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Albany River Rats Notebook

The Albany River Rats have won three of their last four games and are 10-4-1-0 in their last 15. News, notes and storylines heading into this week's action:

*The River Rats are 18-14-2-0 (.559) for 38 points after 34 games, a 16-point improvement over last season (10-22-0-2). They begin the week in fourth place in the East Division, 13 points in back of third-place Norfolk but with two games in hand and eight head-to-head meetings with the Admirals over the final 46 games of the regular season. Albany enters the week with an eight-point advantage over fifth-place Bridgeport.

*The River Rats recorded their 18th victory December 31 with a 7-3 win at Bridgeport in their 34th game - the fastest the club has reached 18 wins since 1998-99 (29th game). The River Rats did not record their 18th win last season until their 50th game.

*At 18-14-2-0, the River Rats are four games above .500 for the first time since the 1998-99 season. The last time the River Rats were as many as four games above .500 gas prices were 1.03 per gallon, Saving Private Ryan was the top grossing movie, the Titanic rose and Paul Simon's Broadway play Capeman sank faster than the legendary ship.

*Goaltender Tyler Weiman has a current six-game winning streak dating to November 25. He has gone 10-1-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average and .928 save percentage since November 3, stopping 346 of 371 shots faced. The third-year pro has recorded eight of the club's 10 road wins.

*Left wing Ryan Bayda registered a career-high, four points (three goals, one assist) December 31 at Bridgeport. It was the second career hat trick for Bayda (October 13, 2003 vs. Worcester) and his first multiple-goal effort since January 29, 2006 at Hamilton, a span of 50 games.

*Right wing Shane Willis accrued a franchise record-tying five points (two goals, three assists) December 31 at Bridgeport. He has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his last eight games. Willis leads the River Rats in goals (13) and is tied with Pat Dwyer for the club lead in first goals (four).

*Center Ben Guite earned points in 12 of 13 games in December, recording a team-leading 17 points (five goals, 12 assists). He tied for eighth in assists and 11th in points in the AHL during the month.

*Defenseman Johnny Boychuk has scored seven goals in his last 10 games after going the first 24 games of the season without scoring. His seven goals are a new career high, surpassing the six he scored last season while playing for Lowell (AHL). The third-year pro has compiled the second best plus/minus rating in the AHL (+15) since November 3.

*Defenseman Kyle Cumiskey, recalled December 28 by Colorado, made his NHL debut January 1 in the Avalanche's 5-3 win at Nashville. The 20-year-old first-year pro played 22 shifts totaling 11:13 of ice time (9:04 even strength, 2:09 power play), recording a blocked shot and a plus-1 rating.


Albany River Rats vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders)

When: Friday, January 5 at Times Union Center, 7 p.m.

Radio/Internet: ESPN Radio 104.5 FM (WTMM) & B2 Networks.

Promotions: Total Tan Night. One lucky person will win FREE tanning for an entire year!

Season Series: River Rats lead 2-0-0-0; 0-0-0-0 at Times Union Center.

Last Meeting: Albany won 7-3 December 31 at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

Noteworthy: The Sound Tigers enter the week in fifth place in the East Division with 30 points (13-16-1-3), eight behind fourth-place Albany...Bridgeport has lost four straight games and seven of its last eight, scoring a mere 15 goals while allowing 35 over that stretch...LW Jeff Tambellini, a first-round pick by Los Angeles in 2003, leads the Sound Tigers in goals (17), points (32), power play goals (five) and plus/minus (+6)...C Frans Nielsen has a current nine-game point (4-8-12) dating to December 16. He ranks second on the club in goals (10) and is tied for third in points (23)...D Jamie Fraser, who recently joined the team from South Carolina (ECHL), is the nephew of NHL referee Kerry Fraser...G Michael Mole (1-5-0, 3.78 GAA and .885 SPCT) has started each of the Sound Tigers last four games and six of their last seven.

Albany River Rats vs. Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings)

When: Saturday, January 6 at Times Union Center, 7 p.m.

Radio/Internet: ESPN Radio 104.5 FM (WTMM) & B2 Networks.

Promotions: Showstopper Saturday! Post-game autograph session with the entire team!

Season Series: River Rats lead 1-0-0-0; 0-0-0-0 at Times Union Center Last Meeting: Albany won 3-2 November 11 at Van Andel Arena.

Notes: The Griffins make their first-ever visit to the Capital Region as they complete a two-game season series with the River Rats...Grand Rapids enters the week in fourth place in the North Division with 36 points (15-15-4-2), seven points in back of third-place Manitoba and just three points in front of fifth-place Toronto, and is coming off back-to-back shutout wins over Hamilton and Rochester after posting just one win over a seven-game stretch December 15-29 (1-4-2-0)...The Griffins have allowed only one goal in their last 183:49 of regulation time, and two goals in the last 186.49 overall...C Kip Miller has recorded points (5-6-11) in seven of his last nine games and leads Grand Rapids in goals (15), points (39) and power play goals (eight)...D Jonathan Ericsson, a ninth-round pick by Detroit in 2002, is having a solid rookie season with 17 points (3-14-17) and a team-leading plus-10 rating in 33 games...G Jimmy Howard (12-12-1, 2.89 GAA, .912 SPCT) has seen the bulk of the action between the pipes, appearing in 28 of the club's 36 games.
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Guite recalled, Richardson assigned by Colorado

ALBANY, NY - The Albany River Rats today announced that center Ben Guite has been recalled by the Colorado Avalanche. In a related move, the Avalanche assigned center Brad Richardson to Albany.

Guite currently ranks second on the River Rats in scoring with 25 points on eight goals and 17 assists in 33 games. The 28-year-old Montreal, Quebec native heads to Colorado having registered points in 12 of his last 13 games (five goals, 12 assists), including a career-best eight-game point streak December 1-22 (four goals, six assists).

Richardson, 21, has appeared in 36 games with the Avalanche this season, recording five goals and four assists with 12 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Belleville, Ontario native had a team-high two shorthanded goals and led all Colorado forwards in shorthanded time on ice (3:37 per game). He had an NHL career-high three points (three assists) December 19 at Edmonton and recorded his first multiple-goal game with a pair of tallies October 5 at Minnesota.

Richardson opened last season with Lowell (AHL) but ended up playing 41 games with the Avalanche, registering three goals and 10 assists while averaging 10:37 in ice time. The second-year pro was drafted by Colorado in the fifth round (163rd overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

The River Rats, who have won three of their last four games and are 10-4-1-0 in their last 15, begin a three-game homestand Friday, January 5 against Bridgeport at 7 p.m. at the Times Union Center. Tickets for Friday's game, as well as all River Rats home games, are available at the Times Union Center Box Office, by calling 1-800-30-EVENT or online at Albany NY News - Times Union - Serving Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Troy . For information on River Rats ticket packages, please call (518) 487-2244 or visit Albany River Rats .
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San Antonio Rampage Week 13 Report


Thursday, Jan. 4 vs. Syracuse Crunch @ AT&T Center-7:00 p.m.

This will be the first meeting between the two clubs and only time that Syracuse visits the AT&T Center this season ... The two teams did not play against each other last year ... The Rampage are 2-2-0-0 lifetime against the Columbus Blue Jackets affiliate, who ranks 6th in the North Division with a 11-21-1-2 record.

Saturday, Jan. 6 vs. Peoria Rivermen @ AT&T Center-7:00 p.m.

This will be the fourth match-up against the Peoria Rivermen ... So far the St. Louis Blues' affiliate own a 3-0 record in the season and are 12-1 lifetime ... The Rivermen have 18 returning players from last year on their 24-man roster ... They currently are ranked third in the West Division with 39 points.

Sunday, Jan. 7 vs. Houston Aeros @ Toyota Center-5:00 p.m.

The Rampage host the Aeros for the fifth time this season ... They own a 3-1 record at home against the Texas rival ... Last Saturday, the Rampage recorded a 6-4 win at the Toyota Center, only the fifth in their five-year history.

All games can be viewed through B2 Networks' live video web cast for $6 to anyone with a high-speed internet connection, through a link at


TEXAS TWO-STEP: The Rampage tallied back-to-back wins against their Texas rival Houston Aeros in a home-and-home series. Friday, at the AT&T Center, the Rampage recorded a 3-2 win and left the Toyota Center Saturday with a 6-4 win improving their season series record to 4-3-0-1 against the Aeros.

MILESTONE MARKERS: Pascal Rheaume skated in his 800th professional game December 26and Donald MacLean collected his 200th AHL goal December 30 at Houston.

ROOKIE REPORT: Rampage rookies, Bill Thomas and Keith Yandle have found success on ice this season. Thomas ranks second on the team in scoring and 13th in the league in among rookies. He has posted four goals and two assists in the past six games. Yandle has contributed 11 assists and two goals. Goaltender Josh Tordjman has the third best save percentage and 10th best goals against average in the league in his first professional year.


- IN THE BOX WITH PASCAL RHEAUME: Native of Quebec City, Quebec, Rheaume is in his 13th professional season and his 10th in the AHL ... The 33-year-old was a member of the 2003 Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils and won a Calder Cup Championship with the Albany River Rats in 1995 ... His sister, Manon, was the first woman to play in one of the four major professional sports leagues in the U.S. when she goaltended for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992 during a preseason game against the St. Louis Blues.

- NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Centerman Chris Ferraro joined the Rampage December 26th and has collected two goals and two assists through his first four games.


- COLLEGE NIGHT-Jan. 4: The Rampage host their final College Night of the season this Thursday when they take on the Syracuse Crunch. One lucky student will win a spring break trip for two. The first 100 college students to register inside the AT&T Center's east entrance will receive a free Pizza Hut buffet coupon and must be present to win the grand prize. Students who show their college or university ID at the AT&T Center box office can purchase a ticket to the game and receive a hot dog, soda and chips for only $9.95.

Ticket Info: Tickets start at just $9.50. To order tickets by phone call 210.444.5554 or go on-line at or
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