Week 14 Recap: A Familiar Place

Another dreaded 3 in 3 weekend for the Devils, but two on home ice and a quick road trip east should come easy, right?  Not exactly.  Two out of six points later, the team finds themselves in a spot that no one thought anyone would see this season: the bottom of the division.

1/9 vs. Hershey: 4-0 L

Back on home ice Friday night, the Devils played host to the Bears for the first time this season.  Scott Clemmensen drew the start in his first game back since coming down with the mumps around Christmas.  Facing him in the Hershey net?  A very familiar face to River Rats fans: Justin Peters, sent down by Washington for the weekend for conditioning.  The Bears got on the board midway through the first on goals 1:03 apart from Chris Brown and Stanislav Galiev for a 2-0 advantage.  Brown would strike again very early in the third with his second goal on a power play for a 3-0 lead.  Phillipe Cornet would add the exclamation point late in the period for a 4 goal lead.  As for the Devils?  Well…they simply could not get anything going offensively, even during a brief 5 on 3 advantage in the second.  It was a successful homecoming for Peters, as he picked up the shutout win in his first appearance in Albany since the final River Rats game in 2010.  Clemmensen finished with 22 saves on 26 shots.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Kelly Zajac-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-David Wohlberg-Mike Sislo

Rod Pelley-Chris McKelvie-Stefan Matteau

Ben Thomson-Darcy Zajac-Cam Janssen

Extra: Scott Timmins, Ben Johnson, Graham Black, Myles Bell, Alexandre Carrier

Defense:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Joe Faust

Corbin McPherson/Mike Keenan

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Baier

1/10 vs. Bridgeport: 3-1 W

It was a quick rebound on Saturday afternoon as the Devils faced the Sound Tigers for the 9845678th time.  Okay, really the 9th time, but you get it.  In a sort of surprise, Maxime Clermont drew his second start of the season.  David Wohlberg finally got the home team on the board for the first time on the weekend with his third just 94 seconds after puck drop for a 1-0 advantage.  Kael Mouillerat would poke the puck behind Clermont as it just escaped his reach two and a half minutes later to tie the game at 1.  Joe Whitney would score his 14th of the season on a early second period power play to break the tie.  Stefan Matteau would add an insurance marker late in the third to seal the much needed win, breaking a two game losing streak.  Clermont was outstanding in picking up his second win in as many starts, stopping 24 of 25 shots and earning first star of the game honors.  Paul Thompson and Mike Sislo each had two assists, while Rod Pelley and Kelly Zajac each had a helper.

Highlights:

Lines:

Joe Whitney-Kelly Zajac-Paul Thompson

Reid Boucher-Darcy Zajac-Mike Sislo

Stefan Matteau-David Wohlberg-Ben Thomson

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-Cam Janssen

Extra: Scott Timmins, Ben Johnson, Graham Black, Myles Bell, Alexandre Carrier

Defense:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Joe Faust

Corbin McPherson/Mike Keenan

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Eric Baier

1/11 at Springfield: 2-1 L

It was due east on the Mass Pike come Sunday afternoon, as the Devils visited Springfield for the first time all season.  No goals across during the first period, but the Devils spent most of it in the offensive zone, outshooting the Falcons 10-4.  Mike Sislo got Albany on the board just as the second period got started with his 8th goal of the season.  On a fluke play  nearly similar to the goal Maxime Clermont gave up a day earlier, Austin Madaisky would tie things up with just under 8 minutes to go in the period.  Just as the third period was getting underway, Kerby Rychel would break the tie on a breakaway chance.  The Falcons dominated the third period, outshooting Albany 12-7.  The Devils did end up with a little penalty trouble, including a 1:26 5 on 3, but was unable to come up with the equalizer.  Scott Wedgewood drew the start and picked up a hard luck loss, stopping 22 of 24.  Darcy Zajac had the lone assist.

Highlights:

Lines:

Reid Boucher-Darcy Zajac-Mike Sislo

Joe Whitney-Kelly Zajac-Paul Thompson

Chris McKelvie-David Wohlberg-Stefan Matteau

Ben Johnson-Rod Pelley-Cam Janssen

Extra: Scott Timmins, Graham Black, Ben Thomson, Myles Bell, Alexandre Carrier

Defense:

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Eric Baier

Corbin McPherson/Mike Keenan

Extra: Raman Hrabarenka, Joe Faust

Pop Quiz: Which goaltender has the most wins in an Albany uniform?  Stay tuned for the answer.

Obligatory Fight of the Week:

There were a few incidents of pushing and shoving, but no official fights this week.  First time in awhile.

My Player of the Week:

For having an outstanding day in net and earning the only win of the weekend, Maxime Clermont gets the nod.  I don’t think he wants to go back to Orlando anytime soon (even though the climate is a little better at the moment).

Team Leaders:

Goals: Paul Thompson (17)

Assists: Joe Whitney (19)

Points: Joe Whitney (33)

+/-: Paul Thompson (+14)

Penalty Minutes: Darcy Zajac (65)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Maxime Clermont (2.50)

Save Percentage: Maxime Clermont (.912)

ECHL Update: No update since everyone is still on the roster.

Injury Report: Kelly Zajac finally returned to the lineup Friday after sitting out since late October.  Raman Hrabarenka has resumed practicing with the team, but no word on when he will return.  Scott Timmins remains out.

This Week’s Schedule: 3 games on tap, but not back to back to back for once.  Wednesday night Albany wraps up the homestand with a visit from the Falcons.  Then it’s on the road to Pennsylvania for the weekend: Friday night they travel to Allentown for the first regular season matchup against Lehigh Valley, then it’s on to Hershey on Saturday to avenge the shutout loss against the Bears.

Also this week: my first half numbers review, coming up on Thursday evening.

Pop Quiz Answer: With 77 wins, Peter Sidorkiewicz is your all time Albany victories leader.  Jeff Frazee is your Albany/Lowell franchise leader with 73 wins, by the way.

 

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