Week 20 Recap: Keep the Streak(s) Alive

This was one of those rare weeks in the schedule where there were six days in between games.  Good time to rest up and recharge.

It looks like the Devils took advantage of that, sweeping a pair of games and extending a few personal streaks in the process.

2/20 at Utica: 3-2 W (OT)

Joe Faust
Joe Faust

To start the week, the Devils headed west on the Thruway to Utica, hoping to break a 2 game losing streak to the Comets after winning the first 9 games of their lifetime series.  And the way the first period went, that didn’t look like a possibility.  While the Devils only managed 5 shots on Comets goaltender Joe Cannata, the hosts would score twice on Yann Danis.  Andrey Pedan kicked off the scoring 6:51 in with (hate to admit it, but…) a nice play on the side for a 1-0 advantage.  Then a rare misstep for the penalty kill, as Brendan Gaunce would score 24 seconds into the Comets first power play opportunity to double the lead.  Second period, the tables would turn, as it was the Comets struggling to get shots on goal and the visitors were the ones dominating.  Dan Kelly would pick up his fourth goal, a career best, 3:08 into the period to cut the lead in half.  Mike Sislo would tie the game up just over 5 minutes later with his league leading 24th tally.  The Comets could only manage two shots for the entire middle 20 minutes.  The Devils would continue to dominate in the third, only allowing 7 shots, but they were unable to get that go ahead goal despite a late power play opportunity.  It was on to overtime for the third straight game between the two teams, and this time the Devils would not be denied.  Matt Lorito would finish the comeback with less than 2 minutes remaining in the extra frame with a beautiful goal, clinching a fourth straight win.  Danis recovered nicely after a shaky first, stopping 21 of 23 in picking up his fifth straight win and 22nd overall.  Four different Devils added helpers.

Chris McKelvie
Chris McKelvie

The Lineup:

Mike Sislo-Matt Lorito-Paul Thompson

Corey Tropp-Jim O’Brien-Ryan Kujawinski

Ben Thomson-Graham Black-Max Novak

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-Blake Pietila

Marc-Andre Gragnani/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Yann Danis/Ken Appleby

Out: Blake Coleman, Scott Wedgewood, Brian O’Neill (ill), Vojtech Mozik (unk), Pierre-Luc Leblond, Joe Faust, Ben Johnson

Power Play: 0 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 22.  Shots on Goal: 34.  Shots Allowed: 23.


2/21 at Bridgeport: 5-2 W

To close out the brief two day week, it  was off to southern Connecticut to take on the Sound Tigers, who were working on an 11 game point streak.  And it didn’t take very long for the hosts to strike first, as a Ryan Pulock one-timer found its way past Yann Danis for the 1-0 advantage just 2:24 in.  Raman Hrabarenka would answer with his second goal of the season 4 and a half minutes later to tie it up.  Paul Thompson would put the visitors ahead 2-1 midway through the second with his 9th, only to have Bridgeport’s Mike Halmo tie it up with 3 and a half to go in the second.  On a tip in late in the period, Graham Black would pick up his fourth tally of the season to put the Devils ahead 3-2.  Two very good plays in the third would put the game away for Albany…first, off a steal, Ryan Kujawinski  scored his 4th just 2:12 in for an insurance goal.  Then with Dan Kelly in the penalty box, Mike Sislo would pick up a turnover, breakaway alone, and shoot it past Christopher Gibson to keep his goal streak alive at 7 games.  And that was all the offense needed for the Devils to pick up their fifth straight win and sweep the weekend.  Danis extended his personal win streak to six, stopping 25 of 27 shots.  Sislo, Hrabarenka, and three other added assists.

The Lineup:

Paul Thompson-Matt Lorito-Mike Sislo

Brian O’Neill-Jim O’Brien-Corey Tropp

Ryan Kujawinski-Graham Black-Ben Thomson

Chris McKelvie-Rod Pelley-Blake Pietila

Dan Kelly/Raman Hrabarenka

Marc Andre Gragnani/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Burlon/Corbin McPherson

Yann Danis/Ken Appleby

Out: Blake Coleman, Scott Wedgewood, Pierre-Luc Leblond, Ben Johnson, Max Novak, Vojtech Mozik, Joe Faust

Power Play: 0 for 5.  Penalty Kill: 6 for 6.  Penalty Minutes: 22.  Shots on Goal: 26.  Shots Allowed: 27.


AHL Live has the highlight reel here.

My Player of the Week:

Not an easy decision this week, so…I may just have to split it between the two AHL All Stars, who are both working on some personal streaks.  Seven games in a row with a goal for Mike Sislo, who now leads the league with 25; and 6 straight wins, all in the month of February, for Yann Danis.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Mike Sislo (25)

Assists: Matt Lorito (29)

Points: Mike Sislo (45)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+22)

Penalty Minutes: Pierre-Luc Leblond (96)

Wins: Yann Danis (23)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (1.67)

Save Percentage: Scott Wedgewood (.932)

The Vault:

Going back to 2012 and some minor memories with Ryan Kujawinski…

Up North with the Thunder:

Not a bad week for Adirondack, as they went 2-1-0-1 with a busy four game week.  They were shutout on Tuesday 4-0 by Wheeling at home (with Joe Faust and Ben Johnson in the lineup for a cameo appearance), then dropped a 2-1 shootout in Elmira on Friday.  Then the Thunder finally got back in the win column with a 3-1 win over the Jackals on Saturday before defeating Brampton in Canada 5-2 Sunday afternoon.  Greg Wolfe and Alexandre Carrier remain out of the lineup.  The Thunder travel to Manchester on Wednesday night before hosting Reading in a pair of games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

This Week’s Schedule:

A three game docket for the Devils this week.  On Wednesday it’s back home to take on St. John’s (and cult hero John Scott).  Friday begins a season long six game road trip, with Springfield the first stop.  After a rare Saturday off, it’s back to Bridgeport on Sunday for the third straight Sunday matchup against the Sound Tigers, closing out the month of February.



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