The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Rats injured in bus crash UPDATE 15

Keith Aucoin set River Rats single-season franchise records with 70 assists and 99 points in 2006-07, and in his two seasons with Albany, established himself as a fan favorite.

Aucoin is with Hershey this season, having signed a two-year deal with the Washington Capitals. He was already at the Bears' home rink when he found out about the Rats team bus crash early this morning in the Berkshire County town of Becket, Mass.

"Right away I was pretty nervous, because I played with those guys and I know half the guys on that team," Aucoin said tonight from Rochester, where Hershey plays Friday night. "I was able to get hold of some of the guys to make sure they were all right. It's tough to hear news like that. It's something that could happen to anybody.

"I could have been on the bus with those guys. I'm glad to hear nobody got hurt too bad, which is good. I'm just thankful that everybody's alive."

The daytime weather was good for the Bears' five-hour trip to western New York.

"There's so many times when you travel late at night in weather like that," Aucoin said. "It's crazy to think that it doesn't happen more often, but thankfully it doesn't."

Aucoin said he was able to speak with Rats players Pat Dwyer, who was on the bus; captain Tim Conboy, who was recalled to the Carolina Hurricanes this morning and was not on board; and injured winger Trevor Gillies, who also stayed behind.

Aucoin also sent a text message to defenseman Casey Borer. Borer, defenseman Jonathan Paiement, forwards Joe Jensen and Nicolas Blanchard and radio broadcaster John Hennessy all remain at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass.

"I knew it was going to be a hectic day for them, so I waited a while," Aucoin said. "The guys I talked to said they were OK, which is good to hear. It's just so surreal that it could happen anytime to anybody. It's tough even to come up with words to say. I'm just happy everybody's OK. I think those guys are real lucky. It could have been a lot worse."

Enjoy this post? Share it!


February 19, 2009
11:35 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

As Always...Thanks Phil...great job with the "information" as it became available.
And the team,the staff & broadcast crew all have many of Canes fans here in North carolina pulling and praying for a speedy recovery for everyone.

Go Rats !!

February 20, 2009
12:48 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I am glad that despite the injuries that no one died, that crash was horrific and may next time lead to staying put the night when you don't have a game to get to.

It is wonderful that the story is being covered all over people have asked me from different places how the players are doing. Local media (present company excluded) which hardly ever gives us this much coverage on the Rats, too bad it took something like this to get coverage for the team.

We know the game Friday is rescheduled, I hope that the play on Sunday, but if they do cancel the autograph session.

February 20, 2009
7:42 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

InMarkets like Albany and the region...people really don't understand what they have in many cases until they lose it...While the rats is not a fortune 100 company...but they like other AHL teams, do bring a flavor to the area that makes each market special in it's own way. While i am a new Rat Fan and i do live in Winston-Salem,NC and suport the Carolina Hurricanes...but it's the player there with you in the Albany area & egion is what will help and assist the NHL keep and maintain it's quality of players that come up through the ranks of the OHL,WHL,ECHL, AHL...And we do thank you,the fans there for your support of teams like the Rats and sports writters like Phil, who give all of us, the information and insights you DON'T always get from and is a good thing to see and to read the support for the Rats as individuals and just as team...Go Rats !!

columnists & blogs