Game #27: Albany vs. Worcester

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY. Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Worcester leads 1-0.

Standings:

Worcester, 11-6-3-3, 28 points, 3rd place in Atlantic Division; Albany, 12-10-3-1, 28 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division

Leading Scorers:

Worcester: Benn Ferriero, 18 points (9 G, 9 A); John McCarthy, 17 points (4 G, 13 A); Mike Connolly, 15 points (5 G, 10 A)

Albany: Steve Zalewski, 16 points (7 G, 9 A); Matt Anderson, 16 points (5 G, 11 A); Joe Whitney, 13 points (6 G, 7 A)

Goaltending:

Worcester: Tyson Sexsmith, 6-5-3, 1.83 GAA; Harri Sateri, 5-4-0, 2.94 GAA; Antero Niittymaki (conditioning loan from San Jose)

Albany: Keith Kinkaid, 7-5-0, 2.83 GAA; Jeff Frazee, 4-8-1, 2.86 GAA

Following Along?

Radio: AHL Live (Albany); WTAG 580 AM (Worcester)

Twitter: myself, @AlbanyDevils, @Bill_Cain_ (Albany); @WorcesterSharks, @SharksAHLinGame (Worcester)

Game #26: Albany vs. Syracuse

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY. Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Albany leads 1-0.

Standings:

Syracuse, 11-10-2-1, 25 points, 3rd place in East Division; Albany, 12-10-2-1, 27 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division

Leading Scorers:

Syracuse: Patrick Maroon, 25 points (10 G, 15 A); Nick Bonino, 21 points (5 G, 16 A); Dan Sexton, 21 points (5 G, 16 A)

Albany: Matt Anderson, 16 points (5 G, 11 A); Steve Zalewski, 15 points (6 G, 9 A); Joe Whitney, 13 points (6 G, 7 A)

Goaltending:

Syracuse: Iiro Tarkki, 7-7-1, 2.67 GAA; Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, 4-5-0, 4.44 GAA

Albany: Keith Kinkaid, 7-5-0, 2.83 GAA; Jeff Frazee, 4-7-1, 2.86 GAA

Miscellaneous:

$1 hot dogs and small sodas.

Following Along?

Radio: AHL Live (Albany); The Score 1260 AM (Syracuse)

Twitter: myself/@AlbanyDevils/@Bill_Cain_ (Albany); @SyracuseCrunch/@PSCrunchHockey (Syracuse)

Frozen Up North

A two game road trip up north for the Devils didn’t turn out the way anyone had hoped. Only one goal scored over the entire trip…and a lot of frustration (well in one game anyway). Let’s look back at the last two days:

12/9 at Rochester: 3-0 L

The road trip began Friday night with a rematch against the Amerks, a team Albany defeated last Sunday at home. It looked like a goaltending duel between Jeff Frazee and Drew MacIntyre at first, then the Amerks scored twice late in the first period to snag a 2-0 lead, despite being outshot by the visitors 12-6. Second period Rochester took over, scoring another power play goal (2nd of the night) and outshooting Albany 17-10. But the Devils didn’t give up…if not for the play of MacIntyre this game may have ended up quite differently. Third period the Devils threw everything they could at the net but could not get anything across. The defense stepped up, albeit a little late…only allowing Rochester 1 shot the entire period. MacIntyre became the first goaltender to shutout the Devils this season, stopping all 40 shots. Frazee did well in defeat, saving 21 of 24, but there was just no offensive support.

12/10 at Toronto: 4-1 L

Quick turnaround for the Devils, as they bussed north of the border overnight to Toronto for an afternoon tilt against a team with only 1 regulation home loss all season, the Marlies. Not a bad goaltending matchup either, a battle of ECAC alums: Keith Kinkaid (Union) and Ben Scrivens (Cornell). First half of the period was all Devils…they outshot Toronto 10-1, but once again had issues actually getting one in the net. Then penalty trouble and frustrations cost the Devils big time. Josh Engel scored on a power play for the Marlies first goal, then an ill timed fight between Myles Stoesz and Kyle Neuber gave the Marlies another power play chance. Right after Stoesz was given an instigator and a game misconduct, Nazem Kadri scored just 15 seconds into the man advantage for a 2-0 lead. Right after that goal, suddenly Brad Mills disappeared from the bench. He had argued with referee Geno Binda about a missed call right at the time the goal went in, and he too was out of the game with a misconduct. Nothing across during the second period, despite the Devils outshooting Toronto 9-5 and having 3 power play opportunities. Toronto scored shorthanded on a breakaway early in the third for a 3-0 cushion, then finally Albany broke their scoreless streak. Darcy Zajac scored the first goal in 113:40 (dating back to Sunday’s empty netter) with under 7 minutes left to bring it back to 3-1. But Toronto held on for a 4-1 win after a late Luca Caputi tally. The only positive was the shots on goal…again Albany outshot their opponent, this time 27-25. The chances are definitely there, but they’re having issues actually getting one in the net.

Notes:

A few roster changes and injuries have shaken up the roster just a bit this week.

-Friday morning New Jersey recalled two defensemen, Matt Taormina and Alexander Urbom, to fill in for Andy Greene (out a month with a toe injury) and Anton Volchenkov (day to day). Both played yesterday in the Devils 2-1 loss to Montreal. Mike Banwell was recalled from Trenton and played in both weekend games.

-After sitting out 2 games, Dan Kelly returned to the lineup sporting a full face shield…turned out he suffered a broken nose Friday night in his fight with Bridgeport’s Brett Gallant. He did have a slight shiner at the Devils Booster Club Holiday Party Tuesday night.

-On the injury front: Jay Leach and Matt Corrente are still out, although Leach seems the closest to returning to the lineup. Now there are 3 forwards out: Stephen Gionta (injured during Sunday’s home win), Vladimir Zharkov (unknown) and Steve Bernier (possible broken thumb…he was not at the Holiday Party so I can’t confirm that for sure).

Looking Ahead:

3 games in 4 days this week, but all at home. Wednesday night Syracuse makes their first of 5 visits here this season. Friday night the Devils will entertain Worcester in the second of 4 meetings between the former division rivals (from the days in Lowell…seems so long ago now). Then Saturday comes a divisional matchup with Springfield. Hopefully the comforts of home (and a 9 game home point streak going back to October 22nd) will get the boys back on track after an unsuccessful northern swing.

Game #25: Albany at Toronto

Location: Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, ON, Canada. Time: 3:00 PM.

Season Series:

Toronto leads 1-0.

Standings:

Albany, 12-9-2-1, 27 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division; Toronto, 14-7-3-1, 32 points, 1st place in North Division

Leading Scorers:

Albany: Steve Zalewski, 15 points (6 G, 9 A); Matt Anderson, 15 points (5 G, 10 A); Joe Whitney, 13 points (6 G, 7 A)

Toronto: Marcel Mueller, 22 points (6 G, 16 A); Nazem Kadri, 21 points (7 G, 14 A); Mike Zigomanis, 21 points (4 G, 17 A)

Goaltending:

Albany: Keith Kinkaid, 7-4-0, 2.73 GAA; Jeff Frazee, 4-7-1, 2.86 GAA

Toronto: Ben Scrivens, 5-2-0, 2.44 GAA; Jussi Rynnas, 4-6-0, 3.59 GAA

Following Along?

Radio: AHL Live (Albany); AM 640 (Toronto)

Twitter: myself/@AlbanyDevils (Albany); @TorontoMarlies, @chansler (Toronto)

Game #24: Albany at Rochester

Location: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY. Time: 7:30 PM.

Season Series:

Tied at 1.

Standings:

Albany, 12-8-2-1, 27 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division; Rochester, 10-10-2-1, 23 points, 3rd place in North Division

Leading Scorers:

Albany: Steve Zalewski, 15 points (6 G, 9 A); Matt Anderson, 15 points (5 G, 10 A); Joe Whitney, 13 points (6 G, 7 A)

Rochester: Derek Whitmore, 17 points (11 G, 6 A); Colin Stuart, 17 points (8 G, 9 A); Mark Voakes, 13 points (2 G, 11 A)

Goaltending:

Albany: Keith Kinkaid, 7-4-0, 2.73 GAA; Jeff Frazee, 4-6-1, 2.85 GAA

Rochester: Drew MacIntyre, 3-6-1, 2.80 GAA; David Leggio, 7-6-0, 2.97 GAA

Following Along?

Radio: AHL Live (Albany), 1280 AM WHTK (Rochester)

Twitter: myself/@AlbanyDevils (Albany); @AmerksHockey (Rochester)

Up, Then Down, Then Up Again

Another weekend in the books, another 3 in 3 completed for the Devils. This time around they earned a respectable 4 out of 6 points and didn’t lose ground in a still very tight division. Time to rewind the weekend that was:

12/2 vs. Bridgeport: 4-3 W

Probably the best game of the 3, but it didn’t start out that way. First half of the first period was all Bridgeport. Scott Howes put the visitors on the board early on, but Steve Zalewski tied it up at 1 on a power play goal. But back to back goals by Jeremy Colliton and Sean Backman put the Devils in an early 3-1 hole 11 minutes in…and saw Keith Kinkaid get the hook in favor of Jeff Frazee. That early exit may have just awakened the entire team up. Zalewski scored his second power play goal of the period about 4 minutes after the goalie switch, then a very good bout by the returning Brad Mills (more on that later) rallied the troops. The Devils outshot the Sound Tigers 20-9 (only 1 SOG allowed after Frazee entered the game) in the first. Nothing across during the second period, then the Devils completed the comeback in the third. Mike Sislo tied it up at 3 just 2 minutes into the period, then 4 minutes later Brad Mills notched the game winner. Frazee earned the win in relief, stopping all 13 shots faced. The only setback was Dan Kelly getting injured during a fight with Brett Gallant during the third.

12/3 at Bridgeport: 3-1 L

Second half of the home and home, this time in southern Connecticut. Jeff Frazee was rewarded with the start after a good showing the night before. Nothing across during the first period, shots were only 8-6 in favor of Albany. Just after the start of the second, a turnover right in front of Frazee’s net turned into a Tyler McNeely goal and a 1-0 Bridgeport lead. Third period the Devils tied it up on a Chad Wiseman goal, but Casey Cizikas notched the game winner with 6 and a half minutes left in the game. Rhett Rakhshani added an empty netter with 28 seconds left to seal the 3-1 win. All this despite the Devils outshooting Bridgeport by a near 2:1 margin (36-19). Frazee was not too bad in net, stopping 16 shots.

12/4 vs. Rochester: 4-2 W

The Devils finished off the weekend with a visit from their back in the day rivals to the west, the Amerks. Matt Taormina put the Devils on the board late in the first on a power play goal, while Keith Kinkaid (in a redemption start) stopped all 8 Rochester shots. Nothing across during the second (despite Albany taking 19 shots; Rochester took 11), other than the Devils missing out on a 5 minute power play after Maxime Legault boarded Stephen Gionta (and Brad Mills then tried to fight him). Then things got interesting in the third. The newly returned Joe Sova (in his second game since returning) gave the Devils a 2-0 lead, then Stephane Veilleux added an additional goal, making the game appear out of reach. But not so fast…Marcus Foligno and Drew Schiestel scored late to bring Rochester back within 3-2. But Matt Anderson sent one into the empty net with 6 seconds left to seal it. Despite losing a shutout chance late, Kinkaid rebounded well from Friday night’s early hook, stopping 25 of 27 shots.

Notes:

A little bit of roster movement this week…Alexander Urbom and Eric Boulton were recalled on Monday to New Jersey. Urbom only stayed up for one day as insurance for Andy Greene if he couldn’t make the Devils western road trip. Boulton went right back in the lineup after finishing his conditioning stint last weekend. Brad Mills was reassigned on Wednesday after clearing waivers, and has already made an impact. Joe Sova was recalled from Kalamazoo on Saturday after Dan Kelly went down on Friday night.

On the injury front: it’s all defensemen out. Jay Leach and Matt Corrente remain out, but were slated to begin skating again this week. Dan Kelly apparently has a broken nose after the fight from Friday night, no timetable given.

Looking Ahead:

Only 2 games this week, both on the road. Friday night it’s back to Rochester for a rematch with the Amerks, then a quick turnaround as it’s off to Toronto Saturday afternoon to face the Marlies. And the annual Booster Club Holiday Party with the team is on Tuesday night. I may have something up about it if I hear anything of interest.

Game #23: Albany vs. Rochester

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY. Time: 4:00 PM.

Season Series:

Rochester leads 1-0.

Standings:

Rochester, 10-9-2-1, 23 points, 2nd place in North Division; Albany, 11-8-2-1, 25 points, 4th place in Northeast Division

Leading Scorers:

Rochester: Derek Whitmore, 17 points (11 G, 6 A); Colin Stuart, 16 points (8 G, 8 A); Mark Voakes, 13 points (2 G, 11 A)

Albany: Steve Zalewski, 15 points (6 G, 9 A); Joe Whitney, 13 points (6 G, 7 A); Matt Anderson, 12 points (4 G, 8 A)

Goaltending:

Rochester: Drew MacIntyre, 3-5-1, 2.77 GAA; David Leggio, 7-6-0, 2.97 GAA

Albany: Keith Kinkaid, 6-4-0, 2.80 GAA; Jeff Frazee, 4-6-1, 2.85 GAA

Miscellaneous:

Teddy Bear Toss during first intermission (donations go to Albany Boys & Girls Club and Albany Police Athletic League); postgame autograph session on the concourse; postgame public skate.

Following Along?

Radio: AHL Live (Albany); WHTK 1280 AM (Rochester)

Twitter: myself or @AlbanyDevils (Albany); @AmerksHockey (Rochester)

Game #22: Albany at Bridgeport

Location: Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, CT. Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Tied 1-1.

Standings:

Albany, 11-7-2-1, 25 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division; Bridgeport, 10-8-3-1, 24 points, 4th place in Northeast Division

Leading Scorers:

Albany: Steve Zalewski, 14 points (6 G, 8 A); Joe Whitney, 13 points (6 G, 7 A); Matt Anderson, 12 points (4 G, 8 A)

Bridgeport: Tim Wallace, 18 points (9 G, 9 A); Jeremy Colliton, 15 points (6 G, 9 A); Casey Cizikas, 15 points (4 G, 11 A)

Goaltending:

Albany: Keith Kinkaid, 6-4-0, 2.80 GAA; Jeff Frazee, 4-5-1, 2.94 GAA

Bridgeport: Anders Nilsson, 5-3-1, 2.76 GAA; Kevin Poulin, 5-6-0, 3.61 GAA

Following Along?

Radio: AHL Live (both)

Twitter: myself, @AlbanyDevils (Albany); @TheSoundTigers, @fornabaioctp (Bridgeport)

Game #21: Albany vs. Bridgeport

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY. Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Bridgeport leads 1-0.

Standings:

Bridgeport, 10-7-3-1, 24 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division; Albany, 10-7-2-1, 23 points, 4th place in Northeast Division

Leading Scorers:

Bridgeport: Tim Wallace, 18 points (9 G, 9 A); Casey Cizikas, 15 points (4 G, 11 A); Justin DiBenedetto, 14 points (9 G, 5 A)

Albany: Joe Whitney, 12 points (6 G, 6 A); Matt Anderson, 12 points (4 G, 8 A); Steve Zalewski, 11 points (4 G, 7 A)

Goaltending:

Bridgeport: Anders Nilsson, 5-2-1, 2.60 GAA; Kevin Poulin, 5-6-0, 3.61 GAA

Albany: Keith Kinkaid, 6-4-0, 2.55 GAA; Jeff Frazee, 3-5-1, 3.20 GAA

Miscellaneous:

Scout Night; Happy Hour 6-7 PM ($2 beer); $10 tickets for college students

Following Along?

Radio: AHL Live (both)

Twitter: myself, @AlbanyDevils (Albany); @TheSoundTigers (Bridgeport)