Dashing Through the Snow…

It may seem like winter outside (11 inches of snow in the Albany area as of this morning), but things are really starting to heat up for the Devils as December rolls on.  Against two divisional opponents this week, they extended their win streak to a franchise record six games, and despite being shorthanded, there seems to be no signs of slowing down.  Recapping another perfect week:

12/10 at Bridgeport: 3-0 W

The week began with a rare morning faceoff in Bridgeport against the Sound Tigers.  And it was clear who answered their alarm and who probably hit the snooze button.  Reece Scarlett did his best Eric Gelinas impression by scoring a power play goal on a laser shot from the blue line for a 1-0 lead late in the first period.  Second period the visitors took over, outshooting their hosts 13-6 and scoring twice.  Joe Whitney scored his ninth halfway through the period, followed by Raman Hrabarenka’s second on a late power play chance for a 3-0 lead.  And Keith Kinkaid took care of the rest, stopping all 22 Sound Tigers shots in picking up his league leading third shutout of the season.  Whitney also added two helpers, while 4 Devils had one assist each.  But the real story of the day was the attendance: due to most of Southern Connecticut’s school districts closing due to a snowstorm that never really hit the area, what was supposed to be a near sellout of 7800 for Bridgeport’s Cool Fun 101 program turned into a small intimate gathering of about 400 (and that’s being generous, by the way) people.

Lines:

Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie-Mike Hoeffel

Artem Demkov-Stefan Matteau-Joe Whitney

Harri Pesonen-Kelly Zajac-Mike Sislo

Riley Boychuk-David Wohlberg-McKelvie

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Also paired: Harry Young/Hrabarenka, Helgeson/Hrabarenka

12/13 vs. Bridgeport: 6-1 W

It was back to the Capital Region on Friday night for the second matchup of the week against Bridgeport.  And it didn’t take long for the Devils to get things going yet again.  Mike Hoeffel would score on a power play less than 5 minutes in for a 1-0 lead (one assist to…Mattias Tedenby.  It’s the Teddy Effect!).  Mike Halmo would score on a 5 on 3 later in the period to tie things up (call that the Koharski effect, as Jamie had the whistle going early and often during a stretch of the first), but Chris McKelvie would score shorthanded 32 seconds later to put the Devils back up 2-1.  After a scoreless second period, the Devils exploded in the third, putting the game away with four unanswered goals.  Tedenby would score his first of the season 4 minutes in for a 3-1 lead.  42 seconds later, while on a power play, Artem Demkov was awarded a penalty shot, and he would indeed connect to go up 4-1.  Tedenby and Joe Whitney would then score power play goals just 13 seconds apart to go up 6-1, and extend the win streak to 5 games.  A relatively easy night in net for Keith Kinkaid, as he stopped 23 of 24 shots in picking up his 11th win of the season.  Raman Hrabarenka and Mike Sislo added two assists each.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Stefan Matteau-Artem Demkov

Mike Sislo-Mattias Tedenby-Kelly Zajac

Chris McKelvie-Mike Hoeffel-Rod Pelley

David Wohlberg-Matteau-Harri Pesonen

Also seen: Sislo-Whitney-Demkov; McKelvie-Matteau-Pelley

Extra: Riley Boychuk

Defense Pairings:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Also paired: Burlon/Hrabarenka, Harry Young/McPherson, Helgeson/McPherson, Kelly/Scarlett

12/14 vs. Hartford: 5-2 W

The weekend finished with a visit from another Connecticut based team, this time it was Hartford making the trip in.  Different team, but same strong start by the home team in the first period.  Mattias Tedenby (who originally was given an assist, goal was by Seth Helgeson) scored his third goal in two games less than 5 minutes in for a 1-0 lead.  Artem Demkov and David Wohlberg would follow with goals under a minute apart for a 3-0 lead…and an early exit for Hartford goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris.  Second period Hartford would get back in the game a little, outshooting the Devils 13-7 and getting a power play goal to cut the lead to 3-1.  But again the Devils would come up big in the third, and they almost had to after J.T. Miller would bring the Wolfpack to within 1 goal.  Brandon Burlon would score an important insurance goal shortly after Miller’s to put Albany up 4-2.  Then four straight penalty calls on the Wolfpack (including a double minor on Stu Bickel) would give the Devils an extended man advantage.  Raman Hrabarenka would get a power play tally just after the last of the penalties was called to put Albany up 5-2.  Scott Wedgewood saw his first action since November 30th and played well, stopping 26 of 28 shots and picking up his 6th win of the season.  Harri Pesonen contributed two assists, while 5 other Devils had an assist each.

Lines:

Chris McKelvie-Mike Hoeffel-Rod Pelley

Kelly Zajac-Mattias Tedenby-Mike Sislo

David Wohlberg-Riley Boychuk-Harri Pesonen

Artem Demkov-Stefan Matteau-Joe Whitney

Defense Pairings:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Extra: Harry Young

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

It’s not a school day game unless there’s a fight on the playground, so to speak…

My Player of the Week:

These guys are making it hard for me to pick just one, but I think I’ll go with Mattias Tedenby.  Coming in having not seen any game action since late November with New Jersey, he stepped in on a line with Kelly Zajac and Mike Sislo and produced, with two goals and an assist on Friday and adding another goal on Saturday.  Are we sure he has to go back up?

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (10)

Assists: Joe Whitney (18)

Points: Joe Whitney (28)

Plus/Minus: Reece Scarlett (+11)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (48)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (11)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.03)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.921)

Elmira Update:

A better week for the Jackals, as they went 2-1 with wins against Fort Wayne and Wheeling, and a one goal home loss to Florida.  Maxime Clermont started all three games and played well, including a career high 44 saves on Thursday night in Wheeling.  He improved to 3-5-0-1 on the season.

Notes:

-As noted earlier, Mattias Tedenby was assigned via a conditioning loan on Friday.  But per the Times Union, it appears his visit will be a short one.

-Artem Demkov was officially signed to a SPC on Friday.  He has stepped in and contributed quite nicely since his recall from Elmira on December 4th.

-Stefan Matteau was reassigned to the US National Junior team after Saturday’s game.  He is off to training camp in Minnesota as the US prepares for the World Junior Championships, beginning December 26th in Malmo, Sweden.  If he makes the cut, he may not be back in Albany till after the new year.

This Week’s Schedule:

A short week before the Devils go on break for Christmas.  After the annual Holiday Party with the Booster Club on Tuesday (and my December events photo gallery will be up before the end of this week, by the way), they hit the road for two games.  Saturday night it’s back to Binghamton for the second time in 2 weeks to take on the Senators.  Then it’s south to Bridgeport on Sunday afternoon for the second time in 12 days against the Sound Tigers.

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