Week 4 Photo Gallery

Steve Bernier

Steve Bernier

Keith Kinkaid

Keith Kinkaid

Raman Hrabarenka

Raman Hrabarenka

Stefan Matteau & Brandon Burlon

Stefan Matteau & Brandon Burlon

Scott Wedgewood & Tim Sestito

Scott Wedgewood & Tim Sestito

Reece Scarlett & Scott Timmins

Reece Scarlett & Scott Timmins

Seth Helgeson, Joe Whitney, Paul Thompson

Seth Helgeson, Joe Whitney, Paul Thompson

As always, check the Facebook page for the extended gallery, including today’s postgame autograph session.

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Week 4 Recap: Back to Earth

It was inevitable…after an amazing October, November got started on a rough note.  Three out of a possible six points, but still a standings point in 8 of the first 9 games is not bad.

10/29 vs. Springfield: 4-2 W

Albany got an early start to the week thanks to a schedule change, hosting the Falcons on Wednesday (the game’s original date was December 2nd, but got moved up due to a concert date at the TU Center).  The visitors took a very quick 1-0 lead on a Ryan Craig goal just 1:10 in.  Craig would add a second goal on a power play 6 minutes later.  Graham Black, back in the lineup for the first time since opening weekend in Adirondack, would score his first as a professional on a deflection late in the period to cut the deficit in half.  Mike Sislo would tie the game at 2 midway through the second with his fifth goal.  On a delayed penalty late in the second, Scott Timmins would extend his season long point streak to seven games with his fourth, putting Albany ahead for good.  Black would add his second goal on a power play midway through the third for insurance.  With the win, the Devils remained the only team in the league without a regulation loss and extended their win streak to 5.  Keith Kinkaid settled down after a shaky first period and stopped 30 of 32 shots in picking up his fourth win.  Stefan Matteau returned to the lineup after missing a week due to injury and contributed two assists.  Four other Devils each had a helper.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Stefan Matteau-Mike Sislo-Graham Black

Tim Sestito-Chris McKelvie-Steve Bernier

Rod Pelley-Darcy Zajac-Ben Thomson

Extra: Cam Janssen, Kelly Zajac (both inj), Ben Johnson, David Wohlberg

Defense Pairings:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Peter Harrold

Extra: Reece Scarlett, Joe Faust

11/1 vs. Bridgeport: 4-1 L

The homestand continued as the calendar turned over to November, and Albany saw a familiar foe come in, facing Bridgeport for the third time in 8 games.  Paul Thompson would add to his league leading goal total, notching his 8th on a 5-on-3 power play midway through the first period (and with the assist, Scott Timmins extended his point streak to 8 games) for a 1-0 lead.  Bridgeport tied the game up halfway through the second on a lucky (or in Scott Wedgewood’s case, unlucky) bounce and a kick into the Albany net (goal credited to C. J. Stretch for those keeping score).  The visitors would essentially put the game away late in the period, scoring twice in 2:28 (the second on a 5-on-3 power play) to take a 3-1 lead.  Bridgeport would add a power play/empty net goal late in the third to seal the victory, the first regulation loss for Albany on the season (it had to happen sometime, unfortunately).  Wedgewood stopped 22 of 25 shots in the loss.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Rod Pelley-Tim Sestito-Steve Bernier

Stefan Matteau-Mike Sislo-Graham Black

Darcy Zajac-Ben Thomson-Chris McKelvie

Extra: Cam Janssen, Kelly Zajac, Ben Johnson, David Wohlberg

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Peter Harrold

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Reece Scarlett, Joe Faust

11/2 vs. Portland: 2-1 L (OT)

It was a very quick turnaround for Albany, as they hosted former Devil Mike McKenna and Portland for the first time this season.  And it was a very quick start out of the gate, as Joe Whitney scored his third of the year just 1:28 in for a 1-0 lead.  With the assist, Scott Timmins’s point streak hit 9 games.  A 20-25 minute delay due to ice conditions near the Zamboni entrance of the arena (or, the Devils Shoot Twice net) ended the first a little early, extending the second period.  The Pirates would tie the game up midway through the second on a power play goal by Dylan Reese.  After a penalty filled third period (nothing physical…or a typical Chris Brown called game) with nothing across, it was on to overtime, the second time for Albany this season.  The Devils had two very good chances early on–Mike Sislo just narrowly missed getting the puck across the line and Timmins had a great shot go wide.  But the Pirates would prevail 2:58 in, as Lucas Lessio scored the game winner to give Portland the win and the extra point.  Keith Kinkaid stopped 21 of 23 shots, while Paul Thompson had the other assist.

Highlights:

Lines:

Stefan Matteau-Mike Sislo-Graham Black

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Rod Pelley-Darcy Zajac-Chris McKelvie

Tim Sestito-Ben Johnson-Steve Bernier

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Cam Janssen, David Wohlberg, Ben Thomson

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Peter Harrold

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka (resting?), Joe Faust

Pop Quiz: With Wednesday’s win, the Devils extended their streak of games without a regulation loss to 7.  When was the last time an Albany AHL franchise started a season with an unbeaten streak that long?  The answer is coming up.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

So when did Brandon Burlon become a fighter?

My Player of the Week:

Splitting it between two players this week…Scott Timmins for being a constant presence on the scoresheet (he has registered at least one point in all 9 games thus far), and an honorable mention to rookie Graham Black for his first two goal game as a professional.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (8)

Assists: Scott Timmins (7)

Points: Paul Thompson/Scott Timmins (11)

+/-: Raman Hrabarenka (+9)

Penalty Minutes:  Dan Kelly (29)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (4)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (1.95)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.931)

ECHL Update:

Myles Bell (Evansville): 3 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 0 PIM

Injury Report: Cam Janssen (shoulder; indefinitely), Kelly Zajac (upper body; unknown timetable)

BREAKING: Just as I was finishing this up, the Devils throw me a curveball.  They have signed defenseman Mark Fraser to a professional tryout contract.  There are already two extra defensemen as it is, why throw in a third?  I get the feeling something is going on in New Jersey that has yet to play out.

This marks Fraser’s third stint in Albany, with the first coming in a 4 game stint in a River Rats uniform near the end of the 2005-06 season (the last season before Lowell) and 5 games with the A-Devils during the 2010-11 season.  He split last season between Edmonton and Toronto, appearing in 42 games and registering 2 points.

This Week’s Schedule:

The Devils hit the road this week for three games, all in Connecticut.  Wednesday morning (yes, morning) they make their second visit of the season to Hartford to take on the Wolfpack.  Then it’s back to Bridgeport for a two game set, Saturday evening and a quick turnaround on Sunday afternoon.

Pop Quiz Answer: The 1994-95 Albany River Rats started the season with 4 wins and 3 ties (remember those?) before taking a 6-2 loss to Binghamton on October 21, 1994 at the then named Knickerbocker Arena.  Oh by the way…this team went on to win the Calder Cup the following May.  A positive sign for this year’s group?  We shall see.

 

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Week 4 Primer

Albany Quick Hits:

-The Devils begin the week 5-0-0-1, 11 points, 1st place in Northeast Division (and first in Eastern Conference).

-Reid Boucher became the first to be recalled on Monday, going up when Martin Havlat was placed on injured reserve and Mike Cammalleri was sidelined with a possible jaw injury.  He appeared in New Jersey’s 8-3 loss to the Penguins Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

-With Boucher and Kelly Zajac (injured) out, Stefan Matteau and Graham Black (who made his lone appearance in the season opener) return to the lineup.

10/29, Game #7 vs. Springfield

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 8.  Future matchups: December 27th at Albany; January 11th at Springfield; January 14th at Albany; February 6th and 22nd at Springfield; March 15th at Albany; April 3rd at Springfield

Standings:

Springfield: 3-3-1-0, 7 points, tied for 3rd place in Northeast Division

Falcons Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Sean Collins, 6 points (1 G, 5 A); 2 tied with 5 points

Anton Forsberg, 1-2-0, 2.36 GAA; Oscar Dansk, 1-1-1, 3.32 GAA

Notes:

-The Devils won 3 of 8 against the Falcons, the two time defending Northeast Division champions, last season.

-Springfield comes in on a modest two game winning streak after home victories against Norfolk and Syracuse over the weekend.

-Local ties: Former Devil Mike Hoeffel is on the roster, but has not appeared since scoring a goal on October 11th against the Crunch.

-This game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, December 2nd, but a Bob Seger/J. Geils Band concert bumped it up to tonight.

Radio: AHL Live, WHYN 560 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL

11/1, Game #8 vs. Bridgeport

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: Tied at 1.

Standings:

Bridgeport: 4-2-0-1, 9 points, tied for 2nd in Northeast Division

Sound Tigers Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

2 tied with 7 points

Kevin Poulin, 2-1-1, 2.61 GAA; David Leggio, 2-1-0, 3.01 GAA

Notes:

-The Sound Tigers are coming off a split with the IceCaps in St. John’s over the weekend, losing an extended shootout on Saturday and a 2 goal win on Sunday.

Radio: AHL Live

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheSoundTigers

11/2, Game #9: vs. Portland

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 3:00 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 4.  Future matchups: November 14th & 15th at Portland; December 6th at Albany

Standings:

Portland: 2-5-0-0, 4 points, 5th place in Atlantic Division

Pirates Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Alexandre Bolduc, 6 points (3 G, 3 A); Dylan Reese, 4 points (0 G, 4 A); 3 tied with 3 points

Mike McKenna, 1-4-0, 3.04 GAA; Louis Domingue, 1-1-0, 1.52 GAA

Notes:

-Albany took 3 out of 4 against the Pirates last season.

-Portland is coming off a 1-2 weekend, bookending a win on home ice against the Crunch with two losses in Manchester and Worcester.  They return to Massachusetts tonight to face the Sharks before hosting St. John’s on Halloween night.

-Local ties: Former Lowell/Albany goaltender Mike McKenna is 1-4 so far in his second tour of duty with the Pirates (he previously played in Maine during the 2007-08 season).

-It appears Albany fans may get to see former Penguin/Coyote Paul Bissonnette in a Pirate uniform, as he signed a PTO on Monday.

Radio: AHL Live, WLOB AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @PortlandPirates

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Week 3 Photo Gallery

 

Reid Boucher

Reid Boucher

Keith Kinkaid

Keith Kinkaid

A little gathering behind the net...

A little gathering behind the net…

Brandon Burlon & Steve Bernier

Brandon Burlon & Steve Bernier

Darcy Zajac

Darcy Zajac

 

Mike Sislo

Mike Sislo

Yeah, typical Devils-Rangers.

Yeah, typical Devils-Rangers.

More on the Facebook page!

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Week 3 Recap: Greetings from the Penthouse!

An undefeated week in the books…and currently first in the Eastern Conference, with a brief few minutes as first in the league.  Offense galore, a few fisticuffs, and some good plays all mixed in.  It’s a happy recap this week!

10/21 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: 4-0 W

A rare Tuesday night start, as the Devils welcomed the Penguins to Albany for the first time since 2012 (both home matchups were in Atlantic City last season).  After a chippy first period that saw more fights (2) than goals (0), Albany would get on the board in the second.  Mike Sislo would score on an early power play for a 1-0 advantage.  He would come through again later in the period, on another man advantage, to double the lead.  Things would remain quiet till late in the third, when a Tim Sestito empty netter would seal the win, then the main event broke out as two fights went off simultaneously, costing one Devil a game (more on that in a minute).  Reid Boucher would add his first goal of the season just after everything settled down, just for good measure.  Keith Kinkaid would stop all 22 Penguin shots in picking up his first shutout of the season and 10th of his career, tying for the Albany/Lowell Devil franchise lead with Jeff Frazee.  Four Devils would each contribute one assist.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo-Reid Boucher

Rod Pelley-Tim Sestito-Steve Bernier

Darcy Zajac-Ben Thomson-Cam Janssen

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

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Seth Helgeson/Peter Harrold

Extras: Reece Scarlett, Joe Faust

Wednesday: For his role in a late third period fight and earning an instigator minor as a result, Darcy Zajac was suspended one game by the AHL and sat out Friday night’s game in Hartford.

Friday: The first of the extra players has found a home, as forward Myles Bell was reassigned to Evansville of the ECHL.  He had yet to crack the lineup, but did appear during the preseason.  The Devils remain the only team in the AHL without an official ECHL affiliation.

10/24 at Hartford: 7-3 W

It was back east to Connecticut on Friday evening as the Devils started a home and home set with the Wolfpack.  Ben Johnson and David Wohlberg would make their season debuts, filling in for Cam Janssen (injured) and Darcy Zajac (suspended).  Rookie Ben Thomson would score his first as a professional (originally credited to Dan Kelly; he would get the primary assist later) 5 minutes in for a 1-0 lead.  Marek Hrivik would quickly tie the game with a shorthanded tally.  Paul Thompson would break the tie with his league leading 7th goal (also originally credited to Kelly, who would still get a primary assist out of it), only to see Chris Bourque re-tie it over a minute later.  Joe Whitney would finally get into the goal column in the second with a power play goal to break the tie yet again.  Third period would see the Devils near completely take over the game.  Thomson would score his second of the game to double the lead.  Scott Timmins would follow just over five minutes later for a 5-2 lead.  With Corbin McPherson serving a double minor, J.T. Miller would bring Hartford back to within two with a power play goal of his own.  But during the same penalty Mike Sislo would score his third shorthanded for a 6-3 lead, chasing Wolfpack goaltender Jason Missiaen (already following Lundquist’s lead, I see) in favor of rookie Mackenzie Skapski.  Sislo would score his second on an empty netter late to finish off the 7-3 win and give the Wolfpack their first regulation loss.  Keith Kinkaid stopped 27 of 30 shots in picking up his third win.  Four Devils had one assist each, while Kelly and Hrabarenka each finished a +4.  Peter Harrold, Timmins and Thompson were all at +3.

Highlights:

Lines:

Paul Thompson-Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins

Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher-Mike Sislo

Steve Bernier-Tim Sestito-Ben Johnson

David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Extras: Stefan Matteau, Cam Janssen, Chris McKelvie, Darcy Zajac, Graham Black

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Corbin McPherson/Brandon Burlon

Seth Helgeson/Peter Harrold

Extras: Reece Scarlett, Joe Faust

10/25 vs. Hartford: 5-2 W

It was back on home ice to finish off the two game series with the Wolfpack.  Scott Wedgewood would get the nod between the pipes, while Jason Missiaen would get a second chance at redemption after being pulled the night before.  Chris McKelvie would make his season debut, while Darcy Zajac returned after serving his sentence.  Unlike the night before, it was Hartford who got going first.  The other Bourque, Ryan, would get the visitors on the board midway through the first.  Joe Whitney would score his second of the season late in the period to tie it up.  But just as quickly, Conor Allen would give Hartford the lead right back.  The Devils would take over in the second and never look back.  Darcy Zajac would score his first of the season on a beautiful shorthanded break from center ice to tie the game at 2.  Just over a minute later, Scott Timmins would score his third to give the home team the lead.  Raman Hrabarenka would score on a power play early in the third for a 4-2 lead.  Rod Pelley would score an empty netter with less than a minute remaining to cap Albany’s fourth win in a row.  Wedgewood had a strong day in net, stopping 26 of 28 shots in picking up his second win (and a #2 star of the game).  Brandon Burlon contributed two helpers.

Highlights:

Lines:

Rod Pelley-Tim Sestito-Steve Bernier

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher-Mike Sislo

Darcy Zajac-Ben Thomson-Chris McKelvie

Extras: Stefan Matteau, Cam Janssen, Graham Black, David Wohlberg, Ben Johnson

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Peter Harrold

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extras: Reece Scarlett, Joe Faust

Pop Quiz: With Tuesday’s blanking of the Penguins, Keith Kinkaid tied a franchise record with his 10th career shutout.  He also owns the Albany AHL mark, going back to the River Rats days.  Who is second on the list?  Stay tuned for the answer.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

I had a few nominees to choose from.  Unfortunately no video has surfaced yet of any of them.  You disappoint me, Internet.

My Player of the Week:

Lot of great individual performances this week, but I’m giving the nod to Mike Sislo and his four goals (in three different situations) in two games.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (7)

Assists: Joe Whitney (6)

Points: 3 tied with 8

+/-: Raman Hrabarenka (+8)

Penalty Minutes: Dan Kelly (27)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (3)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (1.95)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.933)

ECHL Update:

Myles Bell (Evansville): 1 game played, 0 points, 0 PIM, 5 SOG

Injury Report: Cam Janssen (indefinitely, upper body, possibly shoulder), Stefan Matteau (lower body; no word on timetable)

This Week’s Schedule:

The homestand continues with three more games on tap.  Wednesday Springfield visits for the first time this season.  Saturday sees a return visit from Bridgeport.  The weekend finishes with a Sunday afternoon visit from Portland.

Pop Quiz Answer: Peter Sidorkiewicz had 8 shutouts during his River Rats career, all coming over a three season stretch between 1995-96 and 1997-98 (he appeared in 15 games during the Rats inaugural 1993-94 season without recording a shutout).

 

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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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