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Rats Stymied By Syracuse 5-3

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Seriously what is going on with the Rats..


This team just can not seem to do stuff right this season. Like tonight we finally get decent goaltending and our d-men kick the puck into our net. And now two games in a row we get screwed by the ref on goals. The ref was decent tonight except the goal he disallowed on us. Said he lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle. Yeah if he had looked in the darn net he would have seen it. He never blew the whislte till the puck was in the net. And the other night against Providence they kick a puck into the net and the count it. Like I said tonight we fell behind 2-0 and then we woke up and we all over them till they took that goal away from us then the team just seem to gave to give up after that. Just seems like they can not put a full 60 minute effort into a game.

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Also like I have said before this team has a bunch of decent players on this team. That is one of the things that is so frustrating about this team is that they are to good of a team to be playing this bad. Carolina has always done a good job putting good players here in Albany. Just are just not playing like they are good players right now.

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Oh and one more thing. Jerome Samson gained alot more respect tonight here in Albany from the rest of the team and the fans. One of the Syracuse players took a real dirty shot at Joe Jensen in the game and Samson jumped right in there and fought the guy. Samson's first fight with us. And if I may say for a small guy he handled himself pretty well in the fight. Was really proud of him tonight because he is one of the few players consistantly showing a full effort in every game he has played this season. Good for him sticking up for his teammates tonight.

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Tonight's 5-3 loss to Syracuse was a microcosm of the way things have gone for the River Rats in their first dozen games this season.

The Crunch gets their first goal off the knee of defenseman Clay Wilson, who was driving the net, 8:50 into the game. After being dominated in the second period, outshot 23-6, Syracuse managed to head into the third tied at 3-3 when defenseman Jonathan Sigalet's shot would have missed the net but wound up going in off the skate of Rats defender Noah Babin.

"It's frustrating," captain Tim Conboy said. "We're just wondering when one of those are going to bounce our way, but we can't keep thinking about that. As hard as it is and as much as it hurts, we've got to start focusing on this weekend."

Albany had a short-handed goal disallowed with 11:07 left in the second which would have made it a 4-2 game, thanks to what appeared to be a quick whistle from referee Chris Brown. Nick Dodge's initial shot was stopped by goalie Dan LaCosta, but dropped down into the crease where Nicolas Blanchard swept it in a split-second after Brown blew the play dead.

"There was really nothing to argue," coach Jeff Daniels said. "He said he lost sight of it and was in the motion of blowing the whistle and all of a sudden he saw it, but at that point it was too late. It would have been nice to have that goal, but I wasn't going to argue about it because it wasn't going to change."

The Rats converted only one of seven power-play chances, managing a total of seven shots, and were 0-for-3 in the third period. They had only one shot on a two-man advantage for a full two minutes with 3:58 in the second, and Daniels hinted that there may be some changes on the units.

"The power play probably cost us the game," he said. "The five-on-three, we didn't create a lot. There were plenty of opportunities in the third period to capitalize. Right now we're just going through the motions on the power play. Guys are going to have to earn their time. If they're not going to work at it, we'll get other guys who are willing to have a better effort than what you saw out there tonight."

Albany's all-NHL forward line of Michael Ryan, Dwight Helminen and Dan LaCouture combined to go minus-6 with 10 shots on goal. The combination of Stefan Chaput (1g,1a), Joe Jensen (1g) and Jerome Samson (2a), had five points and was plus-1.

"They definitely have the skill that we were missing," Daniels said of the top trio. "They were effective, yet I think they need to be better and play off one another and not try to do so much individually. When they do that, they'll be a very effective line in this league."

Despite the loss, the Rats managed to get two of the game's three stars, Samson (second) and Chaput (third). Syracuse's Craig MacDonald, who was plus-2 with the winning goal, was first star.

It was a reunion of sorts for Albany rookie center Nick Dodge, playing against former Clarkson teammate Grant Clitsome, a Crunch defenseman. Dodge had an assist on four shots, while Clitsome was plus-1 with one shot.

Dodge and Golden Knights alums Clitsome, Steve Zalewski (Worcester) and Shawn Weller of South Glens Falls (Binghamton) are all in the AHL this season.

"It's fun playing against old teammates," Dodge said. "I've played against all three of them now, and it's just fun to play against guys who you played with for a long time and have good relationships with. It gives you that little extra edge. You want to go out and beat them."

Albany's 23 shots in the second period was a season high, topping the 14 reached three times previously, the last on Nov. 1 at Hartford. The Rats finished with 41, again nine more than their previous high of 32, set in the Oct. 11 season opener.

Now 0-4-2-1 at the former Knickerbocker Arena, Albany has lost three straight and nine of its last 10 to fall to 2-7-2-1 overall.

"It's not so much whether we're at home or on the road, we just need to win," Daniels said. "Syracuse is a very strong club, but we definitely could have won this game tonight."


That is the only thing I do not like about coach Daniels. He said in this articale that he did not want to argue the call of no goal. I think he shows very little emotion in games. No matter how bad the refs calls are or no matter how bad the team is playing he does not show much on the bench. I am not trying to knock coach Daniels because I have talked with him a few times and he seems like a very nice man and smart hockey guy but I just wish he would show more emotions. Like get mad when the team is not going well like they are or when there are very bad calls that the refs are making like they have been the past few games. Not trying to say the man does not care but I just wish he would show he cares a little more.

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