Tag Archives: Roster Moves

Monday Night Updates

It may be Day 2 of the offseason, but there’s quite a few news items to pass along:

-Congratulations to Joe Whitney, who was named the final AHL Player of the Week for his seven point performance in 3 games this week.  This is the second time this season he was given the honor…he also won for the week ending January 4th.

-Mike Keenan and Ben Johnson were sent to Orlando to help the Solar Bears with their Kelly Cup playoff run, which resumes Tuesday night at home against Florida.

-Stefan Matteau will be joining Team USA for the World Championships, which will take place in the Czech Republic from May 1st-15th.  Raman Hrabarenka is expected to join Team Belarus in the coming days.

-And finally if you’re interested, the full first round Calder Cup playoff schedule can be found here.  The postseason gets underway Wednesday night.

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Week 27 Recap: On Life Support

A crucial three in three weekend, all on the road.  But with only two out of six points gained–and a little help from opponents–the Devils still find themselves mathematically alive for the final East playoff spot, but just barely hanging by a thread going into the final week of the regular season.

Friday: After making one appearance for New Jersey, Seth Helgeson and Raman Hrabarenka were reassigned to Albany.

4/10 at Binghamton: 6-3 L

The crucial road trip began in the Southern Tier on Friday evening, as Albany looked for a repeat performance of Saturday’s decisive win over the Senators.  The hosts got off to a good start, taking a 1-0 lead on a Cole Schneider goal.  Binghamton, much like the Devils last visit in November, would explode in the second period, scoring 4 times on Scott Wedgewood.  Aaron Johnson, Shane Prince, Schneider, and rookie Matthew Zay would all score in a 12:14 span (with the last two goals coming just 16 seconds apart) for a commanding 5-0 lead.  But the Devils were not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet.  Tim Sestito would break up the shutout just 35 seconds into the third period to make it 5-1.  Joe Faust, finally getting a chance to play with Helgeson and Hrabarenka still en route from Florida, would score his first as  a professional 2:08 later for a 5-2 lead.  Mike Sislo would then add his 18th with 7:32 to go to make it a two goal deficit.  But it was all they could muster, and Schneider would finish off the hat trick with an empty netter to seal the win, shrinking the Devils tragic number down to 5 (thanks to a shootout loss by Portland in Manchester).  Wedgewood stopped 22 of 27 shots in the loss.  Joe Whitney,  in his first game back since getting injured in Norfolk, had three assists, while Brandon Burlon added two helpers.  And not a good night defensively for the top line…Paul Thompson finished at a -4.

Highlights:

Lines:

Matt Lorito-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Joe Whitney-Tim Sestito-Mike Sislo

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Max Novak

Chris McKelvie-Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Graham Black, Ben Johnson, David Wohlberg, Brandon Baddock

Defense:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Joe Faust

Reece Scarlett/Mike Keenan

Saturday: Before New Jersey’s final game of the season, it was announced that Reid Boucher and Stefan Matteau would be returned to Albany after the game, rejoining the team on Sunday.  Boucher played on the fourth line in the Devils 3-2 loss to Florida, while Matteau sat out.

4/11 at Hartford: 2-1 L

It was on to the capital of Connecticut on Saturday, as Albany tried to keep its fading playoff chances alive.  Much like the night before, the Devils found themselves down early in the first period, as Chad Nehring would give Hartford a 1-0 lead midway through the first.  Raman Hrabarenka, in his first game back since making his NHL debut on Thursday, scored his 9th early in the second period to tie things up at 1.  Oscar Lindberg would break the tie later in the second to put the Wolfpack ahead 2-1.  Despite outshooting the hosts 26-23, the Devils just could not get the equalizer past former Devils backup goaltender Yann Danis, and their playoff hopes are just about extinguished, but a Portland loss to the Penguins still keeps them mathematically in it.  Scott Clemmensen played very well but got stuck with the loss, stopping 21 of 23 shots.  Darcy Zajac and Seth Helgeson had the lone assists.

Highlights:

Lines:

Matt Lorito-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Joe Whitney-Tim Sestito-Mike Sislo

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Chris McKelvie-Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Graham Black, Ben Johnson, Brandon Baddock, Max Novak

Defense:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Extra: Joe Faust, Mike Keenan

4/12 at Worcester: 3-2 W

The weekend ended in central Massachusetts on Sunday afternoon, as Albany paid their last visit to Worcester for the foreseeable future, with the Sharks moving to San Jose next season.  Worcester began the day needing just one point to clinch the seventh playoff spot in the East, while Albany needed to avoid a third straight loss in order to keep their hopes intact.  On a late first period power play, Daniil Tarasov put the hosts on the board first.  But Albany would tie things up midway through the second period with a power play goal of their own off the stick of Reid Boucher, just back in town after finishing the season in New Jersey.  Paul Thompson would score his franchise record 33rd goal, coming on a power play, 7:32 into the third period to give Albany a 2-1 advantage.  With Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell pulled late for an extra skater, Stefan Matteau would come through and shoot it into the empty net for a 3-1 lead.  That goal became very important when Barclay Goodrow would score with just 23.3 seconds remaining to make it a 3-2 game.  But the Sharks were unable to tie it, and Albany salvaged their only win of the weekend, staying mathematically in it thanks to a Portland loss to the Penguins.  Scott Wedgewood rebounded nicely from his Friday disaster in Binghamton, stopping 25 or 27 shots in picking up win #13.  Five Devils would each have assists.

Highlights:

Lines:

Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Matt Lorito-Joe Whitney-Mike Sislo

Stefan Matteau-Tim Sestito-Max Novak

David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley-Cam Janssen

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Graham Black, Brandon Baddock, Darcy Zajac, Chris McKelvie, Ben Johnson

Defense:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Mike Keenan

Extra: Joe Faust, Corbin McPherson

Conference Standings:

After Sunday’s action, here’s where the final playoff spot race stands:

8. Portland–83 points

9. Springfield–83

10. Albany–79

Portland and Albany each have 3 games left, Springfield 2.  The magic number falls to 11 to clinch (of course plenty of help still needed), while the tragic number sits at 3.

Pop Quiz: With Sunday being the last visit to Worcester, what is Albany’s all time record at the Centrum/DCU Center?  The answer coming up.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

With the one good fight not up yet, let’s do some digging.  Here’s a bout from the newest ATO from February.

My Player of the Week:

This week it’s about two players who reached milestones this weekend.  Joe Whitney reached the 200 point mark for his professional career on Friday night, while Paul Thompson officially set the franchise single season mark for goals on Sunday with his 33rd.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (33)

Assists: Joe Whitney (33)

Points: Paul Thompson/Joe Whitney (53)

+/-: Graham Black (+9)

Penalty Minutes: Dan Kelly (130)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (13)

GAA: Scott Clemmensen (2.35)

Save Percentage: Scott Clemmensen (.914)

ECHL Update:

Regular season ended on Saturday for Evansville and Orlando.  The Solar Bears will face Florida in the first round of the playoffs.

Myles Bell (Evansville): 41 GP, 10 G, 9 A, 19 Pts, -22, 25 PIM

Eric Baier (Orlando): 54 GP, 9 G, 12 A, 21 Pts, +8, 20 PIM

Alexandre Carrier (Orlando): 16 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 Pt, -1, 33 PIM

Maxime Clermont (Orlando): 21 GP, 9-7-2-2, 3.11 GAA, .897 Save Pct.

Injury Update:

All are healthy with the exception of Kelly Zajac (lower) and Graham Black (lower), both have been shut down for the season.

This Week’s Schedule:

Three games remain on the 2014-15 slate.  Wednesday Albany plays host to Syracuse.  Friday night they travel to northeast Pennsylvania to take on the Penguins.  Finally on Saturday they close things out on home ice against Hartford.

Pop Quiz Answer: Since Worcester entered the league as the IceCats for the 1994-95 season, Albany teams have a lifetime record of 13 wins, 16 losses, 3 ties, 1 overtime loss, and 1 shootout loss.  The first win came on January 14, 1995, a 6-3 River Rat victory.

 

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Week 27 Primer

Devils Quick Hits:

-Albany begins the week with a 33-26-5-6 mark, good for 77 points.  They remain in 4th place in the Northeast Division (4 points behind 3rd place Springfield) and 10th in the Eastern Conference, 4 points behind 9th place Springfield and 5 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot, currently occupied by Portland.

-The first of the 2014 draft class has arrived, in the form of 6th round draft selection Brandon Baddock, who signed an ATO on Wednesday.  The 20-year-old just finished his third season with Edmonton of the WHL, registering 40 points (19 G, 21 A) in 71 games, along with 136 penalty minutes.

-On Thursday, with both Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill recovering from injuries sustained in Tuesday’s home finale in New Jersey, Seth Helgeson and Raman Hrabarenka were both recalled, and were paired together in the Devils 4-3 overtime loss to the Lightning in Tampa.  Hrabarenka is the second A-Devil to make his NHL debut this season (Helgeson the other in November; you could count Damon Severson in that category, but he made his lone Albany appearances back in the 2012-13 season).

-Injury updates: Graham Black is done for the season after blocking a shot off his leg in Saturday’s win over Binghamton.  The rookie had a successful first season despite missing significant time to injuries and illness.  Joe Whitney, Tim Sestito (illness) and David Wohlberg are all expected back in the lineup this weekend.

4/10, Game #71 at Binghamton

Where: Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 2-1.

Standings:

Binghamton: 30-33-7-1, 68 points, 4th place in East Division, 13th in Eastern Conference

Senators Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Shane Prince, 59 points (25 G, 34 A); Chris Wideman, 54 points (17 G, 37 A); Cole Schneider, 50 points (24 G, 26 A)

Peter Mannino, 6-11-4, 3.80 GAA; Scott Greenham, 13-10-2, 2.80 GAA; Chris Driedger, 4-0-0, 2.74 GAA

Notes:

-With Saturday’s loss to Albany, the Senators were officially eliminated from the playoff race.

-Defenseman Chris Wideman (First) and forward Shane Prince (Second) were both named to the AHL’s end of season All Star teams yesterday.

-Binghamton kicked off a 4 game homestand on Tuesday with a 7-4 loss to the Admirals.  After Albany visits, they face Utica on Saturday and again on Wednesday.

Listen: AHL Live, US 96.9 FM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @BSens_Hockey

4/11, Game #72 at Hartford

Where: XL Center, Hartford, CT.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Hartford leads 5-3.

Standings:

Hartford: 38-23-5-4, 85 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division, 7th in Eastern Conference

Wolfpack Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Chris Bourque, 59 points (27 G, 32 A); Oscar Lindberg, 51 points (25 G, 26 A); Danny Kristo, 42 points (20 G, 22 A)

Mackenzie Skapski, 15-8-3, 2.40 GAA; Yann Danis, 13-12-4, 2.64 GAA

Notes:

-The Wolfpack start the weekend with a magic number of 5 to clinch a playoff spot.  They can finish no higher than 6th.

-Hartford starts a 3 in 3 weekend by hosting Springfield on Friday and Albany on Saturday, then travel to Providence on Sunday afternoon.

-After spending the last 4 seasons in Hartford, Ryan Bourque finally made his NHL debut on Thursday night for the Rangers, who were shut out by Ottawa in their regular season home finale.

Listen: AHL Live, Fox Sports Radio 1410 Hartford

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @WolfPackAHL

4/12, Game #73 at Worcester

Where: DCU Center, Worcester, MA.

When: 3:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 2-1.

Standings:

Worcester: 40-24-4-2, 86 points, 2nd place in Atlantic Division, 5th in Eastern Conference

Sharks Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Evan Trupp, 38 points (16 G, 22 A); 2 tied with 34 points

Troy Grosenick, 19-11-3, 2.62 GAA; Aaron Dell, 15-5-2, 1.80 GAA

Notes:

-Worcester’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is at 3, meaning they can secure a playoff spot as soon as Saturday.

-The Sharks start a 3 in 3 weekend with a home and home series against Providence before hosting Albany on Sunday.

-This is the final visit to central Massachusetts for the unforseeable future, as Worcester is relocating to San Jose next year and playing at the SAP Center as the San Jose Barracuda.

Listen: AHL Live, WTAG 580 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @WorcesterSharks, @SharksAHLinGame

 

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Week 26 Primer

Devils Quick Hits:

-Albany kicks off the month of April with a 31-25-5-6 record and 73 points.  They stand in 4th place in the Northeast Division (3 points behind 3rd place Springfield) and 10th in the Eastern Conference, 3 points behind Springfield for 9th & 7 points behind Portland for 8th.

-After appearing in Saturday’s win over Norfolk, Alexandre Carrier was reassigned to Orlando on Sunday.

-On Monday, Ben Johnson was recalled from Orlando after appearing in 12 games for the Solar Bears.  He scored twice and added six assists during his stay.

4/1, Game #68 vs. Manchester

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Manchester leads 1-0.

Standings:

Manchester: 43-16-6-2, 94 points, 1st place in Atlantic Division, 1st place in Eastern Conference

Monarchs Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Brian O’Neill, 71 points (22 G, 49 A); Jordan Weal, 62 points (18 G, 44 A); Colin Miller, 46 points (17 G, 29 A)

Jean-Francois Berube, 32-9-4, 2.19 GAA; Patrik Bartosak, 11-7-4, 2.14 GAA

Notes:

-Manchester, who leads the overall AHL standings by 3 points over Hershey, were the first team to punch their ticket to the Calder Cup playoffs when they clinched on Saturday.

-The Monarchs boast the top two scorers in the league in O’Neill and Weal, while both goaltenders (Bartosak and Berube) are in the top 10 for goals against average.

-This will be the last ever matchup between Manchester and Albany, as both Kings affiliates are switching leagues: the AHL version will be in the new Pacific Division as the Ontario Reign, while Manchester will be joining the ECHL.

Listen: AHL Live, manchestermonarchs.com

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @MonarchsHockey

4/3, Game #69 at Springfield

Where: Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Springfield leads 4-3.

Standings:

Springfield: 34-27-8-0, 76 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division, 9th in Eastern Conference

Falcons Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

T.J. Tynan, 41 points (10 G, 31 A); Luke Adam, 40 points (15 G, 25 A); Austin Madaisky, 35 points (12 G, 23 A)

Anton Forsberg, 20-8-1, 2.01 GAA; Scott Munroe, 7-10-2, 2.59 GAA; Joonas Korpisalo, 0-25-0, 3.52 GAA

Notes:

-The Falcons are struggling to stay in the final playoff spot in the East, falling to 9th after a recent 0-3-1-0 skid.

-Springfield has seen six rookies make their professional debuts, including 2014 first rounder Sonny Milano and Finnish goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.

-After a 11 AM start in Bridgeport on Wednesday, Springfield returns home for a crucial two game homestand with Albany and 8th place Portland.

Listen: AHL Live, WHYN 560 AM

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

4/4, Game #70 vs. Binghamton

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: Tied at 1.

Standings:

Binghamton: 28-31-7-1, 64 points, 4th place in East Division, 13th in Eastern Conference

Senators Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Shane Prince, 54 points (23 G, 31 A); Chris Wideman, 51 points (16 G, 35 A); Cole Schneider, 47 points (23 G, 24 A)

Peter Mannino, 6-10-4, 3.84 GAA; Scott Greenham, 13-9-2, 2.63 GAA; Chris Driedger, 2-0-0, 3.00 GAA

Notes:

-Binghamton appears to be the next Eastern Conference team to be mathematically out of the running for a playoff spot, starting the week with a tragic number of 3.

-The Senators are riding a three game losing streak into this week’s schedule…they travel to Syracuse on Wednesday before hosting the Phantoms on Friday evening.

-Goaltender Peter Mannino, who did not even begin the year in the Southern Tier, has taken over the starting duties with Andrew Hammond being recalled to Ottawa in late January, going 5-7-2 in 14 starts.

Listen: AHL Live, US 96.9 FM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @BSens_Hockey

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Week 24 Recap: Climbing the Ladder

Don’t count the Devils out just yet.  After a slow start to the week, the team has got their offensive touch back, taking two out of three wins on the week and staying in the race for the final playoff spot.

3/18 vs. Norfolk: 1-0 L

Game #4 of the homestand came Wednesday, as Albany hosted the Admirals for the first time all season.  And much like Sunday, it was another struggle on both sides to get a goal.  The Devils did outshoot Norfolk 14-7 in the first, but couldn’t get anything into the net.  Second period was more of the same defensive struggle, with the only action being two fights breaking out within 1:24 of each other.  But with 3:06 to go in the period, Norfolk struck first, or did they?  About 3 Ads were surrounding Scott Clemmensen’s net, and one of them was able to bat the puck in behind him.  It looked like goaltender interference, so the referees went to the video…and it was called a good goal (of course they did).  Stefan Noesen was given credit for the tally.  Albany had a golden opportunity to tie things up with a late period/early third period 5 on 3 opportunity, but could not get the job done.  Two more power play opportunities and an empty net situation followed, but still no offense.  And the Devils were shutout for a second straight game, extending the scoreless drought to 125 minutes and 3 seconds.  Clemmensen played outstanding in the loss, stopping 25 of 26 shots.

Highlights:

Lines:

Reid Boucher-Tim Sestito-Mike Sislo

Stefan Matteau-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Chris McKelvie-Graham Black-Darcy Zajac

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Cam Janssen

Extra: Joe Whitney, Kelly Zajac, David Wohlberg, Matt Lorito

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Extra: Joe Faust

Friday: The second ATO of the season has arrived–and the Devils didn’t have to go very far to find him.  Union College forward Max Novak, a native of New Jersey, becomes the third UC alum to suit up for the Devils (Keith Kinkaid and Kelly Zajac the other two).  In 35 games this season, he notched 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) and had a +3 rating.  His most memorable goal came last season, as he scored the game winner in Union’s 7-4 national championship win over Minnesota in Philadelphia.  For his four year career, he has a total of 96 points (43 goals, 53 assists) in 141 games.

Saturday: With Mike Cammalleri out due to the flu and Patrik Elias suffering from back spasms, both Reid Boucher and Stefan Matteau were recalled under emergency conditions to New Jersey…only to both be scratched for the Devils 3-0 shutout loss to the Islanders.  They were both returned to Albany then recalled under regular conditions.

3/21 vs. Norfolk: 4-3 W

After Norfolk made a quick journey west to Binghamton on Friday (and lost 4-3 to the Senators), it was back to the Capital Region on Saturday for the rematch.  And finally, the Devils sleeping offense came to life.  Brandon Burlon finally broke Albany’s long scoreless drought early in the first period with his sixth goal of the season for a 1-0 lead.  It was the first goal for Albany in a span of 127 minutes and 40 seconds.  But Chris Wagner would tie it up midway through the period with a power play goal.  Then the Devils were forced to play shorthanded yet again as Dan Kelly took a 5 minute major and game misconduct for boarding Norfolk’s Mike Sgarbossa…but Wagner was called for roughing (and also fighting Kelly) on the same incident, creating a 4 on 3/4 on 4/Norfolk major power play situation.  And they would capitalize on that, taking a 2-1 lead on a Jaycob Megna goal.  The Devils would kill off the rest and mount a rally in the second period.  Raman Hrabarenka (6th) and Chris McKelvie (3rd) would score 3:04 apart midway through for a 3-2 Devil lead.  But John Kurtz would re-tie the game up just before the second ended.  The game remained deadlocked late…until another long drought was broken.  Matt Lorito, finally making his pro debut, scored on a power play with 5:21 remaining in regulation to put the Devils ahead 4-3.  It was their first power play goal since March 1st, snapping an 0-for-27 drought.  Albany survived an extra attacker late and held on for the win, breaking a 3 game winless skid and jumping from 12th to 10th in the Eastern Conference standings.  Scott Wedgewood picked up win #10, stopping 24 of 27 shots.  It was a balanced offensive attack for the Devils on this day: Burlon and Graham Black added two assists, while McKelvie, Hrabarenka, Seth Helgeson, and Rod Pelley each had helpers.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Tim Sestito-Matt Lorito-Mike Sislo

David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley-Darcy Zajac

Chris McKelvie-Graham Black-Cam Janssen

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Ben Thomson, Max Novak

Defense:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Extra: Joe Faust

Sunday: As a result of his major/game misconduct penalty on Saturday, Dan Kelly was given a one game suspension and had to sit out Sunday’s home game against Hartford.

3/22 vs. Hartford: 5-3 W

The long homestand finally came to an end on Sunday afternoon, as the Devils played host to the Wolfpack.  After a physical start, the visitors got on the board late in the first on a very lucky bounce off the stick of Joey Crabb for a 1-0 lead.  Carl Klingberg would double the lead late in the second period, and the way things were going for Albany it looked like another blow to their fading playoff hopes.  But then the third period happened.  Paul Thompson would get Albany on the board just 1:02 in with a power play tally (yes another one!), then exactly one minute later Mike Sislo would tie it up.  On another power play opportunity later, Scott Timmins would put the Devils ahead with his 8th goal.  Just 1:04 later, Raman Hrabarenka would add another power play goal for a 4-2 lead.  Oscar Lindberg would make things interesting late with a goal to put Hartford within one, but Tim Sestito would finish it off with an empty netter.  Lost in the comeback and tying a franchise record with 5 goals in a period was another good outing from Scott Clemmensen, who only needed to stop 15 of 18 shots to pick up the win.  10 Devil skaters had at least one point, with Sislo’s one goal/two assist performance leading the way.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Tim Sestito-Matt Lorito-Mike Sislo

David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Chris McKelvie-Graham Black-Cam Janssen

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Darcy Zajac, Max Novak

Defense:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Seth Helgeson/Joe Faust

Reece Scarlett/Raman Hrabarenka

Extra: Dan Kelly

Conference Standings:

After Sunday’s action, here’s where everything stands in the East:

8. Springfield–75 points

9. Worcester–74

10. Albany–69

11. St. John’s–69

12. Lehigh Valley–65

13. Binghamton–64

The magic number to clinch stands at 32, while the tragic number is 17.

Pop Quiz: It’s a 2 part question this week.  Who holds the Albany AHL record for the best plus/minus rating for one season? And who has the worst?  Both answers are coming up.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Two for the price of one this week, because finally there’s video proof!  First up, Dan Kelly from Wednesday evening’s festivities:

Not long after that, it was Chris McKelvie’s turn in the ring, so to speak.

My Player of the Week:

The last two days have given quite a few candidates to choose from, so this week it’s being split.  Good to see Chris McKelvie break out with a goal and two assists, and both Brandon Burlon and Raman Hrabarenka had good offensive showings from the blue line.  Honorable mention to Matt Lorito for producing the game winner in his pro debut, hopefully the first of many goals to come.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (26)

Assists: Joe Whitney (27)

Points: Paul Thompson (46)

+/-: Graham Black (+11)

Penalty Minutes: Dan Kelly (123)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (10)

GAA: Scott Clemmensen (2.53)

Save Percentage: Scott Clemmensen (.906)

ECHL Update:

Myles Bell (Evansville): 41 GP, 10 G, 9 A, 19 Pts, -22, 25 PIM

Eric Baier (Orlando): 45 GP, 7 G, 11 A, 18 Pts, +8, 20 PIM

Mike Keenan (Orlando): 36 GP, 0 G, 10 A, 10 Pts, +4, 30 PIM

Ben Johnson (Orlando): 8 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 Pts, +7, 0 PIM

Maxime Clermont (Orlando): 18 GP, 9-6-0, 2.96 GAA, .900 Save Pct.

Injury Update: The only questions right now are the brothers Zajac, as Kelly is still nursing a nagging lower body injury.  Darcy sat out Sunday’s win and was the only player not in attendance for the team postgame autograph session, so not sure of his status.

This Week’s Schedule: A quick two game schedule for the Devils this week.  Just a ten hour bus ride to Norfolk awaits them, that’s all.  Friday and Saturday evening they close out their March slate by making their last trip ever to Virginia to take on the Admirals.  And if the two games this week were any indication…buckle up boys and girls.

Pop Quiz Answer: This week we’re looking at plus/minus ratings in Albany history.  The best belongs to Scott Pellerin, who was a +43 for the 1995-96 River Rats.  The worst is actually a tie: Jiri Bicek and Joel Bouchard both finished a -30 for the 2001-02 River Rats.

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Week 24 Primer

Devils Quick Hits:

-Albany begins this week with a record of 27-24-5-6 and 65 points.  They stand in 4th place in the Northeast Division (8 points behind 3rd place Springfield) and 12th place in the Eastern Conference (tied with Lehigh Valley for 11th, 1 point behind 10th place St. John’s).

-Alexandre Carrier was reassigned to Orlando on Monday after not making an appearance since his recall on March 4th.

-On Tuesday, Joe Whitney was given a 2 game suspension as a result of his match penalty on Saturday against Syracuse.  He served the first game on Sunday and will only have to sit out today’s matchup.

3/18 & 3/21, Games #63 & 64 vs. Norfolk

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM 3/18, 5:00 PM 3/21.

Season Series: First two meetings of 4.  Future matchups: March 27 & 28 @ Norfolk

Standings:

Norfolk: 22-32-5-3, 52 points, 5th place in East Division, 14th in Eastern Conference

Admirals Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Chris Wagner, 27 points (14 G, 13 A); 2 players with 26 points

Jason LaBarbera, 7-12-6, 2.47 GAA; Ryan Faragher, 1-6-0, 3.19 GAA

Notes:

-It has not been a great season for the Admirals, who have seen a total of 49 different players dress for at least one game, including 6 goaltenders.

-Norfolk is in the middle of a seven game road trip, and have yet to see the win column, losing to Charlotte, Portland twice, and Providence.  They will make a quick trip west to Binghamton on Friday evening before coming back to Albany for Saturday afternoon.  They have not won since a 3-2 victory over Bridgeport on February 22nd.

-This is the last time Norfolk will visit the Capital Region, as they will be returning to the ECHL next season as Edmonton’s affiliate.  The AHL Ducks will be relocating to San Diego and become the Gulls.

-A special for Saturday, as it is Devils Fight Cancer Night.  There is a special $18 ticket special, with $5 from each ticket going to the Melodies Center.  There are also $10 autographed pucks available with all proceeds also going to the Melodies Center.

Listen: AHL Live, WHKT 1650 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @NorfolkAdmirals, @AdsGameUpdates

3/22, Game #65 vs. Hartford

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 3:00 PM.

Season Series: Hartford leads 5-2.

Standings:

Hartford: 33-21-5-3, 74 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division, 7th in Eastern Conference

Wolfpack Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Chris Bourque, 53 points (24 G, 29 A); Oscar Lindberg, 40 points (19 G, 21 A); Danny Kristo, 37 points (18 G, 19 A)

Jeff Malcolm, 6-3-0, 3.32 GAA; Yann Danis, 11-12-3, 2.78 GAA

Notes:

-Hartford has been on a roller coaster during the past month, dropping 6 in a row (with one in overtime) before sweeping last weekend on the road.  They have jumped to second place in the division, just six points behind first place Syracuse.

-The Wolfpack are about to start their third straight 3 in 3 weekend, hosting Lehigh Valley on Friday and traveling to Springfield on Saturday before finishing the weekend in Albany.

-The second and final post game autograph session of the season follows Sunday’s contest.  It’s also Team Poster Day.

Listen: AHL Live, Fox Sports Radio 1410

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @WolfPackAHL

 

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Week 23 Recap: The Defense Takes Over

After a good trip to Newfoundland, Albany started a season long six game homestand with a 3 in 3 weekend against teams all in the playoff picture, hoping to scrape away at their deficit to get back into the playoff picture.  But three goals and three out of six points later…nothing much gained.  And time is starting to run out.

Friday: Much earlier than I expected, but the first amateur tryout of the season has arrived, in the form of Brown University forward Matt Lorito.  He just completed his senior season with the Bears, scoring 11 goals and 12 assists in 23 games while serving as team captain.  For his four year collegiate career, he has a total of 106 points (47 goals, 59 assists).  He was also a 2014 New Jersey rookie camp invitee.

3/13 vs. Worcester: 3-2 W

The homestand kicked off Friday evening with a visit from the Sharks, who began the evening just inside the playoff picture.  Albany got off to a great start in the first period, not allowing a shot on goal for nearly 9 minutes and taking a 1-0 lead on Paul Thompson’s 25th goal of the season.  Captain Rod Pelley would double the lead just after a power play opportunity ended.  But Worcester would mount a rally in the second period.  Just as their third power play would expire, Taylor Fedun cut the lead in half.  Later in the period, during a 4 on 4 opportunity that should not have been (what many in house thought was a dive was called a tripping penalty on Joe Whitney), Karl Stollery would tie the game up at 2.  But Albany took the lead back for good in the third thanks to Darcy Zajac’s 7th goal of the season, picking up their second straight win and extending their March point streak to 3 games.  Yes, it took just 3 games for Albany to match their entire win total for the month of February.  Scott Clemmensen played well in net, stopping 27 of 29 shots (you could probably credit 2 or 3 of those to Raman Hrabarenka, he was swatting pucks near the crease away quite a bit) and picking up win #6.  Zajac and Pelley also added assists, and Tim Sestito and Corbin McPherson had one helper each.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Mike Sislo

Reid Boucher-Graham Black-Stefan Matteau

David Wohlberg-Tim Sestito-Paul Thompson

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Darcy Zajac

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Chris McKelvie, Cam Janssen, Matt Lorito, Alexandre Carrier

Defense:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Extra: Joe Faust

3/14 vs. Syracuse: 2-1 L

21 hours later, Albany was back on ice, this time taking on the first place Crunch.  It appeared the Devils would get a break when former RPI goaltender Allen York drew the start instead of Kristers Gudlevskis (the Crunch are in the midst of a 3 in 3 weekend of their own).  After a relatively quiet first period, things would shift in favor of the Crunch in a big way in the second period.  Joe Whitney was called for a match penalty for cross checking Syracuse’s Luke Witkowski (I had my complaints about the call, but honestly from my angle in the corner it was hard to see the actual incident), giving the visitors a 5 minute power play.  And they would capitalize just 30 seconds in, as Jonathan Marchessault would score to break up the scoreless duel between York and Scott Wedgewood.  Albany just could not seem to get any breaks offensively, seeing at least 3 good scoring chances just miss the net or hit off the post.  Carter Ashton would score an empty netter with 18 seconds remaining to seal the win…and it was very fortunate that happened, because Raman Hrabarenka would break up York’s shutout bid with just 3.6 seconds left on the clock.  But it came too little, too late, as Syracuse won it’s 6th out of 7 matchups against Albany this season.  Wedgewood played very well in the loss, stopping 21 of 22.  David Wohlberg and Ben Thomson had the lone assists.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Mike Sislo

Reid Boucher-Graham Black-Stefan Matteau

David Wohlberg-Tim Sestito-Paul Thompson

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Darcy Zajac

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Chris McKelvie, Cam Janssen, Matt Lorito, Alexandre Carrier

Defense:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Extra: Joe Faust

3/15 vs. Springfield: 1-0 L (SO)

Without Whitney in the lineup due to automatic suspension from Saturday’s penalty, the Devils had to shake up the lines for their final game of the weekend against the Falcons, who began the day holding the 8th and final playoff spot in the East.  Kelly Zajac returned and was back on second line duty, while Chris McKelvie made his first appearance of the weekend, going in for Ben Thomson.  And even Joe Faust made an appearance, going in for Brandon Burlon.  Other than another mini scrum, nothing across in the first, as Albany outshot the visitors 11-4.  The Falcons woke up in the second and had 15 shots, but Scott Wedgewood stopped all of them.  The only thing stopping anyone?  A glass delay.  More scoreless hockey in the third, including some very good saves from Wedgewood.  But despite 14 shots, the Devils could not get anything at all past Falcons goaltender Scott Munroe.  It was on to overtime, where Reid Boucher and Stefan Matteau had good shots at ending things, but still, nothing was getting by Munroe.  So finally things went to a shootout, where someone had to score to finish this epic goaltending duel.  Unfortunately only two Falcons, T.J. Tynan and Sean Collins were able to get the puck in net.  Paul Thompson and Mike Sislo had their chances, but couldn’t get the puck in, and Springfield earned the extra point.  It was the Devils sixth shootout loss and the sixth shutout of the season.  Wedgewood was the very hard luck but deserved much better loser in net, stopping all 33 shots in 65 minutes, but couldn’t finish it in the bonus round.

Highlights:

Lines:

Stefan Matteau-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo

David Wohlberg-Graham Black-Tim Sestito

Tim Sestito-Rod Pelley-Darcy Zajac

Extra: Joe Whitney, Cam Janssen, Ben Thomson, Matt Lorito, Alexandre Carrier

Defense:

Reece Scarlett/Corbin McPherson

Seth Helgeson/Joe Faust

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Extra: Brandon Burlon

Conference Standings:

After Sunday’s action, here’s how everything stands in the East:

8. Springfield–73 points

9. Worcester–70

10. St. John’s–66

11. Lehigh Valley–65

12. Albany–65

13. Binghamton–60

The magic number to clinch a postseason spot stands at 38, while the tragic number now sits at 24.  Again, this is if I did the math right.

Pop Quiz: Who holds the Albany AHL record for most wins in a season?  The answer is coming up.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Well…since no video has surfaced as of yet from Sunday’s festivities…let’s go to the Devils vault.  Found this classic double feature from 5 years ago.

My Player of the Week: Tip of the cap to Scott Wedgewood, who despite going 0-1-0-1 on the weekend played brilliantly in net, stopping a total of 54 out of 56 shots.  If only his teammates could have scored more than one goal for him over those two games…

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (25)

Assists: Joe Whitney (26)

Points: Paul Thompson/Joe Whitney (44)

+/-: Graham Black (+9)

Penalty Minutes: Dan Kelly (98)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (9)

GAA: Scott Clemmensen (2.58)

Save Percentage: Scott Clemmensen (.906)

ECHL Update:

Myles Bell (Evansville): 39 GP, 10 G, 9 A, 19 Pts, -17, 25 PIM

Eric Baier (Orlando): 42 GP, 6 G, 11 A, 17 Pts, +7, 18 PIM

Mike Keenan (Orlando): 33 GP, 0 G, 9 A, 9 Pts, +3, 26 PIM

Ben Johnson (Orlando): 5 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 Pts, +3, 0 PIM

Maxime Clermont (Orlando): 17 GP, 8-5-0, 2.78 GAA, .904 Save Pct.

Injury Update: Since there’s no injuries to report…this will be more like a suspension update.  Cam Janssen finished serving his sentence on Sunday and is eligible to return on Wednesday.  Joe Whitney served one game after getting a match penalty on Saturday, but it is yet to be determined if he will have to sit out any longer.

This Week’s Schedule: The homestand continues with 3 more games.  Wednesday and Saturday the Devils play host to Norfolk, the last opponent Albany has yet to face this season.  Then Sunday afternoon they take on Hartford.

Pop Quiz Answer: The Albany goalie with the most wins in one season?  It was Peter Sidorkiewicz, who went 31-23-6 in 62 games played during the 1996-97 season.

 

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