First game of the 2012-13 season is officially in the books…and, well, it wasn’t quite the start the Devils were looking for. In a kind of rematch of Stanley Cup Final teams…well the farm anyway…it was the Kings, or should I say the Monarchs, on top once again. Time to review the Opening Night festivities:
Keith Kinkaid drew the opening assignment against a Monarchs team featuring 4 Stanley Cup winners on its roster. Things started picking up with just over 8 minutes into the game, as Chad Wiseman gave the Devils an early 1-0 lead (assist and first pro point for rookie Raman Hrabarenka on the goal). Fifteen seconds later, Harri Pesonen drew the game’s first penalty. Just 14 seconds into the ensuing Monarch power play, David Kolomatis sent a score through Kinkaid’s pads to tie it up at 1. With 7:09 to go, the Devils took a too many men penalty, and Kolomatis made them pay yet again with his second power play goal of the night to give the Monarchs a 2-1 advantage. Albany was outshot by a 10-6 margin for the first period, along with the imperfect penalty kill.
Second period…no goals across on either side, but the Devils finally got a power play chance of their own (it’s what happens when a Koharski is in charge), but could not capitalize on the opportunity. Other than a scrap between Richard Clune and Dan Kelly (and another near scrap between Clune and Jay Leach just before that), not much to write home with.
Third period the Devils had a good chance of tying the game up with back to back power play chances, but could not get anything past Manchester goaltender Martin Jones. The special teams had quite the struggle, going 0-4 on the power play and allowing 2 power play goals on three chances. Despite a mad scramble at the end, the Monarchs held on for the 2-1 win. Jones stopped 22 of 23 shots in notching his second win (along with #3 star of the game honors), while Kinkaid was the hard luck loser, making 25 saves on 27 chances.
-I didn’t find out till warmups tonight who ended up wearing the extra letters on their jerseys. Just as I had predicted during the offseason, your new captain is Jay Leach. Tim Sestito and Adam Henrique are the assistant captains. Not sure if this is for both home and away or if there is a rotating A, we’ll find out next weekend.
-Lots of scratches for the first game, including Matt Corrente, Joe Whitney, Steve Zalewski, among others. Still a few nursing injuries, others are healthy. We’ll see if any more ECHL assignments are in the works before next weekend’s games.
2 games on tap for this week. Friday night sees the new look Syracuse Crunch come into town for the first of 8 matchups between the Interstate 90 rivals. Saturday the Devils hit the road for the first time this season, as they make the trek east (as will I) to take on Worcester in their home opener. We’ll have to see if it ends up as action packed as last year’s matchup, when the two teams combined for over 150 penalty minutes.