Welcome to October! For all of you that have been begging for it since April…you can stop complaining now! (I kid, I kid.)
Before Season 6 of Albany Devils hockey kicks off on Saturday in the Southern Tier, there was a preseason slate to get through first. The Devils traveled southwest to Pennsylvania to take on the Bears and the Penguins on back to back nights to tune up for the regular season. And it was a mixed result:
The brief preseason slate got off to a good start with a win in Chocolatetown. After a scoreless first period, Max Novak would score on a power play 47 seconds into the second period for a 1-0 lead. Nathan Walker would tie it up for the hosts with a short handed goal nearly six minutes later. After a few extra curriculars midway through the second and early in the third, Blake Coleman would give Albany a one goal lead with six and a half minutes remaining in regulation. Ken Appleby drew the start and played well in his third goalie audition, stopping 28 of 29 shots. Joseph Blandisi would add two assists.
It was due north on Interstate 81 for the second game of the week, as Albany took on the Penguins. Much like the night before, both teams were scoreless through the first, but on Friday it was the home team that would strike first. Conor Sheary would give the Pens a 1-0 lead 8 minutes into the second period. Joseph Blandisi would continue his strong preseason play by tying the game up at 1 4:35 into the third period. The game would then carry over into overtime, where Kael Mouillerat would score the game winner off a 2 on 1 breakout play with just 25 seconds to go in the extra frame to give the Pens the win. Scott Wedgewood would stop 33 of 35 Penguin shots.
With the preseason wrapped up, just who is left on the roster? With final cuts from New Jersey having to be made by Tuesday, there may still be a couple of more players sent down. After New Jersey’s preseason wrapped up on Friday, Marc Andre Gragnani cleared waivers and was reassigned to Albany, while Alexandre Carrier, Gunnar Hughes, and Jacob Sweeney were released from their tryouts. Carrier will report to Adirondack, where he signed with the Thunder earlier this week, along with Hughes.
This Week’s Schedule:
It all starts for real on Saturday, as the Devils kick off the season with a quick trip west to Binghamton to take on their old/new division rival, the Senators. Also before the weekend: once the final roster is complete, I’ll update with that plus how I plan on running blog postings for the season.