In Rinkside Roundup, a light night in the NHL. Starting off in Calgary where former Albany River Rats sniper Brendan Morrison picked up his sixth goal of the year which proved to be the winner and added an assist as the Flames surprise the Dallas Stars 7-4.
Local action in a battle of upstate and downstate New York, the Islanders rocked the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 in Western New York. Michael Grabner registered two goals for the Isles and now has 14 on the campaign. Nathan Gerbe also posted two of his own for the Sabes.
In a Northeast Division battle from Canada’s capital, the Montreal Canadiens smashed the Ottawa Senators 7-1. One-time Albany River Rat and now Habs Captain Brian Gionta scored his 16th on the season with a snap shot in front during the early going of the second period.
Around the “A”
There weren’t a lot of Hershey kisses exchanged between the Bears and Albany Devils, but rather a lot more shots to the kisser. Of course you know its been an especially long night when Matt Anderson and Keith Aucoin are dropping the gloves. Frankly there was nothing pretty of the Devils frustrating 8-3 loss to the defending Calder Cup Champions.
Hershey jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first before Albany got on the board late with Alexander Vasyunov’s third of the year with some pretty stick work on the power-play from Alexander Urbom and Mike McKenna. In the same frame former Bear Louis Robitaille picked up his fair share of penalties, first charging goaltender Dany Sabourin which led to a fight with Brian Fahey and ultimately a game misconduct.
In the second the goals kept coming for Hershey (three to be exact) as did the fistacuffs. The Devils firm of Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond took the law into his own hands against one-time Albany River Rat Joel Reichlicz in the early going. Mid-way through the period Brad Mills and Harry Young found sparring partners as well.
The final frame was somewhat more salvageable for Albany. Rob Davidson picked up his second goal of the year from David McIntyre and Chad Wiseman found the back of the net for his fourth from Vasyunov and Michael Swift. And of course the scraps kept ramping up as well with some of the usual suspects as repeat offenders. Leblond and Young were at it once again for Albany and in the end apparently all the gladiators were spent as Matt Anderson and Keith Aucoin rounded out fight night in Hershey.
Overall there were 173 PIM handed out between both clubs.
In front of 5,812 at Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter in Syracuse, the Rochester Americans held on for a 2-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch. Mike Kostka got the Amerks on the board with a power-play goal in the first. P.J. Fenton netted the eventual winner for Rochester in the second. The lone goal for the Crunch would come from Patrick Maroon in the third. Jacob Markstrom was solid between the pipes for the Amerks making 35 saves for the victory.
Rochester now jumps to second in the Empire State Cup standings, while Syracuse continues to languish in last place.
Glory days were back again at least for one night in Philadelphia. In front of a crowd of 18,056 the Adirondack Phantoms upset the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins by a count of 4-2. Former Albany River Rat Michael Ryan notched his tenth late in the third for what proved to be the winner. Another one-time Rats keeper Michael Leighton stood on his head making 38 saves to record the victory.
A wild affair down in Charlotte saw the Springfield Falcons keyed by a five goal second, top the Checkers 6-5. Plenty of scores from some old River Rats in this one. Zac Dalpe scored his 14th of the year on the power-play and added three helpers. Zach Boychuk registered his 12th on the campaign and had an assist. Jacob Micflicker added his 18th to an impressive breakout season and Oscar Osala who picked up two markers now has 12 on the year. Ben Guite netted his seventh of the season along with an assist in a winning cause for the Falcons.
One-time River Rat Jamie Johnson scored his fifth goal of the year but it was the lone goal in a 4-1 Grand Rapids Griffins defeat to the Chicago Wolves.
Altamont, NY native and Worcester Sharks defenseman Jay Leach added an assist in the Sharks 5-2 loss to the Portland Pirates. Ex-Rats Captain Tim Conboy picked up a fighting major and a game misconduct for the Pirates.
One-time River Rat Mike Angelidis recorded an assist in the Norfolk Admirals 3-2 shootout loss to the Binghamton Senators.
Kirk MacDonald, the former RPI Captain and Albany River Rat tallied his eighth of the year to get the Providence Bruins rolling in their 5-2 victory over the Manchester Monarchs.
Bryan Helmer the former Albany River Rats defenseman had an assist in the Oklahoma City Barons win over the Rockford IceHogs, 4-3.
Finally from Manitoba ex-Rats defenseman Mark Flood picked up a helper but his Moose were downed in a shootout by the Abbotsford Heat 3-2.