Game 37: Albany vs. Adirondack

Location: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ.

Puck Drop: 4:00 PM.

Season Series:

Albany leads 4-1.

Standings:

Albany: 15-13-1-7, 38 points, tied for 3rd place in Northeast Division

Adirondack: 16-19-1-1, 34 points, 5th place in Northeast Division

Stats:

Adirondack Phantoms

Leading Scorers:

Jason Akeson, 16 points (4 G, 12 A)
Tye McGinn, 15 points (11 G, 4 A)
Danny Syvret, 15 points (1 G, 14 A)

Goaltending:

Brian Boucher, 1-0-0, 1.00 GAA
Scott Munroe, 9-9-0, 2.56 GAA
Cal Heeter, 6-11-1, 2.88 GAA

Albany Devils

Leading Scorers:

Bobby Butler, 23 points (15 G, 8 A)
Joe Whitney, 20 points (8 G, 12 A)
Steve Zalewski, 18 points (6 G, 12 A)

Goaltending:

Keith Kinkaid, 12-8-3, 2.46 GAA
Jeff Frazee, 3-6-4, 2.35 GAA

Radio:

AHL Live, WNYQ 101.7 FM

Twitter:

@trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @PhantomsHockey, @dianacnearhos

Game 36: Albany at Springfield

Location: Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA.

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Albany leads 2-0.

Standings:

Albany: 15-13-1-6, 37 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division

Springfield: 22-9-3-3, 50 points, 1st place in Northeast Division

Stats:

Albany Devils

Leading Scorers:

Bobby Butler, 23 points (15 G, 8 A)
Joe Whitney, 19 points (8 G, 11 A)
2 tied at 18 points

Goaltending:

Keith Kinkaid, 12-8-3, 2.46 GAA
Jeff Frazee, 3-6-3, 2.48 GAA

Springfield Falcons

Leading Scorers:

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, 41 points (16 G, 25 A)
Nick Drazenovic, 34 points (11 G, 23 A)
Tim Erixon, 26 points (5 G, 21 A)

Goaltending:

Paul Dainton, 1-3-1, 2.22 GAA
Curtis McElhinney, 17-6-2, 2.25 GAA
Allen York, 4-3-0, 2.73 GAA

Radio:

AHL Live, WHYN 560 AM

Twitter:

@trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL, @KatyLovesHockey

Game 35: Albany at Adirondack

Location: Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY.

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Albany leads 3-1.

Standings:

Albany: 14-13-1-6, 35 points, 4th place in Northeast Division

Adirondack: 15-18-1-1, 32 points, 5th place in Northeast Division

Stats:

Albany Devils

Leading Scorers:

Steve Zalewski, 17 points (6 G, 11 A)
Matt Anderson, 17 points (5 G, 12 A)
Joe Whitney, 16 points (6 G, 10 A)

Goaltending:

Keith Kinkaid, 11-8-3, 2.44 GAA
Jeff Frazee, 3-6-3, 2.48 GAA

Adirondack Phantoms

Leading Scorers:

Erik Gustafsson, 14 points (3 G, 11 A)
3 players tied at 13 points

Goaltending:

Scott Munroe, 9-9-0, 2.56 GAA
Cal Heeter, 6-10-1, 2.81 GAA

Radio:

AHL Live, WNYQ 101.7 FM

Twitter:

@trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @PhantomsHockey, @dianacnearhos

Pre-Weekend Update

I was supposed to put this up last night, but my TWC modem crapped out during the day yesterday…luckily I can write this on my IPhone. Anyway, on to Thursday’s news update:

-Kelly Zajac and Bryan Haczyk have rejoined the team after playing for Trenton yesterday morning. And Harry Young has returned from Kalamazoo, where he is now listed as a left wing.

-6 players were placed on waivers by New Jersey: Tim Sestito, Matt Anderson, Jeff Frazee, Jay Leach, Chad Wiseman and Steve Zalewski. If all clear by noon Friday, everyone should be available (except Wiseman who is injured) tonight in Glens Falls. (UPDATE: All 6 have cleared, but now Bobby Butler is next on the waiver list.)

-The AHL finally released the rosters for this year’s AHL All Star Classic, which will be held January 27th and 28th in Providence. Albany has one representative: Bobby Butler. Well deserving, but it appears he will be sticking in New Jersey and won’t be able to participate. So we’ll see who will go in his place. Full rosters can be found here.

A Little Wednesday Night Catchup

Instead of watching the first American Idol of the season (I never really got into that show anyway), here I am catching up on a few news items:

-Two separate roster moves: on Tuesday forwards Kelly Zajac and Bryan Haczyk were returned to Trenton, despite playing well in their season debuts on Sunday afternoon in Atlantic City. I think I may know the reason: the Titans had a Wednesday morning game and were in need of players (they lost a chunk of their roster due to AHL callups when NHL camps opened over the weekend). We shall see if either return for the weekend depending on events in New Jersey. Then this morning forward J.S. Berube was also sent to Trenton, where he made his season debut after being sidelined since training camp. He didn’t do so bad, actually notching a goal and an assist in a 4-3 overtime win in front of a very intimate crowd, you could say (cue the Lowell jokes in 3, 2, 1…).

-Meanwhile, down in Newark, a group of Devils made the trip to take on their New Jersey counterparts in a Red-White scrimmage earlier this afternoon. The White team (mostly New Jersey regulars) defeated the Red team (mostly Albany regulars with a few extra New Jersey vets mixed in) 4-1. The only Red goal? First round draft pick Stefan Matteau. The White goalie? Martin Brodeur. The Circle of Life has been completed. The newly re-signed Travis Zajac celebrated his new 8 year contract extension (YAY!) by scoring twice, with Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson adding a goal apiece for the White team. From what I was reading on the Devils PR’s Twitter feed, it wasn’t a normal game per se…the time was divided up with even strength situations and power play/penalty kill. There was even a shootout at the end, where Albany regular Harri Pesonen was the only one to convert.

Midseason Reboot

After the excitement of the new CBA being agreed upon subsided, it was time to face reality this week. With the inevitable loss of a good chunk of the roster upcoming and a 3 in 3 weekend looming, the Devils had to keep up the momentum of a weekend sweep. And things didn’t go exactly as planned, only earning 2 of 6 points in those three games. Time to look back:

1/11 at Manchester: 7-4 L

Times Union
New Hampshire Union Leader

The weekend started off with the Devils only visit to New Hampshire this season to take on the Monarchs. It was a rather uneventful first period as both teams mostly stayed out of the box (just one penalty call on the Monarchs), but Manchester took a 1-0 lead with 6 and a half to go. Steve Zalewski would tie the game late in the period, and the Devils outshot the Monarchs 10-9. Second period the Devils had a chance to take advantage after receiving near back to back power play chances, but could not capitalize. Second half of the period was all Monarchs as they scored three times in 5 minutes (the last goal a rare power play marker) to take a commanding 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. But the Devils were not quite done yet. Adam Larsson scored his fourth (and on the power play) to cut the deficit to 4-2. But Brian O’Neill would score just 15 seconds later to restore Manchester’s 3 goal cushion. Not to be outdone, Mattias Tedenby and Harri Pesonen would score two minutes apart during an extended power play stretch (3 Monarchs sitting in the box at one time at one point for various infractions, including the ever popular embellishment call) to get to within 5-4. But that was all they could muster, as Jordan Weal would score a power play marker 2 and a half minutes later to make it 6-4, then Tyler Toffoli would add an empty netter with 22 seconds left to finish it off. Not a very good night in net for Jeff Frazee, as he allowed 6 of the 7 goals and stopped 28 shots. The offense was actually going on this night, as they went an impressive 3 for 7 on the power play while Matt Anderson added three assists.

1/12 vs. Worcester: 4-1 W

Times Union
Worcester Telegram-Gazette

The Devils returned to the Capital Region for their lone appearance at home on the weekend, an afternoon tilt against the Sharks. Despite the Devils getting off to a stronger start, it was Worcester who got on the board first, scoring 7 minutes into the first. Harri Pesonen thought he had tied the game at 1 when the puck bounced in and out of the net, but after a long video review it was called off. Eventually that tying goal did come to pass, via Steve Zalewski just before the end of the period. Second period was all Devils, as they only allowed one Shark shot for the first half of the period and they even got another power play goal. Mattias Tedenby scored his 9th to break the 1-1 tie. Eric Gelinas added his 3rd goal of the season (actually not on the power play) late in the period for a 2 goal advantage. A relatively quiet third period saw Darcy Zajac add to the Devil lead. Keith Kinkaid had a solid yet quiet day in net, only having to stop 16 of 17 shots. Bobby Butler and Chad Wiseman each added an assist, while Gelinas and defense partner Alexander Urbom both finished a +3. Off ice, it was a successful day, with a season high 7300 on hand thanks to GE Kids in Free Day…and our old friend N.J. Devil was in the house for Devil Dawg’s birthday (along with Finz the Worcester mascot) and to get some, shall we say, practice in before the season starts?

1/13 vs. Bridgeport: 5-4 L

Times Union
Connecticut Post

After the inevitable exodus of players going to New Jersey to start NHL training camp (see below for more on that), the remaining members of the roster made the trek to Atlantic City for the second of 4 trips this season to take on the Sound Tigers. Bridgeport took a 1-0 lead halfway into the period after the Devils killed off a brief 5 on 3 chance, but couldn’t kill the second penalty. The Devils responded with a power play goal of their own very late in the first, off the stick of Phil DeSimone, making his first appearance of the calendar year (took an NHL lockout ending to finally get this guy in the lineup). The seesaw battle continued into the second period as Nino Niederreiter scored 3 and a half minutes in for a 2-1 lead. But the Devils again responded, as Kelly Zajac’s first AHL goal tied the game at 2 (also the first AHL point for the other Trenton recall, Bryan Haczyk). Third period things got very interesting on both sides. First the Sound Tigers took the lead back again, just 2 minutes into the period. Then while Chris McKelvie sat on a tripping call, Niederreiter scored his second of the game for a 4-2 cushion. A scary moment happened just after that, when a Sound Tiger ran Keith Kinkaid into his net. Kinkaid would be okay and stay in, but yet no penalty called…keep this in mind. It was just after this incident that the Devils would rally, scoring twice in a 1:32 span to retie the game. First Joe Whitney scored on a 5 on 3 advantage to cut the deficit to 1. Then McKelvie scored his first of the season even strength to tie it at 4 (assisted by the brothers Zajac…I was hoping Darcy and Kelly would be on the same line at some point). But just after the tying goal, Matt Anderson ends up running into Sound Tigers goaltender Kevin Poulin…and yet he gets called for interference. On the ensuing power play, Matt Donovan scored the go ahead goal with just 1:16 left in regulation for a 5-4 Bridgeport lead. The Devils tried to get that tying fifth goal, but just ran out of time. Despite the loss, it was not a bad performance by the new look roster…they finished 2 for 6 on the power play, but only 2 for 5 penalty kill, another rare bad day. The reinforcements from Trenton and the healthy scratch list contributed quite nicely, combining for six points (1 goal and assist for Kelly Zajac, 2 assists from Brandon Burlon, 1 assist from Haczyk, 1 goal from DeSimone). Kinkaid stopped 24 of 29 shots in the loss (and took his fair share of run ins as well).

Notes:

-Saturday night came the official mass exit of players heading to Newark for the start of New Jersey training camp. It was pretty easy to figure out…if a player got on the bus, they were headed to Atlantic City. If they had their sticks shrink wrapped and they were carrying their gear, it was off to camp. As expected, Adam Larsson, Bobby Butler, Mattias Tedenby, Jacob Josefson, and Stephen Gionta are headed to Jersey, but joining them are Tim Sestito and Harri Pesonen. Josefson and Gionta both sat out Friday and Saturday with injuries and had already departed. You can see the full list here.

-To help fill out the roster, Albany recalled forwards Kelly Zajac and Bryan Haczyk from Trenton.

-Injury front: Scott Parse and J.S. Berube are both still out indefinitely. Parse was the only player not heading south to New Jersey on Saturday evening. Joe Whitney returned to the lineup Friday night after sitting out the last two weeks, but reinjured himself late in the game and sat out on Saturday, but then returned to the lineup on Sunday.

The Week Ahead:

A similar pattern awaits the Devils this week: a 3 in 3 weekend, with 3 different buildings in 3 different states. Friday night they travel north to Glens Falls to resume the Time Warner Cable Cup series against a depleted Phantoms roster (they lost Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn, but may have gained the services of goaltender Brian Boucher). Then it’s east to Springfield on Saturday evening to take on the Falcons for the second time this month. Then it’s right back to Boardwalk Hall and Atlantic City on Sunday afternoon for another faceoff with the Phantoms (where I can guarantee a chunk of Philadelphians will be in attendance along with quite a few members of the Devils Booster Club). By the weekend, there is also a good chance a couple of players will come back down from New Jersey as the parent Devils finish off a short training camp and begin their abbreviated season on Saturday in Long Island.

Game 34: Albany vs. Bridgeport

Location: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ.

Puck Drop: 4:00 PM.

Season Series:

Tied at 1.

Standings:

Bridgeport: 17-16-2-2, 38 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division

Albany: 14-12-1-6, 35 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division

Stats:

Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Leading Scorers:

Nino Niederreiter, 34 points (17 G, 17 A)
Johan Sundstrom, 25 points (11 G, 14 A)
Brock Nelson, 22 points (11 G, 11 A)

Goaltending:

Anders Nilsson, 7-9-0, 3.03 GAA
Kevin Poulin, 10-8-2, 3.13 GAA

Albany Devils

Leading Scorers:

Steve Zalewski, 17 points (6 G, 11 A)
Matt Anderson, 16 points (5 G, 11 A)
Joe Whitney, 15 points (5 G, 10 A)

Goaltending:

Jeff Frazee, 3-6-3, 2.48 GAA
Keith Kinkaid, 11-7-3, 2.32 GAA

Radio:

AHL Live

Twitter:

@trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheSoundTigers

Game 33: Albany vs. Worcester

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Puck Drop: 5:00 PM.

Season Series:

Albany leads 1-0.

Standings:

Worcester: 19-13-1-2, 41 points, 2nd place in Atlantic Division

Albany: 13-12-1-6, 33 points, tied for 3rd place in Northeast Division

Stats:

Worcester Sharks

Leading Scorers:

Tim Kennedy, 30 points (12 G, 18 A)
James Sheppard, 23 points (8 G, 15 A)
Jon Matsumoto, 22 points (9 G, 13 A)

Goaltending:

Alex Stalock, 12-7-1, 2.73 GAA
Harri Sateri, 7-7-1, 2.86 GAA

Albany Devils

Leading Scorers:

Bobby Butler, 22 points (15 G, 7 A)
Jacob Josefson, 20 points (8 G, 12 A)
Adam Larsson, 18 points (4 G, 14 A)

Goaltending:

Jeff Frazee, 3-6-3, 2.48 GAA
Keith Kinkaid, 10-7-3, 2.38 GAA

Radio:

AHL Live, WTAG 580 AM

Twitter:

@trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @WorcesterSharks, @SharksAHLInGame