Thompson, Lorito Keep Devils On Pace
ALBANY, NY — Paul Thompson’s natural hat trick lifted the Albany Devils to a 4-1 victory against the Binghamton Senators Saturday at Times Union Center. Matt Lorito setup all three tallies as the Devils claimed their sixth win in the last seven contests.
Albany improves to 33-26-5-6 overall with 77 points. At the time the game ended, the team was four points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The eighth-place Portland Pirates and the ninth-place Springfield Falcons face each other later in the day.
Thompson’s third hat trick of the season gave him his 30th, 31st and 32nd goal of the season. He is tied with Chris Minard (2006-07) for the franchise record for goals in a season.
“He came in to training camp and started showing that he can score right away and to his credit, he started the season with four quick goals,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky of Thompson’s output this season. “He has grabbed that number one spot and never let it go. He is taking advantage of his opportunities and certainly has a nose for the net.”
Matt Lorito, who signed an ATO on Mar. 13, has six points (2g-4a) in seven games this season.
Netminder Scott Clemmensen registered his ninth win of the season, making 26 saves.
After falling behind 1-0 at 14:12 of the third, Thompson and Lorito were instrumental in the second period with back-to-back power-play goals. Thompson scored at 12:31 to tie the game when Lorito charged to the net past a few defenders. Once the puck popped loose, Thompson sniped one behind Peter Mannino into the upper-left corner.
“Whenever you are on the ice for a goal or when the team is going then you get a little extra jump and gain confidence,” Thompson said. “We were getting pucks to the net and we supported each other well together as a line and our power play was moving. I think it’s about confidence and getting pucks to the net.”
Just minutes later, Thompson scored the go-ahead-goal at 14:56. The play started in the defensive end when Thompson sent the puck up ice to Lorito, who gave it back to Thompson for a wrister from the left face-off dot.
“Goals are hard to come by in the league,” Lorito said. “I thought we were playing well the first period and then that power-play goal got our confidence back. The game seemed to be a little easier after that. We had more confidence with the puck and we settled in and ended up getting a few more which was good.”
Thompson completed the hat trick at 14:59 of the third just as a power play expired. Brandon Burlon passed to Lorito, who found Thompson back door.
“Thompson is one of those guys who has a knack for finding the holes around the net,” Kowalsky said. “Matt isn’t the biggest guy, but he is quick and strong on his stick. He is not afraid to go to those hard areas and when he does with speed and when he penetrates he either gets a chance or draws attention. He has the ability to get his head up and find that guy open.”
Albany has 10 man-advantage goals during the last six games, going 10-37 … The team’s penalty kill is 20-20 during the last six games and 32-33 during the last nine outings … Albany improves to 2-1-0-0 against Binghamton this season.
The Devils begin a three-game road swing with a 7:05 pm start against the Senators. The outing will be the fourth and final meeting between the two clubs this season. Fans can follow the action online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com.