Albany, New York

Friday, March 27, 2009

Earlier in the season, while at a tournament in Saratoga, Michael won an Albany River Rats 'basket' which included four tickets to a game and an autographed hat. With his season done, we found that we actually had a night where we could use those free tickets and get outta dodge for a bit!

We picked Mike up at school and headed north(east). Our goal was to get to Albany early enough to grab dinner before the game, which we did without a problem. We went to the Melting Pot at Crossgates Mall for dinner, by far one of our favorite destinations!

Afterwards, we headed downtown, parking where we 'usually' park (lot a half block from the rink, across from the post office), grabbed our tickets, and went in to watch the game. The one (unfortunate) thing that has never changed in all the years we've been coming to Albany for a game - fan support, or lack thereof. The announced attendance at this game was a stitch over 3900, but the building seemed emptier than that. Add into that the fact that there were A LOT of Rangers and Wolf*Pack jersey's there, and one would have to question how much River Rats fan support there actually is in the Capital District.

Still hungry after the game, we made one more stop, driving to the Cheesecake Factory at the Colonie Mall before driving back to Binghamton.

Wolf Pack romp; Rats get pounded
Albany moves closer to missing the postseason

By PETE DOUGHERTY, Staff writer
First published in print: Saturday, March 28, 2009

ALBANY — They might not see the Hartford Wolf Pack often, but the Albany River Rats can read the American Hockey League standings. If that didn't offer enough evidence about the Wolf Pack's bite, the team's showing Friday night on the Times Union Center ice left a vivid impression.

Artem Anisimov and Mark Bell each scored twice as Hartford, the Atlantic Division's first-place team, blasted the River Rats 5-1 in front of 3,951, many of them New York Rangers fans rooting for the Wolf Pack.

Hartford is Albany's second-closest geographic rival, 25 miles further away than Springfield, but this was the Wolf Pack's only visit. Maybe that's a good thing. The Rats have lost 13 straight to the Pack over five years.

"They have a great top six (forwards), but it's easy to make plays when you're given that much time and space," Rats captain Pat Dwyer said. "We were pretty soft on them and made it easy for them, which allowed them to show their skill and make us look weak at times."

The Rats stayed 15 points behind Binghamton for the East Division's final playoff spot, and with only nine games to play, their prospects of a third straight postseason appearance may end as early as Saturday. An Albany regulation loss to Springfield combined with a Binghamton victory over Hershey would eliminate the Rats.

Albany led on Tomas Pospisil's goal 1:45 into the game, then sat back as Hartford, which has two of the league's top 10 scorers, took control.

"We can't afford to let down on a team like Hartford," defenseman Mark Flood said. "They're too skilled. They're a first-place team in their division. They've got a great power play, so we've got to stay out of the box against a team like that. They've got too much skill to sit back like we did."

Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, who later had two assists, tied the game at 14:29 of the first. The game winner came with 45.9 seconds to play in the first period. Albany's Jerome Samson lost the puck at the Rats' blue line, allowing Anisimov to skate in alone on goaltender Justin Peters.

Coach Jeff Daniels called it "a real soft first period."

"We spent a lot of time stick-checking," Daniels said. "We didn't win any battles. We got up 1-0, and we kind of sat back. They didn't sit back. They kept coming, and the next thing it's 2-1 for them. It was too easy of a period. We didn't compete hard enough to win."

Pete Dougherty can be reached at 454-5416 or by e-mail at

Wolf Pack 5, River Rats 1

Hartford 2 1 2—5

Albany 1 0 0—1

First period — 1, Albany, Pospisil 2 (Weston), 1:45. 2, Hartford, Parenteau 29 (Sanguinetti, Reissmiller), 14:21. 3, Hartford, Anisimov 31 (unassisted), 19:16s. Penalties—Sutter, Alb (hooking), 4:34; Dupont, Har (hooking), 5:12; DiDiomete, Har, major (fighting), 11:58; Olson, Alb, major (fighting), 11:58; Sanguinetti, Har (slashing), 15:02.

Second period — 4, Hartford, Bell 15 (Rissmiller, Parenteau), 11:57. Penalties—Bell, Har (tripping), 16:01; Dodge, Alb (holding), 19:11.

Third period — 5, Hartford, Bell 16 (Parenteau, Sanguinetti), 9:33 (pp). 6, Hartford, Anisimov 32 (Fahey, Pyatt), 17:52 (pp). Penalties—Sugden, Har, (hooking), 3:32; DiDiomete, Har, misconduct, 3:32; Herauf, Alb, misconduct, 3:32; Samson, Alb (holding), 8:24; Urquhart, Har (tripping),11:56; Potter, Har (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:01; Weston, Alb (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:01; Tifu, Alb (roughing), 16:40.

Shots on goal — Hartford 7-7-8—22. Albany 8-6-6—20. Power-play opportunities — Hartford 2 of 4; Albany 0 of 5.

Goalies — Hartford, Zaba 20-9-0 (20 shots-19 saves). Albany, Peters 17-25-4 (22-17).

T—2:13. A—3,951.

Total Mileage: 268 Miles

Total Miles Travelled:
150,380 Miles!

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Page Last Updated: August 23, 2009