Week 13 Primer

Devils Quick Hits:

-Albany begins the week at 14-10-2-4, good for 34 points and a tie for 4th place in the Northeast Division (and 7th in the Eastern Conference).

-On Monday, forwards Joe Whitney and Stefan Matteau were recalled to New Jersey.  Matteau sat out as the extra forward, while Whitney made his second NHL appearance on the fourth (!?!) line with Tim Sestito and Jordin Tootoo.

-Tuesday morning Mike Sislo was recalled yet again to New Jersey after both Stephen Gionta and Jacob Josefson were placed on IR.

12/30, Game #31 vs. Providence

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 1-0.

Standings:

Providence: 15-13-3-0, 33 points, tied for 2nd place in Atlantic Division

Bruins Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Alexander Khokhlachev, 25 points (7 G, 18 A); Ryan Spooner, 13 points (3 G, 10 A); Justin Florek, 12 points (5 G, 7 A)

Jeremy Smith, 9-5-2, 2.22 GAA; Malcolm Subban, 6-7-1, 2.71 GAA

Notes:

-Providence is missing 4 of their top 6 leading scorers: rookie David Pastrnak, who is representing the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships, and three others are on recall to Boston.

-The Bruins are at the end of a 5 game road swing, and the trip has not been kind, only having one overtime win over Portland.  They traveled to Manchester twice in 7 days and only snagged an overtime loss point, with a shutout loss to Bridgeport in between.

Listen: AHL Live

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @AHLBruins

1/2, Game #32 vs. Syracuse

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Syracuse leads 3-0.

Standings:

Syracuse: 20-8-4-0, 44 points, 2nd place in Northeast Division

Crunch Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Jonathan Marchessault, 28 points (8 G, 20 A); Yanni Gourde, 26 points (13 G, 13 A); Tanner Richard, 19 points (5 G, 14 A)

Andrei Vasilevskiy, 9-3-4, 2.34 GAA; Kristers Gudlevskis, 11-5-0, 2.72 GAA

Notes:

-The Crunch’s 10 game winning streak finally came to an end on Saturday, with a regulation loss to Worcester on home ice.  They dropped an overtime decision to division leader Springfield on Sunday afternoon.

-Sunday also marked the beginning of a 5 game road trip for the Crunch.  They visit Rochester on Wednesday afternoon before coming to the Capital Region.

-After three matchups in a 13 day span, the two teams will not see each other again until February 20th in Syracuse.

Listen: AHL Live, ESPN Radio Syracuse

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @SyracuseCrunch

1/3 & 1/4, Game #33 and #34 at Bridgeport

Where: Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, CT.

When: 7:00 PM Saturday, 3:00 PM Sunday.

Season Series: Bridgeport leads 4-2.

Standings:

Bridgeport: 15-11-3-1, 34 points, tied for 4th place in Northeast Division

Sound Tigers Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Harry Zolnierczyk, 27 points (10 G, 17 A); 2 tied with 25 points

Kevin Poulin, 10-6-4, 2.41 GAA; David Leggio, 5-5-0, 3.11 GAA

Notes:

-The Sound Tigers swept the weekend, not giving up a single goal to Providence or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-Bridgeport travels to Worcester on Tuesday and Providence on Friday before welcoming Albany in for the weekend.

-The series is the first matchups between the teams since a 5-2 Devils win on November 23rd in Albany.  This after the Devils saw Bridgeport 6 times in their first 17 games.

Listen: AHL Live

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheSoundTigers, @fornabaioctp

 

Advertisements

Week 12 Recap: Working Overtime

Back to work after Christmas for the Devils, and it was a daunting task…taking on the top two teams in the division, along with dealing with the turmoil up top and the possibility of more callups, not to mention the mumps epidemic showing up.  But they persevered, taking three out of four points in two fought out thrillers.

12/26 at Syracuse: 3-2 L (OT)

While New Jersey was cleaning house behind the bench, Albany was off to Onondaga County for the second time in 6 days for a rematch with the Crunch, who were looking to extend their winning streak to double digits.  First period had no scoring, but a renewal of physical play from Saturday’s matchup, as both teams combined for 22 penalty minutes.  Second period saw more scrums…and both teams exchanging goals, as Brandon Burlon gave the visitors a 1-0 advantage just under 5 minutes into the period.  After a missed penalty shot by teammate Nikita Nesterov just a minute and a half earlier, Mike Blunden would tie it up with 7 minutes to go.  Reid Boucher continued his hot streak early in the third period with his 8th (also his 5th straight game with at least one point) to put Albany ahead 2-1.  With the way the team and Scott Wedgewood was playing, the Crunch winning streak was in danger of coming to a halt at 9 games.  But…an unlikely hero emerged, as former River Rat Joey Mormina would tie the game at 2 with just 1:27 remaining in regulation.  Albany had a chance of ending things with a 4 on 3 power play to start overtime, but no such luck.  After another scrum, the teams would go to 3 on 3 early during the extra session…and Vladimir Namestnikov would be the hero, getting the game winner with just under 3 minutes to go to extend the Crunch winning streak to 10…and the overtime woes continue for Albany.  Wedgewood played outstanding despite the loss, stopping 34 of 37 shots.  Joe Whitney contributed two assists and Joe Faust had his second career point assisting Boucher’s goal.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Tim Sestito-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-Graham Black-Stefan Matteau

Darcy Zajac-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

David Wohlberg-Ben Johnson-Alexandre Carrier

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Chris McKelvie, Scott Timmins, Mike Sislo, Cam Janssen

Defense:

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Dan Kelly/Joe Faust

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Baier, Mike Keenan

Saturday: After the reveal of the three headed coaching monster behind New Jersey’s bench, Tim Sestito was recalled yet again, and he skated on the fourth line at MSG with Jordin Tootoo and Stephen Gionta in a 3-1 loss to the Rangers.

And the reason for Maxime Clermont’s mysterious recall was also answered: Scott Clemmensen became the fifth Devil to fall victim to the mumps.  Let us pray that no one else on the current roster here is next in line.

12/27 vs. Springfield: 4-3 W (OT)

For the first time in 20 days, Albany was finally back on Times Union Center ice, playing host to the Falcons for just the second time this season.  After a relatively uneventful first period that saw both teams stay off the scoresheet, the Devils got on the board in a big way in the second.  David Wohlberg (on a nice breakaway shot) and Graham Black would score 32 seconds apart for a 2-0 lead.  But the visitors would tie on two straight power play opportunities over a 3 minute span from Josh Anderson and Frederic St. Denis (doing his best Gelinas impression).  Reid Boucher extended his scoring streak with a power play goal of his own to put Albany back up by one.  Then the penalty kill let the team down again, as Ryan Craig would tie it up at 3 with 12 minutes to go in regulation.  It was on to overtime for the second straight night, and things ended in a hurry…Joe Whitney would score the game winner just 34 seconds in for the win, the second OT win for the Devils in 13 days after going almost 3 years without one.  Another strong performance in net by Scott Wedgewood, as he stopped 22 of 25 shots in picking up his 5th win.  Whitney had two more assists, while Reece Scarlett and Brandon Burlon each had helpers.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Graham Black-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-Rod Pelley-Stefan Matteau

Chris McKelvie-Darcy Zajac-Alexandre Carrier

Cam Janssen-David Wohlberg-Ben Thomson

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Scott Timmins, Mike Sislo, Ben Johnson

Defense:

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burl0n/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Eric Baier

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Joe Faust, Mike Keenan

Pop Quiz: If Maxime Clermont gets a start in net during his recall, he will be the 5th goaltender to make an appearance.  Which Albany AHL team saw the most goaltenders see action during one season?  The answer upcoming.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

After Mark Fraser raised the roof last Saturday night, this was pretty much expected.

My Player of the Week:

Four assists and the game winning overtime goal on Saturday?  A very good two days for Joe Whitney.  Honorable mention to Reid Boucher for his continued hot streak.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (13)

Assists: Joe Whitney (17)

Points: Joe Whitney (28)

+/-: Paul Thompson (+11)

Penalty Minutes: Darcy Zajac (63)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Scott Clemmensen (2.28)

Save Percentage: Scott Clemmensen (.916)

ECHL Update:

Myles Bell (Evansville): 23 GP, 8 G, 7 A, 15 Pts, 9 PIM

Injury Report:

Chris McKelvie and Cam Janssen rejoined the lineup on Saturday.  Kelly Zajac is practicing and close to returning, while Raman Hrabarenka and Scott Timmins remain out.  Mike Sislo missed the week due to illness, fingers crossed it’s not the M word.

This Week’s Schedule:

A very busy schedule this week to close out 2014 and ring in 2015.  Tuesday night Providence makes their only visit to the Capital Region.  Then Syracuse comes calling again on Friday, but this time on home ice.  Then it’s off to Bridgeport for matchups on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon against the Sound Tigers, the last visit to southern Connecticut for the regular season.

Pop Quiz Answer: A whopping 7 different goaltenders appeared in at least 1 game in the River Rats inaugural 1993-94 season: Corey Schwab (51 games), Peter Sidorkiewicz (15), Mike Dunham (5), Matt DelGuidice (5), Chad Erickson (4), Mark Gowans (1), and Brian Langlot (1).  Tied for second place are the 1995-96 River Rats (Dunham, Sidorkiewicz, Schwab, DelGuidice, Andre Racicot, Mike Heinke) and the 2005-06 Rats (Frank Doyle, Ari Ahonen, Gregg Naumenko, Scott Clemmensen, Josh Disher, Chris Terreri) with 6 each.

Week 12 Primer

Devils Quick Hits:

-Albany returns from the Christmas break with a record of 13-10-1-4, good for 31 points and 4th place in the Northeast Division (8th in the Eastern Conference).

-A lot of Thruway travel for Tim Sestito this week.  He and Mike Sislo returned to the Albany roster on Sunday after both appeared in Saturday’s loss to the Capitals.  But Sestito was right back in New Jersey on Monday, and in the lineup for the Devils’ shootout loss to Carolina on Tuesday.  He was then reassigned to Albany on Wednesday.  So we’ll see if he’s still around this weekend or if he ends up in New York on Saturday when New Jersey travels to MSG to take on the Rangers.

-Per the AHL transactions, Maxime Clermont has been recalled from Orlando.  Stay tuned as to who he will be sitting in for.

12/26, Game #29 at Syracuse

Where: Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter, Syracuse, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Syracuse leads 2-0.

Standings:

Syracuse: 19-7-3-0, 41 points, tied for 1st place in Northeast Division

Crunch Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

2 tied with 24 points

Andrei Vasilevskiy, 8-3-3, 2.34 GAA; Kristers Gudlevskis, 11-4-0, 2.69 GAA

Notes:

-The Crunch are looking to build on a 9 game winning streak, the longest since becoming Tampa Bay’s affiliate after the 2011-12 season.

-The Lightning returned goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to the Crunch on Wednesday, after earning his second NHL win against Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

Listen: AHL Live, ESPN Radio Syracuse

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @SyracuseCrunch, @syrhockey, @Allovimo

12/27, Game #30 vs. Springfield

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 1-0.

Standings:

Springfield: 20-9-1-0, 41 points, tied for 1st place in Northeast Division

Falcons Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Austin Madaisky, 25 points (9 G, 16 A); Luke Adam, 22 points (9 G, 13 A combined w/RCH); 2 with 19 points

Anton Forsberg, 13-3-0, 1.81 GAA; Oscar Dansk, 4-3-1, 3.62 GAA

Notes:

-The Falcons begin the week with a modest two game winning streak after sweeping the weekend with wins in Binghamton and Hershey.  They will travel to Hartford on Friday before coming to the Capital Region on Saturday.

-For the first Capital Region home game since December 7th, it’s a holiday special: $10 tickets (box office only) and the first 1500 get a free helmet bank.

Listen: AHL Live, WHYN 560 AM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL, @KatyLovesHockey

Week 11 Recap: Pre Holiday Split

A quick two game road trip for the Devils before heading out for the Christmas break, against one team decimated by callups, the other on a winning streak.  2 out of 4 points in two very close games, including a conditioning stint cameo and a possible rivalry returning to the surface resulted.

12/19 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: 4-2 W

The trip began Friday night in northeast Pennsylvania, as Albany made its first of two visits this season to Wilkes-Barre Township to take on the Penguins, who were missing a chunk of the regular roster due to illness and injury ravaging the parent club in Pittsburgh.  Reid Boucher got the visitors on the board midway through the first on a power play goal, his 6th of the season.  Mike Sislo, in his first appearance since returning to Albany on Monday, scored on another power play midway through the second to double the lead.  The Pens would finally get on the board just as the third period began, as Conor Sheary would score on a power play to cut the lead in half.  Brandon Burlon would score on yet another power play with just over 3 minutes to go in the game, and that goal would prove to be very important.  Derrick Pouliot would bring the Pens back to within one just 15 seconds later.  But Paul Thompson would score into an empty net with 6 seconds remaining to seal the win, just the third time in franchise history a Devils team won in Wilkes-Barre.  On the same night Keith Kinkaid would finally get his first NHL win in New Jersey, Scott Clemmensen drew the start and picked up his second win, stopping 19 of 21 Penguin shots.  Adam Larsson, in his one game conditioning cameo appearance, got two assists and played in all situations.  Burlon and three other Devils each had helpers.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Paul Thompson-Graham Black

Reid Boucher-Rod Pelley-Mike Sislo

Stefan Matteau-Ben Thomson-Darcy Zajac

David Wohlberg-Ben Johnson-Alexandre Carrier

Extra: Chris McKelvie, Scott Timmins, Kelly Zajac, Cam Janssen

Defense:

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Adam Larsson/Dan Kelly

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Joe Faust, Eric Baier, Mike Keenan

Saturday: As expected, Adam Larsson was recalled to New Jersey after his one game cameo appearance in Wilkes-Barre.  But he wasn’t going up alone…Mike Sislo joined him after Mike Cammalleri was placed on injured reserve.  Larsson was unceremoniously scratched for Saturday’s home loss to Washington, while Sislo played on the third line with Martin Havlat and Adam Henrique.

12/20 at Syracuse: 3-2 L

To finish off the weekend, the Devils traveled roughly 3 hours north on Interstate 81 (from someone who did this drive last season…it feels much longer than that) to Syracuse for the first of 4 visits this season to the War Memorial to take on a very hot Crunch team.  Syracuse had won their last 8 in a row coming in.  And it showed during the first period, as former River Rat Mike Angelidis (on a power play) and Mike Blunden scored nearly five minutes apart for a 2-0 advantage.  Reid Boucher would cut the lead in half with his second power play goal of the weekend and his 7th of the season 7:32 into the second period.  Forty seconds later…it felt like the old River Rats-Crunch rivalry was making a comeback, and former Devil Matt Corrente was in the middle of it all, taking on Alexandre Carrier and saluting the crowd as he skated to the box.  In that ensuing scrum, Brandon Burlon was called for a four minute double minor for spearing.  And the Crunch took advantage, taking a 3-1 lead on a Vladimir Namestnikov goal.  Not long after that goal, a second fight broke out between Mark Fraser and J.P. Cote, and it literally made Fraser raise the roof.  Things finally settled down during the third, when only one penalty was called, and the Devils tried to mount a rally.  Paul Thompson would score his 13th to get the visitors back to within one, but no more.  Scott Wedgewood took the loss in net, stopping 28 of 31 Crunch shots.  Three Devils added assists.

Highlights:

Lines:

With Sislo up, it was an 11/7 lineup…or a D played at forward.  This is what I was able to catch:

Joe Whitney-Graham Black-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-Rod Pelley-Stefan Matteau

Darcy Zajac-Ben Thomson-Alexandre Carrier

David Wohlberg-Ben Johnson-

Pelley-Zajac-Matteau

Extra: Kelly Zajac, Chris McKelvie, Scott Timmins, Cam Janssen

Defense:

Mark Fraser/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Joe Faust

Eric Baier-7th D/12th forward

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Mike Keenan

Pop Quiz: Who was the first Devil goaltender to win a game in Wilkes-Barre?  Stay tuned for the answer.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

Welcome to the AHL, Alexandre Carrier.  Here, survive a bout with PL3 for your first official fight:

Bonus: Carrier’s encore in Syracuse, with a kiss from Matt Corrente.

My Player of the Week:

Finally nice to see Reid Boucher getting his scoring touch back, with goals in back to back games this week.  Sadly it may not be enough for him to get a more than one game recall to New Jersey…

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (13)

Assists: 2 tied with 13

Points: Joe Whitney (23)

+/-: Paul Thompson (+11)

Penalty Minutes: Darcy Zajac (57)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (4)

GAA: Scott Clemmensen (2.28)

Save Percentage: Scott Clemmensen (.916)

ECHL Update:

Myles Bell (Evansville): 20 GP, 8 G, 6 A, 14 pts., 7 PIM

Maxime Clermont (Orlando): 9 GP, 5-3-0, 3.76 GAA, .873 Save Pct.

Injury Update:

Raman Hrabarenka remains out indefinitely.  Chris McKelvie, Kelly Zajac, and Cam Janssen were back practicing this week, so it may not be long before their returns.  No update on Scott Timmins.

This Week’s Schedule:

After enjoying a few days off for Christmas, it’s back to work with two huge divisional games this weekend.  Friday night Albany returns to the War Memorial in Syracuse for a second crack at breaking the Crunch winning streak.  Then it’s back on Times Union Center ice Saturday afternoon for just the second matchup of the season against Springfield.

Pop Quiz Answer: The first Devil goaltender to win a game in Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre?  It was Jeff Frazee, who stopped 25 of 26 shots in a 2-1 Devil win on December 19, 2011.  Side note: both goals came from former Devil/current Falcon Mike Hoeffel.

Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!  Or Hanukkah, or Festivus, or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate.

(Note: Photo Gallery is taking a week off, will return next Sunday.)

 

Week 11 Primer

Devils Quick Hits:

-Albany begins the week with a record of 12-9-1-4, good for 29 points and 4th place in the Northeast Division (and 8th in the Eastern Conference).

-After appearing in Monday night’s shootout loss to the Islanders and coming close to getting his first NHL goal, Tim Sestito was reassigned to Albany on Tuesday with the return of Patrik Elias to the lineup for Wednesday’s home game against Ottawa.

-Mark Fraser was officially signed to a 1 year 2 way contract by New Jersey and was placed on waivers.  He cleared on Friday and will stay on the Albany roster.

-Before leaving for Pennsylvania Thursday, a few more roster tweaks: Myles Bell was reassigned to Evansville after appearing in 2 games.  With Jacob Josefson possibly out for New Jersey’s two weekend home games, Sestito was once again recalled (there goes the E-Z Pass bill), and defenseman Adam Larsson was assigned to Albany on a conditioning stint (and we may be using that term loosely after his extended “conditioning” stint here last season).  Larsson has been out since December 2nd after falling victim to the NHL mumps epidemic.  In 17 games he has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists).

12/19, Game #27 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Tied at 1.

Standings:

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: 16-9-1-2, 35 points, 1st place in East Division

Penguins Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Derrick Pouliot, 19 points (6 G, 13 A); Jean-Sebastien Dea, 17 points (8 G, 9 A); Jayson Megna, 13 points (9 G, 4 A)

Jeff Zatkoff, 9-5-1, 1.89 GAA; Matt Murray, 5-4-2, 1.99 GAA; Eric Hartzell, 2-0-0, 2.92 GAA

Notes:

-The Penguins are currently missing 6 regulars due to injuries and illness in Pittsburgh decimating the parent club.

-Wilkes-Barre is coming off a near perfect 3 for 3 weekend, with a shootout loss to Lehigh Valley the only blemish.

-Since the Devils move to Albany in 2010, the franchise has only won twice on Wilkes-Barre’s home ice, the last victory coming on November 8, 2013.

Listen: AHL Live, WILK 103.1 FM

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @nafsnep, @WBSPenguins

12/20, Game #28 at Syracuse

Where: Onondaga County War Memorial at OnCenter, Syracuse, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Crunch leads 1-0.

Standings:

Syracuse: 17-7-3-0, 37 points, tied for 1st place in Northeast Division

Crunch Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Yanni Gourde, 24 points (12 G, 12 A); Jonathan Marchessault, 22 points (8 G, 14 A); Tanner Richard, 17 points (4 G, 13 A)

Kristers Gudlevskis, 9-4-0, 2.95 GAA

Notes:

-The Crunch are riding a 7 game winning streak heading into the pre-Christmas weekend, pulling into a tie with Springfield for the division lead.  After defeating Rochester on Wednesday night, they will travel to Hartford on Friday before hosting the Devils on Saturday.

-Syracuse recently lost starting goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to callup after Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop got injured.  Former RPI goaltender Allen York has been summoned from the ECHL to back up Kristers Gudlevskis.

-Good news for local Time Warner subscribers: the game will be televised locally on TWCS, Channel 50 in the Albany area.

Listen: AHL Live, ESPN Radio Syracuse

Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @SyracuseCrunch, @syrhockey, @Allovimo