Week 10 Recap: No Crazy Eights

As the old saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” Alas, the wonderful winning streak the Devils put together could not pass seven.

12/11 vs. Syracuse: 3-1 W

Jim O'Brien returns...
Jim O’Brien returns…

The homestand wrapped up on Friday night, as Albany welcomed the Crunch for the second time in 5 days.  After a relatively drama free first period (except for near the end), the Devils got on the board in a big way in the second.  Jim O’Brien, in his first game back since Halloween, managed to score twice in a span of :28 for a 2-0 Albany lead.  Then, a rare misstep by the Devils special teams, ranked #1 in the entire league…just 15 seconds after Seth Helgeson took a seat in the penalty box, the Crunch would cut the lead in half on a Jeff Tambellini goal.  But Albany would shut things down after that, only allowing 3 shots in the third period and Brandon Burlon would add an insurance goal, sealing the Devils 7th straight win, a new Albany/Lowell franchise record.  Scott Wedgewood finally made his season debut and hardly had to break a sweat, stopping 17 of 18 shots and picking up the win.  Corey Tropp added three primary assists, while Reid Boucher added two helpers.

...and Graham Black too.
…and Graham Black too.

The Lineup:

Matt Lorito-Max Novak-Mike Sislo

Reid Boucher-Jim O’Brien-Corey Tropp

Blake Pietila-Graham Black-Ryan Kujawinski

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Pierre-Luc Leblond

Dan Kelly/Marc Andre Gragnani

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Scott Wedgewood/Yann Danis

Out: Blake Coleman, Paul Thompson, Chris McKelvie, Reece Scarlett, Raman Hrabarenka, Greg Wolfe

Power Play:  0 for 3. Penalty Kill 2 for 3. Penalty Minutes: 13.  Shots on Goal: 27. Shots Allowed: 18.

Scott Wedgewood your post game interview.
Scott Wedgewood your post game interview.

Highlights:

12/12 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: 4-0 L

Ben Thomson
Ben Thomson

It was off to northeast Pennsylvania on Saturday, as the Devils made their only visit of the season to Wilkes-Barre Township to take on the Penguins, who earlier in the day saw a change of coaches: former Albany captain Jay Leach was making his debut behind the bench as an interim coach after Mike Sullivan was promoted to Pittsburgh.  And unlike the last few games, the Devils found themselves in an early hole after a Kevin Porter goal with 2:59 to go in the first (and also buried under a ton of stuffed animals thanks to a Teddy Bear Toss).  It didn’t get any easier when Tom Kostopoulos would double the lead just seconds into the second period.  A PL3 bout and a called off goal could have shifted momentum in the Devils direction, but not to be.  Porter would score his second of the game with 4:13 to go in the second for a 3-0 lead.  After the Pens had a goal waved off for the second time, they managed to solve the top penalty kill in the league and took a commanding 4-0 lead.  Despite Albany’s best efforts, they were unable to solve Penguin goaltender Tristan Jarry, and the win streak came to a screeching halt at 7 games.  It was also the first time all season the Devils were shutout.  Yann Danis picked up the loss in net, stopping 23 of 27 shots.

Matt Lorito & Max Novak
Matt Lorito & Max Novak

The Lineup:

Matt Lorito-Max Novak-Mike Sislo

Reid Boucher-Jim O’Brien-Corey Tropp

Blake Pietila-Graham Black-Ryan Kujawinski

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Pierre Luc Leblond

Dan Kelly/Marc Andre Gragnani

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Yann Danis/Scott Wedgewood

Out: Blake Coleman, Paul Thompson, Chris McKelvie, Reece Scarlett, Raman Hrabarenka, Greg Wolfe

Power Play: 0 for 4.  Penalty Kill: 1 for 2.  Penalty Minutes: 11.  Shots on Goal: 22.  Shots Allowed: 27.

Highlights:

My Player of the Week:

Scoring 2 goals in a span of :28?  A nice comeback appearance for Jim O’Brien.  Honorable mention to Corey Tropp for his 3 assist performance.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Mike Sislo (13)

Assists: Matt Lorito (17)

Points: Mike Sislo (22)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+15)

Penalty Minutes: Pierre-Luc Leblond (42)

Wins: Yann Danis (14)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (1.00)

Save Percentage: Scott Wedgewood (.944)

The Vault:

So…how many Devils can say they were once the #1 play on Sportscenter in college?  Max Novak holds that bragging right. (You’ll just have to watch through to the end.)

Up North with the Thunder:

A slow start to the weekend for the boys in Adirondack, as they dropped back to back games on home ice.  Friday night Ken Appleby suffered a 6-1 loss at the hands of Norfolk, only lasting 2 and a half periods before being pulled.  He stopped 15 of 20 Admiral shots in defeat.  Saturday Appleby suffered a 4-3 overtime loss to the Monarchs, stopping 36 of 40 shots.  Alexandre Carrier scored his second goal of the season on a power play late in the second period.  After traveling to Manchester Sunday afternoon, the Thunder return home on Wednesday to take on Elmira before traveling south to Norfolk on Friday and Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

The week before Christmas is going to be a very long one.  Tuesday and Wednesday the Devils travel all the way north to Newfoundland to take on the IceCaps for a pair.  Then it’s back to the U.S. mainland and western New York for their first visit to Rochester in three seasons on Saturday before starting a near week long break for the holiday.

Also Saturday: I get my third callup to New Jersey of the season.

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