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Aucoin returns, helps Rats beat Monarchs

Aucoin returns, helps Rats beat Monarchs

Rats win

Keith Aucoin, sent down earlier in the day by the Carolina Hurricanes, assisted on the first two goals of the game Wednesday, lifting the Alb-any River Rats to a 3-1 AHL victory over the Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Aucoin got an assist on Jerome Samson’s 14th goal of the season with 5:55 left in the first period. He then helped set up Dave Gove’s power-play goal with 2:36 left in the first.

Brandon Nolan, who was also sent down by the Hurricanes, assisted on Samson’s goal.

Jakub Petruzalek added a power-play goal less than three minutes into the third period for the Rats. Goalie John Grahame made 27 saves in his second start for Albany. Brian Boyle was the only Manchester player to score.

Leighton named starter

The Rats’ Michael Leighton was announced as the starting goaltender for the Canadian all-stars at the AHL All-Star game later this month in Binghamton.

Leighton, 26, has been on recall to the Carolina Hurricanes since Jan. 4. Prior to his promotion, he led the AHL in games played (30) and shutouts (five), ranked second in minutes played (1,740) and save percentage (.928) and fourth in wins (13) and goals-against average (2.14).

In 2002, Leighton made his AHL all-star debut for Canada while a rookie with the Norfolk Admirals.

He becomes the third Albany goalie selected to the all-star festivities, and the first since Peter Sidorkiewicz in Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1997.

This marks the first time since 2000 that more than one player has been chosen to represent Albany at the annual event, revived in Prov-idence in 1995. Last month, Aucoin was named playing captain for the PlanetUSA team.

Albany 2 0 1 — 3

Manchester 0 0 1 — 1

First Period — 1, Albany, Samson 14 (Nolan, Aucoin), 14:05. 2, Albany, Gove 7 (Forrest, Aucoin), 17:24 (pp). Penalties — Aucoin, Alb (hooking), 7:18; Rechlicz, Alb (hooking), 10:56; Milam, Man (holding), 16:02.

Second Period — None. Penalties — Zeiler, Man (tripping), :46; Rechlicz, Alb, major (fighting), 2:56; Crosty, Man, major (fighting), 2:56; Milam, Man (holding), 10:17; Angelidis, Alb (holding), 13:12; Crosty, Man (hooking), 16:12.

Third Period — 3, Albany, Petruzalek 3 (Carson, Gove), 2:52 (pp). 4. Manchester, Boyle 17 (Dravecky, Milam), 3:53. Penalties — Conboy, Alb, (fighting), 1:11; Crosty, Man, minor-major-misconduct (instigating, fighting), 1:11; Gauthier, Man (hooking), 4:22; Angelidis, Alb, (hooking), 7:00.

Shots on Goal — Albany 11-10-7 — 28. Manchester 10-5-13 — 28.

Power-play opportunities — Albany 2 of 6; Manchester 0 of 4.

Goalies — Albany, Grahame 1-1-0 (28 shots-27 saves). Manchester, Ersberg 9-8-2 (28-25).

A — 4,834. T — 2:09.

Referee — Chris Ciamaga. Linesmen — Landon Bathe, Bryan Pancich.

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