Tag Archives: news and notes

New Divisions, New Rules

The AHL just wrapped up its annual meetings in South Carolina this week…and with it, came a few big changes for the 2014-15 season:

-Yesterday, the divisional alignment for the season was announced, and with Lehigh Valley joining the lineup and Abbotsford moving east to Glens Falls, it’s an interesting setup:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic: Manchester, Portland, Providence, St. John’s, Worcester (no change)

East: Binghamton, Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Norfolk, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Northeast: Albany, Bridgeport, Hartford, Springfield, Syracuse

WESTERN CONFERENCE

North: Adirondack, Hamilton, Rochester, Toronto, Utica

Midwest: Chicago, Grand Rapids, Lake Erie, Milwaukee, Rockford

West: Charlotte, Iowa, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Texas

The Phantoms move from Adirondack in the Northeast to the East Division, Syracuse moves from the East to the Northeast Division.  Abbotsford leaves the West with Adirondack going to the North.  Lake Erie moves from North to Midwest, and Iowa moves from Midwest to West.  Got all that?

Now, with Albany and Adirondack in different conferences, I’m hoping this means there’s a slight reduction in the season series.  Yeah, who am I kidding, I’ll still see them 20 times…

The playoff format remains the same from last season: Division winners will comprise the top 3 seeds, while the top 5 non division winners earn a spot.

Also from the meetings came some rule changes:

-Overtime periods are extended from 5 minutes to 7 minutes, starting as a 4 on 4 for the first three minutes, then going to 3 on 3 for the rest of the session.  If it gets to a shootout, it’s 3 rounds instead of 5 (like in the NHL).  Teams will change sides before the period begins, and also a full dry scrape of the ice surface will precede the start.

-If a player assesses two major penalties for fighting or three non-fighting majors in a game, they will receive a game misconduct.

-If a player loses his helmet during play and does not leave the ice immediately or put the helmet back on properly, they will receive a minor penalty.

And finally, mark your calendars: This year’s home opener will be on Saturday, October 18th.  With the season beginning on October 11th, it appears Albany will begin the season on the road for the second straight year.

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Free Agency Week 1: Set in the Net

A very interesting first six days of free agency has passed, and there were a few signings that will affect Albany’s roster, including a return by a former River Rat goalie:

-On the first day of free agency on Tuesday, along with Mike Cammalleri and Martin Havlat, New Jersey signed a familiar face to Albany fans and in turn officially ended the Martin Brodeur era in the process: goaltender Scott Clemmensen, who received a 1 year 2-way contract in his third tour of duty with the Devils organization.  He spent the last five seasons with Florida, winning a total of 40 games primarily in a backup role, and 5 wins in 12 appearances in San Antonio over 2 seasons.  His last appearance in a Devils uniform was back in the 2008-09 season, where he took over the starting job while Brodeur was out due to injury and won 25 games.  He will either backup Cory Schneider in New Jersey or return to Albany for the first time since the end of the Devil/River Rat partnership during the 2005-06 season.

-On Thursday, per CapGeek, three more signings to shore up the defense and the goaltending for next season.

First, a well deserved 1 year 2 way contract for Corbin McPherson.  He had his best season in Albany since arriving late in the 2011-12 season, posting 10 assists and a team leading +16 rating.

And the goaltending situation for next year is all settled, as both Keith Kinkaid and Maxime Clermont signed 1 year deals, both 2 ways.  After a breakout season that saw him win 24 games, Kinkaid is expected to take over the backup role in New Jersey, but will be contending with Clemmensen for the role.

Clermont split last season between Elmira and Orlando, winning 11 games in 27 appearances.  He will most likely stick with an ECHL team and be the first on call if Kinkaid/Clemmensen or Scott Wedgewood go down to injury or callup.

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2014 Entry Draft Wrap

Over Friday evening and Saturday morning/afternoon came the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia (and fans booing anything not Flyer-related…what do you expect in Philly?).  New Jersey had a total of 6 draft selections: 1st round, 30th; 2nd round, 41st; 3rd round, 71st; 5th round, 131st; and 6th round, 152nd and 161st.  Time to meet the newest players in the Devils organization:

1st Round, #30 overall: John Quenneville, C, Brandon (WHL)

The second cousin of Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, the 18-year-old just completed his second full season with the Wheat Kings, scoring 58 points in 61 games (25 G, 33 A) and a +3 rating, and  a team leading 13 points in 9 playoff games.  He also represented Canada in last year’s World Junior Championships, with one goal and one assist in 7 games.

2nd Round, #41 overall: Josh Jacobs, D, Indiana (USHL)

And here comes more defense!  Jacobs just completed his second season with the Ice, finishing with 23 points in 56 games (5 G, 18 A) and a +36 rating.  He is committed to Michigan State starting in 2015-16, but there is a chance he could end up in the OHL with Sarnia.

3rd Round, #71 overall: Connor Chatham, RW, Plymouth (OHL)

The 18-year-old Illinois native just completed his first season with the Whalers, scoring 31 points in 54 games (13 G, 18 A).  He has the size (checking in at 6’3″ and 225 pounds), and is seen as a potential energy type forward.

5th Round, #131 overall: Ryan Rehill, D, Kamloops (WHL)

The classic stay-at-home defenseman type, from what I have read.  Rehill, checking in at 6’3″ and 213 pounds, just finished his second season with the Blazers, with 20 points (4 G, 16 A) and 182 penalty minutes in 72 games.

6th Round, #152 overall: Joey Dudek, C, Kimball Union (NH)

Using the pick acquired from Florida in the Krys Barch/Scott Timmins deal, New Jersey chose Dudek, a prep school forward.  He scored 44 points (9 G, 35 A) in 25 games, and is committed to Boston College starting in the 2015-16 season.

6th Round, #161 overall: Brandon Baddock, LW, Edmonton (WHL)

The final draft selection comes in the form of Baddock, a big forward (6’4″, 206) who just finished his second season with the Oil Kings.  In 56 games he posted 17 points (6 G, 11 A) and amassed 128 penalty minutes, with an additional goal in 13 playoff games.

(Note: Clicking on each name will take you to the In Lou We Trust scouting report.)

Now for some free agency updates:

-Earlier today the Citizens Voice (out of Wilkes-Barre) posted the annual AHL free agency list, including its top 100 available players.  You’ll have to scroll all the way down to #83 for the highest ranked Albany player, Rod Pelley, while Kelly Zajac checks in at #88.

The annual tracker is ready to go for noon on Tuesday, which will include any last minute updates concerning Monday’s RFA qualifying offer deadline.

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News of the Week

Yeah, it’s about time I updated this thing…

-The 2013-14 hockey season officially ended on Wednesday evening in St. John’s, as the Texas Stars took the Calder Cup title by finishing off the IceCaps in overtime, winning the series 4 games to 1.  There was one River Rat connection to the new champs, and it’s actually off ice: broadcaster Owen Newkirk, who was in the booth for the River Rats (during the Carolina days) for 2 seasons.

Meanwhile, in Devils land:

-Two unrestricted free agents returned to the fold, as Mike Sislo signed a 2 year, 2 way deal on Wednesday.  A well deserved contract for the 3rd year pro, who made his NHL debut back in January and lead Albany in goals this past season.

Then early Friday morning it was announced that Cam Janssen had signed a new 1 year, 2 way contract, which made everyone on my Devils Twitter feed curse under their breath.

And a third Devil has left for Europe, as Mattias Tedenby has joined Lev Praha of the KHL.  Not surprised by that move at all, unfortunately.

-Earlier today New Jersey announced their 6 game exhibition schedule…and sadly no games in Albany again this season.  Their only home game on neutral ice comes September 26th against the Islanders at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

-The annual rookie camp will take place July 13-18.  More info on that to come.

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Getting Defensive

A very interesting week for Albany, in their latest 3 in 3 weekend.  What started out as possibly a long weekend finished off with two dominating performances, and warranting some attention from the league.  More importantly, the 4 out of 6 points earned kept the Devils in playoff contention, lowering the magic number to finally break into the postseason further.  And a few new names making their way onto the team leaders list!

3/14 at Springfield: 6-4 L

The end of the 5 game New England road swing came Friday night in Springfield, with a matchup against the first place Falcons.  Jean-Francois Jacques put the hosts on the board midway through the first.  Then some franchise history less than four minutes later…on a power play, Joe Whitney scored his 21st to tie the game at 1, and give him the franchise record for career points with 141, passing Stephen Gionta.  He added point #142 with an assist on Harri Pesonen’s 10th goal less than two minutes later for a 2-1 Devil lead.  Former Devil Matt Taormina would re-tie the game on an early second period power play.  Mattias Tedenby and Tim Sestito would then score less than five minutes apart to give Albany a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.  That’s when the wheels completely came off and the train derailed off the tracks.  Patrick McNeill scored on a power play 4:28 in to cut the deficit to 4-3.  Trent Vogelhuber would tie things four minutes later.  Then while on a 4 on 3 opportunity (Sestito off for roughing and then Raman Hrabarenka took a costly hooking call while trying to stop a breakaway), Jacques would score his second of the night to put the Falcons up 5-4.  Ryan Craig would add an insurance goal late for a two goal lead.  Keith Kinkaid took the loss, stopping 22 of 28 shots.  Six Devils would add assists.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins

Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo-Tim Sestito

Kelly Zajac-Mattias Tedenby-David Wohlberg

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-Mike Hoeffel

Extras: Stefan Matteau, Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Raman Hrabarenka/Alexander Urbom

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Adam Larsson/Brandon Burlon

Extras: Dan Kelly, Reece Scarlett

3/15 vs. Hartford: 2-0 W

Finally back on real home ice for the first time since February 23rd, the Devils played host to the Wolfpack.  After an uneventful first period that saw a combined 8 shots (4 on each side), the Devils locked it in for the second.  Harri Pesonen scored his 11th of the season to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.  As for the Wolfpack?  They only managed 3 shots on goal…that they didn’t get until 1:30 was left in the period.  Rod Pelley would add an insurance goal (one that was almost disallowed after the net was pushed off around the time the puck went in) with just over 6 minutes to go in regulation.  And Hartford finally remembered how to shoot the puck, throwing 16 shots at Scott Wedgewood in the period, but nothing would get by.  Wedgewood finished with 23 saves for his second shutout of the season and a #1 star.  Three Devils added assists.

Lines:

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Reid Boucher

Kelly Zajac-Mattias Tedenby-Stefan Matteau

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras: Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac, Mike Hoeffel

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Adam Larsson/Dan Kelly

Alexander Urbom/Brandon Burlon

Extras: Raman Hrabarenka, Reece Scarlett

3/16 vs. Syracuse: 3-0 W

The weekend concluded with a visit from the struggling Crunch, a team Albany had not seen since way back on November 16th.  Much like the day before, it was quite an uneventful first period…until Raman Hrabarenka scored on a power play late in the period for a 1-0 advantage.  After a scoreless second that saw Albany outshoot the visitors 15-4, the Devils locked it down in the third.  Mike Sislo would score an insurance marker, his 20th of the season, with 5 minutes left in regulation, then added an empty netter with 22 seconds to go.  Scott Wedgewood barely broke a sweat in posting his second straight shutout, only facing 13 Syracuse shots.  Kelly Zajac added two assists.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins

Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau-Mattias Tedenby

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Darcy Zajac-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras: Chris McKelvie, Cam Janssen, Mike Hoeffel

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Raman Hrabarenka/Alexander Urbom

Extras: Reece Scarlett, Brandon Burlon

Conference Standings:

Still a tight race in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference:

5. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton–76

6. Providence–75

7. ALBANY–74

8. Norfolk–74

9. Hershey–70

The Devils get the nod over Norfolk due to 3 more regulation wins.  The magic number to clinch a playoff berth stands at 25.  They are at a pace to finish at 90 points, which would put them no higher than sixth place.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

While waiting for my actual choice to hit YouTube…here’s a quick one from Tim Sestito from Friday evening:

My Player of the Week:

Back to back shutouts (the first Devil goaltender to do it in franchise history and the first in Albany since 2009), a scoreless streak at 126:05 and counting…yeah, Scott Wedgewood was a pretty obvious choice this week.

And the AHL agreed, as earlier today he was named the CCM AHL Player of the Week.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney/Mike Sislo (21)

Assists: Kelly Zajac (27)

Points: Joe Whitney (47)

+/-: Corbin McPherson (+15)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (89)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (21)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.37)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.910)

Elmira/Orlando Update:

Not a good week for the Jackals, as they dropped all three games to Reading (twice) and Cincinnati.  Riley Boychuk and Artem Demkov missed all three due to injuries.  Harry Young amassed 7 penalty minutes against Reading in Wednesday’s loss.  Going into this week they stand at 22-30-3-5 on the season, good for 12th in the Eastern Conference.

And finally, a Maxime Clermont sighting!  He made a relief appearance for Orlando on Friday evening in Evansville during a 7-1 loss.  He played the second and third periods, stopping 15 of 19 shots.  He backed up in Saturday’s win over the IceMen.  Overall he stands at 6-9-0-1 with a 3.46 GAA.  The Solar Bears start the week 36-19-2-2, 4th in the Eastern Conference.

Injury Update:

Finally, Darcy Zajac returned to the lineup on Sunday after sitting out since October 19th.  Reece Scarlett (soreness?) sat out the weekend after taking a hit last Friday night in Portland.  Cam Janssen (unknown) hasn’t been seen since February 8th.

This Week’s Schedule:

Three games, but not back to back to back for a change, and two games with some serious playoff implications.  Wednesday the homestand ends with a visit from Binghamton.  Saturday night the Devils travel west for a rematch with Syracuse.  Then one last trip to Atlantic City on Sunday afternoon to take on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

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Staying in the Race

Looking back on a week that saw the Devils go 1-1-0-1 in their latest 3 in 3 weekend, a swing through New England, and hang on to a postseason playoff berth:

Wednesday: To ensure AHL eligibility for the rest of the season and a potential playoff run, Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill were sent down and recalled on paper.  New Jersey’s regular season ends April 13th, so if they do not get into the Stanley Cup playoffs, Albany could have both back no later than the final two games of the regular season.

3/7 at Portland: 4-3 W (SO)

The New England 3 in 3 weekend began north in Portland…oops I mean Lewiston…as the Devils made their first of two visits to Maine to take on the Pirates.  It looked like it was going to turn into one of those nights when Jordan Martinook scored just 26 seconds into the game for a 1-0 lead.  Scott Timmins would even up the game at 1 halfway through the period.  Albany took the game over in the second, scoring twice and outshooting Portland 16-5.  Reid Boucher broke the tie early on with his 15th of the season.  Then on a fluke play, right off a faceoff Tim Sestito shot it towards the Pirate net and it trickled in, putting Albany up 3-1.  Brendan Shinnimin took advantage of a Adam Larsson misplay of the puck, broke away shorthanded, and made it a one goal game.  Despite a 7-3 shot advantage for Albany in the third, a new problem popped up yet again.  With Alexander Urbom in the box on a questionable interference call, Tobias Rieder would tie the game up at 3 with 4:13 remaining in regulation.  That makes the third straight game with a blown third period lead, something you could not imagine happening with this team earlier in the season.  Nothing across the rest of the period and in overtime (as a matter of fact, not one team took a shot on goal in the extra frame), so for the second straight game it was on to a shootout.  Boucher and Joe Whitney connected in the first four rounds, while Andy Miele and Brandon Yip scored for the Pirates.  In the fifth round, Daine Todd missed, so it was up to Stefan Matteau to either end it or send it to extra rounds.  And he would come through, giving the Devils the win and the much needed extra standings point.  Not a bad night overall for Keith Kinkaid in net, as he stopped 18 of 21 shots in regulation (none faced in overtime) to pick up the win.  Adam Larsson and Mattias Tedenby had the lone assists.

Lines:

Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau-Joe Whitney

Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins-Mattias Tedenby

Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo-Tim Sestito

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras: Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac, Mike Hoeffel

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Alexander Urbom/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Adam Larsson

Extras: Dan Kelly, Raman Hrabarenka

3/8 at Hartford: 4-3 L

It was on to Connecticut’s state capital on Saturday for a matchup with the Wolfpack.  After a scoreless first period, Brandon Burlon would get the visitors on the board halfway through the second on a power play goal.  Jesper Fast and Bretton Stamler would score 2:34 apart late in the period to put Hartford up 2-1.  J.T. Miller would add a goal early in the third for a two goal lead.  But the Devils would rally and tie it up as Mike Sislo (with his 19th) and Joe Whitney (with his 20th) would score 29 seconds apart.  But Ryan Bourque would score the go ahead goal with 7:35 to go in regulation.  The Devils had their chances at the very end, getting a late power play opportunity, but could not get it in net (one shot actually rang off the inside post and out), and fell to 8th in the playoff race.  Scott Wedgewood stopped 17 of 21 shots in taking the loss.  Kelly Zajac added two assists, while two other Devils had one helper each.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau

Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins-Mattias Tedenby

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras: Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac, Mike Hoeffel

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Adam Larsson/Brandon Burlon

Alexander Urbom/Raman Hrabarenka

Extras: Dan Kelly, Reece Scarlett

3/9 at Worcester: 4-3 L (SO)

The Devils finished off the weekend with their only visit of the season to Worcester to take on the Sharks.  And a very interesting matchup in net, as two former Union teammates squared off: Keith Kinkaid for Albany and Troy Grosenick for the Sharks.  Despite a 15-3 shot advantage by the Devils in the first period, it was the Sharks with the 1-0 lead on a Marek Viedensky goal.  Rylan Schwartz doubled the lead midway through the second.  Reid Boucher would get Albany on the board late in the second with his 16th of the season.  Third period saw an early goal from John McCarthy to put the Sharks back up by two.  But Albany would rally back and tie the game on goals from David Wohlberg and Harri Pesonen.  Nothing across for the remainder of regulation or into overtime, so it was off to the second shootout of the weekend.  And this time it didn’t go so well, with Mike Sislo the only Devil out of five to connect on Grosenick.  Kinkaid gave up a goal in the first round, then gave up the winner to Freddie Hamilton in the fifth round to give the Sharks the extra standings point.  Kinkaid stopped 19 of 22 shots in 65 minutes of work.  Five Devils each had an assist.

Lines:

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Joe Whitney-Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau

Reid Boucher-Mattias Tedenby-Scott Timmins

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Extra: Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac, Mike Hoeffel

Defense Pairings:

Alexander Urbom/Raman Hrabarenka

Adam Larsson/Brandon Burlon

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Dan Kelly, Reece Scarlett

Conference Standings:

The bottom half of the Eastern Conference remains pretty tight:

5. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton-72 pts

6. Providence-72 pts

7. Binghamton-71 pts

8. ALBANY-70 pts

9. Hershey-67 pts

At this point, the Devils are on pace to finish at 90 points, which would put them 7th in the conference.  The magic number to clinch a playoff berth sits at 32.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

We interrupt this Portland goal celebration for a quick one by Chris McKelvie:

My Player of the Week:

Add another accomplishment to Joe Whitney’s resume for the season.  With his 20th goal of the season on Saturday (one that tied up the game in Hartford), he tied Stephen Gionta for the franchise lead in career points with 140.  And give some credit to the skaters…despite the record and goals allowed, on the weekend they outshot the opposition by a 112-65 margin.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (20)

Assists: Joe Whitney (25)

Points: Joe Whitney (45)

+/-: Corbin McPherson (+12)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (87)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (21)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.26)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.914)

Elmira/Orlando Update:

The Jackals split a 2 game weekend on home ice, defeating Evansville on Friday and dropping a OT decision to Wheeling on Saturday.  Artem Demkov was the only prospect to hit the scoresheet, notching an assist in Saturday’s game.  Riley Boychuk was quite busy on Friday, amassing 15 penalty minutes.  Meanwhile down south, the Solar Bears went 1-3 (with one loss in OT) on the week, but no appearances at all from Maxime Clermont, not even as a backup.

This Week’s Schedule:

Another 3 in 3 weekend awaits, but at least it’s a mostly home schedule.  Friday night the Devils finish off the New England road swing with a visit to Springfield to take on the Falcons.  Saturday it’s real home ice for the first time since February 23rd to take on Hartford (and it’s the annual Pucks and Paws day).  Sunday afternoon Syracuse comes in to finish the weekend off.

And no photo gallery this week…because guess who forgot to pack the camera when she went to Worcester? (raises hand…sorry.  I blame Daylight Savings).  I do have a few photos on my Instagram page if you want to check those out (click the link on the right hand side of the page).

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February Sweeps

Three games.  Three days.  Three wins.  Not a bad weekend for the Devils, who went from being just outside the playoff picture to being in the middle of it.  But after Sunday’s events, it could be a very interesting week in the organization as New Jersey gets back to work after the Olympic Break.

Tuesday: With Keith Kinkaid returning to practice, Johan Hedberg was released from his PTO after filling in for the weekend and even getting in some game action on Sunday.

Wednesday: Jon Merrill was recalled to New Jersey after not even making one appearance during his 9 day stay on the roster.  In fact, I don’t even recall seeing any uniform number assigned to him while he was here (his #5 was taken over by Adam Larsson and Reece Scarlett wears his New Jersey #34).

2/21 at Adirondack: 4-2 W

It was back north to Glens Falls for a rematch from last weekend with the Phantoms, who were quite shorthanded after their end of game brawl against Portland on Sunday.  And the visitors came in and took advantage.  Despite only 3 shots in the first period, it was Albany with the 1-0 lead on a Stefan Matteau goal.  Kyle Flanagan would tie the game at 1 just 30 seconds into the second period on a fluke bounce that Keith Kinkaid never saw coming.  But the Devils would take control after that, via the special teams route.  While in the midst of killing off a Matteau double minor, Mike Sislo broke away and scored a beautiful shorthanded goal for a 2-1 lead.  Rod Pelley would also score shorthanded late in the period for a 3-1 lead.  Sislo would score his second early in the third for a 4-1 advantage.  The Phantoms would get to within 4-2, but Kinkaid and the Devils would shut it down from there, getting two very important points that put them back in the playoff hunt.  Kinkaid played stellar in his return to the lineup, stopping 30 of 32 shots.  Adam Larsson added two assists and finished a +2.

Lines:

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Joe Whitney-Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau

Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins-Mattias Tedenby

Mike Hoeffel-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras (all injured): Chris McKelvie, Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Eric Gelinas/Alexander Urbom

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Extras: Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, Reece Scarlett

2/22 vs. Norfolk: 4-1 W

It was back on home ice Saturday afternoon as the Devils played host to the Admirals in a crucial game for both teams; they were tied for 8th place in the Eastern Conference with a chance to move up the list on the line.  Much like the night before, Stefan Matteau kicked off the scoring on the Devils’ first shot of the game, going up 1-0 4 and a half minutes in.  Norm Ezekiel would tie the game at 1 late in the period.  Second period Albany took over, scoring twice and outshooting the Admirals 15-6.  Mike Sislo would score his third goal in two days on a power play to break the tie, then Reid Boucher added his 13th less than 4 minutes later for a 2 goal cushion.  Norfolk tried to make a comeback in the third, but Keith Kinkaid was up to the challenge, stopping all 9 3rd period shots.  Kelly Zajac added an empty netter late to seal the Devils second straight win.  Kinkaid finished with 25 saves on 26 shots in another stellar performance.  Four Devils added assists.

Lines:

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau-Joe Whitney

Reid Boucher-Scott timmins-Mattias Tedenby

Mike Hoeffel-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras: Chris McKelvie, Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Eric Gelinas/Alexander Urbom

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Extras: Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, Reece Scarlett

Sunday: Just as the first period was getting underway, Elmira announced that goaltender Maxime Clermont, just off the injured list, had been recalled to Albany.  Here’s the fun part: Nobody knew the transaction took place, not even the coaching staff.  Keith Kinkaid and Scott Wedgewood are both fine, so the only other possibility is something is going on in New Jersey.  Stay tuned as this unfolds.

2/23 vs. Utica: 2-1 W

To close out the weekend and the month of February, the Devils played host to the Comets, who were on a streak of their own after wins in Syracuse and Binghamton.  After a scoreless first period, Albany would get on the board in the second.  Mike Sislo tipped in a Reece Scarlett shot from the blue line for his 4th goal of the weekend to put the Devils up 1-0.  Reid Boucher would add a power play goal less than 2 minutes later for a 2-0 advantage.  Jeremy Welsh would cut the deficit in half for the Comets with 5 minutes to go in the second period.  Things would get interesting in the third when Tim Sestito was called for a late penalty with less than a minute to go in regulation.  But the Devils managed to kill off the 6 on 4 chance (empty net as well) to hold on for the win, their first on a Sunday all season and a clean sweep of the weekend.  Scott Wedgewood drew the start and didn’t have to do a whole lot, stopping 15 of 16 shots.  Scarlett and Scott Timmins each had an assist.

Lines:

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Joe Whitney-Stefan Matteau-Kelly Zajac

Scott Timmins-Mattias Tedenby-Reid Boucher

Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg-Mike Hoeffel

Extras: Cam Janssen, Chris McKelvie, Darcy Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Corbin McPherson/Seth Helgeson

Raman Hrabarenka/Alexander Urbom

Extras: Brandon Burlon, Eric Gelinas, Adam Larsson

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

UPDATED 2/24: One scrap this week, and it was a quick one:

My Player of the Week:

A pretty easy choice this week…have to give it to Mike Sislo.  Goals in all 3 games (2 in Friday’s win), increasing his season total to a career high 17.  Honorable mention goes to the penalty kill, going a perfect 16 for 16 and even scoring shorthanded twice.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (19)

Assists: Joe Whitney (24)

Points: Joe Whitney (43)

Plus/Minus: Scott Timmins/Corbin McPherson (+10)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (78)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (20)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.24)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.917)

Elmira Update:

The Jackals had a 3 in 3 weekend of their own, all on home ice and all against Wheeling.  They took the first game on Friday evening before dropping both Saturday and Sunday’s games to the Nailers, putting their record at 20-25-2-4.  Harry Young was rather busy on Saturday and Sunday, racking up 12 penalty minutes.  Maxime Clermont backed up on Friday and Saturday but did not see any action.  Riley Boychuk sat out all three games.

Injury Report:

Alexander Urbom returned to the lineup Friday after sitting out last weekend due to illness.  That just leaves three forwards out: Chris McKelvie (lower body), Darcy Zajac and Cam Janssen.  Janssen seems to be the closest of the three to returning.

This Week’s Schedule:

A quick two game weekend to begin the month of March.  Saturday afternoon the Devils travel to Atlantic City to “host” Wilkes-Barre.  Then it’s off to Providence on Sunday afternoon for their first matchup of the season against the Bruins.

Also on Sunday: I’ll be coming back to New Jersey for the San Jose game!

And starting with Saturday’s pregamer: the return of Conference Standings.  Yup, it’s getting to be that time of year already!

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All Over The Map

How to describe the Devils this weekend: blowing a lead and taking a point in their second home, followed by a dominating performance on real home ice, then getting blown out the following afternoon?  The late season habits of the past are creeping in, and it’s resulting in being on the outside looking in yet again.  Recapping a 1-1-0-1 weekend:

2/14 vs. Hershey: 3-2 L (SO)

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than taking the second trip of the season to Atlantic City to take on the suddenly resurgent Bears?  Albany thought they had a goal early on, but the referee waved it off.  But Reid Boucher would make sure the next goal counted, scoring his 12th just 8 seconds into a power play for a 1-0 lead.  Matt Watkins would tie the game for the visitors just before time expired in the first.  Stefan Matteau would score his 9th late in the second period to put the Devils up 2-1 and in seemingly good position to hold on for the win.  Well, not so fast.  Michael Latta would retie the game halfway through the third period.  Despite a late flurry of shots by Albany as regulation was coming to an end, nothing across.  It was on to overtime where neither team could get anything across (Albany did outshoot Hershey 3-1).  On to the dreaded shootout, where Albany fell behind early when Mike Sislo, Mattias Tedenby and Boucher could not score.  Scott Wedgewood gave up goals in rounds 1 and 2, but stopped Ryan Potulny and Dustin Gazley to keep the Devils in it.  Matteau would connect in the fourth round, but Scott Timmins could not extend the bonus round any further, and the Bears gained the extra point.  A very good night for Wedgewood otherwise in net, as he stopped 20 of 22 shots in 65 minutes.  Timmins added two assists, while two other Devils had one assist each.

Lines:

Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo-Tim Sestito

Mike Hoeffel-Stefan Matteau-Scott Timmins

Mattias Tedenby-Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras: Joe Whitney (travel), Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Corbin McPherson/Seth Helgeson

Brandon Burlon/Reece Scarlett

Extras: Alexander Urbom, Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Gelinas (cannot play due to Olympic rules), Jon Merrill

2/15 vs. Adirondack: 4-1 W

Finally, back on real home ice for the first time since the end of January, the Devils played host to the Phantoms for the last time this season.  Adirondack would score just two minutes into the game, while the Devils were in midst of a line change.  But Tim Sestito would quickly tie the game up just over two and a half minutes later.  Second period the Devils would take over the game and not look back.  Rod Pelley broke the tie with his 10th of the season, then Mattias Tedenby would add an insurance goal just over two minutes later.  Joe Whitney would add the exclamation point with 1:58 remaining, just as Phantoms goaltender Yann Danis was exiting the net for a sixth attacker and just couldn’t get back in time.  A very strong performance from Scott Wedgewood, who didn’t have much to stop all afternoon, only having to stop 15 of 16 shots in picking up his 8th win of the season.  Four different Devils each added an assist.

Lines:

Stefan Matteau-Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins

Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo-Tim Sestito

Mattias Tedenby-Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher

Mike Hoeffel-David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley

Extras: Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac, Chris McKelvie

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extras: Raman Hrabarenka, Alexander Urbom, Eric Gelinas, Jon Merrill

2/16 at Bridgeport: 7-3 L

The Devils finished the weekend with their last trip of the season to Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers.  In a bit of a surprise, Scott Wedgewood drew the start for the third straight day.  And…it didn’t go so well.  Former River Rat Matt Pistilli and Aaron Ness would score 54 seconds apart for a 2-0 Sound Tigers lead.  Ryan Strome would make it a 3-0 lead with under 7 minutes to go in the period.  Raman Hrabarenka, in his first appearance since January 26th, scored his second of the season to get the Devils on the board.  It didn’t get much better for Wedgewood in the second period, as Johan Sundstrom and Andrew Clark would score 16 seconds apart to put Bridgeport up 5-1.  That was when Johan Hedberg would step in and take over in the net for his first game action since April with New Jersey.  And he stopped the bleeding, going 6 for 6 for the remainder of the second.  Joe Whitney would add his 19th goal to get back to within 3.  But the Sound Tigers were not finished going into the third, as Anders Lee would score to put Bridgeport up 6-2.  Less than 3 minutes later, while on a Albany power play, Scooter Vaughan would add a shorthanded goal to make it 7-2.  Hrabarenka would then score his second of the day while still on the power play 14 seconds later to make it a real football score, 7-3.  After a promising start to his weekend, Wedgewood couldn’t keep it up today, stopping just 6 of 11 shots before getting the hook after 22:19.  For someone who hasn’t played in 9 months, Moose did pretty well, stopping 11 of 13.  Three Devils had assists, and Brandon Burlon was the only defenseman to not have a negative plus/minus rating (he finished a +1; Dan Kelly and Adam Larsson were both -4).

Lines:

Stefan Matteau-Scott Timmins-Joe Whitney

Reid Boucher-Kelly Zajac-Mattias Tedenby

Harri Pesonen-Tim Sestito-Mike Sislo

David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley-Mike Hoeffel

Extras: Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac, Chris McKelvie

Defense Pairings:

Adam Larsson/Dan Kelly

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Raman Hrabarenka

Extras: Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas, Alexander Urbom, Corbin McPherson

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Stay tuned to this space, as I am waiting on video for the one fight of the weekend.

My Player of the Week:

Got to give it to Joe Whitney this week.  Representing Albany at the AHL All Star Classic well (2 assists in the win over Farjestad), then having an epic time in returning to the States in time for the season to resume, and getting two goals and an assist in two games upon his return.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (19)

Assists: Joe Whitney (22)

Points: Joe Whitney (41)

+/-: Scott Timmins/Corbin McPherson (+9)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (74)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (18)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.30)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.914)

Elmira Update:

The Jackals went 1-1-0-1 on the week, moving their record to 19-23-2-4.  Artem Demkov was the only Devil prospect to get on the board, scoring on Saturday in a shootout loss to Wheeling.

Notes:

A few to add to the walking wounded: Chris McKelvie (lower body) sat out Saturday and Sunday.  Cam Janssen missed the weekend with a mystery injury.  Alexander Urbom has the flu but was in the building on Saturday, he too sat out the weekend.  Darcy Zajac, as mentioned earlier this week, is back skating, but no timetable for his return.

This Week’s Schedule:

Another 3 in 3 weekend, but this schedule is a little easier than the week before.  Friday night Albany travels to Adirondack for a rematch against the Phantoms.  Saturday afternoon they host Norfolk (and it’s Darcy Zajac Bobblehead Day…I think he beat Travis in that category!), followed by a visit from Utica on Sunday afternoon.

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Coming Up Zeroes

Good news and bad news for the Devils in looking at this week’s games: all 3 involved shutouts.  But it’s not so good when you’re on the losing end of two of those games.  Reviewing the events of the week:

2/4 at Springfield: 4-0 L

The New England road swing continued into Springfield on Tuesday night for a matchup against the first place Falcons.  Alex Aleardi would put Springfield on the board early in the first period with an unassisted goal.  Then the Falcons took over the game in the second period and never let up, scoring three times and outshooting Albany 14-9.  Spencer Machacek and Frederic St. Denis each had power play goals, while Jonathan Marchessault would close out the scoring late in the second with an even strength goal.  And that was all former Devil Mike McKenna would need, as he stopped all 25 Albany shots in picking up the shutout.  It was the fourth time this season the Devils have been shutout, and the first since January 4th in Adirondack.  Scott Wedgewood stopped 27 of 31 in taking the loss, while Eric Gelinas lead all skaters with 7 shots.

(Note: I was not around for this one, so no notes on lines/defense pairings.)

2/8 at Bridgeport: 3-0 W

It was off to southern Connecticut on Saturday night to take on the Sound Tigers, in their 1,000th game as a franchise.  Stefan Matteau scored his 8th of the season in the first to get the visitors on the board.  Chris McKelvie had a chance to double the lead via a penalty shot, but was denied by goaltender Anders Nilsson.  Kelly Zajac (on a power play) and McKelvie would each get their seventh goals 2:51 apart late in the second period to go up 3-0.  But the story of the game was in goal…Keith Kinkaid started, but had to leave the game late in the second due to an apparent injury.  Scott Wedgewood took over and completed the shutout the rest of the way, stopping 12 Bridgeport shots (Kinkaid stopped 16 before exiting).  Alexander Urbom added two assists and finished at a +2, while Adam Larsson, Eric Gelinas (also a +2 on the night) and Mike Hoeffel added assists.

Lines:

(Again not around for this one; all lines/defense pairings via the Bridgeport blog Soundin’ Off)

Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins-Joe Whitney

Stefan Matteau-Kelly Zajac-Mike Hoeffel

Harri Pesonen-Tim Sestito-Mike Sislo

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-Cam Janssen

Extras: Mattias Tedenby, David Wohlberg

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Alexander Urbom/Eric Gelinas

Extras: Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, Reece Scarlett

Sunday: With Keith Kinkaid not able to go and Maxime Clermont still on the injured list in Elmira till at least Valentine’s Day, who would be backing up Scott Wedgewood in New Hampshire?  Enter Anthony Felice.  Who?  He is a 40-year-old (just turned 40 in late January) Bronx native who served as an emergency backup goaltender during the Devils run in Trenton.

And Jon Merrill was reassigned to Albany for the Olympic break, making the roster just a little more crowded.

2/9 at Manchester: 3-0 L

A challenge awaited the Devils as they made their only visit to Manchester of the season in the form of Martin Jones, the same goaltender who was recalled to Los Angeles to fill in for Jonathan Quick in December and won his first eight starts in a row.  Sean Backman put the Devils in a hole very early on, scoring just 1:08 into the contest for a 1-0 Monarchs lead.  It was all Manchester after that, as the Devils cut their first two power plays short with penalties and continued to get into trouble…and not giving Jones much work, just putting 4 shots on goal.  Manchester would put the game away in the second via goals by Andy Andreoff and Jordan Weal for a 3-0 lead.  Jones would take care of the rest, stopping all 19 Devil shots in picking up the shutout, the second against the Devils in 5 days.  Scott Wedgewood stopped 26 of 29 shots.  Reid Boucher and Mike Sislo each had 4 shots on net.

Lines:

Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie-Mattias Tedenby

Scott Timmins-Reid Boucher-Joe Whitney

Mike Hoeffel-Stefan Matteau-Kelly Zajac

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Extras: Cam Janssen, David Wohlberg

Other lines: Zajac-Matteau-Sislo, Sestito-Hoeffel-Matteau, Whitney-Pelley-Tedenby

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Alexander Urbom/Reece Scarlett

Extras: Brandon Burlon, Eric Gelinas, Jon Merrill, Raman Hrabarenka

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

A nice little bout from Chris McKelvie Tuesday night in Springfield.

My Player of the Week:

Don’t look now, but the third Zajac brother in the organization (that would be Kelly) is climbing up the stats chart.  He had a goal and an assist on Saturday night in Bridgeport, earning #1 star of the game honors.  He’s moved to second on the team in scoring behind Joe Whitney and recently cracked the top 20 among league rookies in points as well.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (17)

Assists: Joe Whitney (21)

Points: Joe Whitney (38)

Plus/Minus: Reece Scarlett/Corbin McPherson (+9)

Penalty Minutes: Chris McKelvie/Seth Helgeson (72)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (18)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.30)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.914)

Elmira Update:

The Jackals completed their Midwestern swing with a shootout loss in Kalamazoo on Wednesday, followed by a pair of wins in Evansville on Friday and Saturday.  The only Devil to appear on the scoresheet all week?  Harry Young.  He scored his second goal of the season in Kalamazoo on Wednesday evening.

Notes:

After a one man injury update (Darcy Zajac) for quite a while, there may be a couple of additions after the weekend games.  No word as of yet on how long Kinkaid will be out after leaving Saturday’s game due to a lower body injury.  Adam Larsson disappeared after the first period in Manchester, no idea of the situation there.

This Week’s Schedule:

While Joe Whitney heads up to St. John’s for the AHL All Star Classic Tuesday and Wednesday, everyone else gets a 4 day break.  But it’s back to work on Friday and the start of a hard 3 in 3 weekend.  Friday night Albany travels to Atlantic City to play Hershey “at home”.  Then a quick turnaround back to the Capital Region on Saturday afternoon to take on Adirondack.  Finally it’s back to Bridgeport on Sunday afternoon to face the Sound Tigers.

And the Photo Gallery is taking a week off.  Back next weekend!

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Blown Perfection

Doing things a little differently this week…with quite a few news items before the games even got started (with my schedule I didn’t have time for a full post), I’ll do a timeline…mixing in all the news and notes with the game recap as we go.

Monday: A wrong was officially righted, as Joe Whitney (along with 2 others) was added to the AHL All Star roster.  Not a bad few days for Joe…he makes his NHL debut, gets his own bobblehead, and now his first AHL All Star appearance.

Wednesday: With so many extras on the roster, someone had to go sooner or later.  Surprisingly, it was Artem Demkov leaving, as he was sent back to Elmira.  He did very well during his stint here, appearing in 21 games and notching 11 points (6 G, 5 A).  After coming to Albany’s training camp as a tryout, he came back on a PTO on December 4th when everyone seemed to be getting recalled to New Jersey.  He did so well during his first week he was given a standard AHL contract 9 days later.

Friday: Before Albany took the ice that night against Bridgeport, another surprising transaction: Eric Gelinas was reassigned to Albany, while Mike Sislo was recalled for the second time in a month as insurance incase Dainius Zubrus couldn’t go in Nashville (Zubrus played; Sislo did not).  Gelinas was sparingly used in his last appearance for New Jersey, seeing just 2:50 of ice time in an overtime victory against Dallas.  Not sure how long he’ll stay, considering that he is not eligible to play here during the Olympic Break.

1/31 vs. Bridgeport: 2-1 W

Now to game action!

One more game to finish out a tough month of January and the homestand, as the Devils welcomed the Sound Tigers.  Unlike the weekend before, Albany clamped down and dominated the first period to start, not even allowing a shot on goal for the first 13:04 of the game (and getting 11 shots of their own).  Joe Whitney thought he had a goal early on, but despite the puck being clearly over the line (per a few witnesses by the net), referee Chris Brown would wave it off.  Just as the Sound Tigers finally showed up for the game, Reid Boucher would score his first since returning to Albany for a 1-0 lead.  Less than 2 minutes later, Alan Quine would tie it up on a power play goal.  Bridgeport would outshoot Albany after that, but Keith Kinkaid was in redemption mode after his 0-3 performance on Sunday afternoon.  The game remained tied (and also quite uneventful) till the third period, when Tim Sestito scored his 9th to put Albany up 2-1.  And the door was shut from then on.  A nice rebound performance from Kinkaid in net, as he set aside 27 of 28 shots and earned #1 star honors.  Four Devils each had an assist.

Lines:

Mattias Tedenby-Reid Boucher-Kelly Zajac

Rod Pelley-Harri Pesonen-Tim Sestito

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Stefan Matteau

Cam Janssen-Chris McKelvie-Mike Hoeffel

Extra: David Wohlberg

Other line combinations: Whitney-Timmins-Boucher; Sestito-McKelvie-Hoeffel

Defense Pairings:

Alexander Urbom/Reece Scarlett

Adam Larsson/Dan Kelly

Corbin McPherson/Seth Helgeson

Extras: Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Gelinas

Saturday: In a not so surprising move, Mike Sislo was sent back down.  When did I figure this out?  When he took the ice in Hartford for warmups.

2/1 at Hartford: 4-3 L (SO)

The Devils started February–and a four game (well, technically five if you count Atlantic City at “home”) road trip–in Hartford against the Wolfpack.  An uneventful first saw Hartford outshoot the Devils 11-4, but Keith Kinkaid was again up to the challenge.  The game remained scoreless till Mike Sislo scored his 13th unassisted for a 1-0 lead.  Harri Pesonen was awarded a goal just over two minutes later despite a replay showing the puck went off his skate.  The referee that allowed the goal?  Chris Brown.  Atoning for last night, I guess?  So a 2 goal lead for a team who is 20-0-0-2 when leading after two periods shouldn’t be a problem, right?  Well…Hartford had a little rally in them as the third period got underway.  Micheal Haley would break up the shutout 98 seconds in for a 2-1 advantage.  Joe Whitney would score less than a minute later for a 3-1 lead.  Darroll Powe would cut the deficit to 3-2 halfway through the period.  Then T.J. Hensick would complete the comeback with just 3:56 left in regulation and tie the game at 3, sealing yet another third period collapse, the fourth one in 5 weeks for the Devils.  This was Hartford’s period from beginning to end, as they outshot the Devils 14-1.  Yup, the one shot got in, and that was all Albany could do.  It was on to overtime, where Albany managed 3 shots to Hartford’s 1, but nothing across.  It was on to the shootout, where it nearly resembled the parent club’s struggles.  Mattias Tedenby scored in the first round, but Reid Boucher, Sislo and Whitney could not get anything by David LeNeveu.  Kinkaid gave up three straight to Hensick, J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast to give Hartford the extra point and seal their comeback.  Outside of beyond the third period, Kinkaid played well again, and finished with 33 saves on 36 shots in 65 minutes.  Four Devils had one assist each, while Eric Gelinas returned to the lineup and finished a +3.

Lines:

Tim Sestito-Mike Sislo-Rod Pelley

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Stefan Matteau

Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher-Mattias Tedenby

Chris McKelvie-Cam Janssen-Harri Pesonen

Extras: Mike Hoeffel, David Wohlberg

Other line combinations: McKelvie-Sislo-Pesonen; Zajac-Pesonen-Janssen; Whitney-Boucher-Timmins; Zajac-Boucher-McKelvie

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Alexander Urbom

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Adam Larsson/Eric Gelinas

Extras: Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, Reece Scarlett

Other pairings: Kelly/Helgeson, Gelinas/Helgeson, Urbom/McPherson, Larsson/Urbom, Gelinas/Urbom

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

No gloves dropped or faces punched this week.

My Player of the Week:

Well…again not a lot of standout performances over the two games.  I was leaning towards Keith Kinkaid before last night’s third period/shootout collapse.  And Eric Gelinas also had a good showing in his return to the Albany lineup as well.  So I’ll split it between those two.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (17)

Assists: Joe Whitney (21)

Points: Joe Whitney (38)

Plus/Minus: Corbin McPherson (+11)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (65)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (17)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.35)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.912)

Elmira Update:

A very good week for the Jackals, as they extended their win streak to 4 games with a home win against Kalamazoo and two road wins over Fort Wayne and Toledo.  Artem Demkov jumped back into the lineup on Wednesday and played very well, with 2 goals and 4 assists for the week.  Harry Young scored his first goal of the season Saturday night in Toledo.  And Riley Boychuk was, well, busy: 14 penalty minutes from one altercation on Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

Three games with no 3 in 3 weekend to deal with.  Albany travels to Springfield for a rare Tuesday night matchup against the first place Falcons, who have been struggling as of late.  Saturday night they travel south to Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers.  Then it’s up to New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon for their only visit to Manchester this season.

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