Starting on a Disadvantage…

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:

10/13 vs. Manchester: 2-1 L

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.

Notes:

-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.

Looking Ahead:

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.

Game 1: Albany vs. Manchester

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Puck Drop: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: First meeting. Future matchup: January 11th at Manchester.

Standings:

Manchester: 1-0-0-0, 2 points, 1st place in Atlantic Division

Albany: 0-0-0-0, 0 points, tied for 2nd in Northeast Division

Stats:

Manchester Monarchs

Leading Scorers:

Jake Muzzin, 2 points (0 G 2 A)
6 others at 1 point each

Goaltending:

Martin Jones, 1-0-0, 1.00 GAA

Albany Devils

Leading Scorers:

All tied at 0 points.

Goaltending:

All at 0 wins & 0.00 GAA.

Radio: AHL Live

Twitter:

@trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @MonarchsHockey

Wednesday Updates

Now that camp has finally shifted to the Capital Region (first session was on Monday), preparations are underway for the season opener against Manchester on Saturday. The latest:

-First, as of Sunday the blog is on Facebook! Click on the square under my recent tweets and give it a Like. I’ll post a few news items, and links to posts will be there as well.

-Now on to team news:

The first two cuts to the camp roster were made earlier in the week, with Eric Baier and Bryan Haczyk being assigned to Trenton in the ECHL.

Speaking of Trenton, earlier today it was announced that instead of having one ECHL affiliate, the Devils will utilize both Trenton and Elmira to reassign players.

And now for the walking wounded (all updates per Fire and Ice and The Daily Gazette):

Eric Gelinas is out indefinitely after being struck in the jaw with a shot in Binghamton on Saturday night. I had heard while in the building that he had lost three teeth, but in reality they were “loosened.”

Kelly Zajac never got into a preseason game, and there’s a good reason why: He underwent surgery to correct an abdominal issue stemming back to last season while he was still at Union. He’s out for 4 to 6 weeks.

Maxime Clermont, J.S. Berube, Steve Zalewski, Scott Parse, and Alexandre Carrier are all day to day with assorted ailments.

Unless any other news breaks, next entry will be the first pregamer of the season! All pregame entries will remain on a 3 hour before game time schedule. Most likely it will stay in the same format as last season with stats, radio/Twitter info, etc.

Photo Gallery: October 6, 2012 at Binghamton

Introducing the newest feature to the blog for 2012-13: a weekly photo gallery! Before I started live tweeting and doing the blog, I mostly did photography of games and uploading albums to my Webshots page and to Facebook (much like I do now with the Valleycats). The plan is after I do my weekly recap to put up some of my own game photos from the week, and maybe some from off ice events as well. To start it off, here’s a gallery from my first game of the season, from last night’s preseason finale:

Getting ready to take the ice (via Instagram)

Jeff Frazee

Gearing up for a faceoff

Harry Young and Raman Hrabarenka (via Instagram)

Keith Kinkaid

Joe Whitney

Jay Leach, Bobby Butler, Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson

Preseason Recap

We are now 6 days away from the official start of the 2012-13 season. Last night the Devils finished up their preseason schedule, and it wasn’t a bad showing. They went 3-1 against two divisional rivals and a familiar East Division foe. For those that missed it, here’s a little review of how they fared:

10/1 vs. Adirondack (at Voorhees, NJ): W 5-3

Traveling to the Phantoms/Flyers training facility in Voorhees, NJ, the Devils got the week off to a good start with a win over their rivals to the north (or, in this case, south. Well in the state of New Jersey anyway). Mike Sislo and David Wohlberg each scored twice, while newcomer Raman Hrabarenka added the fifth goal. Brandon Burlon and Harri Pesonen each contributed two assists. Keith Kinkaid and rookie Scott Wedgewood each shared time in net, combining for 45 saves.

10/2 vs. Connecticut (at Cromwell, CT): W 3-1

The strong play moved on the following night to Cromwell, CT, with a victory over the Whale. Burlon, Pesonen and Darcy Zajac all scored, Hrabarenka contributed two more assists, and Jeff Frazee and Maxime Clermont combined for 18 saves.

10/5 vs. Adirondack (at Newark, NJ): 2-1 W

In a closed to the public scrimmage Friday afternoon (the only time you’ll ever see a Devil-Phantom matchup that quiet), the Devils won their third straight and their second win over the Phantoms in a 4 day span. Both goals were scored shorthanded, courtesy of camp invitee Scott Parse and Jacob Josefson. Parse and Adam Larsson also contributed one assist apiece. Kinkaid and Wedgewood split time in net, combining for 25 saves.

10/6 at Binghamton: 6-3 L

To finish off the preseason slate, the Devils traveled to Binghamton to take on the Senators. Frazee drew the start and played 40 minutes, stopping 24 of 28 Senator shots. Kinkaid took over in the third and played solid, making 14 saves on 15 shots. The Devils fell behind 2-0 after 1 period on goals by Derek Grant and Corey Cowick. After allowing an early power play marker to fall into a 3-0 hole, former Senator Bobby Butler notched his first goal of the preseason (on the man advantage) to bring the Devils to within 3-1. The Senators responded with another power play goal to regain a 3 goal advantage, but Mattias Tedenby scored even strength to reduce the deficit again to two. Binghamton went back up by 3 on an Andre Petersson goal early in the third, but Mike Sislo answered late with his team leading 4th goal for another two goal deficit. But that’s as close as they would get, as Mark Stone scored an empty netter to seal a 6-3 win.

A few links to pass on related to the week:

Fire and Ice has the full preseason scoring list here, along with the news that Raman Hrabarenka has officially signed an AHL deal after a strong camp showing.

In Lou We Trust is counting down the top 25 prospects under 25 (so far updated to #21).

Stay tuned…next entry a photo gallery from my first in person game of the season in Binghamton…

Stories from the Camp Ice…

Finally it’s October! So stop asking…till next spring, anyway.

We are 4 days into training camp in New Jersey, and from what I’ve seen it sounds like business as usual as the team is preparing for its 3 game preseason schedule this week. First game arrives tomorrow afternoon in Voorhees, NJ against Adirondack (and I have no idea how I’ll be able to keep track of it other than if anyone on either side tweets it), followed by a trip to Connecticut on Wednesday to take on the Whale. Then finally they travel to Binghamton on Saturday to play the Senators (also my season tweeting debut). Looking for info on how this year’s team will shake out? Here’s a few sites to follow:

-For individual player interviews, the A-Devs YouTube page has you covered, as they have done at least 3 player interviews daily, along with a daily chat with coach Kowalsky.

-For blog stories, Fire and Ice and the Star Ledger has daily coverage from Newark. Bonus coverage from Day 1 courtesy of 5 For Writing can be found here (just scroll down).

-For tweets, follow @AlbanyDevilsPR and @TGfireandice for the daily practice groups and maybe a few photos mixed in.

12 days to go till opening night…and 5 days till I can finally see some hockey!