The return of defenseman Jay Bouwmeester ignited the Minnesota Rink Rats team last night when they picked up their first win in 11 games. The team played hard against a resurgent Hoodrats team and skated to a 4-2 win. Bouwmeester’s return no doubt gives the team a lift as they had played without their injured captain for 11 straight games. The team struggled during his departure going 0-8-2 when he was out of the lineup and are currently 2-11-3 through the first 16 games of the season.
Since his return, Bouwmeester has 4 assists and is plus-1 in the 2 games he’s played, playing very effectively on the Rink Rats’ 2nd line and specialty teams. Mike Cammalleri, the team’s leading scorer with 13 points in 16 games stated that Bouwmeester’s return gives them something they were missing before – leadership. “He’s definitely our leader on the ice and in the locker room. He plays an important role at both ends of the ice and our record shows how important he is to our team. We have some ground to make up, but hopefully our guys can start putting in some goals and we can make a run”.
In other Rink Rat’s news David Krejci & Kyle Cumiskey were reassigned to Minnesota’s WFHL affiliate in Duluth. Krejci, 22, had 3 goals and 2 assists in the 8 games he played this season with Minnesota and carried a plus-1 rating. Head Coach Barry Melrose stated, “This is only temporary for David. He’s a terrific young player and we’re really excited to see him in our lineup again really soon. David needs to continue to improve on his game at both ends of the ice and if he continues the progress he’s made already he’ll be a 1st line star for us real soon”.
The Rink Rats have a few upcoming crucial games against conference teams like the Cats, Voodoo, Bulls and Dynamite. The team is hoping LW Derek Roy can break his slump and start putting in some goals. Roy has 1 goal and 9 assists in 16 games thus far and has really struggled to find the net. Melrose will continue to move Roy around in the lineup to hopefully help increase his production.