Week 4 in Review: Misadventures in Tough Buildings

You know it wasn’t a good week when I have to plug in a favorite excuse of the Peter DeBoer days.  Two games, two goals, two losses.

11/2 @ Bridgeport: 4-2 L

What better way to start the month of November than to travel south to Bridgeport on a sunny Wednesday morning to take on the Sound Tigers, especially in front of roughly 7200 screaming kids for a school day field trip special?  (Sensing sarcasm?  You should.  I survived sitting through it.)  As usual, the Devils got off to a great start in the first period, outshooting their hosts 12-3 and taking a very quick lead.  Blake Coleman (2nd) and Ben Thomson (3rd) would pick up goals just :57 apart, and it was 2-0 Devils less than 3 minutes into the contest.  Second period, it was the Sound Tigers who got a wake up call.  Michael Dal Colle would cut the lead in half 5:06 into the second.  Later in the second, Seth Helgeson attempted to pass to another Devil…and that pass would end up on the stick of Carter Verhaeghe, and he would easily score to tie things up at 2.  It was a complete 180 from the first–the Devils could only muster three shots, while Bridgeport had 14.  It would be another unlucky bounce right by Scott Wedgewood’s net early in the third that would come back to bite Albany, as Ross Johnston would pick up the go ahead goal for a 3-2 Sound Tiger advantage.  Albany would manage a respectable 11 shots on goal in the final frame, but were unable to get anything past Bridgeport goaltender Christopher Gibson, who settled down nicely after the first few minutes of the contest.  Bracken Kearns would trickle a slow roller into the empty net late for an insurance marker.  Wedgewood would stop 23 of 26 in the loss, while Jan Mandat had the only assist…but assists were given to Joe Blandisi and Rod Pelley a few days later.  And unlike the last time the two teams met, it was just a little calmer this time around…only 46 penalty minutes combined.  But the Devil power play continued to struggle, as they went 0 for 7 with the man advantage.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Blake Pietila-Ben Sexton

Miles Wood-Joe Blandisi-Brian Gibbons

Blake Coleman-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Max Novak

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Josh Jacobs

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Scott Wedgewood/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Steve Santini, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski

Power Play: 0 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 20.  Shots on Goal: 26.  Shots Allowed: 27.

3 Stars: 3. Michael Dal Colle; 2. Carter Verhaeghe; 1. Ross Johnston.

Highlight Reel:

11/5 @ Hershey: 4-0 L

After a rare Friday evening off, it was back to work on Saturday night, as the Devils made their lone trip to Chocolatetown to take on a Bears squad that had won their last four straight, and had yet to lose on home ice.  The first 10 minutes of the game looked promising for the Devils, but in a 3:06 span everything would go wrong.  First, Christian Thomas would snag a power play goal off a bounce from his own shot for a 1-0 lead.  Just under two minutes after that, Brad Malone would break away and score to double the advantage.  Then to finish it off, Stanislav Galiev would score for a 3-0 lead, chasing starter Mackenzie Blackwood from the net after only stopping 3 of 6 shots in 14:46 played.  Scott Wedgewood would come in and keep the Bears at bay for the remainder of the first.  In the second, the teams would combine for just 11 shots on goal…but rookie Colby Williams would pick up his second goal in as many days late in the middle frame for a 4-0 Bear advantage.  Albany would outshoot Hershey 12-11 in the third, but were unable to create any offense against rookie goaltender Vitek Vanecek and the Bears defense.  Despite a 27-25 shot advantage, Albany would end up getting shutout for the second time in 10 games.  Wedgewood played well in relief of Blackwood, stopping 18 of 19 shots in just over 45 minutes.  Steve Santini and Ryan Kujawinski both made their return to the lineup.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Blake Pietila-Ben Sexton

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Joe Blandisi

Miles Wood-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Ryan Kujawinski

Defense Pairings:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Josh Jacobs

Steve Santini/Brandon Gormley

Mackenzie Blackwood/Scott Wedgewood

Scratches: Karl Stollery, Brandon Baddock, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Alex Wall

Power Play: 0 for 2.  Penalty Kill: 5 for 6.  Penalty Minutes: 16.  Shots on Goal: 27.  Shots Allowed: 25.

3 Stars: 3. Colby Williams; 2. Christian Thomas; 1. Vitek Vanecek.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

If you scored a goal this week, you get the nod.  But seriously…did anyone expect Ben Thomson to be among the team leaders in goals (he is currently tied for second with Blake Pietila with 3) from the fourth line?

Team Leaders:

Goals: John Quenneville (4)

Assists: Rod Pelley (4)

Points: John Quenneville/Blake Pietila (6)

+/-: Karl Stollery (+5)

Penalty Minutes: Joe Blandisi (32)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (3)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (2.35)

Save Percentage: Scott Wedgewood (.916)

Up North with the Thunder:

Adirondack would split a pair of games with Manchester this week.  On Tuesday, the Thunder suffered a 3-2 home loss to the Monarchs.  Brian Ward would score his fifth of the season late in the third period, while Greg Wolfe would add one helper.  Adirondack kicked off a season long 8 game road trip Saturday in Manchester with a 5-3 win.  Five different players would score, including Ty Loney and Mathieu Brodeur.  Ken Appleby picked up his second win, stopping 30 of 33 shots.  Since his return to the Thunder, he is 2-0-0-1 with a 1.30 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Adirondack will take on the Monarchs one more time on Sunday afternoon, then they head west to start a 3 game series with Idaho on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

The Devils return home for a pair of weekend games.  Friday night, they wrap up their brief season series with Hershey.  Saturday St. John’s makes their second visit of the season to the Capital Region.

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