Devils Quick Hits:
-Albany begins the weekend with a 15-12-2-5 record, good for 37 points and 4th place in the Northeast Division (and 10th in the Eastern Conference).
-On Wednesday, two promising signs were on ice for practice, as Scott Clemmensen (mumps) and Raman Hrabarenka (facial, etc.) skated for the first time since going down with illness/injury. Clemmensen has been cleared to play, and may see action this weekend. Maxime Clermont is staying put as a third goalie for the time being.
-Thursday Paul Thompson scored two more goals without having to lift a finger, as the league changed the scoring on Friday night’s lone goal against the Crunch (originally credited to Ben Thomson) and Sunday’s 3rd goal against Bridgeport (given to Mike Sislo). He is now up to 17 goals on the season.
1/9, Game #35 vs. Hershey
Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.
When: 7:00 PM.
Season Series: First meeting of 4. Future matchups: January 17th @ Hershey; February 13th @ Albany; February 28th @ Hershey
Hershey: 17-12-4-1, 39 points, 2nd place in East Division
Bears Leading Scorers/Goaltending:
Tim Kennedy, 27 points (2 G, 25 A); Kris Newbury, 25 points (11 G, 14 A); Connor Carrick, 19 points (4 G, 15 A)
Pheonix Copley, 6-3-1, 2.00 GAA; Philipp Grubauer, 11-9-4, 2.09 GAA
-This is the first trip to the Capital Region for Hershey since March 29, 2013, a 5-3 Albany win. Both home matchups last season were at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
-The Bears start a 3 in 3 weekend of their own, returning to home ice to take on Norfolk in a Saturday-Sunday series. They are coming off a 2-1 week, including a home and home split with the Penguins Wednesday and Saturday.
-The Devils may have dodged a bullet as leading goal scorer Kris Newbury (illness) and goaltender Philipp Grubauer (injured) did not make the trip.
-Local ties: A very familiar face behind the bench to River Rat fans, as former defenseman Bryan Helmer is an assistant coach. After winning his first Calder Cup with the Rats in 1995, he won back to back Cups as captain of the Bears in 2009 and 2010. And per the Patriot-News, former Rats goaltender Justin Peters is scheduled to be in goal on a conditioning assignment. He has not seen much action as Braden Holtby’s backup in Washington, last playing on November 29th in Toronto. This is Peters’ first trip back to Albany since the final River Rats game on April 29, 2010, when he lost to Holtby in Game 4 of the East Division Finals in overtime against the Bears.
Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheHersheyBears
1/10, Game #36 vs. Bridgeport
Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.
When: 5:00 PM.
Season Series: Bridgeport leads 5-3.
Bridgeport: 16-14-3-1, 36 points, 5th place in Northeast Division
Sound Tigers Leading Scorers/Goaltending:
2 tied with 29 points
Kevin Poulin, 11-7-4, 2.47 GAA; David Leggio, 5-7-0, 3.65 GAA
-This is the second stop on a 4 game road trip for the Sound Tigers, as they first go to Portland on Friday. They take on Hartford on Sunday afternoon, then head to Providence next Friday.
-Matchup #9 of the season between the two teams, the last one in Albany. #10 is considered a home game, but will be at Prudential Center on January 21st.
-If you’re a dog owner, or love dogs, it’s your lucky day. Saturday marks the fifth annual Pucks and Paws day at the arena. Fans can get $13 tickets, with $5 tickets if they bring their dog to the game. The dog ticket proceeds will go to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, who usually have a few dogs up for adoption on hand. (Side note: Mohawk Hudson was where my cat Sascha was adopted from.) The proper hashtag? #RaiseTheWoof.
Listen: AHL Live
Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheSoundTigers
1/11, Game #37 at Springfield
Where: Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA.
When: 3:00 PM.
Season Series: Albany leads 2-0.
Springfield: 24-10-2-0, 50 points, 1st place in Northeast Division
Falcons Leading Scorers/Goaltending:
Austin Madaisky, 29 points (9 G, 20 A); Luke Adam, 28 points (12 G, 16 A); T.J. Tynan, 23 points (4 G, 19 A)
Anton Forsberg, 16-4-0, 1.93 GAA; Oscar Dansk, 5-3-2, 3.55 GAA
-The Falcons are coming off a 3 in 3 weekend where they went 2-1: after losing in Portland on the 2nd, they rallied from a two goal deficit to beat Worcester in a shootout on Saturday, then defeated Manchester in overtime on Sunday.
-This game marks the end of a 3 in 3 for Springfield as well; they travel to Providence on Friday and host Hartford on Saturday.
Twitter: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL, @KatyLovesHockey