It was quite the one game week after coming back from Christmas for the Devils. After real life interrupted, they got back on track in a big way.
After a much needed 6 day break after an 0-4 road trip, the Devils returned to home ice for the first time in 15 days to take on the Bruins. But things took a scary turn before warmups could even get underway: a suspicious item found under a vehicle in one of the side parking lots caused the arena to be evacuated, delaying the start of the game by nearly 90 minutes. Once the investigation was completed (it turned out to be a toy with flashing lights), everyone was allowed back in the building and things got underway. (Side note: thanks to a family Christmas gathering, I missed out on all of that and ended up arriving just after puck drop.)
After a mostly quiet first period, and just 22 seconds into their first power play of the contest, Matt Lorito would score his fifth goal of the season late in the period for a 1-0 advantage. After a scoreless second, Albany would take command in the third period. Brian O’Neill would score just 13 seconds into the third, his first goal since coming down for New Jersey, for a 2-0 lead. Graham Black would add his first goal of the season 5:36 later for a 3-0 advantage. Austin Czarnik would break up Scott Wedgewood’s shutout bid with just over 10 minutes remaining to cut the lead to 3-1. But Corey Tropp would put the cherry on top late with an empty netter to seal the win, breaking a 4 game losing streak. Wedgewood stopped 27 of 28 shots to pick up his second win of the season. It was a very balanced offensive attack, as 12 of 18 Devil skaters registered at least one point.
Matt Lorito-Joe Blandisi-Mike Sislo
Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson
Jim O’Brien-Brian O’Neill-Paul Thompson
Reid Boucher-Graham Black-Corey Tropp
Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson
Dan Kelly/Vojtech Mozik
Marc Andre Gragnani/Reece Scarlett
Scott Wedgewood/Yann Danis
Out: Seth Helgeson, Blake Coleman, Max Novak, Blake Pietila, Ryan Kujawinski, Raman Hrabarenka, Pierre-Luc Leblond
Power Play: 1 for 1. Penalty Kill: 3 for 3. Penalty Minutes: 6. Shots on Goal: 27. Shots Allowed: 28.
My Player of the Week:
With so many contributors to the win…have to give it to the man between the pipes. After a disasterous road trip, it was good to see Scott Wedgewood rebound in a big way.
Goals: Mike Sislo (13)
Assists: Matt Lorito (17)
Points: Mike Sislo (23)
+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+13)
Penalty Minutes: Ben Thomson/Dan Kelly (44)
Wins: Yann Danis (14)
GAA: Scott Wedgewood (1.78)
Save Percentage: Scott Wedgewood (.922)
Since it’s World Junior Championship time…let’s go back to 2011 and an interview with Reid Boucher while he was a member of Team USA.
Up North with the Thunder:
Adirondack returned from the Christmas break with a home and home split against Manchester. Saturday night they defeated the Monarchs on home ice, as Greg Wolfe scored his 5th goal and Ben Johnson contributed an assist. Sunday afternoon in New Hampshire Ken Appleby suffered a 2-0 loss, stopping 24 of 26 shots. The Thunder have a 4 game week upcoming, hosting Greenville on Tuesday and Reading on Thursday, then head to Pennsylvania on Saturday and Sunday for a two game set against the Royals.
This Week’s Schedule:
It’s a busy one as we say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016. Albany closes the calendar year with a home and home set against Utica…Wednesday at home, New Year’s Eve in Utica. Then 2016 starts on the road with a trip east to Hartford to face the Wolfpack.