Monthly Archives: November 2016

Game 19: Albany at Bridgeport

Location: Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, CT.

Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Bridgeport leads 1-0.

Media Kit

Standings:

Albany: 12-6-0-0, 24 points, .667, 1st place in North Division

Bridgeport: 12-6-0-0, 24 points, .667, 4th place in Atlantic Division

Sound Tigers Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Bracken Kearns, 16 points (6 G, 10 A); Steve Bernier, 12 points (7 G, 5 A); 2 tied with 10 points

Stephon Williams, 2-6-0, 2.85 GAA; Eamon McAdam, 4-0-0, 1.96 GAA; Christopher Gibson, 6-0-0, 2.52 GAA

Last Game, Sound Tigers: Bridgeport was shutout by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1-0 on the road Saturday night.

Latest News/Notes:

The Sound Tigers have won 7 of their last 10 and 3 in a row on home ice; former Devils captain Stephen Gionta, out since preseason due to injury, is back skating with Bridgeport and is almost ready to make his season debut; Steve Bernier has 6 points in his last five games (4 G, 2 A); goaltender Christopher Gibson, who beat Albany on November 2nd, has been out the last 3 weeks due to injury; Miles Wood was recalled by New Jersey on Monday and will accompany the team on a three game road trip; John Quenneville is tied for third among AHL rookies in scoring (14 pts), and ranks second among AHL rookies in power play goals (3) and shots taken (51).

AHLOTB: Devon Toews; no relation (theahl.com)

Goalie McAdam productive for Sound Tigers…in both ends (Connecticut Post)

Albany ‘River Rats’ Coming Back? (The Hockey Writers)

New Jersey Devils Prospect Update 11/29/16  (All About The Jersey)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live

Social: @AlbanyDevils, @TheSoundTigers, @fornabaioctp

 

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Week 7 in Review: Redemption

When we last left the Devils, they were coming off a two game losing streak to two division foes.

But what a rebound this week, thanks to some comeback magic and a little local nostalgia…and after a 3-0 week, they are back in first place in the division.

11/22 vs. Toronto: 3-1 W

To start the week, the Devils were back at home for the first time in 10 days, but for a rare Tuesday night matchup against the Marlies.  Toronto would get off to a good start by taking a 1-0 lead midway through the first on a Byron Froese goal.  The Devils would have a golden opportunity to get on the board against Antoine Bibeau in the second…a Milan Michalek high stick to Brian Gibbons (who left temporarily to get stitched up, but he would return) gave Albany a 4 minute power play opportunity.  After their first goal attempt was waved off, Vojtech Mozik would connect for his second goal of the season during the tail end of the man advantage (yes New Jersey, your read that right…an actual Devil power play goal) to tie the game up at 1.  In the third, a great play by Miles Wood and Blake Coleman (the latter with a sweet wraparound) gave the Devils a 2-1 lead 4:59 in.  Kevin Rooney would add an insurance goal, his third of the season, with 7:42 remaining for a 3-1 advantage.  Ken Appleby, just back from a stint in Adirondack, would take care of the rest, stopping 23 of 24 shots in improving his record to 2-0 on the season.  Five Devils, including Wood, had one assist each.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Joe Blandisi-Miles Wood

John Quenneville-Blake Coleman-Petr Straka

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Reece Scarlett/Brandon Gormley

Karl Stollery/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Andrew MacWilliam, Steve Santini, Brandon Baddock, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 1 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 8.  Shots on Goal: 32.  Shots Allowed: 24.

3 Stars: 1. Ken Appleby; 2. Vojtech Mozik; 3. Miles Wood.

Highlight Reel:

11/25 at Hartford: 4-3 W (OT)

While I was in New Jersey on Friday night, the Devils took a quick trip east to Connecticut for their first matchup of the season against a struggling Wolfpack team.  But it would be Hartford getting off to a good start in the first, as they took a 1-0 lead halfway through the period on a Chris Brown goal.  Matt Carey would double the Wolfpack lead early in the second.  The Devils would finally get on the board midway through the period on Seth Helgeson’s second goal of the season, but would find themselves back down by two goals late thanks to an Adam Tambellini tally.  But the Devils would rally, picking up goals from Kevin Rooney (his 4th) and Ben Sexton (his 3rd) in a span of 2:49 midway through the third to tie the game up at 3.  Albany would cap off the successful rally in overtime, as Miles Wood would score his 2nd goal 1:43 into the extra frame.  Mackenzie Blackwood would recover from a shaky start and stop 24 of 27 shots to pick up his 4th win.  Five different Devils would add assists.

*Lines:

Blake Pietila-Joe Blandisi-Miles Wood

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Petr Straka

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

*Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Josh Jacobs

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Steve Santini, Max Novak, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Gormley

Power Play: 0 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 8.  Shots on Goal: 26.  Shots Allowed: 27.

3 Stars: 1. Miles Wood; 2. Adam Tambellini; 3. Ryan Graves.

Highlight Reel:

AHL Live has the highlights here.

11/26 vs. Rochester: 4-2 W

To finish off the week, it was back into the time machine to the mid 90s, as the River Rats made their triumphant return to the ice to take on Rochester.  And it looked like the power of the rat was with the current day Devils for this one.  In a span of 2:34 late in the opening period, Miles Wood (3rd) and Joe Blandisi (5th) would both pick up power play goals for a 2-0 lead.  The Rat domination would continue in the second period, as Blake Coleman (4th) and John Quenneville (6th) would score 4:25 apart for a commanding 4-0 lead.  But Rochester was not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet, as they showed a little sign of life late in the final period.  Mike Aviani and Evan Rodrigues would pick up two quick goals with less than 3 minutes to go in regulation to cut the Rats lead in half.  But they were unable to catch up any further, and Albany finished off another perfect 3-0 week.  Ken Appleby was his usual stellar self in net, stopping 19 of 21 shots to pick up his third win.  Quenneville and Brian Gibbons would each add two assists, while four others had one helper each.

Lines:

Blake Pietila-Joe Blandisi-Miles Wood

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Petr Straka

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Power Play: 2 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 5 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 15.  Shots on Goal: 30.  Shots Allowed: 21.

3 Stars: 1. John Quenneville; 2. Brian Gibbons; 3. Seth Helgeson.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

I could have easily given the nod to John Quenneville after a 5 point week, but I’m actually going to go in a different direction: give it to a guy who at this time last week was in Utah playing for the Thunder.  One injury to Scott Wedgewood later, Ken Appleby stepped in and was tremendous in net, going 2-0 and stopping 42 of 45 shots faced.

Team Leaders:

Goals: 2 tied with 6

Assists: Joe Blandisi (9)

Points: 2 tied with 14

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+12)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (44)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Ken Appleby (1.62)

Save Percentage: Ken Appleby (.932)

Up North with the Thunder:

A solid week for Adirondack, as they picked up three out of four points in a two game set with Florida.  Despite being outshot 29-17, Adirondack would pick up a 3-1 win on Tuesday night.  Ty Loney would score twice, while Brian Ward added two helpers.  The Thunder would rally from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 to force overtime and a shootout, but the Everblades would finally prevail 5-4.  Mathieu Brodeur would score the tiebreaker in the third and add an assist, while Patch Alber added a goal.  The homestand continues this week with three more games, as the Thunder host Manchester on Tuesday, then welcome Colorado in for a pair on Friday and Saturday night.

This Week’s Schedule:

A busy four game week is on deck.  First, the Devils finish off November where they started it: in Bridgeport.  Tuesday they make the trip south to take on the Sound Tigers.  Then, a 3 in 3 weekend to kick off the month of December: Friday Utica makes their second visit of the season.  Saturday night the Devils travel west on the Thruway to visit the Comets to finish off a home and home.  Finally it’s back to the Capital Region on Sunday afternoon to face Binghamton.

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Game 18: Albany vs. Rochester

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Time: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 1-0.

Media Kit

Standings:

Albany: 11-6-0-0, 22 points, .647, 1st place in North Division

Rochester: 7-10-0-1, 15 points, .417, 6th place in North Division

Americans Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Cal O’Reilly, 18 points (3 G, 15 A); Cole Schneider, 17 points (7 G, 10 A); Justin Bailey, 13 points (7 G, 6 A)

Linus Ullmark, 6-7-1, 2.99 GAA; John Muse, 1-0-0, 2.00 GAA

Last Game, Amerks: Rochester lost at home to Utica 5-2 on Friday night.

Latest News/Notes:

The Amerks are winless in their last five games (0-4-0-1); Rochester’s top two scorers, Cal O’Reilly and Cole Schneider, along with William Carrier, were sent down by Buffalo this morning; a total of 29 players, including 3 goalies, have made at least one appearance in an Amerks sweater this season; 6 Devils–John Quenneville, Ben Sexton, Reece Scarlett, Rod Pelley, Kevin Rooney, and Ben Thomson–have appeared in all 17 games this season; today marks the first of two River Rats days this season, as the Devils will wear the old Albany River Rats jersey and Rowdy will make his triumphant return to the arena.

Rochester Amerks skid hits 5 straight after loss to Utica (Democrat & Chronicle)

Amerks look to rebound after tough weekend (sabres.com)

Albany Devils finally opt to embrace the past (Times Union)

Albany Devils rally past Hartford in overtime (Times Union)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live or ESPN Radio Rochester

Social: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @AmerksHockey

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Game 17: Albany at Hartford

Location: XL Center, Hartford, CT.

Time: 7:15 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 4.  Future matchups: December 31st @ Hartford; April 1st & April 12th @ Albany

Standings:

Albany: 10-6-0-0, 20 points, .625, 2nd place in North Division

Hartford: 5-10-2-0, 12 points, .353, 7th place in Atlantic Division

Wolfpack Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Marek Hrivik, 15 points (7 G, 8 A); Nicklas Jensen, 11 points (6 G, 5 A); Mat Bodie, 9 points (4 G, 5 A)

Magnus Hellberg, 4-4-2, 3.30 GAA; Brandon Halvorsen, 1-2-0, 4.60 GAA

Last Game, Wolfpack: Hartford dropped a 4-2 contest to Bridgeport at home on Wednesday.

Latest News/Notes:

The Wolfpack have dropped 8 of their last 10 (2-6-2-0) and now sit dead last in the AHL; Hartford starts a 3 game road trip tomorrow in Lehigh Valley before heading north next weekend to Toronto for a pair; Blake Pietila was returned to Albany on Wednesday, while Brandon Baddock, who still has yet to suit up for a game, was sent to Adirondack; the Devils continue to lead the league in average penalty minutes per game (22.06).

Steve Bernier scores 140-foot goal with his body in AHL (Puck Daddy)

Wolf Pack Weekly (hartfordwolfpack.com)

New Jersey Devils Prospect Update 11/22/16 (All About the Jersey)

Brandon Baddock rejoins Thunder (Post Star)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live

Social: @AlbanyDevils, @WolfPackAHL

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Game 16: Albany vs. Toronto

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Tied at 1.

Media Kit

Standings:

Albany: 9-6-0-0, 18 points, .600, 3rd place in North Division

Toronto: 9-4-0-1, 19 points, .679, 1st place in North Division

Marlies Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Brendan Leipsic, 19 points (5 G, 14 A); Kasperi Kapanen, 14 points (8 G, 6 A); Andrew Nielsen, 11 points (4 G, 7 A)

Antoine Bibeau, 6-3-1, 2.20 GAA; Garret Sparks, 3-1-0, 2.02 GAA

Last Game, Marlies: Toronto shut out St. John’s 3-0 at home on Sunday.

Latest News/Notes: The Marlies will be spending Thanksgiving week in New York, traveling to Syracuse on Friday before returning home to face Utica Saturday afternoon; forward Brendan Leipsic has a one point lead in the league scoring race, while Antoine Bibeau is tied for the league lead in shutouts (3); Scott Wedgewood (upper) is out indefinitely after getting injured in Friday’s loss in Binghamton; this game was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but was moved to today due to a scheduling conflict with the TU Center’s other tenant, Siena.

Marlies Break Through Wall in Third, Defeat IceCaps (The Leafs Nation)

Back to Fortress Ricoh (marlies.ca)

Appleby trying to make most out of opportunity (thealbanydevils.com)

Scott Wedgewood’s injury has Albany Devils looking at youngsters (Times Union)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live

Social: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @TorontoMarlies

 

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Week 6 in Review: Of Curses and Heartbreak

Just when you thought things were back to normal in Albany…everything happens.  And two out of six points and an injured goaltender later…

11/16 at Rochester: 3-1 W

The road trip began on Wednesday night in Rochester, as the Devils looked to extend a nearly year long shutout streak against the Amerks.  And judging by the first period, it looked like a real possibility.  Despite a 15-2 shot differential in the first twenty minutes of the contest, it took till nearly the end of the period for Albany to get on the board, thanks to Miles Wood’s first professional goal.  Joe Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season (and his third in 3 games) would double the lead for the visitors midway through the middle period.  But while on a power play with 24 seconds remaining in the second, the Amerks finally broke their scoreless drought after a full 3 hours, 21 minutes, and 45 seconds (but who’s counting?), cutting the lead in half on a Tyson Strachan tally.  Despite outshooting the Devils 10-7 in the third, the Amerks were unable to get the equalizer, and an empty netter by Rod Pelley late (his third straight game with a goal) would seal a third straight win.  Scott Wedgewood stopped 20 of 21 Amerk shots, while three Devils each had assists.  The game also marked the debuts of both Petr Straka (2 SOG) and Luke Gazdic (12 PIM).

Lines:

Miles Wood-Joe Blandisi-Ben Sexton

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Petr Straka

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ryan Kujawinski

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Josh Jacobs

Scott Wedgewood/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Steve Santini, Blake Coleman, Max Novak, Brandon Baddock, Carter Camper, Brandon Gormley

Power Play: 0 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 29.  Shots on Goal: 31.  Shots Allowed: 21.

3 Stars: 1. Joe Blandisi; 2. Miles Wood; 3. Tyson Strachan.

Highlight Reel:

11/18 at Binghamton: 6-2 L

It was off to the House of Horrors…I mean Binghamton…on Friday, as Albany paid the Senators a visit.  And if you believe in curses…well, the first period was beyond explanation.  Before most of the building was probably even settled into their seats, Buddy Robinson and Patrick Sieloff scored within the first 39 seconds of the contest for a 2-0 lead.  To add to the insult, Robinson would add his second two minutes later for a 3-0 lead, ending Mackenzie Blackwood’s night after 1 save on 4 chances.  But the home team wasn’t done just yet…Curtis Lazar would add a goal, and 4:56 in the Devils were staring at a 4 goal deficit.  Things would start to look up for the Devils in the second as they tried to get back into the contest.  Petr Straka’s first Devil goal would break up the shutout bid 7:19 into the middle stanza.  Brian Gibbons would pick up his 3rd goal on a power play with 3:43 left in the period to cut the Senators lead in half.  As if the night couldn’t get any worse for Albany…Scott Wedgewood, who was filling in quite well in a relief appearance, was forced to leave the game in the third due to an apparent hand/wrist injury, putting Blackwood back in the net.  And the Senators would put the game away late with two goals in the last 5:28 of the game to halt Albany’s win streak at 3.  Blackwood had a night he’d like to forget, only stopping 2 of 7 shots in 12:01, while Wedgewood stopped 15 of 16 in 47:37 of work before exiting.  Four Devils would add assists.

Lines:

Miles Wood-Joe Blandisi-Ben Sexton

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Petr Straka

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Blake Coleman

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Mackenzie Blackwood/Scott Wedgewood

Scratches: Steve Santini, Josh Jacobs, Brandon Baddock, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski

Power Play: 1 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 7 for 8.  Penalty Minutes: 28.  Shots on Goal: 28.  Shots Allowed: 23.

3 Stars: 1. Buddy Robinson; 2. Chris Carlisle; 3. Matt O’Connor.

Highlight Reel:

Saturday: On Friday night, Ken Appleby was in net in Utah picking up a win for the Thunder.  Saturday, he was backing up in Syracuse, getting the recall after Wedgewood’s injury.

11/19 at Syracuse: 3-2 L

Without Wedgewood, it was off to Syracuse, as the Devils looked to rebound from the night before.  Mackenzie Blackwood got a chance to redeem himself after a disastrous start, and early on he proved that, stopping all 9 Crunch shots in the first twenty minutes.  In the second, the Devils found themselves in a 2-0 hole rather quickly, as Matt Taormina and Tanner Richard would score 1:32 apart early in the period.  But Albany would rally to tie in the second half of the period, thanks to power play goals from Brandon Gormley (his 1st as a Devil) and John Quenneville (his 5th).  The third period was rather quiet at first…no penalties called and both teams each had chances to take the lead.  But just as everyone figured things would be settled in overtime…Erik Condra would get a pass and score on Blackwood with just 1.9 seconds left on the clock, turning a at least 3 point week into a 1-2 week for the Devils.  Blackwood, despite the loss, rebounded very nicely from Friday evening, stopping 27 of 30 shots.  Four different Devils had one assist each.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Kevin Rooney-Petr Straka

Miles Wood-Joe Blandisi-Brian Gibbons

Ben Thomson-Blake Coleman-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Brandon Gormley

Karl Stollery/Josh Jacobs

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Steve Santini, Brandon Baddock, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Vojtech Mozik, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 2 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 6.  Shots on Goal: 31.  Shots Allowed: 30.

3 Stars: 1. Erik Condra; 2. Yanni Gourde; 3. Matt Taormina.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

A few to choose from…but let’s go with the new guy.  For someone who had not even played till this week, Petr Straka settled into the lineup quite nicely, picking up a goal and an assist in his first 3 games.

Team Leaders:

Goals: John Quenneville (5)

Assists: Joe Blandisi (8)

Points: Joe Blandisi (12)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+8)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (44)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Ken Appleby (1.85)

Save Percentage: Ken Appleby (.929)

Up North with the Thunder:

The Thunder wrapped up an extended trip out west with a 3 game series in Utah against Alexandre Carrier and the Grizzlies, taking two out of three.  On Monday, Adirondack dropped a 5-2 decision, with Brian Ward and Ty Loney each picking up a goal.  Friday night, the Thunder returned the favor with a 2-1 win, as Ken Appleby stopped 24 of 25 shots in picking up his fourth win before flying cross country to join the Devils in Syracuse.  Adirondack would finish off the three game set with a 3-2 win on Saturday night, as Loney would score again, and both Mathieu Brodeur and Alex Wall had two assists each. Adirondack finally returns home to Glens Falls this week, as they kick off a 7 game homestand with a two game set against Florida on Tuesday and Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

A sort of odd schedule this week for Albany, as they play a rare Tuesday night home game against Toronto (which originally was scheduled for Wednesday…thanks Siena College).  Friday night they hit the road for Hartford, then on Saturday afternoon against Rochester…the Rats are back.  The long awaited return of the River Rat jerseys is finally upon us!

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Game 15: Albany at Syracuse

Location: Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY.

Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: First meeting of 8.  Future matchups: December 9th @ Syracuse; January 18th, February 2nd & February 15th @ Albany; March 18th @ Syracuse; April 5th @ Albany; April 8th @ Syracuse

Media Kit

Standings:

Albany: 9-5-0-0, 14 points, .643, 2nd place in North Division

Syracuse: 7-4-0-1, 15 points, .625, 3rd place in North Division

Crunch Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Cory Conacher, 12 points (3 G, 9 A); Yanni Gourde, 9 points (4 G, 5 A); 2 tied with 8 points

Adam Wilcox, 5-3-0, 2.50 GAA; Kristers Gudlevskis, 2-1-1, 3.47 GAA

Last Game, Crunch: Syracuse lost to Hershey 5-1 in Pennsylvania on Friday night.

Latest News/Notes:

The Crunch have won 3 of 5 games during the month of November (3-1-0-1); Syracuse team captain Luke Witkowski is currently on recall to Tampa Bay; from the Devils alumni department, defenseman Matt Taormina has one goal and 5 assists in 6 appearances, while Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond has one assist in 5 games, along with 9 penalty minutes; with an assist Friday night, Joe Blandisi tied the recently called up Blake Pietila for the team scoring lead with 11 points.

Hershey Bears’ special teams bury Syracuse Crunch (syracuse.com)

CrunchCast (Raw Charge)

A-Devils Podcast: Quenneville is a bit old school (thealbanydevils.com)

Devils shell shocked by an early barrage (Times Union)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live or ESPN Radio Syracuse

Social: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @SyracuseCrunch, @syrhockey, @CrunchSyracuse

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