Minneapolis, MN – With a little less than 30 games remaining in the regular season, the Minnesota Rink Rats find themselves in position to fight for a playoff spot. A team that has been up-and-down all season long, the Rink Rats have gone 4-5-1 in their past 10 games and is coming off a disappointing loss to the Fighting Irish. The Rink Rats have made some moves in the past couple of weeks to improve the success of the club including the acquisitions of goaltender Scott Clemmensen, Andy McDonald and Roman Hamrlik. Hamrlik hasn’t played a game with the Rats yet but is expected to do so later this week after recovering from an injury sustained in the Olympic tournament.
Clemmensen hasn’t missed a game since coming over to replace injured goaltender Ryan Miller. Since his acquisition Clemmensen has stolen the number 1 job from Miller going 5-5-1 with a 2.64 gaa and .919 sv%. Even after a stellar performance by Miller in Team USA’s silver medal Olympic run, Miller has found himself back on the Minnesota bench following the Olympics. He’s not bitter however and wants to do everything he can to help the club succeed.
Following the Rink Rats’ loss to the Fighting Irish, Miller was one of the players who stood up in front of the others to state that their play was unacceptable. Mike Cammalleri summarized what was said after the player meeting, “We just basically stood up and discussed our team’s recent play. I mean we can’t continuously lose games that we should win. There are no excuses but we need to perform better; we need to score more goals and make better use of our chances. It’s nice to see that management is dedicated to winning by bringing in guys like Brad (Richards) Andy (McDonald) and Roman (Hamrlik). Not to mention Scottie (Clemmensen) has played incredible for us.”
Other Rat’s News
Brad Richards and David Krejci both appear to be 100% following some nagging injuries. Krejci, who is making a serious run at the Calder Trophy, has been battling a wrist injury for the past 15-20 games.
Richards has had an undisclosed upper-body injury since he was acquired from the Stampede at game 36. He’s played well during this time but Minnesota’s coaching staff is excited to see what he can do centering sniper Mike Cammalleri while playing 100%.
The Rink Rats will visit the surging Niagara Falls Icedogs in a rematch of last year’s Cyber Cup Finals. Richards is expected to center Cammalleri on the first line with Patrick O’Sullivan riding shotgun. Krejci will likely play on the second line centering red-hot Matthew Lombardi. A win against the Icedogs would be huge for Minnesota leading into the last quarter of the season.