Game 3: Albany vs. Adirondack

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 2:00 PM.

Season Series:

First meeting of 12.

Standings:

Adirondack: 1-1-0-1, 3 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division

Albany: 1-1-0-0, 2 points, tied for 4th place in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Need To Know:

-It’s the beginning of the fifth annual Time Warner Cable Cup series between the two teams.  Both teams have two Cups apiece (Albany won the first as the River Rats in 2009-10, Adirondack took back to back Cups in 10-11 and 11-12, Albany won last year’s), with the winner determined by most wins/standings points in the series.

-The Phantoms are coming off a sold out home opener Saturday night, a 3-2 loss to Hartford.

-This is the only game on the AHL schedule today.

Phantoms Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

2 players tied with 4 points each

Cal Heeter, 0-1-0, 3.08 GAA; Yann Danis, 1-0-1, 3.27 GAA

Listen: AHL Live, WNYQ 101.7 FM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @AlbanyDevilsPR, @PhantomsHockey, @dianacnearhos

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Hey, a Devils Team Can Win!

It was another short week for the Devils, just one game on the schedule…the first home game of the season, against a new opponent to boot.  Finally, for the first time this season, I can say a Devils team has put one in the win column!  Time to rehash yesterday’s festivities:

10/12 vs. Utica: 3-2 W

Keith Kinkaid drew the start (and a few laughs pregame when they started pregame introductions and he was nowhere to be found), and had a quiet first period on his end, only facing 5 Comet shots.  Even though the period was a scoreless one (despite Albany getting 4 power plays and not producing on a single one of them), it sure wasn’t a boring one, as the teams combined for 66 penalty minutes.  Four different fights broke out in a span of about 6 minutes, resulting in two ejections, one on each side: Kellan Lain for Utica and Seth Helgeson for the Devils.  Rivalry much already, gentlemen?  But peace was restored and things settled down after that, as no one took a seat in the penalty box the rest of the game (a rarity when you have Chris Brown reffing…although one of my spies maintains he missed a few calls on the Utica side).  Reid Boucher got the home team on the board early in the second with his first goal of the season.  Mike Sislo followed that up with his first goal of the year 8 minutes later.  Alexandre Grenier broke up Kinkaid’s shutout bid shortly after that.  Joe Whitney scored what appeared to be an insurance goal early in the third for a 3-1 lead, not realizing at the time just how important that goal would be.  Utica would pull the goalie late and Benn Ferriero would score with just 7 seconds remaining to get the Comets to within one.  But after a timeout, Utica could not come up with a quick equalizer, and the Devils would hold on for their first win of the season.  It was also the first home opener they have won in their four seasons here as well.  Kinkaid did not have to do much in picking up his first win of the year, stopping 23 of 25 shots.  Eric Gelinas had two assists and was named the game’s first star, while Scott Timmins had two assists as well (that Barch trade is working out quite nicely, I must say).

Lines:

Mike Sislo-Rod Pelley-Stefan Matteau

Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins-Joe Whitney

Tim Sestito-David Wohlberg-Harri Pesonen

Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen-Chris McKelvie

Extra: Mike Hoeffel, Kelly Zajac

From what I could see, the lines stayed the same throughout the day.

Defense Pairings:

Jon Merrill-Eric Gelinas

Seth Helgeson-Reece Scarlett

Dan Kelly-Corbin McPherson

Extra: Brandon Burlon (yes #FreeBurlon returned for one day)

A lot of shuffling, especially after Helgeson’s ejection and Scarlett having to sit for part of the game after a hit: McPherson/Gelinas, Merrill/Kelly, Gelinas/Kelly, Kelly/Scarlett to name a few.  I would say Gelinas was on the ice the longest of the six.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

As of press time, no video has surfaced yet from the first period (it was edited out of the Devils highlight reel).  Once somebody on YouTube gets their act together I’ll update this section.

UPDATE (10/16): Only one made it onto video.  The winner by, well, default:

My Player of the Week:

I’m splitting the award between two players this week: Eric Gelinas and Scott Timmins, as both dished out two assists and factored in the win.  An honorable mention to Seth Helgeson for doing a lot better in his Cam Janssen impression this time around compared to preseason.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (2)

Assists: Jon Merrill (3)

Points: 3 players tied at 3

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (15)

Plus/Minus: 2 tied at +3

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (1)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (3.03)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.872)

Notes:

-To add to the captain/assistant captain news from last week, Mike Sislo was sporting the A yesterday.  He will be the second A at home, Chris McKelvie will be the second A on the road.

-Earlier this week, this year’s promotional schedule was announced.  The highlights: two unnamed bobbleheads, three post game autograph sessions, the return of Pucks and Paws, and Devil Dawg’s Birthday (which normally features the annual N.J. Devil visit).

This Week’s Schedule:

Three games on tap this week.  Tomorrow is the first Adirondack matchup of the season (and it’s Kids in Free Day for the Columbus Day holiday).  Then Friday and Saturday the team heads south to Norfolk to take on the Admirals.

Game 2: Albany vs. Utica

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 5:00 PM.

Season Series:

First meeting of 4.

Standings:

Utica: 0-1-0-0, 0 points, 5th place in North Division

Albany: 0-1-0-0, 0 points, 5th place in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Need to Know:

-Finally, it’s Albany’s home opener!

-This will be the first time an AHL team from Utica has set foot in the Capital Region since January 30th, 1993, when the Utica Devils tied the Capital District Islanders 2-2 at RPI Fieldhouse in Troy.

-Utica is the only team in the Western Conference the Devils will face this season.

-The Comets are coming off their franchise debut Friday night in Rochester, a 4-1 loss to the Amerks.

-There is one local tie on the Comets roster: former Union forward Jeremy Welsh, acquired from Carolina on September 29th.

Comets Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

3 players tied with 1 point each

Joe Cannata, 0-1-0, 4.00 GAA

Listen: AHL Live, 94.9 K-ROCK

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @AlbanyDevilsPR, @CometsInGame

Starting One Goal Short

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.

10/6 at Hartford: 4-3 L

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.

Lines:

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)

Defense Pairings:

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.

Team Leaders:

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

Wins: 0

GAA: Keith Kinkaid, 4.09

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid, .818

Notes:

-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.

Game 1: Albany at Hartford

Where: XL Center, Hartford, CT.

When: 3:00 PM.

Season Series:

First meeting of 8.

Standings:

Albany: 0-0-0-0, 0 points, tied for 4th in Northeast Division

Hartford: 0-0-0-1, 1 point, 3rd place in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Need to Know:

-After 2+ seasons as the Connecticut Whale, the Wolfpack name is back, hence their Twitter hashtag #ThePackIsBack.

-While Albany is playing in their first game, Hartford has their home opener already in the books, a 2-1 shootout loss to Norfolk on Saturday night.

Wolfpack Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Six skaters tied at 1 point each.

Cam Talbot, 0-0-1, 1.88 GAA

Listen: AHL Live, Fox Sports 1410 (for Hartford’s feed)

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @AlbanyDevilsPR, @WolfpackAHL

Narrowing It Down…

Happy Opening Day in the AHL!  10 teams are starting up the 2013-14 season this evening.  Meanwhile, the Devils still have to wait about 48 hours before they can finally get started.  Today the official opening roster was released, with 2 goaltenders, 7 defensemen, and 14 forwards:

Goaltenders

1 Keith Kinkaid

31 Scott Wedgewood

Defensemen

2 Seth Helgeson

5 Jon Merrill

7 Brandon Burlon

24 Eric Gelinas

28 Dan Kelly

33 Corbin McPherson

34 Reece Scarlett

Forwards

9 Joe Whitney

10 Rod Pelley

11 Kelly Zajac

12 Tim Sestito

14 Reid Boucher

15 Harri Pesonen

16 Chris McKelvie

17 Scott Timmins

18 Stefan Matteau

19 Mike Sislo

22 Cam Janssen

23 Darcy Zajac

25 David Wohlberg

26 Mike Hoeffel

A lot of jersey number changes compared to last year’s roster: Kinkaid switches from 35 to 1; Wedgewood from 1 to 31 (claiming Jeff Frazee’s old number); Helgeson from 39 to 2; Kelly Zajac from 17 to 11; Boucher from 20 to 14; Pesonen from 18 to 15; McKelvie from 37 to 16; Janssen from 14 to 22.

So how did we get to this point after the preseason schedule ended on Saturday night in Adirondack?  A quick recap of all the roster changes from this week:

-On Sunday, Kinkaid and Timmins were sent down.  Timmins had already cleared waivers and had been assigned to San Antonio before being acquired from Florida on Saturday.

-Monday, as a surprise to, well, no one, Janssen cleared waivers and was sent down.

-Forwards Alexandre Carrier, Artem Demkov, and Dmitry Goldenkov were all released.  Demkov and Carrier are off to Elmira (ECHL).

-Thursday forward Ben Thomson was released from his tryout, he will return to Kitchener of the OHL as an overage player.

-Finally Maxime Clermont, Riley Boychuk, Raman Hrabarenka, and Harry Young were sent to Elmira, where the Jackals are about to start their training camp (although when they released their camp roster earlier today they were not listed, but Clermont is listed on the roster on the Jackals website, although it could be last year’s list still there).

One familiar name missing from this list that could have been there? Alexander Urbom.  Wednesday New Jersey placed him on waivers to make room for Patrik Elias’s return from IR, but on Thursday the Capitals picked him up.

Unless anything else pops up, first pregame of the season comes down Sunday around noontime!