.
Carolina won the game 2-1, just barely finding a way to deny Cam Ward his first shutout of the season. There were some really good things in this game. Losing Tuomo Ruutu to injury is not one of them. The Hurricanes will now have to make another call down to Albany, where the cupboard is beginning to run bare.
The Hurricanes have placed Scott Walker on injured reserve and have said that Sergei Samsonov will not play against the Rangers on Saturday. Both have an “upper body injury”. In their stead, Ji ří Tlustý and Zach Boychuk have been called up from Albany. Still no sign of Jerome Samson.
The early indication is that Paul Maurice will trot out a third line of all American Leaguers. The “Rat Line” will be Tlusty, Pat Dwyer and Boychuk. Boychuk, who is second (to Samson) on the Rats in scoring with 24 (11/13) points had the game winner against former Hurricane John “Crackers” Graham and the Adirondack Phantoms on New Year’s Eve.
Boychuk has one assist in two games with the Canes. Tlustý has one goal in four NHL games (two of which were with the Leafs). Dwyer has played 16 games and has potted two goals for the big team.
On Saturday, the Hurricanes sent Michael Leighton to the River Rats. The 28-year old backup was placed on and cleared waivers this week. Because he is on a one-way contract, this assignment does not save the Hurricanes any money, nor does it change the salary cap hit.
Leighton has worked hard to get a break in the NHL, but the honest truth is that he’s not an NHL goalie. And he might never be. He hasn’t learned to utilize his size and he gets out of position too much. Also, he isn’t a strong enough skater to recover when he finds himself out of position. All of that aside, he wasn’t getting enough playing time to develop or maintain NHL skills. It’s a little bit sad that Michael was essentially discarded, but it just didn’t make hockey sense to keep him on the big team. Manny Legace is on a two-way contract and would save the organ-eye-zation some money if he were to be assigned, but Legace gives the team a better chance.
Bad break for Leights, but Manny Legace deserves this.
Nearly ten months after suffering a broken neck in a bus accident, Canes defensive prospect Casey Borer is finally back on the ice. The River Rats team bus crashed on an icy road on February 19, and his injury was the most severe. Two other players and one of the radio broadcasting team were treated for serious injuries, but everyone else was lucky to escape with minor injuries.
The timetable was for Borer to come to camp ready to play and be back on the Albany roster this fall. Unfortunately, he suffered a setback. Or perhaps a bad diagnosis in the beginning. After some light workouts in the spring, he didn’t feel right and sought a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. In the end, he ended up having some surgery in late September. As of right now, it looks like he’ll be out until at least the end of January, but he’s starting to make steps.
After Saturday’s 5-3 win over Vancouver, a reporter asked coach Paul Maurice about the plans to deal with the long-term injury of Joe Corvo. Someone asked him about the play of young Bryan Rodney, and he alluded to a plan that would involve not only Rodney, but a couple of the other young guys currently with Albany of the American League.
He said that Rodney’s play has been good, but that the plan for now is to rotate some guys in and out. And it didn’t take long for that plan to go into motion. After the game, Rodney was sent down to Albany and Jay Harrison was called back up.
The Rats will be home against the Baby Pens today, hosting the Toys for Tots (read: teddy bear toss) promotion. Jiří Tlustý should make his Rats debut today. He was apparently detained at customs yesterday while attempting to meet the team in Glens Falls.
On Saturday night, the Albany River Rats and Adirondack Phantoms will play the fourth of twelve games this season in the “Time Warner Cable Cup”. So far this season, the Rats have won all three meetings.
Jiří Tlustý has yet to join the team, as his passport and immigration papers were not in order. The Rats are hoping that he will be able to resolve that stuff and make the drive from Toronto to Glens Falls for tonight’s game. That’s right. They hope that he will make the 7 hour DRIVE in time for the game. Ahhhh. The American League. Gotta love it.
The Hurricanes four game road trip came to a close on Saturday, and they didn’t have much to show for it. They lost a rollercoaster 5-4 game in Denver on Friday, then lost 3-2 in overtime at Minnesota on Saturday. On the four game trip, the Canes only managed two standings points and have yet to win on the road. For the third time this season, they will now have three days off before their next game. Wednesday night, they’ll be back in the RBC Center against the Blues. While they’ve been lousy on the road, the Canes have grabbed five out of eight standings points at home.
While the Canes are struggling, the Albany River Rats are doing well. They have a record of 5-3-0 and sit atop the Eastern division. More importantly, they beat the Adirondack Phantoms 3-2 on Saturday to grab a two games to none lead in the 12-game season series with the hated rival.
While the Hurricanes are struggling to find offense and to find themselves, things are looking good down on the farm. On Saturday, the Albany River Rats went up to Glens Falls and defeated the Adirondack Phantoms 2-1 in the first of twelve games between the two teams. Justin Peters stopped 31 of 32 shots and Jerome Samson scored the game-winner 2:21 into overtime. Through five games, the undrafted right wing has tallied nine (4/5) points.
Surprisingly, this game featured only one fight, and it occurred early in the first. So far, I’m wrong with my prediction that this series would see more fighting majors (2) than goals (3).
The Rats find themselves atop the East division of the AHL, and I’ve read some comments by Albany natives comparing this team to the 1995-96 team who won the AHL’s equivalent of the President’s Trophy with a record of 54-19-7.
A day after making the best save of this young season, Canes goaltender Cam Ward sat out Thursday’s practice. He was joined by Eric Staal, who has not been playing at 100%. Also missing from practice were Matt Cullen and Ray Whitney, who had two goals against the Pens in the 3-2 loss on Wednesday.
There’s no indication of why they say out, but I don’t think it was to attend opening day of the North Carolina State Fair. There’s no indication that any of them will be out of the lineup on Saturday when the Hurricanes begin their two week road trip in New Jersey.
While those four sat out of practice, the Canes were happy to see defenseman Joni Pitkänen back on the ice. At least for practice. Still no word on when he’ll be back in the lineup.
Meanwhile, down on the farm…
Minor league hockey is known for a bunch of things. Line brawls. Bus rides. Community involvement. Good promotions. Bad promotions. Ridiculous one-offs. Carolina’s top affiliate, the Albany River Rats will be participating in one of these ridiculous one-offs this season.
Before I get to that, I should point out one of the coolest things about minor league hockey. The Teddy Bear Toss. Although many teams in many leagues sponsor “Teddy Bear Toss” nights, the Calgary Hitmen probably have the best one going. There’s a video after the jump, which is well worth watching. No description can do it justice. The premise is simple: Fans bring teddy bears to the game and toss them on the ice when the home team scores its first goal. The bears are collected and donated to children’s hospitals and goodwill organizations. They say the record number of bears tossed at a single game was 26,919 by Calgary Hitmen fans in a December 2007 game.
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes announced that they’re working hard on getting Ruutu re-signed for “two or three years”. Not many details are available about terms, but it’s clear that the team wants to avoid the whole arbitration process. Also, Jim Rutherford added that the Canes were going to sign a free agent or two very soon.
Indeed, the Hurricanes signed a free agent today, but he’ll have little if anything to do with the big club. 25-year old right wing Steven Goertzen was signed to a one-year two-way contract. He’ll make the league minimum of $500k if he plays in Raleigh, but the most likely scenario is that he’ll make $100k to play up in Albany. The 6’2” 216 pound Alberta native has played in 62 NHL contests and has scored four (2/2) points. All points came in a sixteen game stint with the Coyotes in 2008-09.
While some people around here are taking very short, panicked breaths about this, thinking that he’s meant to be a top nine player in Raleigh, the reality is that he will see very little time in the RBC Center. If any.
There’s something that’s gotten lost in the shuffle of all the Hurricanes “big” issues this summer. People have pretty much assumed that Carolina will offer a head coaching contract to Paul Maurice, removing the “interim” from his title. It’s not in stone yet, but it’s a safe bet. There’s some contention about which of the free agents should be re-signed and which should be allowed to walk. I’ll go in depth about each of those at some point before July 1. So far, nobody’s talking about the expired contract with Albany.
Carolina has used the Albany River Rats as its AHL team for the last three seasons. In 2006-07, they shared the team with the Colorado Avalanche. For the last two seasons, it has been all Carolina. That contract expired at the end of the 2008-09 season. I haven’t heard anything about whether they will renew that association or if the Hurricanes will look elsewhere. Say, Iowa…
The substitute driver of the Albany River Rats substitute bus which crashed two weeks ago, hospitalizing four players and ending defenseman Casey Borer’s season has been slapped with a fine. Wait for it…..
According to the Schenectady Daily Gazette, Stanley Novak, who drove the substitute bus, has been issued a fine for driving too fast for snowy conditions. story
Novak drove the team down a snowy, icy Interstate 90 on February 19 after the Rats lost their game and their normal bus broke down. At around 3:30 in the morning, the bus slammed into a guard rail, flipped over, and spun out onto the highway, scattering hockey gear everywhere. Everyone was injured, and five required hospitalization. Casey Borer has suffered broken vertebrae and will be out for at least the remainder of the season.
According to Phil Janack, the River Rats and the AHL have announced that the game against Bridgeport scheduled for Friday night will be rescheduled for March 31. Earlier, I mistakenly reported that Sunday’s game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Baby Penguins has been canceled. In fact, it has not. The AHL has given the Rats the option of postponing the game. They will wait for further assessment of the health of the players and the availability of the equipment before making that decision.