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Week 16 Primer

Devils Quick Hits:

-Albany begins the week with a 18-14-3-5 record, good for 44 points and 4th place in the Northeast Division (8th in the Eastern Conference).

-With New Jersey starting their All Star Break on Tuesday, Joe Whitney has been sent back to Albany.  In his latest callup he appeared in two games and was scoreless.  In turn, Myles Bell was returned to Evansville, where he will particpate in tonight’s ECHL All Star Game in Orlando.  He was recalled on December 30th but never saw game action.

1/21, Game #41 vs. Bridgeport

Where: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ.

When: 7:30 PM.

Season Series: Bridgeport leads 5-4.

Standings:

Bridgeport: 19-16-4-1, 43 points, 5th place in Northeast Division

Sound Tigers Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

3 players with 32 points

Kevin Poulin, 13-8-5, 2.39 GAA; David Leggio, 6-8-0, 3.74 GAA

Notes:

-Bridgeport is coming off a 1-1-1 weekend, losing to Providence in overtime then splitting a 2 game set with Syracuse on home ice.

-After seeing the Sound Tigers for nearly 1/3 of the first half, this is the final regular season matchup between the two teams.

-This is Albany’s third visit to New Jersey for a home game this season.  They won the first two in Atlantic City against Lehigh Valley on November 28th and December 14th.

-This is also the first appearance for a Devil AHL team in Prudential Center since February 3, 2010, when Lowell dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to Hartford.  The goal scorers that night? Tim Sestito and Nathan Perkovich.  Current Portland goaltender Mike McKenna took the loss in net.

Listen: AHL Live

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheSoundTigers

1/23, Game #42 at Worcester; 1/24, Game #43 vs. Worcester

Where: DCU Center, Worcester, MA (1/23); Times Union Center, Albany, NY (1/24)

When: 7:30 PM (1/23); 2:00 PM (1/24)

Season Series: First meetings of 4.  Future matchups: March 13th @Albany; April 12th @ Worcester

Standings:

Worcester: 20-14-3-2, 45 points, 3rd place in Atlantic Division

Sharks Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Freddie Hamilton, 24 points (8 G, 16 A); Daniil Tarasov, 23 points (10 G, 13 A); Jeremy Langlois, 21 points (11 G, 10 A)

Troy Grosenick, 15-6-3, 2.67 GAA; J.P. Anderson, 4-6-1, 2.71 GAA

Notes:

-The Sharks start the week the hottest team in the AHL, rattling off seven straight wins.  They travel to Portland on Wednesday before the weekend series with the Devils.

-Local ties: Former Devils defenseman Matt Taormina is the Sharks’ lone AHL All Star representative.  Troy Grosenick, former Union goaltender, is in his second professional season.

-Saturday is a busy day in downtown Albany for the home half of the series: it’s GE Kids in Free Day and Devil Dawg’s birthday (meaning multiple mascots around the building).  It’s also the first half of a hockey doubleheader at the Times Union Center, as RPI takes on Union for the annual Mayor’s Cup in the nightcap.

Listen: AHL LiveWTAG 580 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @WorcesterSharks, @WSharksRadio

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Week 15 Recap: An Almost Perfect Rally

The way things had started in all three games for the Devils this week, this potentially could have been a disastrous recap.

But finally doing something that hadn’t happened all season–coming back when trailing after two periods–in back to back games helped springboard Albany to a 5 out of 6 point week, a very nice recovery, getting them out of the Northeast Division basement and back in the playoff race.

1/14 vs. Springfield: 2-1 W (OT)

The week began with the back end of a home and home series against the first place Falcons.  A rematch in net between Scott Wedgewood and All Star Anton Forsberg started out the same way as Sunday in Massachusetts, keeping both teams off the scoreboard in the first period.  Kerby Rychel put the visitors on the board with just over three minutes remaining in the second.  And that looked like all Forsberg would need, as he cruised into the third period.  But then something miraculous happened.  With Wedgewood pulled for the extra attacker, Paul Thompson would find the back of the net with just 56.8 seconds to go in regulation, tying the game up and getting Albany at least one very important standings point.  Just as both teams switched over to 3 on 3 during overtime, Dan Kelly (originally credited to Darcy Zajac) managed to poke the puck past Forsberg, giving Albany an improbable come from behind win, their first all season when trailing after two periods.  Wedgewood played well in net, stopping 29 of 30 shots and picking up his sixth win.  Four Devils added assists.

Highlights:

Lines:

Reid Boucher-Kelly Zajac-Paul Thompson

Ben Thomson-Darcy Zajac-Mike Sislo

Stefan Matteau-David Wohlberg-Chris McKelvie

Ben Johnson-Rod Pelley-Cam Janssen

Extra: Scott Timmins, Graham Black, Myles Bell, Alexandre Carrier

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Dan Kelly/Joe Faust

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Baier, Mike Keenan

Friday: Good news and bad news for Eric Baier.  Good: His PTO turned into an AHL contract for the remainder of the season.  Bad: With Seth Helgeson back on the roster, he was reassigned to Orlando.  In 12 games he had one goal (in his season debut on November 23rd) and two assists, finishing at a -3.

1/16 at Lehigh Valley: 3-2 W

It was off to Allentown to start a two game Pennsylvania road swing, as the Devils visited the Phantoms for the first time in the regular season (if you recall, they traveled there in the preseason, skating away with a victory on October 4th).  Albany was lucky to escape the first period without giving up a goal, getting outshot 10-5 and having to kill off 3 separate power plays.  During a 4 on 4 early in the second, Nick Cousins would get a goal just over the glove of Scott Clemmensen to put the hosts up 1-0.  Albany did wake up a little in the second with 19 shots on goal, but nothing got past rookie goaltender Anthony Stolarz.  But the rally began in the third, thanks to more whistles.  Just after a power play expired, Rod Pelley would tie the game up at 1.  Midway through the period, just 23 seconds into another power play, Paul Thompson would put the visitors ahead with his 19th of the season.  But Andrew Gordon would re-tie the game just over a minute later.  Then on power play #9 of the night, Stefan Matteau would score the go ahead goal for a 3-2 win.  Scott Clemmensen stopped 32 of 34 shots in picking up his third win, his first since returning from the mumps, and even got an assist.  Albany went 2 for 10 on the power play and killed off all 7 shorthanded situations.  Matteau, Dan Kelly, Reece Scarlett, Seth Helgeson, and David Wohlberg all had helpers.

Highlights:

Lines:

Stefan Matteau-Darcy Zajac-Mike Sislo

Reid Boucher-Kelly Zajac-Paul Thompson

Alexandre Carrier-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Chris McKelvie-David Wohlberg-Cam Janssen

Extra: Scott Timmins, Graham Black, Ben Johnson, Myles Bell

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Dan Kelly/Joe Faust

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Mike Keenan

1/17 at Hershey: 5-4 L (OT)

It was off to Chocolatetown for the first time this season as Albany faced off against the Bears.  And things didn’t get off to a great start–Casey Wellman scored just 10 seconds into the contest.  Tomas Kundratek would add a power play goal three minutes later, putting the visitors in a very early hole.  But Albany would rally to tie it up on a Stefan Matteau power play goal (his second in two games) and Reece Scarlett’s first goal of the season (doing his best Eric Gelinas impression in the process).  The Bears would retake the lead on a Stanislav Galiev goal.  Did I mention this was all during the first period?  The back and forth continued during the second period, as the Devils rallied yet again.  Darcy Zajac would score his 4th on a power play to re-tie the game, only to have Chris Conner take the lead back on a power play breakaway chance.  But on a 5 on 3 opportunity, Reid Boucher would tie things up again with his 11th.  Things would get quite physical after that, as both Chris McKelvie (two fighting majors) and Dan Kelly (elbowing major) all were tossed from the game, while Seth Helgeson (continuing altercation) spent most of the third in the penalty box.  Albany did manage to kill off the five minute major midway through the third, and made it to overtime.  But a perfect week was not in the cards.  With Rod Pelley in the penalty box on a questionable slashing call, Galiev (on his birthday no less) would score the game winner in a 4 on 3 situation with 3:14 remaining in overtime to give the Bears the extra point.  Scott Wedgewood recovered from a shaky first to stop 24 of 29 shots.  Scarlett added two assists, while Matteau and three others each had helpers.  Both teams combined for 113 penalty minutes, with Albany amassing a season high of 65.

Highlights:

Lines:

Stefan Matteau-Darcy Zajac-Mike Sislo

Reid Boucher-Kelly Zajac-Paul Thompson

Ben Johnson-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Chris McKelvie-David Wohlberg-Cam Janssen

Extra: Scott Timmins, Graham Black, Myles Bell, Alexandre Carrier

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Corbin McPherson/Mike Keenan

Brandon Burlon/Dan Kelly

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Joe Faust

Pop Quiz: In the Albany Devil era, what is the biggest deficit the team has faced before coming from behind to win?  The answer coming up.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Darcy Zajac reminding everyone of the old Albany-Adirondack days with this one.

My Player of the Week:

Nice to finally see Stefan Matteau have a breakout week.  Assist on the game winning goal on Wednesday, followed up by multi point efforts in both road contests, including two power play goals.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (19)

Assists: Paul Thompson (14)

Points: Paul Thompson (33)

+/-: Paul Thompson (+13)

Penalty Minutes: Dan Kelly (73)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (6)

GAA: Scott Clemmensen (2.45)

Save Percentage: Scott Clemmensen/Maxime Clermont (.912)

ECHL Update:

Eric Baier (Orlando): 17 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 points, 11 PIM, +7

Injury Report: Raman Hrabarenka (facial) is practicing, but no word on when he will return.  Graham Black (upper) and Scott Timmins (lower) remain out.

This Week’s Schedule: Three games leading up to the AHL All Star Break.  Wednesday the Devils finish up their season series against Bridgeport on home ice.  New Jersey’s home ice, that is, as the game is at Prudential Center (and I will be in attendance!).  Friday and Saturday sees a home and home against Worcester, with Friday night in central Massachusetts and a quick turnaround at home early Saturday afternoon, as the front end of a local hockey doubleheader (RPI and Union will play the nightcap in the annual Mayor’s Cup matchup).

Pop Quiz Answer: The biggest deficit overcome by an A-Devils team?  Four goals.  On January 6, 2012, Albany entered the third period trailing Norfolk 4-0.  But in a span of 11 minutes and 47 seconds, Nick Palmieri, Mike Hoeffel, Matt Anderson, and Eric Gelinas would all score, forcing overtime.  And Joe Whitney finished off the comeback 3 and a half minutes in, giving Albany a 5-4 win.  Back in 2011, they overcame a 4-1 deficit in the third on two different occasions, winning 5-4 against Worcester on February 18 (no one remind coach David Cunniff about that night, his pen throwing incident late in the third lead up to the winning goal), and a 5-4 win against Bridgeport on March 9 (the Chad Wiseman 4 goal game).

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Week 15 Primer

Devils Quick Hits:

-Albany begins the week with a record of 16-14-2-5, good for 39 points and 5th place in the Northeast Division (10th in Eastern Conference).

-On Monday, Myles Bell was selected for the ECHL All Star Game, to be played in Orlando on January 21st.  While with Evansville, he posted 15 points (8 G, 7 A) in 24 games.  He has yet to make an appearance for Albany since being recalled on December 30th.

-With New Jersey about to embark on a 3 game California road trip and with Jaromir Jagr and Tuomo Ruutu battling illness, Joe Whitney was recalled for the second time in a little over two weeks and practiced on the fourth (?!?!) line.  To make room for him on the roster, Seth Helgeson was sent down after appearing in 21 games for the big club, registering two assists and finishing at a +3 rating.  He last played for Albany on November 9th in Bridgeport.

1/14, Game #38 vs. Springfield

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 2-1.

Standings:

Springfield: 26-10-3-0, 55 points, 1st place in Northeast Division

Falcons Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Austin Madaisky, 31 points (11 G, 20 A); Luke Adam, 30 points (12 G, 18 A); T.J. Tynan, 24 points (5 G, 19 A)

Anton Forsberg, 18-4-0, 1.85 GAA; Oscar Dansk, 5-3-3, 3.57 GAA

Notes:

-Austin Madaisky and Anton Forsberg, who both played a role in defeating Albany on Sunday in western Massachusetts, are the Falcons All Star Representatives.

-A very light schedule for the Falcons this week, as after Wednesday they are off until hosting Binghamton on Sunday afternoon.

Listen: AHL Live, WHYN 560 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL, @KatyLovesHockey

1/16, Game #39 at Lehigh Valley

Where: PPL Center, Allentown, PA.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 2-0.

Standings:

Lehigh Valley: 18-12-4-1, 41 points, 3rd place in East Division

Phantoms Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Brandon Manning, 23 points (6 G, 17 A); Nick Cousins, 22 points (9 G, 13 A); Andrew Gordon, 19 points (10 G, 9 A)

Anthony Stolarz, 6-6-1, 2.58 GAA

Notes:

-Despite sitting in third in their division, the Phantoms have the best winning percentage (.586) among those teams.

-Lehigh Valley brings a 4 game winning streak into a 3 in 3 weekend.  After hosting the Devils, they face Binghamton at home on Saturday before traveling to Hershey on Sunday afternoon.

Listen: AHL Live, The Fox 1470 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @LVPhantoms

1/17, Game #40 at Hershey

Where: Giant Center, Hershey, PA.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Hershey leads 1-0.

Standings:

Hershey: 19-13-4-1, 43 points, 2nd place in East Division

Bears Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Tim Kennedy, 28 points (2 G, 26 A); Kris Newbury, 26 points (12 G, 14 A); Casey Wellman, 21 points (11 G, 10 A)

Philipp Grubauer, 11-9-4, 2.09 GAA; Pheonix Copley, 6-3-1, 2.00 GAA

Notes:

-Albany will not to have worry about Justin Peters this time around, as he finished his conditioning assignment Sunday afternoon with a loss to Norfolk and was recalled to Washington on Monday.

-This is the Bears first game of the week after splitting a two game set with Norfolk over the weekend.  They start a home and home with the Phantoms on Sunday afternoon.

-The last time Albany won a game in Chocolatetown?  December 29, 2012.   Harri Pesonen scored the game winner midway through the third period in a 3-2 Devil victory.

Listen: AHL Live, The Ticket 1460 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheHersheyBears

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Week 13 Recap: Hard Luck and a Breakout

Not the greatest week for the Devils, as they rang in 2015 with a busy week of four games.  One good win and three one goal defeats later, they are fighting for position in a competitive Northeast Division and trying to stay in the Eastern Conference race.

Tuesday: With 4 forwards up in New Jersey, two injured, and one ill, Myles Bell was recalled from Evansville.  He did not arrive in time to dress for the game, forcing Albany to use a 10 forward/8 defenseman lineup.

12/30 vs. Providence: 3-2 L

The Devils closed out the 2014 calendar year on home ice, as they welcomed the Bruins for their only visit of the season.  Providence came in shorthanded as well, only having 17 skaters on the roster due to callups to Boston.  But it didn’t slow the visitors down, as they outshot the hosts 14-8 in the first, capped off by a Cory Kane power play goal late in the first period for a 1-0 advantage.  Albany tied it up with just 0.4 seconds remaining in the second, as Reid Boucher extended his goal scoring streak to 5 games with his 10th of the season.  Third period was virtually all Bruins, as they outshot the Devils by a 20-8 margin.  Andrew Ammon would give Providence an early lead in the third, but Rod Pelley would tip in the tying goal with just over 5 minutes to go in regulation.  Just as it looked like the Devils were going to overtime for the third straight game…heartbreak ensued.  Ethan Werek took a shot from the blueline that sailed past Scott Wedgewood with just 4.9 seconds left on the clock to give the Bruins the win.  Wedgewood played well in taking the loss, stopping 42 of 45 shots.  Three Devils each had one assist.

Highlights:

Lines:

Reid Boucher-Graham Black-Paul Thompson

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Ben Johnson-Darcy Zajac-Alexandre Carrier

Cam Janssen-Mike Keenan-Joe Faust

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Scott Timmins, David Wohlberg (took warmup but scratched due to illness), Myles Bell (travel)

Defense:

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Dan Kelly/Eric Baier

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka

Friday: Joe Whitney was richly rewarded for scoring his first NHL goal on Wednesday in Detroit…he was reassigned to Albany along with Stefan Matteau, who never dressed after both were recalled on Monday.

1/2 vs. Syracuse: 2-1 L (SO)

The Devils rang in 2015 with a familiar foe, facing the Crunch for the third weekend in a row, but this time on home ice.  Unlike Tuesday night, where the hosts were grossly outshot, Albany got off to a flying start by not allowing a Crunch shot on goal for the first 8:09.  But that first shot off the stick of Vladislav Namestnikov found its way past Scott Wedgewood, putting the visitors up 1-0.  Ben Thomson would score his fourth (originally credited to Graham Black) just over two minutes later to tie the game up.  Then both goalies, Wedgewood and the just sent down Andrei Vasilevskiy, would go into lockdown mode.  The Devils came close to taking the lead early in the third, but the goalposts got in the way twice.  It was on to overtime for the third time in 4 games for the Devils, who came very close to both winning and losing the extra point, but Wedgewood and Vasilevskiy would not give an inch.  On to the shootout, where after the first three rounds both teams were scoreless.  Then it was on the fourth, then fifth, then sixth rounds…nothing across.  The duel continued to round 7, then 8, then 9 without a goal.  Finally in round 10, Kevin Lynch broke the drought and shot it past Wedgewood for a 1-0 lead.  Vasilevskiy then stopped Brandon Burlon to seal the victory for the Crunch.  So if you’re wondering who went out for the Devils in the shootout: Paul Thompson, Reid Boucher, Stefan Matteau, Rod Pelley, Reece Scarlett, Graham Black, Ben Johnson, David Wohlberg, Ben Thomson, and Burlon.

Highlights:

Lines:

Ben Thomson-Graham Black-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-David Wohlberg-Stefan Matteau

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-Alexandre Carrier

Ben Johnson-Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Scott Timmins (inj), Joe Whitney (travel), Myles Bell (healthy)

Defense:

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Dan Kelly/Brandon Burlon

Corbin McPherson/Mike Keenan

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka (inj), Joe Faust, Eric Baier (healthy)

Saturday: With Peter Harrold getting hurt in Friday’s loss to Montreal and Eric Gelinas out sick, Mark Fraser was summoned to New Jersey for his first appearance in a Devil uniform since 2011. He certainly made his presence known during the Devils’ 5-2 win over Philadelphia.  Also, Mike Sislo cleared waivers (since he appeared in 10 games for New Jersey) and was reassigned to Albany, rejoining the team in time for the weekend series in Bridgeport.

1/3 at Bridgeport: 7-4 W

It was off to southern Connecticut for another two game set, as Albany took on Bridgeport for the 7th time this season, but their first meeting since just before Thanksgiving.  Maxime Clermont got the start, his first AHL start of the season and his first game action since December 5th while with Orlando.  Paul Thompson started the scoring with his 14th of the season 5 minutes into the first for a 1-0 lead.  Harry Zolnierczyk would tie it up late in the period with a power play goal (here we go again…).  Then in the second, both teams exploded for a combined 7 goals.  David Wohlberg got the scorefest started just 2:25 in with his second goal of the season.  Griffin Reinhart would retie the game just over a minute later.  Then Ben Thomson (5th), Joe Whitney (12th on the PP) and Graham Black (7th on the PP) would put Albany ahead 5-2.  But the Sound Tigers were not done just yet, as Kael Mouillerat and Alan Quine (on a PP) would cut the deficit to one goal late.  Third period Albany would put the game away, with goals from unlikely sources.  Chris McKelvie would score his second and Corbin McPherson his first in a 5 minute span midway through the third for a commanding 3 goal lead.  Clermont would pick up his second career AHL win, stopping 28 of 32 shots.  Whitney (1 goal & 2 assists), Reid Boucher (3 assists), Thompson (1 goal, 1 assist), Wohlberg (1 goal, 1 assist), and McPherson (1 goal, 1 assist) all had multi point efforts, while Darcy Zajac and Reece Scarlett each had helpers.  Dan Kelly finished at a +3.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Graham Black-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-David Wohlberg-Mike Sislo

Stefan Matteau-Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie

Ben Thomson-Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Scott Timmins, Myles Bell, Ben Johnson, Alexandre Carrier

Defense:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Joe Faust

Mike Keenan/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Baier

1/4 at Bridgeport: 4-3 L

Just about 17 hours or so later, it was back to the rink for a rematch.  Joe Whitney got things started on a good note with a breakaway goal just 1:17 in for a quick 1-0 lead.  Cory Conacher would tie it up with a power play goal later in the period.  Second period saw the Devils run into a bit of penalty trouble, and much like the second visit to Bridgeport in November, the Sound Tigers would capitalize.  Aaron Ness would give the hosts the lead with a 4 on 4 tally.  Harry Zolnierczyk would add a second power play goal late for a 3-1 lead.  Paul Thompson would score on a 5 on 3 midway through the third to get the Devils back to within one goal, but Alan Quine would seal it with an even strength goal with less than two minutes remaining.  Mike Sislo would get his 8th with 5 seconds left, but it was too little too late.  Scott Wedgewood capped off a difficult week stopping 23 of 27 shots in taking the loss.  Whitney and Thompson each had 2 point games, while Rod Pelley and Reece Scarlett had assists.  Albany was forced to kill off 9 Bridgeport power plays, managing to go 7 for 9 on the kill.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Graham Black-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-David Wohlberg-Mike Sislo

Stefan Matteau-Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie

Ben Thomson-Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Scott Timmins, Ben Johnson, Myles Bell, Alexandre Carrier

Defense:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Joe Faust

Mike Keenan/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Baier

Pop Quiz: What is the Albany AHL record for most goals scored in one game?  The answer coming up.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Ben Thomson gets his rematch Friday night:

My Player of the Week:

Not a bad week for Joe Whitney.  He gets his second NHL recall at the beginning of the week, scores his first NHL goal on Wednesday against the Red Wings, then returns to the lineup Saturday and proceeds to score twice and add three assists.  Honorable mention to Paul Thompson for finally getting his goal scoring touch back.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (15)

Assists: Joe Whitney (19)

Points: Joe Whitney (32)

+/-: Paul Thompson (+14)

Penalty Minutes: Darcy Zajac (63)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Scott Clemmensen (2.28)

Save Percentage: Scott Clemmensen (.916)

ECHL Update:

No update since all ECHLers are currently on the roster.

Injury Update:

No updated timetables given for either Scott Clemmensen, Kelly Zajac, Scott Timmins, or Raman Hrabarenka.

This Week’s Schedule:

Another three in three weekend looms.  Friday night the Devils welcome Hershey to the Capital Region for the first time in two seasons (both home matchups last season were in Atlantic City).  Saturday afternoon Bridgeport comes for a visit.  Finally on Sunday afternoon the Devils travel to western Massachusetts for the first time all season to take on the Falcons.

Pop Quiz Answer: The most goals scored by an Albany team in one game?  9, accomplished twice: the first home game in River Rats history on October 9, 1993, when the Rats beat Rochester 9-3, then on March 21, 1998, a 9-5 win at home against Adirondack (when they were the Red Wings).

 

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Week 13 Primer

Devils Quick Hits:

-Albany begins the week at 14-10-2-4, good for 34 points and a tie for 4th place in the Northeast Division (and 7th in the Eastern Conference).

-On Monday, forwards Joe Whitney and Stefan Matteau were recalled to New Jersey.  Matteau sat out as the extra forward, while Whitney made his second NHL appearance on the fourth (!?!) line with Tim Sestito and Jordin Tootoo.

-Tuesday morning Mike Sislo was recalled yet again to New Jersey after both Stephen Gionta and Jacob Josefson were placed on IR.

12/30, Game #31 vs. Providence

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 1-0.

Standings:

Providence: 15-13-3-0, 33 points, tied for 2nd place in Atlantic Division

Bruins Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Alexander Khokhlachev, 25 points (7 G, 18 A); Ryan Spooner, 13 points (3 G, 10 A); Justin Florek, 12 points (5 G, 7 A)

Jeremy Smith, 9-5-2, 2.22 GAA; Malcolm Subban, 6-7-1, 2.71 GAA

Notes:

-Providence is missing 4 of their top 6 leading scorers: rookie David Pastrnak, who is representing the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships, and three others are on recall to Boston.

-The Bruins are at the end of a 5 game road swing, and the trip has not been kind, only having one overtime win over Portland.  They traveled to Manchester twice in 7 days and only snagged an overtime loss point, with a shutout loss to Bridgeport in between.

Listen: AHL Live

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @AHLBruins

1/2, Game #32 vs. Syracuse

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Syracuse leads 3-0.

Standings:

Syracuse: 20-8-4-0, 44 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division

Crunch Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Jonathan Marchessault, 28 points (8 G, 20 A); Yanni Gourde, 26 points (13 G, 13 A); Tanner Richard, 19 points (5 G, 14 A)

Andrei Vasilevskiy, 9-3-4, 2.34 GAA; Kristers Gudlevskis, 11-5-0, 2.72 GAA

Notes:

-The Crunch’s 10 game winning streak finally came to an end on Saturday, with a regulation loss to Worcester on home ice.  They dropped an overtime decision to division leader Springfield on Sunday afternoon.

-Sunday also marked the beginning of a 5 game road trip for the Crunch.  They visit Rochester on Wednesday afternoon before coming to the Capital Region.

-After three matchups in a 13 day span, the two teams will not see each other again until February 20th in Syracuse.

Listen: AHL Live, ESPN Radio Syracuse

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @SyracuseCrunch

1/3 & 1/4, Game #33 and #34 at Bridgeport

Where: Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, CT.

When: 7:00 PM Saturday, 3:00 PM Sunday.

Season Series: Bridgeport leads 4-2.

Standings:

Bridgeport: 15-11-3-1, 34 points, tied for 4th place in Northeast Division

Sound Tigers Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Harry Zolnierczyk, 27 points (10 G, 17 A); 2 tied with 25 points

Kevin Poulin, 10-6-4, 2.41 GAA; David Leggio, 5-5-0, 3.11 GAA

Notes:

-The Sound Tigers swept the weekend, not giving up a single goal to Providence or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-Bridgeport travels to Worcester on Tuesday and Providence on Friday before welcoming Albany in for the weekend.

-The series is the first matchups between the teams since a 5-2 Devils win on November 23rd in Albany.  This after the Devils saw Bridgeport 6 times in their first 17 games.

Listen: AHL Live

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

 

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Week 12 Recap: Working Overtime

Back to work after Christmas for the Devils, and it was a daunting task…taking on the top two teams in the division, along with dealing with the turmoil up top and the possibility of more callups, not to mention the mumps epidemic showing up.  But they persevered, taking three out of four points in two fought out thrillers.

12/26 at Syracuse: 3-2 L (OT)

While New Jersey was cleaning house behind the bench, Albany was off to Onondaga County for the second time in 6 days for a rematch with the Crunch, who were looking to extend their winning streak to double digits.  First period had no scoring, but a renewal of physical play from Saturday’s matchup, as both teams combined for 22 penalty minutes.  Second period saw more scrums…and both teams exchanging goals, as Brandon Burlon gave the visitors a 1-0 advantage just under 5 minutes into the period.  After a missed penalty shot by teammate Nikita Nesterov just a minute and a half earlier, Mike Blunden would tie it up with 7 minutes to go.  Reid Boucher continued his hot streak early in the third period with his 8th (also his 5th straight game with at least one point) to put Albany ahead 2-1.  With the way the team and Scott Wedgewood was playing, the Crunch winning streak was in danger of coming to a halt at 9 games.  But…an unlikely hero emerged, as former River Rat Joey Mormina would tie the game at 2 with just 1:27 remaining in regulation.  Albany had a chance of ending things with a 4 on 3 power play to start overtime, but no such luck.  After another scrum, the teams would go to 3 on 3 early during the extra session…and Vladimir Namestnikov would be the hero, getting the game winner with just under 3 minutes to go to extend the Crunch winning streak to 10…and the overtime woes continue for Albany.  Wedgewood played outstanding despite the loss, stopping 34 of 37 shots.  Joe Whitney contributed two assists and Joe Faust had his second career point assisting Boucher’s goal.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Tim Sestito-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-Graham Black-Stefan Matteau

Darcy Zajac-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

David Wohlberg-Ben Johnson-Alexandre Carrier

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Chris McKelvie, Scott Timmins, Mike Sislo, Cam Janssen

Defense:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Dan Kelly/Joe Faust

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Baier, Mike Keenan

Saturday: After the reveal of the three headed coaching monster behind New Jersey’s bench, Tim Sestito was recalled yet again, and he skated on the fourth line at MSG with Jordin Tootoo and Stephen Gionta in a 3-1 loss to the Rangers.

And the reason for Maxime Clermont’s mysterious recall was also answered: Scott Clemmensen became the fifth Devil to fall victim to the mumps.  Let us pray that no one else on the current roster here is next in line.

12/27 vs. Springfield: 4-3 W (OT)

For the first time in 20 days, Albany was finally back on Times Union Center ice, playing host to the Falcons for just the second time this season.  After a relatively uneventful first period that saw both teams stay off the scoresheet, the Devils got on the board in a big way in the second.  David Wohlberg (on a nice breakaway shot) and Graham Black would score 32 seconds apart for a 2-0 lead.  But the visitors would tie on two straight power play opportunities over a 3 minute span from Josh Anderson and Frederic St. Denis (doing his best Gelinas impression).  Reid Boucher extended his scoring streak with a power play goal of his own to put Albany back up by one.  Then the penalty kill let the team down again, as Ryan Craig would tie it up at 3 with 12 minutes to go in regulation.  It was on to overtime for the second straight night, and things ended in a hurry…Joe Whitney would score the game winner just 34 seconds in for the win, the second OT win for the Devils in 13 days after going almost 3 years without one.  Another strong performance in net by Scott Wedgewood, as he stopped 22 of 25 shots in picking up his 5th win.  Whitney had two more assists, while Reece Scarlett and Brandon Burlon each had helpers.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Graham Black-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-Rod Pelley-Stefan Matteau

Chris McKelvie-Darcy Zajac-Alexandre Carrier

Cam Janssen-David Wohlberg-Ben Thomson

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Scott Timmins, Mike Sislo, Ben Johnson

Defense:

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burl0n/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Eric Baier

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Joe Faust, Mike Keenan

Pop Quiz: If Maxime Clermont gets a start in net during his recall, he will be the 5th goaltender to make an appearance.  Which Albany AHL team saw the most goaltenders see action during one season?  The answer upcoming.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

After Mark Fraser raised the roof last Saturday night, this was pretty much expected.

My Player of the Week:

Four assists and the game winning overtime goal on Saturday?  A very good two days for Joe Whitney.  Honorable mention to Reid Boucher for his continued hot streak.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (13)

Assists: Joe Whitney (17)

Points: Joe Whitney (28)

+/-: Paul Thompson (+11)

Penalty Minutes: Darcy Zajac (63)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Scott Clemmensen (2.28)

Save Percentage: Scott Clemmensen (.916)

ECHL Update:

Myles Bell (Evansville): 23 GP, 8 G, 7 A, 15 Pts, 9 PIM

Injury Report:

Chris McKelvie and Cam Janssen rejoined the lineup on Saturday.  Kelly Zajac is practicing and close to returning, while Raman Hrabarenka and Scott Timmins remain out.  Mike Sislo missed the week due to illness, fingers crossed it’s not the M word.

This Week’s Schedule:

A very busy schedule this week to close out 2014 and ring in 2015.  Tuesday night Providence makes their only visit to the Capital Region.  Then Syracuse comes calling again on Friday, but this time on home ice.  Then it’s off to Bridgeport for matchups on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon against the Sound Tigers, the last visit to southern Connecticut for the regular season.

Pop Quiz Answer: A whopping 7 different goaltenders appeared in at least 1 game in the River Rats inaugural 1993-94 season: Corey Schwab (51 games), Peter Sidorkiewicz (15), Mike Dunham (5), Matt DelGuidice (5), Chad Erickson (4), Mark Gowans (1), and Brian Langlot (1).  Tied for second place are the 1995-96 River Rats (Dunham, Sidorkiewicz, Schwab, DelGuidice, Andre Racicot, Mike Heinke) and the 2005-06 Rats (Frank Doyle, Ari Ahonen, Gregg Naumenko, Scott Clemmensen, Josh Disher, Chris Terreri) with 6 each.

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Week 12 Primer

Devils Quick Hits:

-Albany returns from the Christmas break with a record of 13-10-1-4, good for 31 points and 4th place in the Northeast Division (8th in the Eastern Conference).

-A lot of Thruway travel for Tim Sestito this week.  He and Mike Sislo returned to the Albany roster on Sunday after both appeared in Saturday’s loss to the Capitals.  But Sestito was right back in New Jersey on Monday, and in the lineup for the Devils’ shootout loss to Carolina on Tuesday.  He was then reassigned to Albany on Wednesday.  So we’ll see if he’s still around this weekend or if he ends up in New York on Saturday when New Jersey travels to MSG to take on the Rangers.

-Per the AHL transactions, Maxime Clermont has been recalled from Orlando.  Stay tuned as to who he will be sitting in for.

12/26, Game #29 at Syracuse

Where: Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter, Syracuse, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Syracuse leads 2-0.

Standings:

Syracuse: 19-7-3-0, 41 points, tied for 1st place in Northeast Division

Crunch Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

2 tied with 24 points

Andrei Vasilevskiy, 8-3-3, 2.34 GAA; Kristers Gudlevskis, 11-4-0, 2.69 GAA

Notes:

-The Crunch are looking to build on a 9 game winning streak, the longest since becoming Tampa Bay’s affiliate after the 2011-12 season.

-The Lightning returned goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to the Crunch on Wednesday, after earning his second NHL win against Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

Listen: AHL Live, ESPN Radio Syracuse

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @SyracuseCrunch, @syrhockey, @Allovimo

12/27, Game #30 vs. Springfield

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 1-0.

Standings:

Springfield: 20-9-1-0, 41 points, tied for 1st place in Northeast Division

Falcons Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Austin Madaisky, 25 points (9 G, 16 A); Luke Adam, 22 points (9 G, 13 A combined w/RCH); 2 with 19 points

Anton Forsberg, 13-3-0, 1.81 GAA; Oscar Dansk, 4-3-1, 3.62 GAA

Notes:

-The Falcons begin the week with a modest two game winning streak after sweeping the weekend with wins in Binghamton and Hershey.  They will travel to Hartford on Friday before coming to the Capital Region on Saturday.

-For the first Capital Region home game since December 7th, it’s a holiday special: $10 tickets (box office only) and the first 1500 get a free helmet bank.

Listen: AHL Live, WHYN 560 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL, @KatyLovesHockey

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