Cross-checking back: Albany postgame

This could’ve been another one of those nights, another game to turn on a curious penalty call and drift away into yet another 4-1 or 6-3 or 3-0 or whatever kind of game.

It did not.

They weren’t playing horribly in the first two periods anyway, but the third was a strong one in particular. The lines were rearranged, ultimately uniting Joey Diamond (back after a month) with Andrew Clark (moved up after helping drive a fourth line that had some ridiculous shifts) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Philip-Michael Devos was in that center’s spot instead of Clark for the first goal, but then by the middle of the period Clark got the call, and he and Diamond were in front when Bouchard scored from the right side after a good shift with a little over six minutes left.

“Bouchard’s obviously an unbelievable player,” Diamond said. “To get the opportunity to play with him is pretty good. It’s always special when you get to play with a talented player like him; it’s pretty easy. You give him the puck and let him make a play. That’s kind of how my goal went tonight. We got him the puck.”

Clark and Bouchard got it on the right-wing wall. Bouchard put it back to Mayfield, and Diamond was in front of the net for the tip, pumping the fist to celebrate.

“To me, (Diamond) looked refreshed, healthy, energized,” Scott Pellerin said. “I’m so happy to see him play his game. It’s not that he scored. He was making plays, playing his game, that’s what I’m most proud of. That’s part of coaching; sometimes you go with the guys who are going. We gave him as much as we could early, wanting to see how he was physically. He worked his way up the lineup.”


They’re practicing Monday before the New Year’s Eve game in Lewiston, so more then, most likely.

Overtime. Ah well; 16 ties the record. I blame Joey Diamond, whose last game was the Providence game that started the streak. (Corey blamed me.)

Thought it was Mayfield’s best game. Jumping into (or even leading) the rush, making good decisions. “I’m definitely trying to pick my spots, moving my feet up the ice,” Mayfield said. But he wants to make sure he’s still reliable defensively and shut down other teams.

“His game is evolving,” Pellerin said. “He knows what his strengths are. He’s picking his spots a lot better.”

Bridgeport didn’t have anyone serve the Cantin major, which made it a 5:14 penalty. The only whistle in the whole penalty was the Joe Whitney goal; they played the last 4:21 of the major without a break. “You just expect a whistle once in a five-minute major,” Pellerin said. The Sound Tigers took an icing and, after a brief conversation with the officials, got a fifth guy on the ice. No harm in the end. The penalty, after a shoving match turned into one guy dropping the gloves and then dropping his opponent, was announced as a roughing major and a game misconduct. There was one problem with that: The roughing rule has no provision for a major penalty. There’s a minor and a match penalty. During the intermission, the officials changed it to cross-checking.

Pretty sure Donovan played the last shift before the power plays at the end of regulation, then the rest of regulation, then most of overtime. “He’s been playing huge minutes for us,” Pellerin said, ” and especially being down a defenseman, we had to bring up our game. His positioning has gotten so much better. He’s been more efficient in staying between the dots. He’s skating’s so good, he’s able to make plays in tight spaces.”

Milestone of note that could be coming, by the way:

Plc Name G-A-Pts
8 Justin Mapletoft 47-83-130
9 Ben Walter 40-76-116
10 Rhett Rakhshani 44-69-113
11 Matt Donovan 28-84-112
12 Jesse Joensuu 42-69-111

It was going away from me, so my angle was so-so, but looked like Kenny Reiter had a pretty nice save on Harri Pesonen in the second period, diving to his right.

Edit: Trumbull’s Alex Vazzano had the shutout as Sacred Heart beat UConn at the Huskies’ holiday tournament tonight at the XL Center. The Pioneers meet Quinnipiac tomorrow night.

The U.S. beat up on Germany at the World Juniors, as was expected. They start to matter from here.

And RIP, Brittney Testa.

Michael Fornabaio