New Years Struggle

As the calendar turned to 2014, the Devils were starting off January with a very important stretch–the first of three matchups in 7 days against the only team ahead of them in the division along with another trip up north to Adirondack.  And it wasn’t the start they wanted, only scoring 3 goals and getting just one out of four possible standings points.  Recapping the weekend, somewhat reluctantly:

1/3 vs. Springfield: 4-3 L (OT)

A big matchup on Friday night at home as the first place Falcons (by six points) came in for the first of two visits over a 4 day span.  And it wouldn’t be easy with a 17 man lineup due to Mike Sislo’s callup and Dan Kelly sitting out due to illness.  Kelly Zajac put Albany on the board early with an unassisted goal, his third of the season.  Jean-Francois Jacques would tie it up 4 and a half minutes later.  No goals across during the second, but things sure got interesting during the third.  Harri Pesonen and Rod Pelley would score 1:08 apart to put the Devils up 3-1.  But before anyone could blink, Jake Hansen would bring the Falcons to within one goal.  Austin Madaisky would tie it up 1:01 later.  It took just 1:31 for Albany to blow a two goal lead.  The game carried over into overtime, where Darryl Boyce would finish off the rally with the game winner 3:13 in for the Falcons.  A hard luck night in net for Keith Kinkaid as he stopped 24 of 28 shots.  Zajac and two other Devils had assists.

Lines:

Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie-Mike Hoeffel

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Artem Demkov

Kelly Zajac-Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen

Riley Boychuk-David Wohlberg-McKelvie

(how everything started before Sestito and Boychuk were forced to leave the game with injury/illness)

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Harry Young/Raman Hrabarenka

Also seen: Young/McPherson, Young/Helgeson

1/4 at Adirondack: 4-0 L

It was back to Glens Falls on Saturday evening for the seventh matchup of the season against the Phantoms.  And apparently the Devils game was left behind or on the Northway somewhere.  Both teams took 9 shots in the first, but it was Bruno Gervais scoring late in the period for a 1-0 lead.  Second period was all Adirondack, as they scored three times.  Kris Newbury scored twice, the second on a power play, then Tye McGinn added a goal late for a staggering 4-0 lead.  The funny part was both teams finished even in shots again, with 13 each.  The Devils tried what they could in the third, but nothing was getting past Phantoms goaltender Cal Heeter, coming off an overtime shutout of Hershey the night before.  And you could say it was revenge after being on the losing end of Keith Kinkaid’s fourth shutout the week before.  It was not a good night for Scott Wedgewood, as he stopped 31 of 35 Phantom shots.  And it wasn’t a good return to the lineup for both Stefan Matteau and Mattias Tedenby, as they (along with Kelly Zajac) finished a -3.  It was also the Devils most lopsided loss of the season.

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins-Artem Demkov

Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau-Mattias Tedenby

Rod Pelley-Harri Pesonen-Chris McKelvie

David Wohlberg-Mike Hoeffel-Demkov

Tedenby and Whitney also paired with Zajac and Timmins

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Raman Hrabarenka

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Harry Young was 7th D–with Hrabarenka or Kelly

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Let’s just say Harry Young will not be going away quietly.  Or, the only good thing to come out of Saturday’s game.

My Player of the Week:

The only player with more than one point this week.  Kelly Zajac takes this one by default.  Honorable mention to Harry Young for at least trying to make things entertaining.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (12)

Assists: Joe Whitney (20)

Points: Joe Whitney (32)

Plus/Minus: Reece Scarlett (+10)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (56)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (13)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.02)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.923)

Elmira Update:

The Jackals finally put to an end a 7 game winless streak (5 losses in regulation, 2 overtime losses) with an overtime win against Wheeling on Saturday, bringing their season record to 10-16-2-2.  Maxime Clermont took a hard luck 2-0 loss in South Carolina on New Years Eve, his 22nd birthday.  His record now stands at 4-8-0 with a 3.42 GAA.

Notes:

See my previous entry for all the roster moving over the last two days (yup, it needed its own entry, there was that much).

As far as injuries: Tim Sestito left the game Friday night due to injury and sat out Saturday’s loss in Adirondack.  No updates on his condition.  And apparently the flu bug is going around, as Dan Kelly sat out Friday night only to return on Saturday, while Riley Boychuk has been battling symptoms and left early on Friday, not playing on Saturday (although he did take warmup).

This Week’s Schedule:

A very important, yet busy week looms for Albany, with four games.  Tuesday night they host the Falcons for the second time in less than a week.  Then it’s due east Friday evening to western Massachusetts for a rematch.  Saturday afternoon the best team in the Eastern Conference, Manchester, makes their only visit of the season (and it’s going to be a loud day with the annual GE Kids In Free event).  Then finally it’s the first of four appearances in Atlantic City on Sunday afternoon as they take on Hershey.

 

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