Monthly Archives: December 2013

Post-Holiday Rush

No better way to get back to work after the Christmas break for the Devils by playing through the first 3 in 3 weekend of the season.  Two home games and a third trip to Bridgeport to close out the 2013 calendar year and to get back on track after seeing their win streak stopped the weekend before.  And not a bad showing…setting a franchise home win streak record and getting 5 out of 6 points.  Time for the last recap of 2013:

12/27 vs. Adirondack: 2-0 W

The Devils began a two game homestand with a visit from their neighbors to the north, the Phantoms.  And it was all Albany, from start to finish.  Scott Timmins scored his second goal since returning to the lineup early in the first period for a 1-0 lead.  After that, it became a goaltending duel between Keith Kinkaid and Adirondack’s Cal Heeter.  The Devils had plenty more chances on net, including outshooting the Phantoms 14-5 in the second period alone, but Heeter settled in.  It took an empty net goal from Chris McKelvie with 3.7 seconds left in the game to break up the duel and give the Devils their fifth home win in a row, and evening up the Time Warner Cable Cup series at 3 wins apiece.  Just another solid evening for Kinkaid, as he stopped all 19 Phantom shots to pick up his AHL leading fourth shutout of the season.  Joe Whitney and Mike Sislo had the lone assists.

Lines:

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-Mike Hoeffel

Scott Timmins-Joe Whitney-Artem Demkov

Harri Pesonen-Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo

Riley Boychuk-David Wohlberg-McKelvie

Other lines: Pesonen/Zajac/Demkov; Pesonen/Zajac-Hoeffel; Pelley/McKelvie/Wohlberg (Line Shuffler in overdrive?)

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Brandon Burlon/Raman Hrabarenka

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Harry Young/Kelly; Helgeson/Scarlett

12/28 vs. Portland: 4-1 W

To finish out the 2013 home schedule, the Devils played host to a well rested Pirates team, who had already been in town since Friday after a Thursday night win in Manchester.  A rare scoreless first period lead the way to a huge second for Albany, as they scored three times on Portland goaltender Mark Visentin.  Joe Whitney scored his 11th halfway through the second for a 1-0 lead.  Seth Helgeson followed with a Eric Gelinas-like shot from the blue line 1:35 later for his first to make it 2-0.  Mike Sislo would follow that 3 minutes later with his 9th for a 3-0 lead.  Andy Miele would break up Keith Kinkaid’s bid for a second straight shutout late in the period.  The Pirates would try to show signs of life in the third, outshooting Albany 17-4, but Kinkaid stopped all of them.  Rod Pelley would add an empty netter with 5.6 seconds left to seal the victory, a franchise record sixth in a row on home ice.  Another good outing for Kinkaid, stopping 38 of 39 shots and getting #1 star honors for the second night in a row.  Scott Timmins added two assists and 3 other Devils had one helper each.

Lines:

For the first time in quite awhile, 4 full lines!

Tim Sestito-Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley

Harri Pesonen-Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Artem Demkov

Mike Hoeffel-David Wohlberg-Riley Boychuk

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Brandon Burlon/Raman Hrabarenka

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Extra: Harry Young

12/29 at Bridgeport: 3-2 L (SO)

The first three in three weekend of the season came to an end in Bridgeport, where the Devils were making their third visit in the month of December.  Tim Sestito got the visitors on the board early in the first with his first goal since returning from New Jersey.  Joe Whitney would add his 12th on a power play halfway through the second period to put the Devils up 2-0.  Things fell apart in the third, as the Sound Tigers rallied with a strong third period, outshooting Albany 12-2.  Pierre-Marc Bouchard would break up the shutout just 56 seconds into the period to cut the lead to 2-1.  Joe Diamond would tie the game up with just over 6 minutes to go in regulation.  Albany had to kill off two late power plays just to get the game to overtime.  Only the Sound Tigers managed to get one shot on net during the extra session, and it was on to the shootout.  Mike Sislo and Alan Quine traded goals in round 1, then both teams were kept off the scoresheet for the next five rounds.  Harri Pesonen and Mike Halmo scored in round 7, followed by scores from Reece Scarlett and Matt Donovan in round 8.  Philip-Michael Devos would score in the 9th round, but Chris McKelvie was unable to match him, and Bridgeport finished the comeback by taking the extra point.  Not a bad showing for Scott Wedgewood, who took the loss and stopped 32 of 34 shots, not including a 5 for 9 shootout effort.  Harry Young registered his first point of the season with a first period assist, while three other Devils had helpers.

Lines:

(Note: I was not around for this one,  lines/pairings courtesy of Soundin’ Off.  Back to the 11/7 rotation.)

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Artem Demkov

Harri Pesonen-Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo

Tim Sestito-Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie

David Wohlberg-Mike Hoeffel-

Extra: Riley Boychuk

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Raman Hrabarenka/Brandon Burlon

Harry Young-7th D

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

UPDATED 1/1: Brandon Burlon letting out a little frustration with this one.

My Player of the Week:

Three candidates will split this week.  A very good weekend for the dynamic duo of Joe Whitney and Scott Timmins (3 points each), and another strong two games out of Keith Kinkaid (57 out of 58 shots stopped in 2 games, league leading 4th shutout of the season).

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (12)

Assists: Joe Whitney (20)

Points: Joe Whitney (32)

Plus/Minus: Reece Scarlett (+12)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (56)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (13)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (1.92)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.927)

Elmira Update:

Not a good return from Christmas for the Jackals, as they lost three straight to Reading and Greenville to see their record fall to 9-15-1-2.  Maxime Clermont made one appearance,  a 6-2 home loss to Reading on December 26th.  He now stands at 4-7-0 with a 3.54 GAA and a .889 save percentage.

Notes:

How much will Albany miss December 2013?  Some very good numbers as we close the month:

-The team earned standings points in all but one game, finishing with a 7-1-1-1 record.

-Offensively, an average of 3.60 goals per game.  On the other side, 2.00 goals against.

-Keith Kinkaid lowered his GAA from 2.15 to a league leading 1.92.  He is the only AHL goalie to have a GAA under 2.

With New Jersey finally getting bodies back in the lineup, it’s having a trickle down effect here.  Tim Sestito was the first to be sent down, on Saturday after the NHL holiday roster freeze was lifted.  He appeared in 9 games after being recalled on December 1st, notching two assists.

This Week’s Schedule:

Only two games on tap after the Devils ring in 2014.  A big matchup looms on Friday night at home, as the first place Springfield Falcons come in for the first of three games in a week’s span between the two teams.  Saturday night they travel north on Interstate 87 to Glens Falls to take on the Phantoms.

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Game 31: Albany at Bridgeport

Where: Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, CT.

When: 3:00 PM.

Season Series:

Albany leads 4-1.

Standings:

Albany: 19-8-2-1, 41 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division

Bridgeport: 12-16-1-3, 28 points, 4th place in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Sound Tigers Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Anders Lee, 25 points (12 G, 13 A); Mike Halmo, 23 points (12 G, 11 A); 3 players tied with 14 points

Kenny Reiter, 6-5-2, 3.03 GAA; Anders Nilsson, 5-10-1, 3.16 GAA

Listen: AHL Live

Twitter: @AlbanyDevils, @TheSoundTigers, @fornabaioctp

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Photo Gallery: 12/27-28/13

Harry Young & Scott Wedgewood

Harry Young & Scott Wedgewood

Seth Helgeson & Artem Demkov

Seth Helgeson & Artem Demkov

Reece Scarlett

Reece Scarlett

Corbin McPherson & Mike Sislo

Corbin McPherson & Mike Sislo

Chris McKelvie

Chris McKelvie

Celebrating 6 home wins in a row, a new franchise record!

Celebrating 6 home wins in a row, a new franchise record!

 

 

 

 

 

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Game 30: Albany vs. Portland

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 5:00 PM.

Season Series:

Portland leads 1-0.

Standings:

Portland: 12-10-1-4, 29 points, 4th place in Atlantic Division

Albany: 18-8-2-1, 39 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Pirates Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Andy Miele, 27 points (12 G, 15 A); Chris Brown, 17 points (5 G, 12 A); Brandon Gormley, 14 points (1 G, 13 A)

Louis Domingue, 3-0-1, 2.23 GAA; Mark Visentin, 9-9-2, 2.78 GAA

Listen: AHL Live, WLOB-AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @PortlandPirates

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Game 29: Albany vs. Adirondack

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Adirondack leads 3-2.

Standings:

Adirondack: 14-12-0-2, 30 points, 3rd place in Northeast Division

Albany: 17-8-2-1, 37 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Phantoms Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Jason Akeson, 22 points (6 G, 16 A); Petr Straka, 15 points (5 G, 10 A); Rob Bordson, 14 points (7 G, 7 A)

Cal Heeter, 10-9-0, 2.38 GAA; Yann Danis, 4-3-2, 2.49 GAA; Carsen Chubak, 0-0-0, 1.92 GAA

Listen: AHL Live, WNYQ 101.7 FM

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

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Some Special Holiday Greetings…

Since my December events photo gallery didn’t work out (I ended up taking less photos than planned…and the photos I did take weren’t exactly publish-worthy), I thought I’d bring back a holiday tradition from last season…how other teams around the league are celebrating the Christmas season.  Since you’ll never see it here, of course.

Let’s start with the defending Calder Cup champs out in Grand Rapids.  Sorry, boys, N*Sync you’re not.  Not even close.

Taking a page from their parent club in San Jose, Worcester has a couple of good ones.  First, their rendition of Jingle Bells:

And then Rudolph.  Well, sort of.

The annual Rochester Americans 12 Days of Christmas rendition.  Sigh.  And yes, that is Patrick Roy’s son with the 5 power play goals.

But your winners this year have to be our old friends in Charlotte.  First, a warmup:

And then we have this.  Yes that would be Matt Corrente, former Devil, in the back row joining the chorus:

But at least some of these players could probably do a better job at naming Santa’s reindeer than Cam could.  For those that missed it or just want to enjoy it again here’s the link.

And on that note…“Swiss men don’t sing.”

Merry Christmas (or Happy Festivus) to all!

 

 

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Back to Earth

It’s been a pretty good ride during the month of December for the Devils, as they had yet to lose during the month and had earned standings points in eight straight games.  But with all good things, it had to come to an end at some point, and the streak came to a halt just before Christmas break, with just one of four points earned in two road games.  Recapping a brief two game weekend:

12/21 at Binghamton: 3-2 L (OT)

It was back west to the Southern Tier for the second time in 14 days for a matchup with Binghamton, who had halted a seven game winless streak the night before.  Unlike in recent games, it was the opponent getting off to a fast start.  Mark Stone would score 3:22 in for a 1-0 Senators lead.  Harri Pesonen would tie the game early into the second period.  Mike Hoffman would give Binghamton the lead back on a power play goal, stemming from the second questionable goaltender interference call on Albany in the game (in both cases, a Devil was pushed into the Senators net by a Binghamton player, but the referee would call the penalty).  Pesonen would re-tie the game with just over 6 minutes to go in regulation.  It was off to overtime for the second time in the season series, where just 1:08 in Cole Schneider would score the game winner on Keith Kinkaid, breaking the Devils 6 game win streak.  They did extend their point streak to 9 games by getting to overtime.  A hard luck loss in net for Kinkaid, as he stopped 26 of 29 shots.  Three Devils added assists, including Scott Timmins, who finally returned to the lineup for the first time since November 8th.

Lines:

Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie-Mike Hoeffel

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Artem Demkov

Mike Sislo-Harri Pesonen-Kelly Zajac

McKelvie-David Wohlberg-Riley Boychuk

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Harry Young/Burlon

Also seen: Burlon/Hrabarenka (power play); Kelly/McPherson (penalty kill); Kelly/Scarlett, Helgeson/Burlon

12/22 at Bridgeport: 4-3 L

It was back to Bridgeport for the second matchup in 12 days against the Sound Tigers, a team Albany has pretty much dominated for the season thus far.  Harri Pesonen picked up where he left off the night before, scoring fresh out of the penalty box (after serving an extra two minutes for Joe Whitney) for a 1-0 lead.  Things got quite chippy during the first period, as two fights broke out and even Whitney got in on the action (hence the extra penalty from earlier).  The Sound Tigers controlled play during the second period, outshooting the Devils 12-3 and getting six power play chances.  John Persson would tie the game up with a power play tally.  But during a later kill, Scott Timmins would score his first goal since his return in a shorthanded situation to reclaim a 2-1 lead.  Alan Quine would score on another power play to retie the game.  Then came the killer call…Rod Pelley was served a five minute boarding major late in the second, and Bridgeport would take advantage in the third.  Mike Halmo, the man Pelley boarded to draw the penalty, scored during that five minute stretch to put the Sound Tigers up 3-2.  But Albany wasn’t done quite yet…Mike Hoeffel would score on a rare Devil power play chance to retie the game at 3.  Just as it appeared the two teams were going to overtime and the Devils point streak would be extended to 10, a fluke play happened.  Scott Wedgewood made a save on one shot, but Whitney crashed into him just outside his net, leaving it open for a rebound goal by Dallas Jackson to put the Sound Tigers up 4-3 with 1:33 to go in regulation.  The Devils could not answer and in turn, the point streak ended at 9 games, and Bridgeport won against the Devils for the first time in the 5 game season series.  A tough day in net for Wedgewood, as he stopped 22 of 26 shots.  Three Devils added assists, but the real story of the day was special teams play: Albany’s power play went 1-for-6, but the penalty kill went 8-for-11.  On that note, both teams combined for 81 penalty minutes.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Artem Demkov

Harri Pesonen-Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo

Mike Hoeffel-Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie

Riley Boychuk-David Wohlberg-Sislo

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Raman Hrabarenka

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Harry Young

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Sunday’s game had quite a few bouts to choose from.  For the first time all season, I give you two bouts for the price of one.  First, what happens when you board Chris McKelvie:

For the other, what happens when you chirp and attempt to go after Mike Hoeffel:

My Player of the Week:

When you provide 60 percent of the team’s offense on the weekend, it’s a slam dunk decision.  Harri Pesonen gets the nod this week.  Honorable mentions to Mike Hoeffel and Scott Timmins for the rest.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (10)

Assists: Joe Whitney (19)

Points: Joe Whitney (29)

Plus/Minus: Reece Scarlett (+10)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (52)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (11)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.09)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.919)

Elmira Update:

A tough pre-Christmas week for the Jackals, as they were swept in Cincinnati in a two game set against the Cyclones.  Maxime Clermont drew the start on Friday night, stopping 26 of 31 shots in a 5-0 loss, then sat out on Saturday with the flu.  He is now 4-6-0 with a 3.30 GAA.

Notes:

-With Scott Timmins returning to the lineup on Saturday, Darcy Zajac remains the lone injured Devil.  And it appears he may not return until spring.

-Harry Young sat out on Sunday after getting banged up in Binghamton on Saturday.  He said postgame he was okay (typical hockey player response), so we shall see if he returns this weekend.

-Stefan Matteau has made the final cut for the United States WJC squad, so he will not be back in Albany until after the new year.

This Week’s Schedule:

After three days off for Christmas, the Devils get right back to work with a 3 in 3 weekend to close out 2013.  Friday night they play host to the Phantoms, followed by a visit from Portland on Saturday afternoon.  Then it’s back to Bridgeport for the third time in the month of December for an afternoon tilt against the Sound Tigers.

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