While the majority of the 2012 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Champions were in Waltham yesterday for the season ending Pike's Peak Awards Banquet, senior alternate captain Barry Almeida was a little further down the Pike making his professional debut.
Skating against the Worcester Sharks at the DCU Center - a place that surely holds some fond memories for the winger - Almeida opened the scoring at 2:57 of the first period with his first professional goal. Wearing number 23, Almeida finished the day with the goal, no assists, three shots, and a plus one, as Hershey fell to Worcester 3-2. Former Eagle and AHL Man of the Year Nick Petrecki was held off the score sheet for the Sharks.
Elsewhere in the AHL, Tommy Cross was a scratch for the Providence Bruins in their season finale yesterday. The Boston College captain got into Friday's and Saturday's games with the Baby B's, finishing his abbreviated pro debut with no points, two penalty minutes, four shots, and a plus one.
In other AHL press box news, Brain Dumoulin was scratched by the Charlotte Checkers for the third straight game on Sunday. The AHL affiliate of the former Hartford Whalers lost 6-1 to Milwaukee, ending their season one point shy of the eighth and final playoff spot. One wonders if a certainly highly-coveted Hobey Baker finalist might have been able to help them out over the season's final weekend. It remains surprising that Dumoulin never saw the ice after Carolina very clearly wanted to sign him as far back as last year.
So along with Cross and Dumoulin, Paul Carey's season is also over as Lake Erie fell two points short of the playoffs. Carey finishes with no points, two penalty minutes, a minus one, and three shots in his first two pro games. Almeida and Hershey will play on with a first round match-up against Carl Sneep, Brian Gibbons, Philip Samuelsson, and the SWB Penguins.
Lastly, in NHL news, Chris Kreider appears likely to be a healthy scratch again tonight for Game 3 of the Rangers Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series against the Ottawa Senators. Despite Carl Hagelin - another rookie with blazing speed whom the Rangers specifically instructed Kreider to model his play after - being handed a three game suspension for elbowing Daniel Alfredsson in Game 2, it appears the Rangers will dress enforcer John Scott rather than Kreider. The series took a nasty turn on Saturday night - with former BC captain Brian Boyle right in the thick of it - and the Rangers may feel that Scott's brawn is preferable to Kreider's all-around skill set at present.