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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