Photo Gallery: 2/21-23/14

Adam Larsson
Adam Larsson
Keith Kinkaid
Keith Kinkaid
Rod Pelley & Mike Hoeffel
Rod Pelley & Mike Hoeffel
Scott Wedgewood
Scott Wedgewood
Reece Scarlett
Reece Scarlett
Scott Timmins
Scott Timmins
Reid Boucher
Reid Boucher

 

 

 

 

 

 

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February Sweeps

Three games.  Three days.  Three wins.  Not a bad weekend for the Devils, who went from being just outside the playoff picture to being in the middle of it.  But after Sunday’s events, it could be a very interesting week in the organization as New Jersey gets back to work after the Olympic Break.

Tuesday: With Keith Kinkaid returning to practice, Johan Hedberg was released from his PTO after filling in for the weekend and even getting in some game action on Sunday.

Wednesday: Jon Merrill was recalled to New Jersey after not even making one appearance during his 9 day stay on the roster.  In fact, I don’t even recall seeing any uniform number assigned to him while he was here (his #5 was taken over by Adam Larsson and Reece Scarlett wears his New Jersey #34).

2/21 at Adirondack: 4-2 W

It was back north to Glens Falls for a rematch from last weekend with the Phantoms, who were quite shorthanded after their end of game brawl against Portland on Sunday.  And the visitors came in and took advantage.  Despite only 3 shots in the first period, it was Albany with the 1-0 lead on a Stefan Matteau goal.  Kyle Flanagan would tie the game at 1 just 30 seconds into the second period on a fluke bounce that Keith Kinkaid never saw coming.  But the Devils would take control after that, via the special teams route.  While in the midst of killing off a Matteau double minor, Mike Sislo broke away and scored a beautiful shorthanded goal for a 2-1 lead.  Rod Pelley would also score shorthanded late in the period for a 3-1 lead.  Sislo would score his second early in the third for a 4-1 advantage.  The Phantoms would get to within 4-2, but Kinkaid and the Devils would shut it down from there, getting two very important points that put them back in the playoff hunt.  Kinkaid played stellar in his return to the lineup, stopping 30 of 32 shots.  Adam Larsson added two assists and finished a +2.

Lines:

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Joe Whitney-Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau

Reid Boucher-Scott Timmins-Mattias Tedenby

Mike Hoeffel-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras (all injured): Chris McKelvie, Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Eric Gelinas/Alexander Urbom

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Extras: Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, Reece Scarlett

2/22 vs. Norfolk: 4-1 W

It was back on home ice Saturday afternoon as the Devils played host to the Admirals in a crucial game for both teams; they were tied for 8th place in the Eastern Conference with a chance to move up the list on the line.  Much like the night before, Stefan Matteau kicked off the scoring on the Devils’ first shot of the game, going up 1-0 4 and a half minutes in.  Norm Ezekiel would tie the game at 1 late in the period.  Second period Albany took over, scoring twice and outshooting the Admirals 15-6.  Mike Sislo would score his third goal in two days on a power play to break the tie, then Reid Boucher added his 13th less than 4 minutes later for a 2 goal cushion.  Norfolk tried to make a comeback in the third, but Keith Kinkaid was up to the challenge, stopping all 9 3rd period shots.  Kelly Zajac added an empty netter late to seal the Devils second straight win.  Kinkaid finished with 25 saves on 26 shots in another stellar performance.  Four Devils added assists.

Lines:

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Kelly Zajac-Stefan Matteau-Joe Whitney

Reid Boucher-Scott timmins-Mattias Tedenby

Mike Hoeffel-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras: Chris McKelvie, Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Corbin McPherson

Eric Gelinas/Alexander Urbom

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Extras: Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, Reece Scarlett

Sunday: Just as the first period was getting underway, Elmira announced that goaltender Maxime Clermont, just off the injured list, had been recalled to Albany.  Here’s the fun part: Nobody knew the transaction took place, not even the coaching staff.  Keith Kinkaid and Scott Wedgewood are both fine, so the only other possibility is something is going on in New Jersey.  Stay tuned as this unfolds.

2/23 vs. Utica: 2-1 W

To close out the weekend and the month of February, the Devils played host to the Comets, who were on a streak of their own after wins in Syracuse and Binghamton.  After a scoreless first period, Albany would get on the board in the second.  Mike Sislo tipped in a Reece Scarlett shot from the blue line for his 4th goal of the weekend to put the Devils up 1-0.  Reid Boucher would add a power play goal less than 2 minutes later for a 2-0 advantage.  Jeremy Welsh would cut the deficit in half for the Comets with 5 minutes to go in the second period.  Things would get interesting in the third when Tim Sestito was called for a late penalty with less than a minute to go in regulation.  But the Devils managed to kill off the 6 on 4 chance (empty net as well) to hold on for the win, their first on a Sunday all season and a clean sweep of the weekend.  Scott Wedgewood drew the start and didn’t have to do a whole lot, stopping 15 of 16 shots.  Scarlett and Scott Timmins each had an assist.

Lines:

Tim Sestito-Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo

Joe Whitney-Stefan Matteau-Kelly Zajac

Scott Timmins-Mattias Tedenby-Reid Boucher

Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg-Mike Hoeffel

Extras: Cam Janssen, Chris McKelvie, Darcy Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Corbin McPherson/Seth Helgeson

Raman Hrabarenka/Alexander Urbom

Extras: Brandon Burlon, Eric Gelinas, Adam Larsson

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

UPDATED 2/24: One scrap this week, and it was a quick one:

My Player of the Week:

A pretty easy choice this week…have to give it to Mike Sislo.  Goals in all 3 games (2 in Friday’s win), increasing his season total to a career high 17.  Honorable mention goes to the penalty kill, going a perfect 16 for 16 and even scoring shorthanded twice.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (19)

Assists: Joe Whitney (24)

Points: Joe Whitney (43)

Plus/Minus: Scott Timmins/Corbin McPherson (+10)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (78)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (20)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.24)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.917)

Elmira Update:

The Jackals had a 3 in 3 weekend of their own, all on home ice and all against Wheeling.  They took the first game on Friday evening before dropping both Saturday and Sunday’s games to the Nailers, putting their record at 20-25-2-4.  Harry Young was rather busy on Saturday and Sunday, racking up 12 penalty minutes.  Maxime Clermont backed up on Friday and Saturday but did not see any action.  Riley Boychuk sat out all three games.

Injury Report:

Alexander Urbom returned to the lineup Friday after sitting out last weekend due to illness.  That just leaves three forwards out: Chris McKelvie (lower body), Darcy Zajac and Cam Janssen.  Janssen seems to be the closest of the three to returning.

This Week’s Schedule:

A quick two game weekend to begin the month of March.  Saturday afternoon the Devils travel to Atlantic City to “host” Wilkes-Barre.  Then it’s off to Providence on Sunday afternoon for their first matchup of the season against the Bruins.

Also on Sunday: I’ll be coming back to New Jersey for the San Jose game!

And starting with Saturday’s pregamer: the return of Conference Standings.  Yup, it’s getting to be that time of year already!

Game 54: Albany vs. Utica

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 3:00 PM.

Season Series:

Albany leads 3-0.

Standings:

Utica: 22-23-3-4, 51 points, 3rd place in North Division

Albany: 28-17-3-5, 64 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Comets Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Pascal Pelletier, 42 points (10 G, 32 A); Benn Ferriero, 37 points (17 G, 20 A); Alexandre Grenier, 32 points (15 G, 17 A)

Joacim Eriksson, 16-15-2, 2.55 GAA; Joe Cannata, 6-10-1, 3.14 GAA

Listen: AHL Live, K-ROCK 94.9 FM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @UticaComets, @CometsInGame

Game 53: Albany vs. Norfolk

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 5:00 PM.

Season Series:

Norfolk leads 2-1.

Standings:

Norfolk: 27-16-1-7, 62 points, tied for 3rd place in East Division

Albany: 27-17-3-5, 62 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Admirals Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Emerson Etem, 33 points (12 G, 21 A); Rickard Rakell, 32 points (11 G, 21 A); Devante Smith-Pelly, 31 points (20 G, 11 A)

Brad Thiessen, 2-2-2, 2.08 GAA; John Gibson, 17-11-4, 2.27 GAA

Listen: AHL Live, WXTG 1490 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @NorfolkAdmirals, @AdsGameUpdates

Game 52: Albany at Adirondack

Where: Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series:

Tied at 5.

Standings:

Albany: 26-17-3-5, 60 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division

Adirondack: 22-25-0-3, 47 points, 4th place in Northeast Division

Media Kit

Phantoms Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Jason Akeson, 47 points (18 G, 29 A); Kris Newbury, 33 points (13 G, 20 A); Tye McGinn, 25 points (14 G, 11 A)

Cal Heeter, 15-19-0, 2.48 GAA; Yann Danis, 6-6-3, 2.57 GAA

Listen: AHL Live, WNYQ 101.7 FM

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

All Over The Map

How to describe the Devils this weekend: blowing a lead and taking a point in their second home, followed by a dominating performance on real home ice, then getting blown out the following afternoon?  The late season habits of the past are creeping in, and it’s resulting in being on the outside looking in yet again.  Recapping a 1-1-0-1 weekend:

2/14 vs. Hershey: 3-2 L (SO)

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than taking the second trip of the season to Atlantic City to take on the suddenly resurgent Bears?  Albany thought they had a goal early on, but the referee waved it off.  But Reid Boucher would make sure the next goal counted, scoring his 12th just 8 seconds into a power play for a 1-0 lead.  Matt Watkins would tie the game for the visitors just before time expired in the first.  Stefan Matteau would score his 9th late in the second period to put the Devils up 2-1 and in seemingly good position to hold on for the win.  Well, not so fast.  Michael Latta would retie the game halfway through the third period.  Despite a late flurry of shots by Albany as regulation was coming to an end, nothing across.  It was on to overtime where neither team could get anything across (Albany did outshoot Hershey 3-1).  On to the dreaded shootout, where Albany fell behind early when Mike Sislo, Mattias Tedenby and Boucher could not score.  Scott Wedgewood gave up goals in rounds 1 and 2, but stopped Ryan Potulny and Dustin Gazley to keep the Devils in it.  Matteau would connect in the fourth round, but Scott Timmins could not extend the bonus round any further, and the Bears gained the extra point.  A very good night for Wedgewood otherwise in net, as he stopped 20 of 22 shots in 65 minutes.  Timmins added two assists, while two other Devils had one assist each.

Lines:

Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo-Tim Sestito

Mike Hoeffel-Stefan Matteau-Scott Timmins

Mattias Tedenby-Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-David Wohlberg

Extras: Joe Whitney (travel), Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Corbin McPherson/Seth Helgeson

Brandon Burlon/Reece Scarlett

Extras: Alexander Urbom, Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Gelinas (cannot play due to Olympic rules), Jon Merrill

2/15 vs. Adirondack: 4-1 W

Finally, back on real home ice for the first time since the end of January, the Devils played host to the Phantoms for the last time this season.  Adirondack would score just two minutes into the game, while the Devils were in midst of a line change.  But Tim Sestito would quickly tie the game up just over two and a half minutes later.  Second period the Devils would take over the game and not look back.  Rod Pelley broke the tie with his 10th of the season, then Mattias Tedenby would add an insurance goal just over two minutes later.  Joe Whitney would add the exclamation point with 1:58 remaining, just as Phantoms goaltender Yann Danis was exiting the net for a sixth attacker and just couldn’t get back in time.  A very strong performance from Scott Wedgewood, who didn’t have much to stop all afternoon, only having to stop 15 of 16 shots in picking up his 8th win of the season.  Four different Devils each added an assist.

Lines:

Stefan Matteau-Joe Whitney-Scott Timmins

Harri Pesonen-Mike Sislo-Tim Sestito

Mattias Tedenby-Kelly Zajac-Reid Boucher

Mike Hoeffel-David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley

Extras: Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac, Chris McKelvie

Defense Pairings:

Dan Kelly/Adam Larsson

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extras: Raman Hrabarenka, Alexander Urbom, Eric Gelinas, Jon Merrill

2/16 at Bridgeport: 7-3 L

The Devils finished the weekend with their last trip of the season to Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers.  In a bit of a surprise, Scott Wedgewood drew the start for the third straight day.  And…it didn’t go so well.  Former River Rat Matt Pistilli and Aaron Ness would score 54 seconds apart for a 2-0 Sound Tigers lead.  Ryan Strome would make it a 3-0 lead with under 7 minutes to go in the period.  Raman Hrabarenka, in his first appearance since January 26th, scored his second of the season to get the Devils on the board.  It didn’t get much better for Wedgewood in the second period, as Johan Sundstrom and Andrew Clark would score 16 seconds apart to put Bridgeport up 5-1.  That was when Johan Hedberg would step in and take over in the net for his first game action since April with New Jersey.  And he stopped the bleeding, going 6 for 6 for the remainder of the second.  Joe Whitney would add his 19th goal to get back to within 3.  But the Sound Tigers were not finished going into the third, as Anders Lee would score to put Bridgeport up 6-2.  Less than 3 minutes later, while on a Albany power play, Scooter Vaughan would add a shorthanded goal to make it 7-2.  Hrabarenka would then score his second of the day while still on the power play 14 seconds later to make it a real football score, 7-3.  After a promising start to his weekend, Wedgewood couldn’t keep it up today, stopping just 6 of 11 shots before getting the hook after 22:19.  For someone who hasn’t played in 9 months, Moose did pretty well, stopping 11 of 13.  Three Devils had assists, and Brandon Burlon was the only defenseman to not have a negative plus/minus rating (he finished a +1; Dan Kelly and Adam Larsson were both -4).

Lines:

Stefan Matteau-Scott Timmins-Joe Whitney

Reid Boucher-Kelly Zajac-Mattias Tedenby

Harri Pesonen-Tim Sestito-Mike Sislo

David Wohlberg-Rod Pelley-Mike Hoeffel

Extras: Cam Janssen, Darcy Zajac, Chris McKelvie

Defense Pairings:

Adam Larsson/Dan Kelly

Seth Helgeson/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Raman Hrabarenka

Extras: Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas, Alexander Urbom, Corbin McPherson

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Stay tuned to this space, as I am waiting on video for the one fight of the weekend.

My Player of the Week:

Got to give it to Joe Whitney this week.  Representing Albany at the AHL All Star Classic well (2 assists in the win over Farjestad), then having an epic time in returning to the States in time for the season to resume, and getting two goals and an assist in two games upon his return.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Joe Whitney (19)

Assists: Joe Whitney (22)

Points: Joe Whitney (41)

+/-: Scott Timmins/Corbin McPherson (+9)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (74)

Wins: Keith Kinkaid (18)

GAA: Keith Kinkaid (2.30)

Save Percentage: Keith Kinkaid (.914)

Elmira Update:

The Jackals went 1-1-0-1 on the week, moving their record to 19-23-2-4.  Artem Demkov was the only Devil prospect to get on the board, scoring on Saturday in a shootout loss to Wheeling.

Notes:

A few to add to the walking wounded: Chris McKelvie (lower body) sat out Saturday and Sunday.  Cam Janssen missed the weekend with a mystery injury.  Alexander Urbom has the flu but was in the building on Saturday, he too sat out the weekend.  Darcy Zajac, as mentioned earlier this week, is back skating, but no timetable for his return.

This Week’s Schedule:

Another 3 in 3 weekend, but this schedule is a little easier than the week before.  Friday night Albany travels to Adirondack for a rematch against the Phantoms.  Saturday afternoon they host Norfolk (and it’s Darcy Zajac Bobblehead Day…I think he beat Travis in that category!), followed by a visit from Utica on Sunday afternoon.