By Mike Buskus
The Albany River Rats enjoyed a holiday, of several days duration, following Saturday night?s 3-2 overtime victory over the Providence Bruins. It was the first time this season that the Rats emerged victorious when trailing after two periods (1-14-1).
The overtime game-winning goal, notched by Joel Bouchard, came on a 2-on-1 break featuring Bruce Gardiner setting up Bouchard. It was only the second overtime victory (Syracuse was the other) in twelve contests this year to go to the extra session.
The week began on the road in Hamilton, at Copps Coliseum. In the Rats? most offensive outburst in 20 minutes this season, Albany scored five times in the first period and took a 5-3 lead into the first intermission. Two periods later, the Rats emerged victorious, 8-6, to score the most goals since last spring when Albany scored 8 while hosting the Bulldogs at the Pepsi Arena.
For Albany fans who remember Walt Kyle?s Bulldogs as being a particularly stingy and cautious defense, this year?s Hamilton team is different. The Bulldogs led the league, through games played on December 22, with 125 goals, or 3.91 per game. For an Albany team that was at the bottom of the league (2.33 per game), the 8-goal outburst in Hamilton may have revived the confidence of some players who had not scored.
At Copps Coliseum, Albany collected two of the three stars, with defenseman Mikko Jokela garnering third star (1G; 2A) and forward Christian Berglund bagging first star (2G; 1A). Mike Rupp (1G; 2A) scored for Read more »