Tag Archives: Roster Moves

Week 3 Recap: Greetings from the Penthouse!

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

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

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

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo-Reid Boucher

Rod Pelley-Tim Sestito-Steve Bernier

Darcy Zajac-Ben Thomson-Cam Janssen

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

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Seth Helgeson/Peter Harrold

Extras: Reece Scarlett, Joe Faust

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

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

10/24 at Hartford: 7-3 W

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

Highlights:

Lines:

Paul Thompson-Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins

Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher-Mike Sislo

Steve Bernier-Tim Sestito-Ben Johnson

David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

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

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Corbin McPherson/Brandon Burlon

Seth Helgeson/Peter Harrold

Extras: Reece Scarlett, Joe Faust

10/25 vs. Hartford: 5-2 W

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

Highlights:

Lines:

Rod Pelley-Tim Sestito-Steve Bernier

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher-Mike Sislo

Darcy Zajac-Ben Thomson-Chris McKelvie

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

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Peter Harrold

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extras: Reece Scarlett, Joe Faust

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

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

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

My Player of the Week:

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

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (7)

Assists: Joe Whitney (6)

Points: 3 tied with 8

+/-: Raman Hrabarenka (+8)

Penalty Minutes: Dan Kelly (27)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (3)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (1.95)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.933)

ECHL Update:

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

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

This Week’s Schedule:

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

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

 

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One More Day…

Happy AHL Opening Day! (About time.)

Before Albany takes the ice up north tomorrow night to start the 2014-15 season, a few notes from the week to get everyone caught up:

-On Tuesday, New Jersey cut its final roster down to 23 by reassigning Cam Janssen, Steve Bernier, and Peter Harrold to Albany, after all three cleared waivers on Monday.  This will be the second tour of duty for both Bernier and Harrold, who both skated for the A-Devils during the 2011-12 season.  Janssen will be skating in Albany for the third season in a row after splitting the last two seasons between both Albany and New Jersey.

-Albany released Renat Mamashev, Alexandre Carrier, and Tom Hartnett from their professional tryout deals.  The current roster now stands at 28 players (17 F, 8 D, 3 G), which I expect to be reduced once an ECHL affiliate is found.

In league news:

-On Tuesday the AHL announced that Utica would be the host for the 2015 AHL All Star Classic, to be held January 25th (Skills Competition) and 26th (Hall of Fame, All-Star Game).  With Utica being a less than 90 minute drive for me, I am hoping to actually go to my first All Star events this year.  Well, ticket purchase and weather permitting, of course.

-And yesterday in Glens Falls, the newest AHL mascot, Scorch, was introduced to the world.  I’m still shaking my head over this one.

-Our friends over at Chirps from Center Ice have a full league preview, broken down by division.

Look for the Week 1 Primer (as mentioned earlier, I will only be doing pregamers once a week this season) early tomorrow afternoon.

 

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14/15 Preseason Recap

After opening camp on Monday, the Devils had two chances to prepare for the season, both on the road in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  With a cast of mostly last year’s regulars and a few new faces, it went well, as they finished 1-1.  And there may be more faces to come, making for some tough decisions before the season begins on the 11th.

Wednesday 10/1 at Hartford (Cromwell, CT): 3-1 L

The first test came on Wednesday night against division rival Hartford, a team Albany will be seeing 10 times during the regular season.  Maxime Clermont got the start in net, and all but 5 of last season’s regulars made the trip.  The game remained scoreless till late in the second period, when a Paul Thompson penalty shot put the visitors ahead 1-0.  But not even 20 seconds later, Andrew Yogan would tie things up.  After a chippy start to the third (4 fights broke out in the first 5 minutes of the period),  Michael St. Croix would break the tie for the hosts midway through for a 2-1 advantage.  Nick Crawford would add an empty netter late to seal the win.  Clermont played well despite the loss, stopping 19 of 21 shots.

Lines (from what I was able to tell):

David Wohlberg-Kelly Zajac-Myles Bell

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Paul Thompson

Mike Sislo-Ben Thomson-Graham Black

Darcy Zajac-Alexandre Carrier-Tom Hartnett

Defense:

Reece Scarlett/Renat Mamashev

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Brandon Burlon/Joe Faust

Saturday: Before the last preseason games for both Albany and the parent Devils, New Jersey announced that goaltender Keith Kinkaid, defenseman Seth Helgeson, and forwards Reid Boucher and Stefan Matteau were sent down.  Tuesday afternoon is the deadline for NHL rosters to be set, so there are more on their way.

10/4 at Lehigh Valley: 2-1 W

It was off to Allentown for the final tuneup, as the Devils paid a visit to their former North Country rivals the Phantoms.  Scott Wedgewood got the start in net, with a near similar lineup in front of him.  Raman Hrabarenka scored late in the first on a power play to give Albany a 1-0 lead.  Graham Black would add a power play goal of his own early in the third for a 2-0 advantage.  Kevin Goumas would break up Wedgewood’s shutout bid halfway through the period to cut the lead in half.  But the Devils would hang on the rest of the way to earn the win.  Wedgewood stopped 28 of 29 shots, while Brandon Burlon (after surviving a fight with Lehigh Valley’s Zack Stortini in the first) would pick up 2 assists.

Going by Phantoms radio, I wasn’t able to put together lines or defense pairings.  But here’s who did get in:

Forwards: Myles Bell, Graham Black, Alexandre Carrier, Tom Hartnett, Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Ben Thomson, Paul Thompson, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac

Defense: Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, Joe Faust, Renat Mamashev, Corbin McPherson, Reece Scarlett

I have a brief album of photos from Wednesday’s game over on the Facebook page.  The regular photo gallery entries will return in two weeks.

This Week’s Schedule:

All that’s left is the final round of cuts from New Jersey, who gets sent to the ECHL (no official affiliate, so it’s wait and see as to where anyone will go), and the annual kick off party on Wednesday evening (where I get my season ticket package).  Then Saturday things start for real in Glens Falls.

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Second Round (and other News)

I had expected another round of cuts before Wednesday, but not this soon.

Four more players were reassigned to Albany just after New Jersey’s morning skate in preparation for tonight’s preseason home opener against the Flyers: goaltender Scott Wedgewood, defensemen Corbin McPherson and Renat Mamashev, and forward Joe Whitney. Add that to yesterday’s cuts and you’ll pretty much have a full team roster ready to start Albany camp (presumably) tomorrow.

One news item that I missed yesterday: back on September 16th the radio schedule for the season was announced…and much like the last four seasons it’s on local ESPN affiliate 104.5 WTMM, but with just half the schedule (because the Jets and every other sport are much higher on the totem pole here, as usual). The station is streamed through the RadioPup mobile app, but your best bet outside the Albany/Schenectady/Troy area is tuning in to the AHL Live feed.

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And the First Round…

Just as I had predicted, after Friday night’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Islanders in Brooklyn, today New Jersey made its second set of training camp cuts (more on the first group shortly), assigning the following 19 players to Albany:

Goaltenders: Maxime Clermont

Defensemen: Brandon Burlon, Joe Faust, Raman Hrabarenka, Dan Kelly, Reece Scarlett

Forwards: Myles Bell, Graham Black, Ben Johnson, Chris McKelvie, Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Ben Thomson, Paul Thompson, Scott Timmins, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac

All but Thomson (who actually was in Albany’s camp last season before returning to juniors) and Thompson spent time in Albany last season.

Burlon, Kelly, Sestito, Sislo, Timmins, Joe Whitney and Darcy Zajac were placed on waivers on Friday and officially cleared earlier in the day.

Earlier in the week, 6 players were returned to their junior teams: Anthony Brodeur (Gatineau/QMJHL), Ryan Rehill (Kamloops/WHL), Brandon Baddock (Edmonton/WHL), Connor Chatham (Plymouth/OHL), Ryan Kujawinski (Kingston/OHL), and John Quenneville (Brandon/WHL).

A few familiar names still up in New Jersey include Corbin McPherson, Seth Helgeson, Stefan Matteau, Reid Boucher, Cam Janssen, and both goaltenders from last season, Keith Kinkaid and Scott Wedgewood.

New Jersey still has three preseason games left, starting tomorrow night at home against Philly, before hosting the Islanders on Thursday and the Rangers on Saturday.  I’m expecting at least another round of cuts before Wednesday, when Albany starts their brief preseason schedule in Connecticut against the Wolfpack.

And by the way…I will be traveling to Connecticut on Wednesday, officially kicking off my season coverage.  A few changes on the horizon for Season 5:

-With quite a few back to backs against one team this year, I have decided to not do individual pregamers for the season.  What I will be doing is a weekly preview, with a release on the day of the first game of the week.  I will still do the recap at the end of the week, out on Sunday or Monday depending on the schedule.

-Photo galleries will continue…but I’ll have an extended gallery over on the blog Facebook page.  If you haven’t given it a like yet, what are you waiting for?  Just follow the link on the right hand side of the page.

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News of the Week

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

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

Meanwhile, in Devils land:

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

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

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

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

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

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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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