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Week 3 Primer

10/21, Game #4 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 4.  Future matchups: November 21st @ Albany; December 19th & April 17th @ Wilkes-Barre

Standings:

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: 2-2-0-0, 4 points, tied for 2nd in East Division

Penguins Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Dominik Uher, 3 points (0 G, 3 A); 6 players tied w/2 points

Jeff Zatkoff, 2-2-0, 2.72 GAA

Notes:

-This will be the first appearance in Albany for the Penguins since December 12, 2012, a 6-3 Devil win.  Both home games last season were in Atlantic City.

-The Pens are coming off a weekend sweep of St. John’s in Newfoundland, winning 2-1 in overtime on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday.

-Two names familiar to New Jersey fans on the roster: captain Tom Kostopoulos, picked up on waivers by the NHL Devils after the conclusion of the 2012-13 lockout and appeared in 15 games; and Pierre-Luc Leblond (known as PL3), who did two separate stints with New Jersey and is one of a handful of players who played for the River Rats as a Devil affiliate and for the A-Devils.

Listen: AHL Live, WILK 103.1 FM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @nafsnep, @WBSPenguins

10/24, Game #5 at Hartford

Location: XL Center, Hartford, CT.

Time: 7:00 PM.

10/25, Game #6 vs. Hartford

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Time: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: First 2 meetings of 10.  Future matchups: November 5th @ Hartford; November 26th @ Albany; December 11th & February 14th @ Hartford; February 15th & March 22nd @ Albany; April 11th @ Hartford; April 18th @ Albany

Standings:

Hartford: 2-0-1-0, 5 points, tied for 2nd in Northeast Division

Albany: 2-0-0-1, 5 points, tied for 2nd in Northeast Division

Wolfpack Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

2 players tied w/3 points

Cedrick Desjardins, 2-0-0, 1.92 GAA; Jason Missiaen, 0-0-1, 0.90 GAA

Notes:

-With 10 games, Hartford ties Bridgeport for the most games against Albany on the schedule.

-The Wolfpack are coming off a weekend homestand split, defeating Portland 2-1 on Saturday and losing 1-0 to Hershey in overtime on Sunday.

-There is a local tie on the Hartford roster: former RPI forward Ryan Haggerty is in his rookie year after being signed by the Rangers last spring.  He scored his first goal as a professional on Saturday against Portland.

Listen: AHL Live

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @WolfPackAHL

 

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Week 2 Photo Gallery

Dan Kelly

Dan Kelly

Mike Sislo

Mike Sislo

Corbin McPherson

Corbin McPherson

Scott Wedgewood

Scott Wedgewood

Raman Hrabarenka & Paul Thompson

Raman Hrabarenka & Paul Thompson

Extended gallery can be found over on the Facebook page.

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Week 2 Recap: A Sound Split

A little of everything this week for the Devils…seesaw battles on both sides, a sour ending, but then an exciting finish for a 1-0-0-1 record.

10/17 at Bridgeport: 5-4 L (SO)

Friday the Devils traveled south to start a weekend home and home series against an opponent they will be seeing quite a bit of during the first half of the season, the Sound Tigers.  And things got started in a hurry, as Steve Bernier scored just 21 seconds into the game for a quick 1-0 lead.  Johan Sundstrom would tie the game up just as the period was coming to a close.  Scott Timmins would take the lead back just 1:34 into the second period with his first goal of the season.  Bridgeport would answer with a power play goal by Anders Lee 34 seconds later.  Raman Hrabarenka would steal the lead back again with his first of the year 15 seconds later.  Of course the Sound Tigers would answer again with another tying goal 6 minutes later.  Hrabarenka would respond again with his second of the day on a power play late in the second for a 4-3 Devils game.  But in the third, Griffin Reinhart, in his first game with Bridgeport since being sent down by the Islanders, would tie the game again with his first goal.  It was on to overtime and the first chance to see the new OT rules in actual game action.  Both teams started out 4 on 4, but just before the whistle to signal the start of 3 on 3 action, Paul Thompson would get called for goaltender interference, creating a 4-on-3 advantage for Bridgeport.  The Devils survived the kill and made it to the new 3 round shootout.  Mike Sislo would score in the first round, but Reid Boucher and Thompson were both denied.  Keith Kinkaid would only stop 1 of 3 Sound Tiger shooters to give the hosts the extra point, something that looked improbable during regulation.  The Devils blew leads of 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and 4-3, survived overtime, but could not come up big in the shootout (sound familiar?).  Kinkaid finished with 29 saves (against 33 shots).  Five Devils would contribute assists.

Sound Tigers TV has the highlight reel.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo

Stefan Matteau-Tim Sestito-Steve Bernier

Ben Thomson-Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen

Extra: Rod Pelley, Chris McKelvie, Ben Johnson, Graham Black, David Wohlberg

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Brandon Burlon/Peter Harrold

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Extra: Reece Scarlett, Joe Faust

10/18 vs. Bridgeport: 3-2 W

For the first time since round 1 of the playoffs back in late April, it was back on home ice as the Devils tried to put the defeat the night before behind them.  Scooter Vaughan would give Bridgeport the lead with under 6 minutes to go in the first period.  But like the night before, the home team would respond shortly thereafter.  Paul Thompson would score his fifth 2 minutes later to tie things up at 1.  John Persson would give the Sound Tigers the 2-1 lead early in the third, but less than two minutes later, a Ben Thomson shot deflected into the Bridgeport net to tie the game at 2.  Who actually got credit for the goal?  Cam Janssen, who much like his stint in New Jersey last season, just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  It was his first AHL goal since March 2013.  As the end of regulation neared, Joe Whitney was sent to the box on a very questionable cross checking call, causing the Devils to be shorthanded through the end of the third.  But Thompson would come to the rescue, stealing the puck, broke away shorthanded, and scored his second of the night with just 44 seconds remaining in regulation to give Albany the win in their 2014-15 home debut.  Scott Wedgewood played well in his first start of the season, picking up the win and stopping 24 of 26 shots.  Four Devils each had an assist.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Rod Pelley-Tim Sestito-Steve Bernier

Reid Boucher-Mike Sislo-Kelly Zajac

Cam Janssen-Darcy Zajac-Ben Thomson

Extra: Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvie, Ben Johnson, Graham Black, David Wohlberg, Myles Bell

Defense Pairings:

Raman Hrabarenka/Dan Kelly

Peter Harrold/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Brandon Burlon, Joe Faust

Pop Quiz: Who was the last A-Devil to win a game with an overtime goal?  Stay tuned for the answer.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

You could say Ben Thomson had a memorable pro debut Friday night…

My Player of the Week:

Seriously, where would this team be without Paul Thompson right now?  I had said the first day of training camp that him, Joe Whitney, and Scott Timmins on one line was a good idea.  Honorable mention to Raman Hrabarenka for a 2 goal, 2 assist week.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (6)

Assists: Joe Whitney (4)

Points: Paul Thompson (7)

+/-: Seth Helgeson (+4)

Penalty Minutes: Dan Kelly (17)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid/Scott Wedgewood (1)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (2.00)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.926)

This Week’s Schedule:

Three games on tap this week.  Tuesday night the Devils host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Penguins first visit to the Capital Region since the 2012-13 season (both home games last season were in Atlantic City).  Friday and Saturday is a home and home–and the first 2 of 10 matchups–against Hartford, Friday night in Connecticut and back on home ice Saturday afternoon.

Pop Quiz Answer: Joe Whitney was the last A-Devil to win a game in overtime.  It happened way back on January 6, 2012, in Norfolk against the Admirals.

 

 

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Week 2 Primer

Game #2 10/17 at Bridgeport

Location: Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, CT.

Time: 7:00 PM.

Game #3 10/18 vs. Bridgeport

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Time: 5:00 PM.

Season Series:

First 2 meetings of 10.  Future matchups: November 1st @ Albany; November 8th & 9th @ Bridgeport; November 23rd @ Albany; January 3rd & 4th @ Bridgeport; January 10th @ Albany; January 21st @ Prudential Center (Albany home game)

Standings:

Bridgeport: 1-1-0-0, 2 points, tied for 1st in Northeast Division

Albany: 1-0-0-0, 2 points, tied for 1st in Northeast Division

Sound Tigers Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Harry Zolnierczyk, 3 points (2 G, 1 A); 6 tied with 2 points

David Leggio, 1-0-0, 3.00 GAA; Kevin Poulin, 0-1-0, 3.07 GAA

Notes:

-First divisional opponent the Devils will face this season, and one of their most frequent; Bridgeport and Hartford are tied for most matchups this season with 10 each.

-Albany finished with a 7-2-0-1 record against Bridgeport in 2013-14.

-The Sound Tigers are coming off a weekend split at home against St. John’s, losing 3-2 in their opener on Friday, then rebounding for a 6-3 win on Saturday.

-Sound Tigers goalie David Leggio has a local tie…he made one appearance in goal for the River Rats during the 2008-09 season, taking the loss against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on December 6, 2008.

-Saturday afternoon marks the Devils’ home opener, and the beginning of the first community initiative of the season, Cash for Coats.

Listen: AHL Live

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheSoundTigers, @fornabaioctp

 

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Week 1 Recap: Holy First Impressions!

Now this is how you start a season!

10/11 at Adirondack: 5-1 W

Chapter 3 of the Albany-Adirondack rivalry (well, not so much as the early Rats-Wings days of the mid 90s) kicked off Saturday night in Glens Falls as the Devils opened the season against the Flames, coming off a rough loss in Rochester the night before to start their first season in the North Country.  The newest Devil, Paul Thompson, scored the first goal of the season 7 minutes into the first for a 1-0 lead.  And he was just getting started.  Thompson scored a power play tally early in the second period to double the lead.  Brett Kulak would cut the Devils lead down to 1 with a power play goal of his own.  But in the third, Thompson would not only complete the hat trick, he would add a fourth goal for good measure just 3:47 apart to put the game away for the visitors.  Stefan Matteau would add his first goal of the year with just over 4 minutes to go to seal the win.  Keith Kinkaid earned his first win in net, stopping 34 of 35 shots.  Joe Whitney would assist on 3 of Thompson’s goals, while four other Devils contributed assists.

Highlights:

Lines:

I was not on hand for the game, but from what I could see in the highlights and box score this is what I was able to piece together (those on hand can correct me):

Paul Thompson-Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins

Reid Boucher-Graham Black-Mike Sislo

Rod Pelley-Stefan Matteau-Steve Bernier

Tim Sestito-Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen

Extra: Chris McKelvie, Kelly Zajac, David Wohlberg, Ben Thomson, Ben Johnson

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Brandon Burlon/Peter Harrold

Extra: Reece Scarlett, Joe Faust

Pop Quiz: Who was the last A-Devil before Paul Thompson to score 4 goals in a game?  Answer at the end of this post.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

No gloves dropped or faces punched last night.

My Player of the Week:

Scoring 4 goals in your debut makes it a slam dunk decision.  Who else but Paul Thompson?

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (4)

Assists: Joe Whitney (3)

Points: Paul Thompson (4)

+/-: Paul Thompson (+3)

Penalty Minutes: 3 tied with 2

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (1)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (1.00)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.971)

Notes:

-For the second straight season, Rod Pelley is the captain.  Tim Sestito and Mike Sislo sported the A’s.  Not sure if the assistant captains are all games or if there is a rotating home/away assignment.

This Week’s Schedule:

A home and home series with Bridgeport awaits.  Friday night the Devils make their first of 5 visits to southern Connecticut.  Saturday it’s back on home ice for the first time since the playoff run at the end of April.

And the Photo Gallery returns next Sunday!

Pop Quiz Answer: Prior to last night, Bobby Butler was the last A-Devil to score four goals in a game, accomplishing the feat on December 12, 2012, in a 6-3 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Times Union Center.

 

 

 

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Week 1 Primer

Game #1: Albany at Adirondack

Location: Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY.

Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 2.  Future matchup: December 7th at Albany.

Standings:

Adirondack: 0-1-0, 0 points, 5th place in North Division

Albany: 0-0-0, 0 points,  tied for 1st in Northeast Division

Flames Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

2 skaters tied with 1 point (Ken Agostino 1 goal; Ben Hanowski 1 assist)

Joni Ortio, 0-1-0, 6.23 GAA; Brad Thiessen, 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA

Notes:

-This marks Adirondack’s home opener, their first as the Flames (last 5 seasons as the Phantoms).

-If you were hoping for a possible matchup of former River Rat Trevor Gillies vs. Cam Janssen, sorry to disappoint you.  He will have to sit out tonight due to, well, being Trevor Gillies.

-One other local tie of note: former Union College forward Josh Jooris is a member of the Flames, in his second year pro.

-With the move from Abbotsford keeping Adirondack in the Western Conference, this marks Albany’s only visit to the North Country, despite being its closest opponent on the schedule.

Listen: AHL Live, Hits 95.9 FM

Twitter: @AlbanyDevils, @AHLFlames, @dianacnearhos

 

 

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One More Day…

Happy AHL Opening Day! (About time.)

Before Albany takes the ice up north tomorrow night to start the 2014-15 season, a few notes from the week to get everyone caught up:

-On Tuesday, New Jersey cut its final roster down to 23 by reassigning Cam Janssen, Steve Bernier, and Peter Harrold to Albany, after all three cleared waivers on Monday.  This will be the second tour of duty for both Bernier and Harrold, who both skated for the A-Devils during the 2011-12 season.  Janssen will be skating in Albany for the third season in a row after splitting the last two seasons between both Albany and New Jersey.

-Albany released Renat Mamashev, Alexandre Carrier, and Tom Hartnett from their professional tryout deals.  The current roster now stands at 28 players (17 F, 8 D, 3 G), which I expect to be reduced once an ECHL affiliate is found.

In league news:

-On Tuesday the AHL announced that Utica would be the host for the 2015 AHL All Star Classic, to be held January 25th (Skills Competition) and 26th (Hall of Fame, All-Star Game).  With Utica being a less than 90 minute drive for me, I am hoping to actually go to my first All Star events this year.  Well, ticket purchase and weather permitting, of course.

-And yesterday in Glens Falls, the newest AHL mascot, Scorch, was introduced to the world.  I’m still shaking my head over this one.

-Our friends over at Chirps from Center Ice have a full league preview, broken down by division.

Look for the Week 1 Primer (as mentioned earlier, I will only be doing pregamers once a week this season) early tomorrow afternoon.

 

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