The Albany Rebels picked up their first win of the season at the Montreal Tournament on Saturday but could not successfully defend last year's title. Albany lost their two preliminary matches against Calgary (2-5 to 0-1) and Ottawa (0-6 to 0-0), who went on to play in the finals, before beating Montreal in a consolation game 3-4 to 1-4.
After losing to Calgary in the opener, Albany improved against Ottawa, especially in the defensive end. Fullbacks Dylan Conklin, Tucker Conklin, Frank Cabe and Dave Palmesano, along with the midfield line, kept Ottawa's scoring opportunities to distance and allowed no shots on goal.
However, Albany could not execute offensively and were held scoreless.
The Rebels were determined to win their final match of the day, and used lessons learned to make it happen. Albany jumped out to an early lead against Montreal and controlled the match throughout. Midfielder Mark Adam opened the scoring with a point off a free kick and forwards Stefano Sainato and Ryan Moloney both scored goals in the first six minutes to open up a comfortable lead.
Forward Joe Bradley scored his first career goal in the second half when Spencer Bassette found Adam streaking down the middle of the field. As Adam drew a defender he hand-passed to a wide open Bradley on the right side who fired the ball past the keeper.
Bassette chipped in two points and Moloney also scored a point in the match.
"After an early morning start, and a tough draw resulting in two losses to the eventual first and second place teams, it would have been really easy for our team to pack it in knowing we couldn't defend our title," Moloney said. "Instead, we kept our heads up and showed great resilience to put together our best game of the season. It was an encouraging end to a tough day, and some much needed momentum with Syracuse coming to town in a couple weeks."
After the tournament, the Rebels met up with the other clubs for a postgame party at Hurley's Irish Pub in Montreal.