Finally, after waiting for 168 days, the Devils took to the ice to start the 2013-2014 regular season. And just like the last three openers, the same result…a loss to start the year off right.
The season began with a quick road trip east to Hartford to take on the Wh…I mean Wolfpack. And it didn’t take long for one of the newest Devils to make an impact: just 51 seconds in Scott Timmins scored his first for a very fast 1-0 Devil lead. J.T. Miller would tie the game at 1 9 minutes later, then on the first penalty kill opportunity of the season Chris Kreider would score just 22 seconds in for a 2-1 lead. But David Wohlberg would re-tie the game just before the period ended with a beautiful shot past Wolfpack goaltender Jason Missiaen. Second period saw the first power play chance of the season…and it was a successful one, as Joe Whitney would score his first to give the Devils a 3-2 lead. But Miller would re-tie the game with his second of the day just before the end of the second. Third period saw Albany outshoot Hartford 9-6 (overall 26-22), but Dylan McIlrath would get the game winner past Keith Kinkaid with 15 minutes to go in the period for a 4-3 Wolfpack win. Kinkaid would stop 18 of 22 shots in the loss, but the story of the day had to be Jon Merrill, who assisted on all 3 Devil goals. Whitney and Harri Pesonen each had an assist as well.
Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Reid Boucher
Rod Pelley-Mike Sislo-Stefan Matteau
David Wohlberg-Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen
Cam Janssen-Darcy Zajac-Chris McKelvie
Extras: Mike Hoeffel, Kelly Zajac
(The Unofficial Line Shuffler later came up with Pelley-Sestito-Pesonen and Timmins-Sislo-Matteau; McKelvie/Zajac and Pelley/Sislo for PK duties)
Eric Gelinas/Jon Merrill
Dan Kelly/Corbin McPherson
Seth Helgeson/Brandon Burlon
Extra: Reece Scarlett (he did warm up but apparently drew the short straw on this day)
(More Line Shuffler fun: Gelinas/Burlon, Kelly/Helgeson, Burlon/McPherson, Kelly/Merrill on PK situations)
Obligatory Fight of the Week:
Sorry to report, but no gloves were dropped or faces were punched yesterday.
My Player of the Week:
By default more or less, Jon Merrill gets the nod. Assisted on all 3 goals, and finishing a +1 while playing in all situations.
Goals: 3 players tied at 1
Assists: Jon Merrill (3)
Points: Jon Merrill (3)
Penalty Minutes: 3 tied at 2 PIM
Plus/Minus: 5 tied at +1
GAA: Keith Kinkaid, 4.09
Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid, .818
-Your captains for the 2013-14 season: Rod Pelley with the C (the third player since the move from Lowell to hold the title), with Tim Sestito and Chris McKelvie wearing the A’s.
-Just announced today (finally), there will be local radio coverage. About half the schedule will be broadcast once again on 104.5 WTMM. But as usual, your best bet (if you’re not local) is to use AHL Live, now an app on iTunes and Android (I downloaded it, but haven’t tried it out just yet).
This Week’s Schedule:
Again, a very light week. Only one game on the docket: the home opener on Saturday afternoon against the Utica Comets, marking the first time since the early 90s a team from Utica played in the Capital Region.