Just a lazy Sunday morning…still adjusting to the Daylight Savings time switch…
Friday and Saturday saw 2 2-1 Devils wins, but two totally different ways to get there. Friday in Glens Falls was pretty crazy to say the least. Well, the first two periods to be exact. First period featured the antics of one Zac Rinaldo, who was chirping and pushing around anyone in a red jersey. And it didn’t get him very far, especially after he whined to referee Ian Croft (or the Tomb Raider as we like to call him based on the movie) about being penalized for elbowing Louis Robitaille in the face. Um, you may think you’re doing a few fans a favor, but you’re not. While in the box, he opened his mouth one too many times, putting him out of the game and earning 28 penalty minutes before the first period was even over. To add to the party was another center ice scrap between Pierre Luc Leblond and Tom Sestito (not a bad way to start your first day with a new team), a battle the security guard in Section C saw coming. He noted that during pregame warmup the two were exchanging pleasantries, so to speak. And oh yeah, there was some scoring too. Chad Wiseman notched his 5th goal in two days, giving the Devils the early lead, but Eric Wellwood snagged a short handed goal late in the period to tie it at 1 after the first.
Then came the second period…no scoring but a lot of activity. Late in the period, Andrew Rowe went flying into Mike McKenna and the net. McKenna got up, went right over to Rowe and knocked him down like a domino. Suddenly it became every man for himself as 3 fights broke out almost simultaneously. You had Louis fighting Rowe (no turtling this time), Leblond battling Kevin Marshall, and the longest bout, Darcy Zajac against Jon Kalinski. Zajac and Kalinski ended up with the gate for a secondary altercation, while everyone else earned 5s and 10s. After that, all order was restored…Croft didn’t call one penalty the rest of the game.
Before the third period, I was standing near the visitors entrance to the ice waiting to go back to my seat. As the Devils were hitting the ice to start the third, I heard backup goalie Dave Caruso yell out to Tim Sestito “go out and be the better Sestito brother!” This was the second time Tim and Tom went up against each other, with little brother Tom winning the first matchup while still a member of the Falcons. Apparently the statement worked…Tim scored the eventual game winner 4 minutes into the 3rd and the Devils held on for a 2-1 win. So the Sestito battle is all even at 1, with each brother getting a goal and a #1 star. Three more matchups to go before the season ends.
Saturday at home against Springfield was a little more subdued compared to Friday night’s festivities. It didn’t look like it was going to start that way though…4 seconds into the contest Harry Young and Nick Tarnasky started things off with a scrap. After that, the game was just, well kind of blah. There were the usual penalties (Ian Croft for the second straight game…I may actually forgive him for the whole net off the moorings incident in January), but not much action. But at the end of the day the Devils came out on top, Brad Mills notched the winning goal in the 3rd and Dave Caruso was stellar in goal.
Today is the first of two matchups this week against Syracuse and their new scoring threat Brian McGrattan. Yeah, you read that right, apparently now he’s more than just a brawler. In last night’s win over the Amerks, he scored twice on 13 shots taken…and ZERO penalty minutes. But it wouldn’t shock me if he and Leblond went at it at center ice at some point today or on Wednesday in Syracuse. After today’s home game, the Devils don’t return home till March 29th, they’re looking at an extended road trip: Syracuse, Norfolk x 2, Wilkes-Barre, back to Syracuse then Hershey to finish it up. This will be an interesting trip to see if they can continue their recent play as of late and hold on to the 6th place spot. Obviously the playoffs is next to impossible, but at least staying in the current position and following the lead of their parent club would be a good way to finish up.