Monthly Archives: October 2011

Weekend Wrapup: An Errant Elbow and a 50/50 Split

As I get past Snowtober (too early to start my snow rants…but sorry, Halloween and snow DO NOT MIX), time to recap a very interesting last 2 days in Devil land:

10/28 at Binghamton: 4-2 L

The Devils started out strong against last year’s Calder Cup MVP Robin Lehner and the Senators. Things became physical early on with an early bout between Myles Stoesz and Francis Lessard after rookie Wacey Hamilton high sticked Stoesz near the benches. Matt Corrente got the visitors on the board with a goal during the ensuing power play. But Binghamton tied it up a short time later on a power play goal by Nikita Filatov. Second period things got very interesting…first came a second bout between Jay Leach and former River Rat captain Tim Conboy. Corey Cowick gave the B-Sens a 2-1 lead halfway through the period. Then with less than 5 minutes left in the period, things took an ugly turn. As Filatov was skating over center ice, he and Tim Sestito collided, with Sestito’s elbow nailing Filatov right in the back of the head. Next thing you know, everyone in white jumped onto Sestito, Lehner left the crease ready to rumble, and even Jeff Frazee sort of skated near the pile (but he went right back to the net). Sestito was given a match penalty for an illegal check to the head, and Lehner got 4 minutes for roughing and leaving the crease. Here’s a link via NewsChannel 34 in Binghamton if you want to check it out. Once peace was restored (well on ice anyway…fans started taking it out on the few Albany fans including myself. Stay classy), an extended 4 on 4 ensued, followed by an Albany 4 on 3 after Corey Locke took a slashing call. Just as the power play expired, Joe Whitney tied the game up at 2 all. Third period saw Filatov come back to the game and the B-Sens took over. Mike Hoffman scored the go ahead goal with about 5 minutes remaining and Pat Cannone scored an empty netter to seal the win for the defending champs. Despite the loss, Albany outshot Binghamton 44-37, including a 23-8 advantage in the second period.

10/29 vs. Hamilton: 3-2 W

First Canadian team to visit Albany in about 4 years…ironically on the same day a freak October snowstorm hits the area. For those that didn’t brave the elements to come downtown…you missed a pretty good game. Joe Whitney opened the scoring with less than 7 minutes left in the first, then fellow rookie Mike Sislo scored his 3rd of the season to give the hosts a 2-0 cushion. Hamilton’s Olivier Fortier broke up Jeff Frazee’s shutout bid with 11:42 left in the 3rd period, then Darcy Zajac scored what became a very important goal just under 6 minutes later. Garrett Stafford scored a power play tally with 2 and a half to go to come within 3-2 but the Devils shut the door after that (barely; with an empty net Hamilton had about 2-3 near misses). Frazee had another strong outing, stopping 21 of 23 shots and picking up his 3rd win since Keith Kinkaid’s recall to New Jersey.

A few leftovers from the week:

-On Wednesday Albany announced the signing of forward Steve Bernier to a contract. He had been in New Jersey’s camp on a tryout but did not sign when camp broke. A few weeks later here he is. He played in both games this weekend.

-Vladimir Zharkov returned to the lineup Saturday night after missing the last 4 games. Chad Wiseman and Mike Hoeffel remain out due to injury. And rookie Brandon Burlon is still a defensive numbers game victim along with Dan Kelly, both sat out the weekend while Alexander Urbom returned to the lineup after a 2 game hiatus. Tim Sestito sat out Saturday night with the automatic game suspension after taking the match penalty on Friday night, still waiting on word how much longer he’ll sit out.

Looking Ahead:

3 more home games on the slate this week as the calendar turns to November. Wednesday the B-Sens come calling for the 3rd time this season (and this time without Lehner and Filatov possibly, both were recalled to Ottawa); Friday night Norfolk pays their first visit to Albany…the Admirals are off to a very good start, leading the East Division (and that division is no slouch either). Saturday night in comes Connecticut…and this time we may have Sean Avery in the house, he made his Whale debut Friday night against Adirondack.

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Game #10: Albany vs. Hamilton

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY. Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

First meeting. Future matchup: February 10th @ Hamilton.

Standings:

Albany, 3-6-0-0, 5th place in Northeast Division; Hamilton, 4-2-0-0, 8 points, 3rd place in North Division

Leading Scorers:

Hamilton: Garrett Stafford, 5 points (1 G, 4 A combined with POR/HAM); 6 players tied with 3 points each

Albany: Matt Anderson, 6 points (3 G, 3 A); Joe Whitney, 6 points (1 G, 5 A); 3 players tied with 5 points each

Goaltending:

Hamilton: Nathan Lawson, 4-2-0, 2.45 GAA; Robert Mayer, 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA

Albany: Jeff Frazee, 1-4-0, 4.22 GAA; Maxime Clermont, 1-0-0, 1.99 GAA

Miscellaneous:

Kids 12 and under that show up in costume will get a free ticket.

Following Along?

Radio: AHL Live for Albany; 820 CHAM for Hamilton.

Twitter: myself, @AlbanyDevils or @Bill_Cain_ for Albany; @BulldogsAHL or @dogsplaybyplay for Hamilton.

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Game #9: Albany at Binghamton

Location: Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, NY. Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Binghamton leads 1-0.

Standings:

Albany: 3-5-0-0, 6 points, tied for 4th place in Northeast Division; Binghamton, 3-3-1-0, 7 points, 4th place in East Division

Leading Scorers:

Albany: Matt Anderson, 6 points (3 G, 3 A); Mike Sislo, 5 points (2 G, 3 A); 4 players tied with 4 points each

Binghamton: Mark Parrish, 7 points (5 G, 2 A); Corey Locke, 6 points (0 G, 6 A); 4 players tied with 4 points each

Goaltending:
Albany: Jeff Frazee, 1-3-0, 4.50 GAA; Maxime Clermont, 1-0-0, 1.99 GAA

Binghamton: Robin Lehner, 3-2-0, 2.93 GAA; Mike McKenna, 0-2-0, 5.09 GAA

Miscellaneous:
Families of the B-Sens will be selling Love For Lokomotiv bracelets, with all proceeds going to families of the victims of the plane crash in Yaroslavl.

Following Along?

Radio: AHL Live for Albany, 1430 AM The Team for Binghamton.

Twitter: myself or @AlbanyDevils for Albany, @BSens_Hockey or @PSBJoyOnTheSens for Binghamton.

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Weekend Wrap #3

Second 3 in 3 of the season for the Devils…and to me, I think they’re finally turning the corner and starting to get it together. They played outstanding against a couple of first place teams and one second place team, snagging four out of a possible six points on the weekend. Time to take a look back at the weekend’s events:

10/21 vs. Hershey: 4-1 L

I’ll admit it, I was a little worried going into Friday night considering Hershey’s history with both Albany teams. I was there the night the Bears dropped a 10 spot on two very good goalies in Justin Peters and Mike Murphy (and a few 8 goal games after that). And knowing how Jeff Frazee had struggled early on, I had a bad feeling of a blowout game. The boys proved me wrong, playing very well against the Bears, but not good enough for a win. The Devils got things going early on, taking an early lead on a Steven Zalewski goal and not allowing the Bears many chances. Matthew Ford tied it up at 1 midway through the first then Cody Eakin scored on the power play late in the period. Despite the one goal deficit, the Devils outshot the visitors 10-7. After that, the Bears turned it up. They outshot Albany 10-7 and added to their lead on a Christian Hanson goal. Albany could only get 2 shots on Braden Holtby in the 3rd and a Boyd Kane power play tally put the game away late for the visitors. Overall, play was much improved compared to the weekend before, especially against a high caliber team, but just not enough to get in the left column.

10/22 vs. Adirondack: 5-2 W

It took a visit from their Northway rivals for the Devils to finally get back on track. It didn’t quite start out that way though… right after Phantom goalie Michael Leighton (one of my all time favorite Rats…so hard for me to cheer against him now) robs rookie Joe Whitney on a breakaway chance, veteran Denis Hamel (or Grandpa as section 114 calls him…sorry can’t call him that when he’s just a year older than me) got the visitors on the board early in the 1st period. Rookie Mike Sislo tied it up at 1 halfway through the period. Second period, it was all Albany, and in the most unlikely of ways…on a power play that had only been 1 for 25 for the season entering the night. Hamel did notch a power play tally to give the Phantoms the lead back, but it was short lived. Rookie Eric Gelinas scored his first pro goal on a power play to tie the game up at 2. Then referee Geno Binda waived off what would have been a go ahead goal for the Phantoms (off the stick of Zac Rinaldo, of all people). Defenseman Peter Harrold gave the Devils the lead for good just after that with the second power play tally of the period (yes the Devils doubled their season power play output in just 4 minutes of play). But they weren’t done yet…less than 3 minutes later Gelinas scored his second on the power play for a 4-2 lead. Third period provided Jeff Frazee’s crowning moment of the season so far…with 3 Phantoms surrounding him and no stick, he put on a major goaltending clinic, stopping about 3-4 shots in succession. And to top off the resurgence of the power play, Matt Anderson added a 4th power play marker late in the 3rd to seal the 5-2 Devil victory. Frazee finally notched his first win of the season, stopping 25 shots and earning #2 star honors (#1 went to Gelinas, who added an assist to go along with his two power play goals).

10/23 at Providence: 3-2 W (OT)

Only the second road game of the season for Albany, and this one went a little better than the first one. Steven Zalewski gave the visitors an early 1-0 lead in the first, then Zach Hamill tied things up late in the period for the Bruins. No scoring during the second period, but Albany outshot the hosts by a 14-7 margin. Third period saw the Devils take an early 2-1 lead on a Dan Kelly (playing as a forward per the radio broadcast instead of his regular position on defense) tally, only to see Hamill score his second with under 7 minutes left. The game went to overtime…and before you could blink, it was over. Tim Sestito scored the game winner just 12 seconds into the extra period and Albany took its second straight win. Rookie goaltender Maxime Clermont made his professional debut and did not disappoint, stopping 28 of 30 shots for his first victory.

Additional Notes:

-On Saturday Adam Henrique was recalled to New Jersey after Jacob Josefson broke his collarbone Friday night against San Jose and needed surgery.

-Chad Wiseman, Vladimir Zharkov and Mike Hoeffel sat out the weekend with various lower body injuries. Not sure when either will be back in the lineup.

-Alexander Urbom was a healthy scratch both Saturday and Sunday. No reason given.

Looking Ahead:

Only two games on the slate this week: Friday night the Devils travel west on I-88 to Binghamton to face the Senators for the 2nd time this season. Then they return home on Saturday to face the Hamilton Bulldogs, a team no Albany squad has seen since I believe the 07-08 season. I do plan on making the trip to Bingo on Friday (one of my more frequent road trip stops), and of course will be in attendance on Saturday night.

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Game #8: Albany at Providence

Location: Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, RI. Time: 4:05 PM.

Season Series:

First meeting. Future matchups: February 12th @ Providence; March 30th & April 14th @ Albany

Standings:

Albany: 2-5-0-0, 4 points, 5th place in Northeast Division; Providence, 4-3-0-0, 8 points, 2nd place in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers:

Providence: Zach Hamill, 5 points (2 G, 3 A); Carter Camper, 4 points (1 G, 3 A); 7 players tied with 3 points each

Albany: Matt Anderson, 6 points (3 G, 3 A); Stephane Veilleux, 5 points (0 G, 5 A); Mike Sislo, 4 points (2 G, 2 A)

Goaltending:

Providence: Anton Khudobin, 3-3-0, 3.33 GAA; Karel St. Laurent, 1-0-0, 3.46 GAA

Albany: Jeff Frazee, 1-3-0, 4.50 GAA; Maxime Clermont, 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA

Following Along?

You can listen in on AHL Live for Albany or Providence. On the Twitter side: myself or @AlbanyDevils for Albany or @AHLBruins for Providence.

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Game #7: Albany vs. Adirondack

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY. Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

First meeting. Future matchups: November 26th and December 31st @ Adirondack; January 16th @ Albany; January 20th @ Adirondack; January 28th and March 3rd @ Albany; March 10th and April 6th @ Adirondack; April 7th @ Albany

Standings:

Albany, 1-5-0-0, 2 points, 5th place in Northeast Division; Adirondack, 4-1-0-0, 6 points, 1st place in Northeast Division

Leading Scorers:

Adirondack: Denis Hamel, 7 points (4 G, 3 A); Harry Zolnierczyk, 6 points (2 G, 4 A); Garrett Roe, 6 points (1 G, 5 A)

Albany: 3 tied with 3 points each

Goaltending:

Adirondack: Michael Leighton, 4-0-0, 1.97 GAA; Jason Bacashihua, 0-1-0, 9.68 GAA

Albany: Jeff Frazee, 0-3-0, 5.33 GAA; Keith Kinkaid, 1-2-0, 2.62 GAA (currently on recall to New Jersey); Maxime Clermont, 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA

Miscellaneous:

Game 1 of the Time Warner Cable Cup series; Fall Drop Off Coat Drive; and Deuces Wild: 2 tickets, 2 hats, 2 vouchers to a future game, 2 popcorns, and 2 sodas for $30.

Following Along?

You can listen in on AHL Live for Albany or Q 101.7 FM for Adirondack. On the Twitter side: myself or @AlbanyDevils for Albany, @PhantomsHockey or @PSPhantoms for Adirondack.

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Game #6: Albany vs. Hershey

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY. Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

First meeting. Future matchups: November 19th and March 17th @ Hershey; March 18th @ Albany

Standings:

Albany, 1-4-0-0, 2 points, 5th place in Northeast Division; Hershey, 3-0-1-0, 7 points, 1st place in East Division

Leading Scorers:

Hershey: Chris Bourque, 8 points (4 G, 4 A); Keith Aucoin, 8 points (2 G, 6 A); Graham Mink, 5 points (1 G, 4 A)

Albany: 3 players tied with 3 points each; 4 players tied with 2 points each

Goaltending:

Hershey: Dany Sabourin, 2-0-0, 3.50 GAA; Braden Holtby, 1-1-0, 3.97 GAA

Albany: Jeff Frazee, 0-2-0, 6.00 GAA; Keith Kinkaid, 1-2-0, 2.62 GAA (currently on recall to New Jersey); Maxime Clermont, 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA

Miscellaneous:

Pregame Happy Hour 6-7 PM, $2 beer; College Night, $10 student tickets.

Following Along?

You can listen in on AHL Live for Albany or 1460 The Ticket for Hershey. On the Twitter side: myself, @AlbanyDevils, or @Bill_Cain_ for Albany, @TheHersheyBears, @sweetesthockey or @ScottStuccio for Hershey (just watch out for the Hershey Bears Bot!).

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Weekend Wrap #2

First 3-in-3 weekend is in the books…and it was, well, all over the map. From a shootout win to a couple of deflating losses, it was an interesting weekend for the Devils to say the least. Time for a little recap:

10/14 vs Connecticut: 3-2 W (SO)

Early on not a lot of offense but a lot of physical play on both sides. Andre Deveaux got the Whale on the board late in the first on a power play tally, then rookie Carl Hagelin gave Connecticut a 2 goal lead early on in the second. Then the Devils comeback began…Joe Whitney scored his first pro goal to cut the deficit to 2-1 late in the period. Matt Anderson tied it up in the 3rd on a power play, the first for any Devil this season. Nothing doing offensively through the 3rd period and overtime…but tempers flared, leading to a fight at center ice between Brendan Bell and Tim Sestito, who was still chirping the Whale bench as he left the ice. Matt Taormina was the only player on either side to score in the shootout round as the Devils won their first of the season. Rookie Keith Kinkaid was outstanding in net, stopping 30 shots in regulation and OT and all 5 chances in the shootout to earn his first pro win and the first Devil #1 star of the season.

10/15 at Worcester: 6-1 L

First road game of the season for the Devils, and also the first New Jersey callup: With Martin Brodeur recovering from a shoulder injury, Keith Kinkaid was summoned to the big club to play doorman in Nashville behind Johan Hedberg, leaving Jeff Frazee working without a net, so to speak. Albany also had the services of Adam Henrique, down for the weekend to get some game action in. The Sharks, in their home opener, jumped to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Benn Ferriero and Matt Irwin. Vladimir Zharkov would score on a 4-on-4 situation to cut the deficit in half, but that was all the offense the Devils could provide. Former River Rat Ben Guite scored on a power play midway through the second to put the Sharks back up by 2. Then all hell started breaking loose…first a get together in the corner by the Sharks net resulted in a fight between the two Capital Region natives, Jay Leach for Albany and Nick Petrecki for Worcester (and how was the local media not all over this one is beyond me). Third period was all Sharks and more fisticuffs…rookie James Livingston scored twice (once on a power play) and Mike Connolly added another tally with the man advantage. But Matt Corrente did have a beautiful bout in the corner with Cam Macintyre and both Stephen Gionta and Tim Sestito were given the early exit after referee Jamie Koharski would not listen to their constructive criticism (or they were chirping him, take your pick). Not a good night all around…Frazee allowed all 6 goals and the Sharks were 4 for 9 on the power play, not to mention the Devils only getting a total of 16 shots on goal.

10/16 vs. Binghamton: 4-2 L

Keith Kinkaid was reassigned to Albany after 1 day with New Jersey (as was the plan), jumped off the plane and right between the pipes. If he was tired from the travel, he didn’t show it. The Devils got off to a much better start than the night before, taking a 1-0 lead halfway through the first period on a Steven Zalewski goal. But less than 2 minutes later, the B-Sens tied it up, but barely. A shot by Nikita Filatov just barely missed Kinkaid’s out stretched glove and just went over the goal line (advantage of sitting behind the goal, you see shots like that). Matt Taormina gave the Devils the lead back halfway through the second…then things got a little chippy. Tim Sestito boarded Mark Borowiecki behind the B-Sens net, earning him a 5 minute major, a game misconduct, and a near fight with former River Rat captain Tim Conboy. The hit may have awoken the Senators…or the Devils just couldn’t keep up in the third period. Derek Grant scored the tying goal just 31 seconds into the third period, then rookie Pat Cannone (who ironically is a friend/workout partner of Kinkaid’s) scored the eventual winning goal with 8 and a half minutes left in the period. And for good measure Kaspars Daugavins scored into the empty net with 44 seconds left to seal Binghamton’s first regulation win. By the way, it was also postgame autograph session day…as any Albany regular knows, the Rats/Devils usually never win on those days.

Looking Ahead:

Another 3 in 3 awaits the boys this weekend, with two home matchups and one on the road. First up on Friday night is Hershey at home. The Bears have jumped out to their usual fast start with 3 out of 4 wins to begin the season. Saturday night at home Adirondack comes in for the first round of the Sestito…I mean Time Warner Cable Cup. Both Albany and Adirondack have 1 Cup win apiece since Glens Falls rejoined the league in 2009…and it doesn’t hurt to have a little sibling rivalry as well. Then on Sunday afternoon the Devils head back over the Mass Pike to Providence to face the Bruins. I will be at both Friday’s and Saturday’s games, but staying home on Sunday and doing everything from the comforts of my living room.

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Game #5: Albany vs. Binghamton

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY. Time: 4:00 PM.

Season Series:

First meeting. Future matchups: October 28th @ Binghamton, November 2nd & December 21st @ Albany, December 26th & January 27th @ Binghamton, February 19th @ Albany, March 16th @ Binghamton

Standings:

Albany, 1-3-0-0, 2 points, 5th place in Northeast Division; Binghamton, 1-2-1-0, 3 points, 5th place in East Division

Leading Scorers:

Binghamton: Mark Parrish, 6 points (4 G, 2 A); Kaspars Daugavins, 5 points (3 G, 2 A); Corey Locke, 5 points (0 G, 5 A)

Albany: Alexander Urbom, 3 points (0 G, 3 A); 5 players tied with 2 points each

Goaltending:

Binghamton: Robin Lehner, 1-1-0, 3.44 GAA; Mike McKenna, 0-2-0, 3.95 GAA

Albany: Keith Kinkaid, 1-1-0, 2.41 GAA; Jeff Frazee, 0-2-0, 6.00 GAA

Miscellaneous:

First post-game autograph session of the season, and also a post game public skate.

Following Along?

You can listen to AHL Live for Albany or WENE 1430 AM for Binghamton. On the Twitter side, myself, @AlbanyDevils or @Bill_Cain_ for Albany, @PSBJoyOnTheSens or @BSens_Hockey for Binghamton.

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Game #4: Albany at Worcester

Location: DCU Center, Worcester, MA. Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

First meeting. Future matchups: December 16th @ Albany, March 21st @ Albany, April 4 @ Worcester

Standings:

Albany: 1-2-0, 2 points, tied for 3rd place in Northeast Division; Worcester, 1-0-0, 2 points, tied for 2nd in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers:

Worcester: Nick Petrecki, 2 points (0 G, 2 A); 10 players tied with 1 point each

Albany: Matt Anderson, 2 points (2 G, 0 A); 4 players tied with 2 points each

Goaltending:

Worcester: Tyson Sexsmith, 1-0-0, 1.01 GAA; Thomas Heemskerk, 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA

Albany: Jeff Frazee, 0-1-0, 6.01 GAA; Keith Kinkaid, 1-1-0, 2.41 GAA

Miscellaneous:

Albany’s road opener, Worcester’s home opener.

Following Along?

You can listen in on AHL Live for Albany or WTAG 580 AM for Worcester.

On the Twitter side, myself or @AlbanyDevils for Albany, or @WorcesterSharks and @SharksAHLinGame for Worcester.

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