Monthly Archives: December 2012
After taking a few days to celebrate Christmas, the Devils were right back to work, playing a 3 in 3 swing against 3 tough opponents. And they rose to the challenge, taking 4 out of 6 points…and it could easily have been 6 for 6 if not for a questionable call or two. Let’s recap:
A four game road trip that kicked off before Christmas came to an end Thursday night in Springfield, as the Devils faced the first place Falcons for the first time all season. Harri Pesonen got the visitors on the board first with just 52 seconds left in the first period. Stephen Gionta scored his first goal since his return halfway through the second period for a 2 goal cushion. Ryan Johansen put the Falcons on the board with four and a half minutes left in the period to cut the deficit in half, but Joe Whitney scored 31 seconds later to regain the 2 goal lead for Albany. Steve Zalewski made it a 3 goal lead early in the third with a power play marker (gasp! Another one!), then the Falcons started to rally. They made it interesting late, as Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson scored 1:29 apart to cut the deficit to one. But the Devils shut the door and held on for the win. Keith Kinkaid stopped 28 of 31 shots to pick up the win and Adam Larsson contributed two assists.
The Devils returned home Friday night for their last home game of the calendar year, the first of 8 matchups of the season against Binghamton. First period was virtually all Devils, as they outshot the Senators 13-2. But the story of the period was a major penalty by Binghamton’s David Dziurzynski, who sent Joe Whitney into the boards with a hit from behind, knocking Whitney out of the game with a leg injury. During the ensuing 5 on 3 (Eric Gryba had taken a minor 26 seconds before the hit), Bobby Butler scored on his former team for a 1-0 lead. Second period saw the Senators come back, actually playing even with the Devils (shots all even at 12), but it was a questionable call at the very end of the period that changed the course of the game. Just as the clock struck zero to end the period and the horn was sounding, Cole Schneider slid the puck past Jeff Frazee. We all figured it would be called off due to the puck going in after time had expired. But the referee tandem of Jeff Smith and Jon McIsaac (I couldn’t see from my angle which one made the call) called it a good goal, tying the game at 1. And put a second back on the clock to boot. Third period it was Schneider coming through again, scoring just 1:29 into the period for a 2-1 Binghamton lead. Much like with Emerson Etem last Saturday night in Norfolk, it took 91 seconds for one player to turn a 1-0 game into a 2-1 deficit. But the Devils–namely Butler–weren’t done just yet. He notched his second power play goal of the night with just over 6 minutes remaining to tie the game at 2. But with 2:35 left in regulation, rookie Jakob Silfverberg scored the go ahead goal. Despite a last minute rush to the net, it was not to be for the Devils. All this despite grossly outshooting Binghamton 37-17, including 12-3 in the third period alone. Another hard luck defeat for Frazee, as he stopped 14 of 17 shots.
The Devils closed out the 2012 portion of their schedule with a trip south to Hershey to take on the Bears. Despite outshooting the Bears 12-10 in the first, the Devils faced a 1-0 deficit on a Jon DiSalvatore goal. Tim Sestito tied the game at 1 with under 8 minutes to go in the second. Third period, the line of Bobby Butler, Harri Pesonen and Jacob Josefson took over. Butler scored his team leading 14th goal just under 3 minutes into the third to give the Devils a 2-1 lead. Not to be outdone, Zach Hamill scored 45 seconds later to re tie the game at 2. But with just over 8 minutes to go in regulation, Pesonen scored to put the Devils back on top. The rest was taken care of by Keith Kinkaid, who stopped 14 of 15 Bears shots in the third, including a few good chances late, to hold on for a rare Albany win at the Giant Center. Kinkaid finished with 34 saves and #3 star honors. Josefson contributed both assists in the third, while Eric Gelinas and Mike Hoeffel (yes he was freed on this night) also had one assist each.
-Forward Phil DeSimone, fresh off ECHL Player of the Week honors after a one week stay in Trenton, was recalled on Sunday. He actually did manage to crack the lineup this week, appearing in Friday’s game against Binghamton, registering one shot on goal.
-No update on the status of Joe Whitney after leaving Friday’s game with an apparent leg/ankle injury. He did sit out Saturday in Hershey. And apparently the flu bug has hit the team, as Dan Kelly and David Wohlberg sat out all week due to illness. J.S. Berube has finally rejoined the team, no word on when he may be back. And Adam Henrique should start rehab shortly on his injured thumb.
The Week Ahead:
After ringing in 2013, the Devils have a short week ahead with just two weekend home games, both rematches from the weekend. Saturday afternoon they host Springfield, followed by the first Sunday afternoon “real” home game of the season (the first was in Atlantic City in November) against the Senators.
Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!
Location: Giant Center, Hershey, PA.
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM.
Season Series: Hershey leads 1-0.
Albany: 10-11-1-6, 27 points, tied for 3rd place in Northeast Division
Hershey: 16-13-1-1, 34 points, 3rd place in East Division
Bobby Butler, 19 points (13 G, 6 A)
Jacob Josefson, 18 points (8 G, 10 A)
Adam Larsson, 16 points (2 G, 14 A)
Jeff Frazee, 3-5-3, 2.15 GAA
Keith Kinkaid, 7-7-3, 2.50 GAA
Jeff Taffe, 32 points (7 G, 25 A)
Jon DiSalvatore, 24 points (9 G, 15 A)
2 players tied with 18 points each
Braden Holtby, 12-9-1, 2.11 GAA
Dany Sabourin, 4-4-0, 3.11 GAA
@trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheHersheyBears, @timleone
Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM.
Season Series: First meeting. Future matchups: January 6th at Albany; February 10th at Binghamton; February 17th at Albany; February 23rd, March 22nd and April 12th at Binghamton; April 13th at Albany
Binghamton: 16-7-1-2, 35 points, 2nd place in East Division
Albany: 10-10-1-6, 27 points, tied for 3rd place in Northeast Division
Jakob Silfverburg, 24 points (12 G, 12 A)
Andre Benoit, 21 points (9 G, 12 A)
Patrick Wiercioch, 17 points (8 G, 9 A)
Robin Lehner, 10-4-1, 1.93 GAA
Ben Bishop, 6-3-1, 2.89 GAA
Bobby Butler, 17 points (11 G, 6 A)
Jacob Josefson, 17 points (8 G, 9 A)
Adam Larsson, 16 points (2 G, 14 A)
Jeff Frazee, 3-4-3, 2.07 GAA
Keith Kinkaid, 7-7-3, 2.50 GAA
@trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @BSens_Hockey
Location: Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA.
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM.
Season Series: First meeting. Future matchups: January 5th at Albany; January 19th at Springfield; January 23rd at Albany; February 8th at Springfield; March 9th at Albany
Albany: 9-10-1-6, 25 points, 5th place in Northeast Division
Springfield: 16-6-2-3, 37 points, 1st place in Northeast Division
Bobby Butler, 16 points (11 G, 5 A)
Jacob Josefson, 16 points (8 G, 8 A)
Adam Larsson, 14 points (2 G, 12 A)
Jeff Frazee, 3-4-3, 2.07 GAA
Keith Kinkaid, 6-7-3, 2.47 GAA
Cam Atkinson, 30 points (15 G, 15 A)
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, 27 points (8 G, 19 A)
Nick Drazenovic, 23 points (8 G, 15 A)
Curtis McElhinney, 15-3-2, 1.98 GAA
Allen York, 0-2-0, 3.03 GAA
@AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL, @KatyLovesHockey
(or, I was bored of watching the Giants losing miserably to the Ravens, went on YouTube, and…)
As is standard around the league, most teams like to put out some funny, embarassing holiday video with their teams in it, wishing fans a happy holiday, Merry Christmas, etc. Being probably the most serious team in the league, you won’t find that in Albany. So for kicks, time to share what some of the opponents have done…and point, laugh, and facepalm accordingly.
First, where better to begin than the bad singing of our neighbors to the north?
Two Ask the Team videos from Syracuse. First, the favorite gift:
And these guys need to watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas again.
Moving a little further west to Rochester and the 12 Days of Hockey with the Amerks…
A little out of tune, but just as entertaining as bad Gangnam Style, especially when a moose outdances you. Apologies if anyone gets Psy stuck in their head.
Moving down south to the former River Rats/now current Checkers from Charlotte:
But the winner of this year has to be the Rockford IceHogs 12 Days rendition.
Don’t know any players on that team since Albany doesn’t travel west of Rochester, but it’s a classic.
(Edit: I do know someone in Rockford! That would be former River Rat Wade Brookbank as one of the 5 fighting Hogs)
UPDATE: Apparently the Crunch also need to re-read Twas The Night Before Christmas…
Before taking a break for Christmas, the Devils embarked on a southern road swing through two cities. And the results weren’t what they expected, taking 1 out of 6 points and just running out of time…and in one case, blinked and it was over. Let’s take a look back at the week that was:
A four game road swing began Wednesday night in Bridgeport, with the second matchup against the Sound Tigers in 11 days. Both teams kept goalies Keith Kinkaid and Kevin Poulin busy, combining for 28 first period shots. But it was Bridgeport that struck first, as Casey Cizikas scored 7 minutes in for a 1-0 advantage. But the Devils would come back, as Mike Sislo (with his first of the season) and Mattias Tedenby scored 1:09 apart later in the period for a 2-1 Devil lead. Second period it was the Sound Tigers making a comeback for the lead, as Matt Donovan tied the game just 2 minutes in. Cizikas would add his second goal of the night with under 8 minutes left to give Bridgeport the lead back. But once again, the Devils would come back. On a power play (yes, you read that right) with about 4 and a half minutes remaining in the period, Matt Anderson re-tied the game at 3. The game would remain tied–till about 7 minutes to go in regulation, as Donovan scored his second of the night to give Bridgeport a 4-3 lead. The Devils had many late period chances, including a great shot by Joe Whitney with 2 seconds left on the clock, but it wasn’t meant to be, as the Sound Tigers handed Albany its first regulation loss in the month of December. Not a bad night all around despite the loss…Kinkaid stopped 26 of 30 shots, Adam Larsson contributed two assists, and the penalty kill went 6 for 6.
The road trip continued south to Virginia, and the start of a two game series against the Admirals. The story of the night was the special teams play on both sides, as two referees called a combined 20 power plays. But it was Norfolk who took advantage of that early on in the first. Devante Smith-Pelly put the Ads on the board first with a power play marker exactly 4 minutes into the game. Patrick Maroon added a power play goal of his own with 3 and a half minutes left in the period to make it a 2-0 lead. After that, goalies Jeff Frazee and Igor Bobkov would settle in…and the whistle would start blowing, as a combined 8 minors were killed off during the second period, adding to the Devils power play woes. Matt Anderson thought he had put the Devils on the board in the second period, but the goal was waved off due to the net being off its moorings. The Devils finally broke through in the goal column with 26 seconds left in the game, as Matt Anderson scored for the second straight game to cut the deficit in half. But again it was too little, too late, as Norfolk held on for the win. Frazee recovered nicely after a shaky first period, finishing with 28 saves. Mike Sislo had the lone assist. And no, I will not discuss the 0 for 10 power play.
The two game series in Virginia concluded on Saturday night, with Keith Kinkaid back in net and a couple of changes on offense…Mike Hoeffel was finally back in the lineup (my Twitter #FreeHoeffel campaign worked…for at least one night), along with Jacob Josefson (he was under the weather last night…everyone breathe), Chad Wiseman and Brandon Burlon (swapping places with Raman Hrabarenka). Unlike Friday night, special teams were not as much of a factor, as one referee only called a total of six penalties all game. Nothing across on either side during the first, as Norfolk outshot the Devils 13-11 (but Albany did have one or two very good chances on goaltender Igor Bobkov). A quiet second saw the Devils outshooting Norfolk 10-8 and missing out on two power play opportunities (finishing 0 for 4 on the night). Third period, things started happening. The Devils first shot of the third period counted…Bobby Butler finally solved Bobkov 5 minutes into the third for a 1-0 Devil lead. And with the way Kinkaid was playing, we thought that was all he would need. Well…not so fast. After the Admirals called a time out with 1:13 left and pulling Bobkov for a 6th attacker, it was Emerson Etem finding the back of the net with just 33 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 1. The game moved to overtime, where so far the Devils are 0-6, all in shootouts. Well, it didn’t even get to that point. Right off the opening faceoff, Etem got the puck and scored the game winner just 6 seconds into the extra session. So basically in a span of 39 seconds, the Devils went from snagging a much needed 1-0 shutout win to a deflating 2-1 loss in overtime. Kinkaid, outside of those 39 seconds, had a great night in goal, stopping 34 shots in another hard luck loss (he and Frazee have had way too many of those this season). Steve Zalewski had the lone assist.
-Only one roster move this week, as the Devils sent forward Phil DeSimone, who hadn’t seen any action since November 12th, to Trenton of the ECHL, joining Kelly Zajac and Scott Wedgewood. And he didn’t have a bad week there, scoring 3 goals in 3 games played and adding two assists. Not sure if this is a long term assignment or just for the week so he can get some game action (much like Chris McKelvie and Harry Young a month ago).
-No changes on the injury front, with Adam Henrique and J.S. Berube still out.
The Week Ahead:
After taking a few days off to celebrate Christmas (or even Festivus), it’s right back to work for the Devils, with a 3 in 3 to close the week and the 2012 calendar year. Thursday night they make their first trip of the season to Springfield to take on the first place Falcons. Friday night it’s back home for their first matchup against Binghamton since the preseason. Then it’s off to Hershey on Saturday night to take on the Bears.
On behalf of myself and Sascha (my cat), have a merry Christmas!
*Note: Photo Gallery is taking a week off, since, well, I wasn’t at any of the games.