Tag Archives: Roster Moves

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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Quick Saturday Morning Updates

Just a couple of notes to pass along:

-Last time I wrote, the AHL Conference Finals were just getting started.  Tomorrow, the Finals begin in Austin, Texas, where the Stars will be taking on St. John’s for all the proverbial marbles.  So how did they get there?

(4) St. John’s eliminated (6) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4-2

(1) Texas eliminated (3) Toronto 4-3

Again, oh what could have been.  A few people had told me they thought Albany would be a dark horse in the Eastern Conference, but the IceCaps probably should have got more credit.  It’s going to be an interesting matchup between these two teams.

Side note: unless Texas gets amazing attendance figures this round, Albany will win the playoff attendance wars, averaging just shy of 7300 for the two home games.  Considering this team’s regular season attendance history, this is an awesome feat.  Even though it was just two games.

-And another Devil has moved on, as defenseman Alexander Urbom has signed a 2 year deal with the KHL’s Severstal Cherepovets.  No truth to the rumor that I was doing this upon hearing the news.

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Pre Holiday Updates

After a little, oh, two week break from any writing, time to get this thing updated.

Let’s start with a few signing announcements:

-On Tuesday a pair of 2012 draft picks, both names familiar in Albany, agreed in principle to entry level deals.  The first announcement was for forward Ben Johnson, a 3rd round selection who appeared in 5 games as an amateur tryout at the end of the regular season after finishing his third year with Windsor in the OHL.  The second is fourth round choice Ben Thomson, who participated in Albany’s training camp in September before returning to Kitchener in the OHL.  Thomson split the season between Kitchener and North Bay, scoring 45 points in 55 games and adding 14 points in 22 playoff games for North Bay.  There is a chance Johnson could return to Windsor next season for his overage year.  In Lou We Trust posted a scouting report earlier today on both Bens and also Graham Black.

-We have our first A-Devil moving on, as earlier this week forward Harri Pesonen signed a two year deal in Switzerland, for Lausanne in the NLA.

-As for the Calder Cup…we are down to the final four teams, as the Conference Finals get underway tomorrow in the West and Saturday in the East.  Here are the second round results:

Eastern Conference:

(4) St. John’s eliminated (8) Norfolk 4-2

(6) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton eliminated (7) Providence 4-3

Western Conference:

(1)Texas eliminated (4) Grand Rapids 4-2

(3) Toronto swept (2) Chicago 4-0

With the Griffins out, there will once again be a new Calder Cup champion.  All four remaining teams are looking for their first Cup, with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton being the closest, finishing as runners up in 2001 (Saint John), 2004 (Milwaukee), and 2008 (Chicago).  Toronto finished as the runner up to Norfolk in 2012.  Texas and St. John’s are looking for their first ever Finals appearance.

And to think, if only things had gone differently in the first round, Albany could have had home ice once again…

-Meanwhile over in Belarus, there is one A-Devil participating in this year’s World Championships.  Raman Hrabarenka (well, Roman Graborenko according to the official roster) has appeared in 7 games for the host country, posting 2 assists.

 

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Tuesday Linkroll

A few news items to pass along as we wait for Friday evening to get here:

-Per the AHL transactions, Joe Faust was released from his amateur tryout on Monday.  He joined the team on April 8th but never appeared in a game, only warming up before Saturday’s finale against the Falcons.

-But, in much happier news, Graham Black was signed to an entry level contract.  He appeared in two games for Albany since arriving as an amateur tryout on April 8th, going scoreless.

-Now for some required reading/listening:

A Devils preview from The Hockey Writers.  Also from THW…a trip down River Rats memory lane.

My blogging counterpart in St. John’s, Rinkside Report, has their preview.

And check out this week’s episode of Talking Red, not just because I make my annual guest segment.

-My official preview (well, more of a stat pack than anything) will be out Friday at 12 noon.

 

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Not Done Yet.

Hard to believe that we have reached the end of the regular season in the AHL.

But the good news for the Devils is…it’s not over yet.

For the first time since 2010, a Albany/Devil team will be playing in the postseason for a chance at the Calder Cup.  And it was a clean sweep for the second straight week to boot.  Here we go with another happy recap of the week:

Tuesday: Per the AHL transactions, Curtis Gedig was released from his amateur tryout contract.  He joined Albany on April 4th, but never appeared in a game.

Wednesday: It appears the Devils will be looking for another ECHL team to assign players next season, as Elmira became the new affiliate for Buffalo and Rochester.

4/16 at Portland: 3-2 W (SO)

The last road game of the regular season saw the Devils in Lewiston, taking on the Pirates with a playoff berth awaiting them with a win.  After a scoreless first, Portland struck early in the second period–23 seconds in–on a Greg Carey goal.  Reid Boucher would answer with his 22nd about 6 minutes later.  Dan Kelly would put Albany ahead late in the period with his 3rd.  But Portland would tie it up with just under 13 minutes left in the third on a power play goal by Lucas Lessio.  The game would carry over into overtime, where Albany would manage the only two shots on goal.  It was on to the 15th shootout of the season, where Mattias Tedenby and Boucher missed in the first two rounds, and Jordan Szwarz would connect in the 2nd to put Portland up 1-0.  In the third round, Keith Kinkaid would stop Andy Miele, then Stefan Matteau would score to tie it up.  Kinkaid stopped Brandon Yip in the 4th round, then Mike Sislo, in his first appearance since March 30th, would connect for a 2-1 lead.  All Kinkaid had to do was stop Carey in the 5th…and he was successful, officially clinching a playoff spot for the Devils, the first since the River Rats in 2010 when Carolina was the parent club.  Kinkaid stopped 20 of 22 saves in regulation/overtime in picking up the win.  Kelly Zajac added two assists.

Note: I was not around to watch online, so no idea how lines/defensive pairings went.

4/19 vs. Springfield: 5-2 W

One game to go, and it was all about the positioning, as the Devils played host to the Falcons.  Win and they finish no lower than 6th.  Lose, and possibly slip into the 8th spot.  David Wohlberg made sure the second scenario wasn’t a possibility, as he scored just seven seconds into the game on former Devil goaltender Mike McKenna for a 1-0 lead.  Scott Timmins would add his 13th goal 8 minutes later for a two goal lead.  Joe Whitney and Brandon Burlon would score 1:18 apart in the second for a 4-0 Devil lead, chasing McKenna in favor of rookie Anton Forsberg.  And the goaltender switch seemed to help Springfield at first, as they would cut the lead in half on goals by Jake Hansen and Darryl Boyce in the third.  But then they would pull Forsberg rather early, and Harri Pesonen would take advantage and score his 15th to put the Devils back up by 3.  Scott Wedgewood would stop 20 of 22 in getting the win, the Devils fifth in a row to close out the regular season.  Ben Johnson would notch his first professional point via an assist on Pesonen’s goal.  Four other Devils each had assists as well.  And all this was despite having half the regulars/NHL callups out of the lineup resting.

Lines:

Darcy Zajac-Stefan Matteau-David Wohlberg

Mike Sislo-Joe Whitney-Tim Sestito

Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins-Harri Pesonen

Cam Janssen-Ben Johnson-Graham Black

Extra: Chris McKelvie, Mike Hoeffel, Rod Pelley, Mattias Tedenby, Kelly Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Brandon Burlon/Dan Kelly

Alexander Urbom/Reece Scarlett

Raman Hrabarenka/Eric Gelinas

Extra: Seth Helgeson, Adam Larsson, Jon Merrill, Corbin McPherson, Joe Faust

Conference Standings:

When the smoke finally cleared on Saturday night, the final results:

1. Manchester–105 points (won Atlantic Division)

2. Springfield–100 (won Northeast Division)

3. Binghamton–96 (won East Division)

4. St. John’s–99

5. ALBANY–93

6. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton–92

7. Providence–91

8. Norfolk–90

That means, Albany will be taking on St. John’s in the first round.  More info on that to come.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

No gloves dropped or faces punched this week.

My Player of the Week:

You know what?  For such a great run in the regular season, let’s reward everyone!  And I really couldn’t pick just one who stood out in both games this week.

Team Leaders:

I’ll have final stats in Part 1 of the Season in Review, details to come on that.

Orlando Update:

The Solar Bears dropped Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup to Cincinnati 4-2 in Florida.  Maxime Clermont drew the start and stopped 22 of 26 in the loss.  Game 2 is Sunday evening, then it’s off to Ohio for Games 3-5 on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

Hot off the presses, the first round schedule is out: The series opens in Albany on Friday evening, followed by Game 2 on Saturday.  Games 3-5 will be played in St. John’s on Wednesday, April 30th, Friday, May 2nd, and Saturday, May 3rd (Friday and Saturday if needed).

As far as coverage goes for me blogwise: Monday I will have Part 1 of the Season Review, with all final regular season stats.  No individual pregamers, since it’s the same opponent.  I will have a full stat pack for the series by Friday afternoon, the plan is for a noontime release.  I will do the same for any rounds the Devils make after that.  There will be a recap of Games 1 and 2 next Sunday, and a photo gallery as well.

Twitter wise: I will definitely be on hand for Game 1.  Saturday may be a little tricky, as I am going to Yankee Stadium (yay free tickets in the terrace level!) for a 1 PM game.  I plan on coming straight to the arena when I get home, which if all goes well I’ll miss mostly the first period.  Game 3 I won’t be around due to work obligations, but Games 4 and 5 I will do if they are needed.

With that all said…time to start the journey to the Cup!

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Home Sweep Home

Remember last weekend?  It was a pretty much wasted one, with only 1 out of 6 points earned.  Fast forward to this weekend, three games, all on home ice.  And it was a perfect one, as the Devils swept the homestand and moved to within one more win of clinching a coveted playoff berth.  Time for a happy recap of the week:

Tuesday: Two new amateur tryouts were signed just in time for the annual end of season party for the season ticket holders downtown.  Earlier in the day, it was reported that Wisconsin defenseman and 2010 draft pick Joe Faust had signed on.  He appeared in all 37 games for the Badgers this season, posting 2 goals and 12 assists.  The second one I learned about when I walked into the ballroom at the Hilton and took my seat next to him.  He turned to me and introduced himself (a rarity, usually I’m the one having to make the introductions), it’s Graham Black.   The 2012 5th round draft pick just completed his third full season with Swift Current (WHL), picking up 97 points (34 goals, 63 assists) in 69 games.  And he’s probably one of the most interesting people I’ve met in the organization through the first four years.

4/11 vs. Bridgeport: 2-1 W

The big home weekend kicked off Friday evening with the fifth and final visit of the season from the Sound Tigers, a team Albany had gone 4-0 against on home ice.  An uneventful first period ended on a good note, as the puck bounced off Kelly Zajac and into the net, and video replay confirmed it.  Dan Kelly was originally awarded the goal, but it was changed to the younger Zajac as the second was getting underway.  One of many newcomers on the Sound Tigers (pretty much half the roster is up on Long Island helping the Islanders play out the string), Jesse Graham, would score his first professional goal during a 5 on 3 advantage late in the second to tie the game up.  But Zajac would come through again in the third, breaking the tie 5 minutes into the period for a 2-1 Devil lead.  And Keith Kinkaid took care of the rest, stopping all 7 Bridgeport shots to get the win.  He finished with 22 saves and #2 star of the game honors.  Seth Helgeson and Stefan Matteau had the lone assists.

Lines:

Harri Pesonen-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Scott Timmins-Reid Boucher-Joe Whitney

Mattias Tedenby-Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau

Cam Janssen-Darcy Zajac-Ben Johnson

Extra: Chris McKelvie, Mike Hoeffel, Graham Black

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Brandon Burlon

Alexander Urbom/Raman Hrabarenka

Extra: Reece Scarlett, Curtis Gedig, Joe Faust

Saturday: The first of the reinforcements have arrived, as Eric Gelinas was officially reassigned to Albany.  His last appearance in an Albany uniform was back on February 22nd.  He finishes his New Jersey season with 7 goals and 22 assists in 60 games.  He did not make it back in time to get in the lineup for Saturday’s game.

4/12 vs. Providence: 2-1 W (SO)

Another big matchup as the 6th place Bruins came into town for their only visit.  Despite Albany outshooting the visitors 11-6 in the first, it was Providence up 1-0 on a late power play goal by Zach Trotman.  Defense and goaltending on both sides took over in the second, as Albany only allowed 3 Bruin shots but was unable to get anything of their own past Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg.  Third period the Devils would finally solve Svedberg, as Harri Pesonen scored his 14th 3 minutes into the period to tie things up at 1.  Providence had a great chance to end things late and going into overtime when Albany ended up shorthanded, but the Devils killed off the penalty.  The game would end up going to a shootout…Keith Kinkaid would stop the first three Bruin shooters.  In the third round, Stefan Matteau would connect, but in the fourth round Seth Griffith would tie it up.  Joe Whitney scored in the bottom of the fourth round, then Kinkaid stopped Justin Florek in the fifth round to seal the victory, the 6th win out of 14 shootouts for Albany this season.  Kinkaid had another outstanding performance, stopping 18 of 19 Bruin shots (some acrobatic ones included).  Seth Helgeson had the lone assist.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins

Kelly Zajac-Mattias Tedenby-Stefan Matteau

Rod Pelley-Harri Pesonen-David Wohlberg

Chris McKelvie-Darcy Zajac-Ben Johnson

Extra: Cam Janssen, Mike Hoeffel, Graham Black

Defense Pairings:

Brandon Burlon/Dan Kelly

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Raman Hrabarenka/Alexander Urbom

Urbom/Burlon and Kelly/Hrabarenka other pairings

Extra: Eric Gelinas, Reece Scarlett, Curtis Gedig, Joe Faust

Sunday: Tim Sestito was placed on waivers by New Jersey so he can return to Albany.  He did play in the season finale at The Rock, a 3-2 win over Boston (hey, an organizational sweep!) that may possibly be the end for Martin Brodeur in a Devil uniform.

4/13 vs. Syracuse: 4-0 W

The Devils finished off the homestand with one last visit from the Crunch, who escaped with a 1 goal win in their last meeting in central New York.  But this time would be different, with newcomer Charles Lavigne making his first AHL start with Olympic hero Kristers Gudlevskis up in Tampa.  After a relatively quiet first period, the Devils turned up the offense in the second, scoring 4 times in a span of 6:12.  Reid Boucher would start things on a power play, with a beautiful breakaway shot.  He would add his second goal 3:24 later.  Chris McKelvie would get in on the fun with his 9th goal 45 seconds later.  Finally Reece Scarlett would score his second of the season on a power play.  And that was all Scott Wedgewood would need, as he went on to stop all 20 Crunch shots in picking up his 4th shutout of the season and complete a perfect 3 for 3 weekend.  Harri Pesonen added three assists and finished a +2.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Mattias Tedenby-Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau

Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins-Harri Pesonen

Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen-Chris McKelvie

Extra: Mike Hoeffel, Ben Johnson, Graham Black

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Eric Gelinas/Raman Hrabarenka

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Extra: Alexander Urbom, Brandon Burlon, Curtis Gedig, Joe Faust

Monday: As expected, Sestito cleared waivers and was reassigned, along with Mike Sislo, Jon Merrill, and Adam Larsson.

Conference Standings:

The perfect weekend all but ensured that the Devils would get a playoff spot.  But there’s still some positioning to get settled first:

5. Binghamton–91 points

6. ALBANY–89

7. Providence–89

8. Hershey–86

9. Norfolk–86

As of right now, Albany is looking at a first round matchup against the Penguins.  But with the East Division so close, that could change depending on the week’s events.  With a good week they could even move up to 5th and draw St. John’s (there’s a daunting travel schedule).  The magic number is down to 2: a win in Portland on Wednesday, or an OT/SOL and a Norfolk regulation loss will clinch it.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Sit back and enjoy Darcy Zajac taking on a SNL Killer Bee…I mean, a Providence Bruin…

My Player of the Week:

Out of all the outstanding performances on the weekend, I’m actually splitting it between both goaltenders, as Keith Kinkaid won twice and only allowed two goals (and one in the shootout on Saturday, but that doesn’t really count) followed up by Scott Wedgewood’s fourth shutout of the season.  Honorable mention does go to Harri Pesonen and his four point (1 G, 3 A) effort.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Mike Sislo (23)

Assists: Joe Whitney (31)

Points: Joe Whitney (52)

+/-: Corbin McPherson (+16)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (100)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (23)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.30)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.912)

Elmira/Orlando Update:

The Jackals finished the season with a 1-2 road trip in Gwinnett and South Carolina, finishing 2013-14 with a 24-40-3-5 mark, good for 56 points and a 12th place finish in the Eastern Conference (also 3rd place of 3 teams in the Atlantic Division).  Riley Boychuk had 5 PIM in Friday’s loss to South Carolina.  Final Elmira stats can be found here.

Meanwhile, down south, Orlando finished up the regular season with a pair of home wins and a shootout loss, finishing with a 43-24-2-3 record and 91 points, finishing 4th in the Eastern Conference.  Maxime Clermont started all three games this week, beating Greenville twice (20 saves in a 3-2 win on Thursday, 35 saves in a 5-4 win on Sunday) and losing to Reading 1-0 in a shootout.  He finishes his regular season with a 5-3-0-1 mark and a 3.35 GAA for the Solar Bears (6-9-0-1, 3.34  with Elmira).  Orlando will take on Cincinnati in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs beginning on Thursday night in Florida.

This Week’s Schedule:

Two games left to close out the regular season slate.  Wednesday night the Devils travel to Maine to take on the Pirates (rescheduled from Friday), the earliest a playoff spot can be in the books.  Then they close it out on home ice Saturday afternoon against Springfield.  After that, we wait to see where the postseason will take them.

As for my end of season review…I may do the first part next week, which is a recap of the regular season stats-wise.  Parts 2 and 3 will likely be whenever the postseason wraps up.  And still figuring out how to cover the first round.

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Wasted Opportunities

A very busy week to start the month of April for the Devils, which unfortunately culminated in a 0-2-1-0 road weekend (for one point out of six) that put a dent in getting closer to a playoff spot.  And losing players to callups after injuries struck in New Jersey didn’t help either.  How things went down this week:

Monday: With Jon Merrill out after taking a puck to the face in Saturday’s loss to the Islanders, Adam Larsson made his triumphant return to New Jersey after an extended stay in Albany.  In 32 games, he posted 3 goals and 16 assists.  He made his first New Jersey appearance since November in Monday’s win over Florida.

Tuesday: With Ryane Clowe sitting out Tuesday and both Tim Sestito and Stephen Gionta still out with assorted injuries, Mike Sisl0 was recalled for the third time this season and played in the Devils shootout loss to the Sabres in Buffalo.  He even got a chance to extend the shootout in the 9th round, but was stopped by rookie goaltender Nathan Lieuwen to seal the victory for Buffalo.  All this while he was cleaning up at the Awards Banquet (ask Darcy Zajac, who was the lucky one to carry everything home).

Wednesday: Congratulations go out to Dan Kelly, who was selected as the Albany representative for the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award.  Heis now eligible for the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, which will be announced at a later date.

Thursday: Listed in AHL transactions but no official announcement…the first amateur tryout has finally arrived, in the form of 2012 draftee Ben Johnson.  The 19-year-old center just completed his third season with Windsor (OHL), posting 53 points (28 goals, 25 assists) in 59 games and 6 points in 4 playoff games.

Friday: Just after I arrived in Syracuse, another amateur tryout agreement popped up on the transaction wire, as 2009 7th rounder Curtis Gedig signed on.  The defenseman just completed his senior season at Ohio State, where in 33 games he posted 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists).

And now we can finally start on the weekend action!

4/4 at Syracuse: 2-1 L

The weekend road trip started out west in Syracuse, against a Crunch team just barely hanging on in the playoff race.  After a scoreless first period, Harri Pesonen would get the visitors on the board in the second with a power play goal.  Cedric Paquette would tie the game up at 1 late in the second.  Things would stay tied until Evan Rankin broke the tie midway through the third to put Syracuse ahead.  And that was all Kristers Gudlevskis would need, as he shut down the Devils offense the rest of the way.  Scott Wedgewood was the hard luck loser in net, stopping 23 of 25 shots and even picking up an assist on Pesonen’s goal.

Lines:

Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau-Mattias Tedenby

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-David Wohlberg

Harri Pesonen-Reid Boucher-Rod Pelley

Cam Janssen-Darcy Zajac-Mike Hoeffel

Extra: Chris McKelvie, Ben Johnson

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Alexander Urbom/Brandon Burlon

Extra: Reece Scarlett, Curtis Gedig

4/5 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: 1-0 L (OT)

The road trip continued south down Interstate 81 to Wilkes-Barre, for a crucial matchup against a Penguins team that not only was in the middle of the playoff race, but fighting Binghamton and Norfolk for first place in the East Division.  Good news came before the game when it was announced that no one would be recalled after New Jersey lost three forwards to injury Friday evening.  The Pens thought they had taken an early 1-0 lead in the first, but the goal was waved off due to the puck being kicked into the net.  What no one knew then was that was the closest anyone would get to scoring for quite a while, as both Keith Kinkaid and Peter Mannino started on a goaltending duel.  The Pens dominated in the first, not allowing the Devils a shot on goal till more than halfway into the period.  But Albany would turn the tide in the second, holding the home team to just 4 shots and sending 11 of their own at Mannino, but he stopped every one.  It was the same song in the third, as the visitors would lead in shots 9-5, but still no one could get the puck in.  The game would go into overtime, where on an offensive turnover former Devil Tom Kostopoulos would pass it to Nick Drazenovic, who would score the game winner just 1:02 in.  Kinkaid played outstanding despite defeat, stopping 17 of 18 shots.  Ben Johnson would make his AHL debut, playing on the fourth line.

Lines:

Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau-Mattias Tedenby

Scott Timmins-Joe Whitney-Reid Boucher

Harri Pesonen-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Cam Janssen-Darcy Zajac-Ben Johnson

Extra: Chris McKelvie, Mike Hoeffel

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Alexander Urbom/Brandon Burlon

Extra: Reece Scarlett, Curtis Gedig

4/6 at Adirondack: 4-3 L

A chapter of local hockey history came to a close on Sunday afternoon, as the Devils made their final visit to Glens Falls to take on the Phantoms.  Mattias Tedenby was a late scratch due to an ankle injury in warmup, forcing Albany to go with an 11 F/7 D lineup for the first time since early February.  There was a scare in the first when Scott Wedgewood was knocked into his net by his own teammate Reece Scarlett and was shaken up.  It was pretty obvious when just after he got back on his feet…er, skates…Jason Akeson would score for a 1-0 lead.  Rod Pelley would then answer with his 13th of the season.  But Akeson would strike again during the Devils first power play chance, taking advantage of a turnover and scoring shorthanded for a 2-1 advantage.  Second period things started turning against the Devils, despite outshooting the Phantoms 23-11.  Wedgewood would be taken out in favor of Keith Kinkaid to start the period, and then the lone referee of the game would start to get whistle happy against the visitors.  On their second penalty kill of the period, Petr Straka would extend the lead to 3-1.  But Scarlett would answer with a power play goal of his own minutes later to cut the lead to 3-2.  But with Harri Pesonen in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct after a Phantom tripped him (Koharski logic, got to love it), Akeson would complete the hat trick for a 4-2 lead.  Scott Timmins would score a power play goal in the third to get to within 4-3.  But despite a season high 53 shots on goal on third string netminder Carsen Chubak, and a 6 on 3 opportunity late in the period with a chance to tie it up, the Devils just could not get the job done, and Adirondack held on for the win.  Kinkaid would get tagged with the loss after stopping 23 of 25 shots in relief of Wedgewood, who stopped 5 of 7 before coming out.  Alexander Urbom and Joe Whitney had two assists apiece.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins

Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau-Harri Pesonen

Ben Johnson-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen-Boucher/Matteau

Johnson-Whitney-K. Zajac

Extra: Chris McKelvie, Mike Hoeffel, Mattias Tedenby

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Alexander Urbom/Raman Hrabarenka

Brandon Burlon/Dan Kelly

Reece Scarlett 7th D

Conference Standings:

When the weekend began, the Devils stood in 6th place in the conference.  After the weekend, they’re lucky to be in 7th.

5. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton–88

6. Providence–86

7. ALBANY–83

8. Hershey–82

9. Norfolk–81

Albany is on pace for 88 points, with the max points they can get is 93.  This would put them in either the 7th or 8th position depending on how the Bears and Admirals fare.  The two teams do play each other twice in Virginia on April 16th and 18th, so this race may not be decided till the last day.  The magic number to clinch a spot is down to 10.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Finally making its triumphant return after a couple weeks…here’s the captain mixing it up Friday night:

My Player of the Week:

Well, um, where to begin?  Not a lot of offense (just 4 goals in 3 games), I’m kind of leaning towards both Scott Wedgewood and Keith Kinkaid, who played well in the first two games despite losing.  Not fully to blame for Sunday in Adirondack either.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (21)

Assists: Joe Whitney (31)

Points: Joe Whitney (52)

+/-: Corbin McPherson (+14)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (93)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (21)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.37)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.910)

Elmira/Orlando Update:

Elmira finished off their home schedule this week with a 1-2 record, the lone win coming against Maxime Clermont and Orlando on Friday evening.  Riley Boychuk finally scored his first ECHL goal of the season (he had one during his callup with Albany in November) against Clermont on Friday.  Artem Demkov and Harry Young have both been placed on injured reserve.  The 23-38-3-5 Jackals finish the season on a 3 game road swing through Gwinnett and South Carolina.

As for Orlando…the Solar Bears officially clinched a spot in the Kelly Cup playoffs on Wednesday, despite a 1-2 record for the week.  Clermont appeared in all three games, picking up the win on Saturday in Wheeling after giving up a six spot to Reading on Wednesday and five to his former Elmira teammates on Friday.  Orlando’s record stands at 41-24-2-2, and sit in 4th place in the Eastern Conference.  They close the regular season this week on home ice against Reading and Greenville.

This Week’s Schedule:

Yet another 3 in 3 weekend, but the good news out of this one is it’s all on home ice.  Friday night Bridgeport comes in for its final visit.  Saturday afternoon sees the only trip for Providence to the Capital Region on the year.  Finally on Sunday afternoon one last visit from Syracuse.  Then it’s down to the final week already, with the regular season ending on the 19th.

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