Game 1: Albany at Providence

Location: Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island.

Time: 7:05 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 8.  Future matchups: October 23rd @ Providence; December 10th, December 26th, & February 7th @ Albany; March 3rd @ Providence; March 25th @ Albany; March 31st @ Providence.

Media Kit

Standings:

Albany: 0-0-0, 0 points

Providence: 0-0-0, 0 points

Bruins Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

First game.

Last Game, Bruins: A 5-4 double overtime loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 23rd, completing a first round sweep in the Calder Cup playoffs.

Latest News/Notes:

The Bruins lost six of their top 10 scorers from last season, including Seth Griffith (claimed on waivers by Toronto), Alexander Khokhlachev (Europe), Austin Czarnik (Boston), and Frank Vatrano (out till December due to injury); the game marks the head coaching debut of former River Rats captain Kevin Dean, after spending the last five years as an assistant; former A-Devil captain Jay Leach begins his first season as an assistant coach after spending last season on Wilkes-Barre’s bench.

Albany Devils: Five questions for 2016-17 (Times Union)

Albany Devils try to match last year’s success (Times Union)

P-Bruins Season Preview: Where will the goals come from? (Providence Journal)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live for both teams

Social: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @AHLBruins

Before the Games Begin

A few last pieces of business to take care of before we get underway for real tomorrow night:

-For 24 hours starting Monday afternoon, most of Albany and New Jersey held their collective breath as Scott Wedgewood was placed on waivers.  Despite a flurry of activity on Tuesday involving the waiver wire (including New Jersey picking up P.A. Parenteau), he managed to clear and was reassigned to Albany.

-Just as Wedgewood cleared, Seth Helgeson took a turn through the waiver wire and cleared on Wednesday afternoon.  He was reassigned to Albany to make room for Kyle Quincey’s return from IR.

-Patch Alber and Mathieu Brodeur were both released from their PTOs Thursday.  Both will return to Adirondack.

AHL teams have until midnight tonight to submit their Opening Day rosters to the league.  As of press time, none have been posted.

Now…how will I be covering things this season?  Here’s what to expect starting tomorrow:

First of all…I’m going back to daily previews!  I’ll be returning to the three hours beforehand schedule.  Plan is for opponent stats, notes, maybe some pertinent links.

Weekly recaps will still be around, either on Sunday or Monday morning depending on the schedule.

I also plan on getting back into game photos (admittedly I slacked on that last season), and all photos will be over on my Flickr page.  I’ll post links on social media as often as needed.

 

Preseason Wrap

And now, a brief summary of everything that happened over the last four days:

-On Thursday, the Devils kicked off their two game schedule with a 4-1 win in Wilkes-Barre over the Penguins.  Four different Devils–Jan Mandat, John Quenneville, Ben Sexton, and Ty Loney–would all score while on the power play.  Mackenzie Blackwood drew the start and stopped 23 of 24 shots to pick up the win in net.

-Add two from New Jersey to the training camp roster on Friday, as Nick Lappin and Joe Blandisi were sent down.

-On Saturday, six players were released from their tryout deals: goaltender Andy Iles, defensemen Connor Hardowa and Alexander Kuqali, and forwards Ty Loney, Joe Pendenza, and Brian Ward.

-Sunday afternoon the Devils finished out their preseason schedule on a high note, shutting out Hartford 2-0 in Connecticut.  Ken Appleby stopped all 26 Wolfpack shots, while Brian Gibbons and Rod Pelley each scored.  Karl Stollery added two assists.

Coming up this week: once rosters are finalized and those that need to come down clear waivers, I will post that and get you set up for how I’ll be covering everything this season.

Tuesday Updates…

Two days into Albany’s training camp, and already there has been some movement:

-On the first day of camp, four players ended up back on recall to New Jersey: defensemen Vojtech Mozik and Karl Stollery, and forwards Blake Pietila and Blake Coleman.  While Stollery was the extra defenseman in Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Islanders in Brooklyn, Coleman and Pietila played on the fourth line with Rod Pelley, while Mozik was paired with rookie Steve Santini.

-Earlier today, forward Brian Gibbons, who was in camp with New Jersey as a tryout, officially signed a 1 year AHL contract.

-Also today: Coleman, Pietila, Mozik, and Stollery were all sent down to Albany, along with Pelley and defenseman Brandon Gormley, who had stayed behind as an extra after the first round of cuts Saturday.

With two games left in New Jersey’s preseason, the parent Devils have a total of 30 players remaining in camp: 4 goaltenders, 17 forwards, and 9 defensemen.

Welcome to October!

First, a PSA to everyone who started whining for October as far back as April…it’s here.  So SHUT UP TILL NEXT SUMMER!

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, let’s get to the task at hand, shall we?

-Albany’s training camp will officially open for business on Monday morning in Troy.  Why at the practice rink and not the Times Union Center?  Well…between the Professional Bull Riders Tour and the annual circus visit coming in over the next two weeks, there’s no ice to practice on.  So…the wait for the official game ice continues till at least Columbus Day.

As for who will be in camp?  Yesterday, 8 players were given invites:

Patch AlberA local product (born and raised in Clifton Park), the defenseman split last season between Missouri and Adirondack, where he posted 30 assists in 66 games.  He has yet to make his AHL debut, only playing in the ECHL (also played in Elmira for a season and a half) upon completing a four year career at Boston College.  He re-signed with Adirondack during the offseason.

Mathieu Brodeur: You may remember this defenseman from his two game stint for the Devils late last season.  Outside of those two games, he spent all of last season with Adirondack, scoring 9 goals and assisting on 21 others in 70 games.  He also made 12 playoff appearances, scoring twice.  He is slated to return to Adirondack for his second season.

Connor Hardowa: A native of Edmonton, the defenseman spent last season in Utah (ECHL), picking up 13 points (3 G, 10 A) in 43 appearances.  He has little AHL experience, appearing in 2 games for Abbotsford in 2012-13 upon finishing his collegiate career at New Hampshire, and 5 games for Texas in 2014-15.  He has an ECHL deal with Manchester.

Andy Iles: The goaltender spent last season with three different ECHL teams (Atlanta, Brampton, and Cincinnati), going 19-14-4 with a 2.93 GAA and a save percentage of .898.  He also has yet to make his AHL debut, and is under contract with Elmira.

Alexander Kuqali: You may remember Kuqali as one of New Jersey’s invites during the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo a couple of weekends ago.  I had said earlier he could be a possibility if extra bodies were needed.  He is under contract with Florida (ECHL, not the Panthers).

Ty LoneyThe token former Penguin of the group (there’s always at least one!), he split last season between Wheeling and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, picking up 6 assists in 31 games for the Pens, and 7 goals/11 assists in 28 games for the Nailers.  He appeared in 5 games for Norfolk (when they were still AHL) in 2014-15 after finishing his collegiate career at the University of Denver.  He is under contract with Adirondack.

Joseph Pendenza: The center has spent his professional career split between Milwaukee and Cincinnati.  Last season, he scored 10 goals in 29 games for Cincinnati, and picked up 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 45 games for the Admirals.

Brian Ward: The only true rookie of the group, he made his professional debut at the end of last season, picking up one game with Charlotte upon completing 3 years with St. Lawrence.  He has an ECHL deal with Adirondack.

-Before New Jersey plays their fifth preseason game against the Rangers at The Rock, the first wave of cuts were announced:

Back to their respective junior teams: goaltender Evan Cormier (Saginaw); defensemen Colby Sissons (Swift Current) and Colton White (Sault Ste. Marie); and forwards Nathan Bastian (Mississauga), Brandon Gignac (Shawinigan), and Mikey MacLeod (Mississauga).

To Albany: goaltenders Ken Appleby and Mackenzie Blackwood; defensemen Josh Jacobs and Vojtech Mozik; and forwards Brandon Baddock, Blake Coleman, Brian Gibbons, Ryan Kujawinski, Jan Mandat, Max Novak, Blake Pietila, John Quenneville, Kevin Rooney, Ben Sexton, and Ben Thomson.

To Albany, once they pass through waivers: defensemen Brandon Gormley, Andrew MacWilliam, Reece Scarlett, and Karl Stollery; and forward Carter Camper.

Notables still up in New Jersey: Nick Lappin (after I witnessed his two goal performance Monday night in Newark, not shocked), Joe Blandisi, Seth Helgeson to name a few.  Rod Pelley was part of Saturday’s morning skate group, but expect him back in Albany shortly.

But the most important news of the week?  The River Rats are making a comeback!  Well…sort of.  The Devils announced on Thursday that on November 26th (vs. Rochester) and March 25th (vs. Providence), the team will be wearing River Rat sweaters as part of special Throwback Nights.  The jerseys will be signed and auctioned off after the second contest.