Week 8 Recap: Painfully Perfect Holiday

A very good end to the month of November for the Devils, as they swept the Thanksgiving week’s 3 game slate.  However, it may have come at a price…and some historical humiliation.

11/25 vs. Bridgeport: 3-1 W

The Captain.
The Captain.

Before Thanksgiving began, the Devils first had a Wednesday night matchup against Bridgeport (and of course, Joe Whitney returns for the second time).  It was all Devils from the beginning, as they outshot the visitors 16-6 in the first period.  Rod Pelley (his 1st) and Blake Coleman (his 3rd) would score 1:28 apart during the period for a quick 2-0 lead.  Ryan Strome, on just the Sound Tigers’ 8th shot of the game, would cut the lead in half in the second.  The Devils would only manage 2 shots in the third, but made the most of it, as Coleman would score his second of the game 6:58 into the third to put the game away.  Yann Danis barely had to break a sweat in picking up his 9th win, stopping 18 of 19 shots.  Paul Thompson added two assists, while three others had helpers.  And the Devils had a season low 4 penalty minutes, all in the third period.

Yann Danis
Yann Danis

The Lineup:

Matt Lorito-Joe Blandisi-Mike Sislo

Reid Boucher-Blake Coleman-Paul Thompson

Ben Thomson-Blake Pietila-Corey Tropp

Pierre-Luc Leblond-Rod Pelley-Max Novak

Dan Kelly/Marc Andre Gragnani

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Yann Danis/Doug Carr

Out: Scott Wedgewood, Jim O’Brien, Chris McKelvie, Graham Black, Ryan Kujawinski, Reece Scarlett, Raman Hrabarenka, Joe Faust

Power Play: 0 for 3. Penalty Kill: 2 for 2.  Penalty Minutes: 4.  Shots on Goal: 30.  Shots Allowed: 19.

Highlights:

Friday: With both Joseph Blandisi and Blake Pietila getting hurt during Wednesday’s victory, Alexandre Carrier was summoned from Adirondack and signed to a PTO.  In 12 games with the Thunder, he has 1 goal and 3 assists, along with 27 penalty minutes.

11/27 vs. Binghamton: 4-0 W

Matt Lorito
Matt Lorito

The homestand came to an end on Black Friday, as the Devils hosted the Senators for the second time in a month.  And on this night, it was all Devils from the very beginning.  Mike Sislo scored his team leading 11th goal 3 minutes into the game for a 1-0 lead.  Corey Tropp would add his 4th on the power play late in the period to double the lead.  And Binghamton?  They had more fights (2) than shots on goal (1).  Things continued to fall Albany’s way in the second, as Reid Boucher and Brandon Burlon would score 2:19 apart midway through the period for a commanding 4-0 lead, chasing Senator starter Matt O’Connor from the net in favor of Scott Greenham.  The Devils would outshoot Binghamton 18-4 for the period, bringing the totals to 29-5 after 40 minutes.  No goals in the third, but things got ugly early on as former Devil Mark Fraser boarded Blake Coleman, injuring the rookie’s shoulder and giving Albany a 5 minute power play opportunity, which they were unable to capitalize on.  Not that it mattered much anyway…the way Binghamton was not shooting, Yann Danis could have played beer vendor and still have no problems.  His third shutout of the season was probably the easiest one he has ever had…he only had to stop six shots.  That’s right…Binghamton had just 6 shots on goal the entire night, a new team record.  Matt Lorito and Paul Thompson each added two assists.

Corbin McPherson
Corbin McPherson

The Lineup:

Mike Sislo-Matt Lorito-Corey Tropp

Reid Boucher-Blake Coleman-Paul Thompson

Max Novak-Ryan Kujawinski-Ben Thomson

Pierre-Luc Leblond-Rod Pelley-Alexandre Carrier

Dan Kelly/Marc Andre Gragnani

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Yann Danis/Doug Carr

Out: Scott Wedgewood, Joe Blandisi, Jim O’Brien, Chris McKelvie, Blake Pietila, Graham Black, Reece Scarlett, Raman Hrabarenka, Joe Faust

Power Play: 1 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 23.  Shots on Goal: 32.  Shots Allowed: 6.

Highlights:

Saturday: Another day, another Devil injury, another call to the north.  With Blake Coleman being added to the walking wounded, Thunder forward Greg Wolfe was signed to a PTO.  The Michigan native has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 13 games.

 11/28 at Springfield: 4-3 W

Greg Wolfe
Greg Wolfe

To finish the week, the Devils traveled east to Springfield for the second time in 13 days to play the Falcons for the third time in that same timespan.  Unlike the night before, Albany actually had work for Yann Danis to do in the net.  The Devils penalty kill, which is tops in the league, actually had a misstep in the first, as the Falcons’ Greg Carey would give the hosts an early lead.  But that lead lasted all of 1:47 as Corey Tropp would tie the game up with his 5th.  Reid Boucher would score on the power play late in the period for a 2-1 advantage.  As for the shots on goal?  Let’s just say it took 12:05 for the Devils to allow 7 shots…something that never happened in 60 minutes the evening before.

Both teams would trade goals during the second, as Domenic Monardo would re-tie the game up at 2 midway through the period.  Then the Devils took the lead back, thanks to the new guy…Greg Wolfe scored his first AHL goal in his Devil debut to put Albany back up by one.  But the Falcons would tie it up yet again early in the third, as Monardo scored his second of the game.  But Paul Thompson would come through in the clutch, as he scored on a power play nearly midway through to put Albany back up for good.  Danis had more of a workload on this night, but still picked up win #11, stopping 19 of 22 shots.  Ryan Kujawinski added two assists, while 5 different Devils each had helpers.

The view from behind the bench...
The view from behind the bench…

The Lineup:

Mike Sislo-Matt Lorito-Corey Tropp

Reid Boucher-Max Novak-Paul Thompson

Pierre Luc Leblond-Rod Pelley-Alexandre Carrier

Greg Wolfe-Ryan Kujawinski-Ben Thomson

Dan Kelly/Marc Andre Gragnani

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Yann Danis/Doug Carr

Out: Scott Wedgewood, Joe Blandisi, Blake Coleman, Jim O’Brien, Chris McKelvie, Blake Pietila, Graham Black, Reece Scarlett, Raman Hrabarenka, Joe Faust

Power Play: 2 for 4.  Penalty Kill: 1 for 2.  Penalty Minutes: 11.  Shots on Goal: 37.  Shots Allowed: 22.

Highlights:

My Player of the Week:

This was a very hard decision to make this week, as I could have gone a few different ways.  Thirteen different Devils got on the scoresheet this week, while the defense averaged just under 16 shots allowed per game for the week.  So…we’ll have to let Paul Thompson (1 G/4 A), Reid Boucher (2 G/2 A), and Yann Danis (3-0, 1 shutout) share the title.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Mike Sislo (11)

Assists: Matt Lorito (15)

Points: Matt Lorito (19)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+15)

Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (39)

Wins: Yann Danis (11)

GAA: Yann Danis (1.86)

Save Percentage: Yann Danis (.925)

The Vault:

This week we’re going back to April 2011, when Marc Andre Gragnani picked the right time to score his first NHL goal while a member of the Sabres.

Up North with the Thunder:

Another good week for Adirondack, as they went 2-0-0-1 and held on to first place in the East Division, just one point ahead of Manchester.  Ken Appleby picked up a 2-1 win over Elmira at home on Wednesday, stopping 32 of 33 shots.  He would suffer a shootout loss in Elmira on Saturday, stopping 33 of 37 in regulation/overtime, then only giving up one goal in the shootout round while the Thunder came up empty.  He sat out a 2-0 Thunder win over Greenville on Sunday afternoon.  Appleby is now 9-2-0-1 with a 1.99 GAA and a .932 save percentage.

Adirondack has a home and home series with Brampton on Thursday (road) and Friday (home).

This Week’s Schedule:

After the brief trip east on Saturday, the Devils kick off December with a four game homestand, with three games coming this week.  On Wednesday, St. John’s makes their first trip to the Capital Region of the season.  Saturday afternoon Rochester comes calling for the first time in quite a few years.  Then on Sunday, Syracuse makes the first of two visits in 5 days.

 

 

The Weekly Primer, Issue 8

Quick Hits:

Albany begins the week with a record of 9-4-3-0, 21 points, and a .656 percentage, and sit in second place in the North Division.

Injury update: Raman Hrabarenka, Chris McKelvie, and Jim O’Brien remain out of the lineup.  Scott Wedgewood returned to practice this week, but is not expected to return right away.  Marc Andre Gragnani is well enough to return to the ice after sitting out nearly two weeks.

Wednesday, 11/25 vs. Bridgeport

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Bridgeport leads 1-0.

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 13-5-1-0, 27 points, .711 pct, 2nd place in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Joe Whitney, 20 points (5 G, 15 A); Bracken Kearns, 18 points (10 G, 8 A); Alan Quine, 16 points (7 G, 9 A); Christopher Gibson, 7-3-1, 2.12 GAA; Stephon Williams, 6-2-0, 2.48 GAA

Notes: 2 out of the top 10 point scorers in the league are Sound Tigers (Whitney and Kearns); Bridgeport is coming off a 1-1-1 weekend, losing in OT to Rochester, defeating Utica, then was shutout by Springfield on home ice Sunday afternoon; Joe Whitney missed the road trip, but had a very good reason, becoming a first time dad to baby Brooklyn on Sunday; the Sound Tigers return home for a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday against Hartford and Syracuse.

Listen: AHL Live

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheSoundTigers

Friday, 11/27 vs. Binghamton

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Tied at 1.

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 5-10-1-0, 11 points, .344 pct, 7th place in North Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Cole Schneider, 13 points (8 G, 5 A); 2 tied with 11 points; Matt O’Connor, 0-5-1, 4.14 GAA; Scott Greenham, 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA

Notes: The Senators have won 1 out of their last 5 games, but that 1 win?  It broke Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 11 game winning streak on Friday night; this is the middle game of a 3 game week, after hosting the Penguins on Wednesday, they return home Saturday to face Rochester; Colin Greening and Chris Driedger were recalled to Ottawa earlier in the week.

Listen: AHL Live, US 96.9 FM

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @BSens_Hockey

Saturday, 11/28 at Springfield

Where: Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Tied at 1.

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 8-7-1-0, 17 points, .531 pct, 4th place in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Alex Grant, 14 points (3 G, 11 A); Derek Smith, 12 points (1 G, 11 A); 2 tied with 9 points;Louis Domingue, 5-3-1, 2.43 GAA; Nicklas Treutle, 3-2-0, 2.41 GAA; Tyler Beskorowany, 0-2-0, 3.55 GAA

Notes: The Falcons are coming off a 1-2 weekend, shutting out Bridgeport on the road after dropping back to back games to Albany and Providence; they visit Hartford on Friday before starting a 3 game homestand on Saturday; leading scorer Dustin Jeffrey was recalled to Arizona on Tuesday.

Listen: AHL Live, WHYN 560 AM

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL, @KatyLovesHockey

Week 7 Recap: Buzzsaw…then Buzzkill

Back on home ice after a 4-0-1 road trip, the Devils started a four game homestand on a high note…then ran into the hottest team in the league.

11/20 vs. Springfield: 4-0 W

It's a Joe Faust sighting!
It’s a Joe Faust sighting!
Matt Lorito
Matt Lorito

Back in the Capital Region for the first time in 19 days, the Devils looked to avenge Sunday’s overtime loss to the Falcons on Friday evening.  Despite being outshot by the visitors 10-4 in the first, Albany jumped ahead 1-0 on a Paul Thompson power play goal late in the period.  After an uneventful second period, Albany exploded for 3 goals in the third.  Matt Lorito scored his 4th of the season 5 and a half minutes in to double the lead, then Joe Blandisi would score a beautiful goal 4 minutes later for a 3-0 lead.  Then the exclamation point…a power play goal by Mike Sislo, his team leading 9th, during a late 4:00 power play with 1:26 to go.  And Yann Danis took care of the rest, stopping all 30 Falcon shots in picking up his second shutout in 13 days.  Lorito, Blandisi, and Seth Helgeson each had two assists, while Vojtech Mozik added a helper.

Mike Sislo
Mike Sislo

The Lineup:

Reid Boucher-Blake Coleman-Paul Thompson

Matt Lorito-Joe Blandisi-Mike Sislo

Blake Pietila-Ryan Kujawinski-Corey Tropp

Pierre-Luc Leblond-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Yann Danis/Doug Carr

Out: Scott Wedgewood, Jim O’Brien, Raman Hrabarenka, Chris McKelvie, Marc Andre Gragnani (inj), Graham Black, Max Novak, Joe Faust

Power Play: 2 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 11.  Shots on Goal: 28. Shots Allowed: 30.

Highlights:

11/21 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: 5-3 L

Max Novak
Max Novak
Vojtech Mozik
Vojtech Mozik

To finish out the week, the Devils hosted the hottest team in the league in the Penguins, who were coming off their first loss in 12 games the night before in Binghamton.  Both teams finished the first period scoreless, but it was virtually all Penguins for most of the period, as they outshot the Devils 10-3.  The visitors would then be first on the board early in the second thanks to a J.S. Dea goal.  But special teams would come through once again for the hosts as a Mike Sislo power play goal would tie the game up.  Then momentum appeared to swing in the Penguins favor as Scott Wilson and Carter Rowney would score 1:48 apart to go up 3-1.  But the Devils were not quite done yet, as Reid Boucher would score his 7th just a minute into the third to cut the lead to one goal.  Paul Thompson would then score his fourth goal 7 minutes later to tie the game at 3.  But the Penguins would get the last laugh, as a shot bounced off a Devil defenseman and into the net with 5 minutes to go in regulation (the goal would be credited to Conor Sheary).  Oskar Sundqvist would put the game away late with an empty netter, and the Devils suffered their first regulation loss since October 30th, ending a 8 game point streak.  Yann Danis would take the loss in net, stopping 23 of 27 shots.  Boucher and three other Devils each had assists.

We should have know this was going to happen...
We should have known this was going to happen…
...PL3 and the other Sestito had to face off.
…PL3 and the other Sestito had to face off.

The Lineup:

Matt Lorito-Joe Blandisi-Mike Sislo

Reid Boucher-Blake Coleman-Paul Thompson

Blake Pietila-Ryan Kujawinski-Corey Tropp

Pierre-Luc Leblond-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Joe Faust

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Yann Danis/Doug Carr

Out: Scott Wedgewood, Jim O’Brien, Chris McKelvie, Marc Andre Gragnani, Raman Hrabarenka, Max Novak, Graham Black, Reece Scarlett

Power Play: 1 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 37.  Shots on Goal: 28.  Shots Allowed: 28.

Highlights:

My Player of the Week:

Have to give it to the rookie this week…another strong performance out of Matt Lorito.  1 goal and 2 assists on Friday, followed by another assist on Saturday.  He is now leading the team in points, is tied for third in the league among rookies in scoring (and tied for fifth overall), third in the league in power play points, and is second among AHL rookies in power play assists and points.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Mike Sislo (10)

Assists: Matt Lorito (12)

Points: Matt Lorito (16)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+11)

Penalty Minutes: Joe Blandisi (31)

Wins: Yann Danis (8)

GAA: Yann Danis (1.98)

Save Percentage: Yann Danis (.927)

The Vault:

This week, it’s back to January 2011…an interview with Michigan D Brandon Burlon.  Bonus: if you look closely at the highlights…you can spot Jon Merrill.

Up North with the Thunder:

Adirondack had a very easy schedule this week…just one game, a Wednesday morning school day special against Norfolk, winning 3-2.  Ken Appleby drew the start and picked up his 8th win, stopping 23 of 25 shots.  He is now 8-2-0 on the season with a 1.90 GAA and a .933 save percentage.  A busy Thanksgiving week is on tap this week, as the Thunder play a home and home Wednesday and Saturday against Elmira (hitting the road on Saturday), then hosting Greenville on Sunday afternoon.

This Week’s Schedule:

A busy Thanksgiving week awaits for the Devils with three games on the schedule, but there’s minimal traveling involved.  The homestand continues on Wednesday night as Bridgeport makes their second visit of the season.  Friday night Binghamton makes their second visit of the year as well.  Then it’s eastbound on the Mass Pike on Saturday as Albany travels to Springfield for the second time in 13 days.

 

The Weekly Primer, Issue 7

Quick Hits:

Albany begins the week with a record of 8-3-3-0, 19 points, and a points percentage of .679.  They sit in second place in the North Division, six points behind first place Toronto.

The injury list is getting a little crowded…add Raman Hrabarenka (lower body) and Chris McKelvie (hand) to the out indefinitely list.  Marc Andre Gragnani is practicing but not close to returning.  Jim O’Brien and Scott Wedgewood (ankle) remain out.

Friday, 11/20 vs. Springfield

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Falcons lead 1-0.

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 7-5-1-0, 15 points, .577 pct, 3rd place in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Dustin Jeffrey, 17 points (7 G, 10 A); 2 tied with 11 points; Louis Domingue, 5-2-1, 2.23 GAA; Nicklas Treutle, 2-1-0, 3.00 GAA

Notes: This is the first of a 3 in 3 weekend for the Falcons, as they return home Saturday to face Providence before heading south to Bridgeport on Sunday afternoon; first game of a 4 game homestand for the Devils; Dustin Jeffrey is tied for third in the league in scoring, just 3 points behind former Devil Joe Whitney; it’s the annual Word of Life Night in Albany, so…prepare accordingly.

Listen: AHL Live, WHYN 560 AM

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL, @KatyLovesHockey

Saturday, 11/21 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

When: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 2.  Future matchup: December 12th @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 12-1-0-0, 24 points, .923 pct, 1st place in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Scott Wilson, 15 points (9 G, 6 A); Conor Sheary, 14 points (2 G, 12 A); Dominik Simon, 13 points (5 G, 8 A); Matt Murray, 8-1-0, 2.03 GAA; Tristan Jarry, 4-0-0, 1.64 GAA

Notes: The Penguins begin the week on a 11 game winning streak, their only loss coming on October 10th in Bridgeport; Conor Sheary is your reigning AHL Player of the Week after getting 8 points (1 goal, 7 assists) during a 3 in 3 weekend sweep against Hershey, Rochester, and Hartford; Wilkes-Barre pulled off a remarkable comeback Sunday against the Wolfpack: after trailing 5-1 after 1 period, they scored 5 times in the second period and won 7-6 in overtime; this could be a special teams battle with the #2 and #3 power play and penalty killing units facing off against one another.

Listen: AHL Live, WILK 103.1 FM

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @nafsnep, @WBSPenguins

Week 6 Recap: Almost Perfect

For a 3 in 3 weekend that saw many miles logged over three different states…5 out of a possible 6 points is not a bad showing.

11/13 at Providence: 4-2 W

It was off to Rhode Island to start the weekend with the first matchup of the season against the Bruins.  And it wasn’t long before the visitors got on the board…Joseph Blandisi (his 5th) and Blake Pietila (his 4th on a power play) would score 3:15 apart midway through the first for a 2-0 advantage.  Reid Boucher would make it a 3-0 lead with a power play tally of his own midway through the second.  The amazing stat of that period?  That one goal came on just two Devil shots for the middle 20 minutes, talk about efficiency.  Providence would break up the shutout late in the second period thanks to the first goal of the season from former River Rat Brett Bellemore.  Boucher would add his second of the game just 1:57 into the third for a 4-1 Devil lead.  Rookie Noel Acciari would add a power play tally a few minutes later, but that was as close as the Bruins would get, as the Devils killed off two separate late penalties and survived 2 6 on 4 shorthanded situations to pick up their third straight win.  Yann Danis would pick up his seventh win, stopping 21 of 23 shots.  Vojtech Mozik assisted on the first three Devil goals, Brandon Burlon had two helpers, and Pietila, Seth Helgeson, and Corey Tropp each had an assist.

The Lineup:

Matt Lorito-Joseph Blandisi-Mike Sislo

Reid Boucher-Blake Pietila-Corey Tropp

Chris McKelvie-Ryan Kujawinski-Paul Thompson

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Pierre-Luc Leblond

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Raman Hrabarenka/Dan Kelly

Brandon Burlon/Reece Scarlett

Yann Danis/Doug Carr

Out: Scott Wedgewood, Jim O’Brien, Marc Andre Gragnani (inj), Blake Coleman (susp), Max Novak, Graham Black, Corbin McPherson (extra)

Power Play: 2 for 4.  Penalty Kill: 5 for 6.  Penalty Minutes: 12. Shots on Goal: 15.  Shots Allowed: 23.

Highlights:

Saturday: With Raman Hrabarenka getting injured in Friday’s win, Joe Faust was recalled from Adirondack as insurance.

11/14 at Lehigh Valley: 2-1 W (OT)

While I was spending the evening in New Jersey watching the parent club shut out Pittsburgh, the Devils traveled to Allentown to take on their former divisional rival the Phantoms.  The power play came through yet again late in the first period as Mike Sislo scored his 8th of the season for a 1-0 lead.  Albany would outshoot the hosts 14-3 during the opening 20 minutes, a total that took nearly the entire game for them the night before in Providence.  But the Phantoms would wake up and eventually tie the game midway through the third on a Petr Straka goal.  The game would go into overtime, where less than 2 minutes in Joseph Blandisi would score the game winner, extending Albany’s winning streak to 4 games.  Doug Carr drew the start and picked up his first win, stopping 21 of 22 shots.  Three Devils would add helpers.

The Lineup:

(best guess from what I could gather from the boxscore/highlight reel)

Reid Boucher-Blake Coleman-Corey Tropp

Matt Lorito-Joseph Blandisi-Mike Sislo

Blake Pietila-Ryan Kujawinski-Max Novak

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-Pierre-Luc Leblond

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Doug Carr/Yann Danis

Out: Scott Wedgewood, Jim O’Brien, Paul Thompson, Marc Andre Gragnani, Graham Black, Raman Hrabarenka, Ben Thomson, Joe Faust

Power Play: 1 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 13.  Shots on Goal: 29.  Shots Allowed: 22.

Highlights:

11/15 at Springfield: 2-1 L (OT)

It was back to New England on Sunday afternoon as Albany finished off a 5 game road swing in Springfield.  Halfway through the first, the Falcons had a goal waved off by the refs when the puck supposedly did not make it over before the net was dislodged.  But then a video review was called…and the decision reversed.  And that was literally all the offense for most of the game…there were more fights (2) than actual goals.  But with 2:25 to go in regulation, the Devils finally got on the scoresheet and tied things up thanks to Paul Thompson’s first goal since returning from injury (and just his second of the year overall).  It was on to overtime for the second straight day, where on a couple of occasions the Devils nearly completed the comeback.  But with just 16 seconds to go until going to a shootout…Eric Selleck would send the game winner past Yann Danis, denying Albany a perfect weekend (the Falcons ended up with a perfect 6 for 6 weekend of their own).  Danis would finish with 35 saves on 37 shots.  Vojtech Mozik and Dan Kelly had the lone helpers of the day.

The Lineup:

Reid Boucher-Blake Coleman-Corey Tropp

Matt Lorito-Joseph Blandisi-Mike Sislo

Blake Pietila-Ryan Kujawinski-Paul Thompson

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Pierre-Luc Leblond

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Yann Danis/Doug Carr

Out: Scott Wedgewood, Jim O’Brien, Chris McKelvie, Marc Andre Gragnani, Max Novak, Graham Black, Raman Hrabarenka, Joe Faust

Power Play: 0 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 5 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 22. Shots on Goal: 34. Shots Allowed: 37.

Highlights:

My Player of the Week:

There were a total of 7 goals scored this weekend…and Vojtech Mozik assisted on four of them.  Since getting into the lineup the second week of the season, he has been quietly climbing up the ranks, leading the team and tied for third in the league with a +9 rating.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Mike Sislo (8)

Assists: Matt Lorito (9)

Points: Mike Sislo (13)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+9)

Penalty Minutes: Joseph Blandisi (31)

Wins: Yann Danis (7)

GAA: Yann Danis (1.97)

Save Percentage: Yann Danis (.926)

The Vault:

Taking it back to 2011, when Blake Coleman won the Junior Player of the Year award from USA Hockey:

Up North with the Thunder:

Adirondack split a pair of games this week to finish out a 6 game road trip.  Friday night Ken Appleby stopped 22 of 23 shots in a 4-1 win over Atlanta, while Joe Faust had an assist.  Saturday Appleby would suffer a 3-2 loss at the hands of Greenville, stopping 21 of 24.  He is now 7-2-0 with a 1.89 GAA and a .934 save percentage.  The Thunder return home to a very easy schedule this week, just a Wednesday morning matchup with Norfolk.

This Week’s Schedule:

A much easier slate this week, as the Devils return to home ice for the first time since November 1st to start a 4 game homestand.  Friday night the Falcons make their first trip to the Capital Region to finish off a home and home.  Saturday afternoon the red hot Penguins make their only visit of the season.

 

 

The Weekly Primer, Issue 6

Quick Hits:

-The Devils begin the week with a record of 6-3-2-0, 14 points, and a .636 percentage.  They sit in second place in the North Division, 4 wins and 6 points behind first place Toronto.

-Forward Blake Coleman was suspended one game by the AHL on Tuesday for an “illegal check to the head” of an opponent during Friday’s game in Syracuse.  He will sit out Friday’s game in Providence.

-On the injury front: Paul Thompson is expected to return to the lineup at some point this weekend after sitting out since being boarded on October 25th.  Jim O’Brien, Marc Andre Gragnani, and Scott Wedgewood remain out.

Friday, 11/13 at Providence

Where: Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, RI.

When: 7:05 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 6.  Future matchups: December 26th @ Albany; January 15th & February 5th @ Providence; February 9th & March 16th @ Albany

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 3-6-3-0, 9 points, .375 pct, 8th place in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Alexander Khokhlachev, 13 points (4 G, 9 A); Tommy Cross, 7 points (0 G, 7 A); 4 tied with 6 points; Zane McIntyre, 2-2-3, 3.12 GAA; Malcolm Subban, 1-3-0, 4.27 GAA

Notes: The Bruins have dropped four straight entering the weekend, including a 4-3 loss to Bridgeport on Wednesday; Providence is without its top two scorers, rookie Frank Vatrano (on recall to Boston) and Alexander Khokhlachev (hand surgery); Max Talbot has a goal and 4 assists in 4 games since being sent down on October 28th; former River Rat Brett Bellemore has one assist in 12 games.

Listen: AHL Live

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @AHLBruins

Saturday, 11/14 at Lehigh Valley

Where: PPL Center, Allentown, PA.

When: 7:05 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 2.  Future matchup: January 9th @ Albany

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 5-8-0-0, 10 points, .385 pct, 7th place in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: 2 players tied with 11 points; Anthony Stolarz, 4-3-0, 2.02 GAA; Jason Labarbera, 1-5-0, 4.15 GAA

Notes: The Phantoms broke a 3 game losing skid with a win in Binghamton on Wednesday; they host Rochester on Friday evening before wrapping up a brief 2 game homestand; this is Albany’s only visit to Allentown of the season; former Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has 8 points in 13 games.

Listen: AHL Live, Fox Sports 1470 AM

Tweet: @AlbanyDevils, @LVPhantoms, @TonyAndrock_TCG

Sunday, 11/15 at Springfield

Where: Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA.

When: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 6.  Future matchups: November 20th @ Albany; November 28th & February 26th @ Springfield; March 22nd & April 2nd @ Albany

Know Your Opponent:

Record: 4-5-1-0, 9 points, .450 pct, 5th place in Atlantic Division

Leading Scorers/Goaltending: Dustin Jeffrey, 12 points (5 G, 7 A); 2 tied with 7 points; Louis Domingue, 3-2-1, 2.34 GAA; Tyler Beskorowany, 0-2-0, 3.55 GAA; Nicklas Treutle, 1-1-0, 3.00 GAA

Notes: After a 0-4-1-0 start to the season, the Falcons have won 4 out of their last 5 going into this week; Springfield is finishing up a 3 in 3 weekend, hosting Utica on Friday and traveling to Binghamton on Saturday; Falcons leading scorer Dustin Jeffrey was recently sent down by the Coyotes after appearing in 1 game, picking up an assist against Anaheim on Monday.

Listen: AHL Live, WHYN 560 AM

Tweet: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TheFalconsAHL, @KatyLovesHockey

Week 5 Recap: 535 Miles of Victory

A very good start to a 5 game road trip for the Devils…a perfect 2-0 to get things started!

11/6 at Syracuse: 4-3 W

The Captain.
The Captain.
Marc Andre Gragnani
Marc Andre Gragnani

The road swing began west on the New York State Thruway on Friday, as the Devils made their first visit of the season to Syracuse to take on the Crunch.  After a slow start to the game, Ben Thomson would get the visitors on the board with 3:20 to go in the opening period with his first goal of the season.  Joseph Blandisi would double the lead with a power play goal early in the second, his 3rd of the season.  But Syracuse would rally, as Yanni Gourde and Nikita Nesterov (on a 5 on 3 opportunity) would score 6:04 apart to tie things up going into the third period.  Blandisi would break that tie with another power play goal 4 minutes into the third for a 3-2 Devil lead.  Then the Crunch would tie it up yet again off the stick of Jonathan Marchessault.  But the visitors would have the last laugh at the end, as Ryan Kujawinski would score the game winner with 5:22 remaining in regulation.  Another good start in net for Yann Danis, as he stopped 27 of 30 shots to pick up his 5th win.  Matt Lorito and Mike Sislo each contributed two assists, while three other Devils each had a helper.

Matt Lorito
Matt Lorito
PL3 vs. Broll by the benches...
PL3 vs. Broll by the benches…

The Lineup:

Reid Boucher-Blake Coleman-Corey Tropp

Mike Sislo-Joseph Blandisi-Matt Lorito

Chris McKelvie-Ryan Kujawinski-Blake Pietila

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Pierre-Luc Leblond

Dan Kelly/Reece Scarlett

Marc Andre Gragnani/Raman Hrabarenka

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Yann Danis/Doug Carr

Out: Scott Wedgewood, Paul Thompson, Jim O’Brien (inj), Graham Black, Brandon Burlon, Corbin McPherson, Max Novak (extra)

Power Play: 2 for 5.  Penalty Kill: 7 for 8.  Penalty Minutes: 29.  Shots on Goal: 25. Shots Allowed: 30.

Highlights:

11/7 at Hartford: 4-0 W

Getting ready for the second...
Getting ready for the second…
Dan Kelly
Dan Kelly

It was due east to Connecticut’s state capital as the Devils took on the Wolfpack for the first time this season.  And it didn’t take very long to get things started for the visitors…while Joseph Blandisi was serving a minor for a hook, Mike Sislo would score his 7th goal of the year shorthanded for a 1-0 advantage just 2:53 into the contest.  Second period the Devils offense exploded, as Corey Tropp (3rd) and Reid Boucher (4th) would score just 18 seconds apart during a 4 on 4 for a 3-0 lead, chasing Wolfpack starter Magnus Hellberg out of the net in favor of Jeff Malcolm.  But the Devils weren’t done just yet…Blake Coleman would add his second goal of the season late in the period for a 4 goal cushion.  And that was all Yann Danis would need, as he withstood many wide shots and shots off the crossbar, not to mention a 12 shot barrage in the third period, to pick up his first shutout of the season.  Coleman and Tropp would also add helpers, while Blake Pietila and Dan Kelly each had a helper.

Joseph Blandisi
Joseph Blandisi

The Lineup:

Reid Boucher-Blake Coleman-Corey Tropp

Mike Sislo-Joseph Blandisi-Matt Lorito

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Pierre-Luc Leblond

Chris McKelvie-Ryan Kujawinski-Blake Pietila

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Brandon Burlon/Reece Scarlett

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Yann Danis/Doug Carr

Out: Scott Wedgewo0d, Paul Thompson, Jim O’Brien, Marc Andre Gragnani (inj), Graham Black, Max Novak, Corbin McPherson (extra)

Power Play: 0 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 28.  Shots on Goal: 26.  Shots Allowed: 24.

Highlights:

My Player of the Week:

Quite a few good performances this week, but the nod goes to…the man between the pipes.  2-0, first shutout of the season, a 1.51 GAA for the week…a good week for Yann Danis.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Mike Sislo (7)

Assists: 2 tied with 8

Points: Mike Sislo (12)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+9)

Penalty Minutes: Dan Kelly (23)

Wins: Yann Danis (6)

GAA: Yann Danis (1.99)

Save Percentage: Yann Danis (.924)

The Vault:

Going back to November 2012 for this one…get to know Seth Helgeson, or more notably, the hair.

Up North with the Thunder:

Another good week for the boys in Adirondack, as they went 2-1 on the Midwestern portion of their road trip.  Wednesday morning in Kalamazoo, Adirondack found themselves down 2-0 with 1:38 to go in regulation, their winning streak in jeopardy.  But two goals in :48 and a game winner 2:12 in overtime extended their streak to seven.  Unfortunately, that streak would end Friday night in Cincinnati as they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Cyclones.  Saturday Ken Appleby pitched his first pro shutout, defeating Toledo 1-0.  He is now 6-1-0 with a 1.85 GAA and a .938 save percentage.  Alex Carrier scored his first two goals of the season in Friday’s loss.  The road swing heads south this week for two more games, as the Thunder takes on Atlanta on Friday and Greenville on Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

A road 3 in 3 weekend to finish up the 5 game road swing…and it’s quite a travel schedule.  It begins Friday night in Providence as the Devils take on the Bruins.  Saturday the team finds themselves in Allentown to take on the Phantoms in their only visit to Lehigh Valley of the season.  Then it’s back to New England on Sunday afternoon as Albany makes their first visit to Springfield to face the Falcons.

Oh…just how did I get the title?  That’s the number of miles I logged the last two days traveling to both Syracuse and Hartford, round trip.