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Engineer Gets Time with Rats

Albany Times Union, March 22, 2007

Even with a college try, the Rats were unable to come away from Worcester with a win.

Craig Valette scored two goals, including the third-period game winner as the Worcester Sharks beat Albany, 3-2, Wednesday night in Worcester, Mass.

Worcester closed to within one point of fourth-place Lowell in the battle for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.

The game featured RPI's Kirk MacDonald in his debut after signing an amateur tryout contract with Albany.

MacDonald had two shots on goal in the game.

"We lost 3-2, but it was a good experience. I got a regular shift, I got out there and ran into some bodies," MacDonald said after the loss. "It's definitely faster (than college hockey), but it's more controlled."

MacDonald, 23, had a team-high 12 goals and tied for the club lead in scoring with 27 points in 33 games this season for RPI.

MacDonald missed all of the 2005-06 season battling testicular cancer. He had 47 goals and 56 assists in 137 games during his career at RPI.

"There were some other teams who wanted me to play in the AHL, but the Rats are right here. I can stay at home. It was sort of a spur of the moment thing."

MacDonald said he still has his sights set on making it to the NHL.

"That's what I hope to achieve, absolutely." he said. "That's what it's all about. That's why I play. In the position I was in, being sick, that was a setback, but I was able to get back and I'm still trying to get there (to the NHL)."

MacDonald will have more chances this weekend with the Rats in Hamilton on Friday and in Syracuse on Saturday.

Wednesday night, Garrett Stafford had the other Sharks goal while Ryan Bayda and Brad Parsons scored for the River Rats. Johnny Boychuk assisted on both goals.