Week 1 in Review: A Promising Beginning

So…losing your top 8 scorers, bringing in a new cast of characters, and trying to live up to last season’s success?

If the first two games are any indication…achievement unlocked.  For the first time in franchise history, it’s a 2-0 beginning.

10/14 @ Providence: 3-1 W

It was off to Rhode Island to kick off the 2016-17 season, as the Devils squared off against former River Rat Kevin Dean (making his head coaching debut) and the Bruins.  It was the visitors who came flying out of the gate to begin the first period, as Ben Thomson and John Quenneville (in his pro debut) would pick up goals just fifteen seconds apart for a quick 2-0 Devil advantage.  Then with 6:26 to go in the period, Blake Pietila would pick up a power play goal for a 3-0 lead, chasing Bruin starter Malcolm Subban out of the net in favor of Zane McIntyre.  The goaltending shakeup seemed to work in the home team’s favor, because in the second period they would finally show some signs of life.  They would outshoot Albany 12-4, with one of those shots a goal by Peter Mueller with 2:21 to go to make it a 3-1 contest.  Providence would continue to pour on the shots in the third, but Scott Wedgewood was up to the challenge, stopping all 14 chances he faced.  Albany’s fast start would prove to be enough in the end to pick up win #1 of the season.  Despite a few defensive woes (read: penalty trouble), Wedgewood would stop 31 of 32 shots overall and earn #1 star honors.  Carter Camper would pick up 2 assists in his Albany debut, while four others had one assist each.  The penalty kill was back in midseason form, going 6 for 6.

Lines:

Carter Camper-John Quenneville-Nick Lappin

Blake Pietila-Joe Blandisi-Blake Coleman

Kevin Rooney-Ryan Kujawinski-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense Pairings:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Scott Wedgewood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Josh Jacobs, Brandon Baddock, Brian Gibbons, Jan Mandat, Mackenzie Blackwood

Power Play: 1 for 2.  Penalty Kill: 6 for 6.  Penalty Minutes: 16.  Shots For: 18.  Shots Allowed: 32.

Three Stars: 3. Peter Mueller; 2. John Quenneville; 1. Scott Wedgewood.

Highlight Reel:

10/15 vs. St. John’s: 5-2 W

Back on home ice for the first time since May, Albany kicked off its local portion of the schedule by hosting the IceCaps.  And for the second straight day, the Devils would come out of the gate scoring in the first.  John Quenneville picked up his second goal 5:10 into the contest for an early 1-0 lead.  With Blake Pietila about to finish serving a questionable interference call, Kevin Rooney picked up his first goal shorthanded to double the lead.  Then things started getting a little, shall we say, chippy, midway through the period as back to back fights from Seth Helgeson and Andrew MacWilliam would leave the defense a little shorthanded.  St. John’s would get on the scoresheet just after the second period began, thanks to former River Rat Chris Terry, cutting the lead in half.  Then after two more questionable calls put Albany down in a 5 on 3 situation, Terry would pick up his second goal to tie the game at two.  Ben Thomson would then pick up his second goal in as many days to put the Devils back ahead 3-2.  Then more of the same rough stuff would see IceCaps forward leave, then MacWilliam would survive a round with the Wild Thing himself Bobby Farnham (who, surprisingly up to that point, had stayed out of any of the get togethers), only to be given a game misconduct due to a second fighting major.  Things would finally calm down in the third period, as no one was called for any kind of penalty.  But Albany would put the game away on Pietila’s second goal of the season and a Max Novak empty netter.  Through all of this, Scott Wedgewood did his usual Wedgewood, stopping 20 of 22 shots and even picking up an assist.  Ryan Kujawinski added two assists, while six other Devils had one helper each.

Lines:

Blake Coleman-Joe Blandisi-Blake Pietila

Carter Camper-John Quenneville-Nick Lappin

Kevin Rooney-Ryan Kujawinski-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Scott Wedgewood/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Josh Jacobs, Brandon Baddock, Brian Gibbons, Jan Mandat, Ken Appleby

Power Play: o for 3.  Penalty Kill: 2 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 37.  Shots For: 20.  Shots Allowed: 22.

Three Stars: 3. Kevin Rooney; 2. Chris Terry; 1. Ben Thomson.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

There were quite a few candidates to choose from after two games, but…I’ll give the nod to Scott Wedgewood, who stopped a total of 51 out of 54 shots faced and at times singlehandedly kept the Devils in the lead.

Team Leaders:

Goals: 3 tied with 2

Assists: 5 tied with 2

Points: 8 tied with 2

+/-: Reece Scarlett (+4)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (22)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (2)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (1.50)

Save Percentage: Scott Wedgewood (.944)

Up North with the Thunder:

Much like the Devils, Adirondack kicked off their season this weekend with a pair of wins, sweeping a two game set in Manchester.  On Friday, in a 4-3 shootout win, Brian Ward and Greg Wolfe each scored, while Mathieu Brodeur and Ty Loney picked up one helper each.  Saturday the Thunder followed that up with a 5-3 win–Loney scored twice, while Brodeur and Patch Alber had assists.  The Thunder return home on Saturday to once again face Manchester in their only contest this week.

This Week’s Schedule:

Week 2 and already the first 3 in 3 weekend of the season is upon us.  Friday night Binghamton pays their first visit of the season.  Then a first round playoff rematch on Saturday afternoon as the Comets come calling to finish off the homestand.  Then it’s back to Rhode Island for the second time in 9 days on Sunday afternoon for a rematch with the Bruins.

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