In search of their sixth straight win to close out the 2016 season, the Albany Rebels could not thwart a spirited Hartford comeback and had to settle for a 2-6, 2-6 draw in their final contest of the year. Despite not getting the win, the result means the Rebels finished their regular season with an undefeated record of five wins, one draw and no losses in full-sided games.
Liam Stewart made his debut for the Rebels, showing a natural fit for the full-forward position. He scored a goal and assisted on a Ryan Moloney goal in a matter of minutes toward the end of the first half. This contribution turned the game around and allowed Albany to carry a four point lead into the break.
“Liam displayed a real knack for goal,” player-coach Cillian Flavin said. “Every time the ball came his way he either scored, provided an assist or was a direct threat. He was unlucky to not have scored more with a couple of very near misses.”
Albany’s offense struggled to make an impact in the 2nd half, and while the defense played strong, it was not enough to prevent Hartford from coming back. Hartford tied the game with just under a minute to play, scoring a well-worked point from distance. Neither team could find a winner in the final 60 seconds.
While the result was disappointing for the Albany players, the club made tremendous progress in 2016 and should be proud of their individual and collective accomplishments.
“The standard of play from the beginning to the end of the year improved massively,” Flavin said. “In terms of defence we have come a long way. We have made it very difficult for teams to score goals on us and have made great strides in our build up play. Every fella on this team has improved and I can't wait for us to continue this work next year.”
Albany has one more outdoor training session on Tuesday before beginning its winter training program on November 18 at Afrim’s Sports in Colonie.