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Rats Take Down Portland In Shootout

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Pat Dwyer and Jonathan Paiement converted shootout chances to rally the River Rats past Portland before 5,462 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Albany (21-23-3-2) trailed, 2-1, entering the third period, but tied it on Mark Flood's power-play goal at 5:01, a seeing-eye shot that eluded traffic and snuck under Pirates goalie Jhonas Enroth.

Defenseman Casey Borer gave the Rats a 1-0 lead at 15:59 of the first period on a slap shot from the left point that deflected in off a Portland defenseman in front of Enroth.

Colton Fretter tied it for the Pirates (25-20-1-3) on a backhander 1:48 into the second period, and Mark Mancari gave Portland the lead with 2:45 remaining on a power-play wrister from the left circle.

Justin Peters earned the win in goal, stopping 27 of 29 shots. Enroth finished with 44 saves as Albany reached a season high with 47 shots.

The same two teams meet up again Tuesday night at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, home of Portland's NHL parent team. The Pirates play in Hershey on Sunday.

Portland 0 2 0 0 0

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Today's my birthday (shameless plug), so we're gonna keep it short. Great win by the River Rats in their only game of the weekend, coming from behind to beat a good Portland team in front of nearly 5,500 appreciative fans at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

It came down to a shootout, which Albany won despite missing Michael Ryan, Bryan Rodney and Jakub Petruzalek, who had combined for seven of the team's 10 shootout goals this season in 13 attempts. The rest of the team had gone 3-for-16, two of those goals by Dwight Helminen.

"It took me a little longer to fill out than normal," coach Jeff Daniels said of his shootout list. "When those guys are back, they're 1-2-3 right away. It's funny. We talked about it today before the game knowing the guys we usually use aren't here."

Tonight it was Pat Dwyer and defenseman Jonathan Paiement who converted their chances, both their first of the year. It was Dwyer's second attempt this season and the first for Paiement, who earned his shot by winning a breakaway competition over fellow finalist Nick Dodge in practice on Thursday.

"Same move," Paiement said of his practice winner. "I didn't expect to go in the shootout, but I do pretty good in the shootouts. Coach put me in there and it worked out good. I'm pretty happy."

Goalie Justin Peters stopped three of Portland's shooters, and had Tim Kennedy's wrister ring off the left post. Albany is now 2-0 in Glens Falls this season and has won three in a row in the building dating back to last season -- all by one goal.

"We were missing three of our best shooters in the shootout, but guys stepped up and we were able to get it done," Dweyr said. "Our lineup was a little depleted but it was our only game of the weeknd so we were able to lay it all on the line and squeak one out."


Brock Hooton made his Rats debut, signed to a pro tryout earlier today. Leading scorer for ECHL Reading, where he is returning tomorrow, Hooton centered a line with Joe Jensen and Jerome Samson and finished minus-1 with three shots.

"I liked him," Daniels said. "He has good size, and he can skate. He's a guy we definitely won't hesitate to use again."

Center Bobby Hughes and defenseman Benn Olson will return to Albany from ECHL Florida after their game on Sunday. Daniels is also hoping to get a player (or three) back from Carolina, which ends a western road trip in Phoenix tonight.


The game was a homecoming of sorts for Portland head coach Kevin Dineen, who has a house on Glen Lake where he spends the off-season and holidays. His dad, Bill Dineen, became a coaching legend in this building with the Adirondack Red Wings.

"It was great," Dineen said. "It was really enjoyable. I spent so many years here working out on the players side, to be able to get behind the bench andcoach a game was a great experience. What a great turnout they had today. I think the atmosphere was excellent. We had such great fan support for both teams. It was a very good night for me, something I had been looking forward to for a long time.'

Dineen said his dad was able to join the team for a Friday night dinner, and was the hit of the evening.

"The stories were flying fast and furious," he said. "There's always good ones based around the years that dad had here."


Portland lost defenseman Cliff Loya to a right leg injury just 1:22 into the game, when he fell awkwardly into the left corner boards in his own zone. He left the arena on crutches and is expected to be out long term. He'll be examined by the parent team in Buffalo when the Pirates arrive there Monday; they play the Rats at HSBC Arena Tuesday night ....

Representatives from the Brooks Group, the Pittsburgh-based company that purchased a majority interest in the Philadelphia Phantoms this week, attended the game and spoke with Civic Center general manager Jason Blumenfeld. Glens Falls is one of the alternatives the group is looking at as a temporary home for the Phantoms franchise until a new arena is built in Altoona, Pa.


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