Week 8 In Review: Because You’re Hot or You’re Cold

The season of extremes continues for the Devils.  After a hot week last week that saw them sweep all three games, it was back down during a busy 4 game week.  What had potential for 8 points turned into a 3 point week, thanks to a penalty box parade and a dried up offense due to call-ups to New Jersey.

11/29 at Bridgeport: 5-4 L (SO)

To start the week and end the month of November, the Devils returned to the same place where they started it…Bridgeport, for a rare Tuesday night matchup against the Sound Tigers.  After a scoreless first period, the teams combined for 5 goals in the second.  On an early power play, Ben Sexton would pick up his 4th goal of the season for a 1-0 Devil advantage.  Kevin Rooney would double the Albany lead with his 5th goal, but then the Sound Tigers would make a comeback.  Former Devil Steve Bernier would cut the the lead in half with a power play goal, his 8th of the season.  Barely two minutes later, Jesse Graham would tie the game up with a power play goal.  Finally, Ben Holmstrom’s first goal of the season would put the hosts ahead 3-2.  But the Devils were not about to go away quietly, taking the lead back early in the third.  In a span of 5:50, Max Novak (2nd) and John Quenneville (7th, also a PP) would put Albany back on top 4-3.  Bridgeport would re-tie the game 4 minutes later on Joshua Winquist’s 5th goal of the year.  The game would end up going into overtime, where both teams were undefeated (Albany 4-0, Bridgeport 5-0), so something had to give.  After 5 minutes proved fruitless, it was on to the shootout, where Brian Gibbons, Blake Pietila, and Quenneville were unable to connect against Sound Tigers goaltender Eamon McAdam.  Mackenzie Blackwood was able to stop Andrew Rowe and Bracken Kearns in the first two rounds, but could not stop Jon Landry in Round 3, giving Bridgeport the extra point.  It was a mixed night for Blackwood, as he stopped 25 of 29 shots.  Quenneville would add two assists, while Sexton, Rooney, and three others had one assist each.

Lines:

Joe Blandisi-Blake Pietila-Petr Straka

John Quenneville-Blake Coleman-Brian Gibbons

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Gormley/Karl Stollery

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Steve Santini, Josh Jacobs, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 2 for 5.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 15.  Shots on Goal: 28.  Shots Allowed: 30.

Three Stars: 1. Jon Landry; 2. Devon Toews; 3. John Quenneville.

Highlight Reel:

AHL Live has your highlights here.

12/2 vs. Utica: 2-1 L

The Devils kicked off the month of December with a home and home series against the Comets, starting off in the Capital Region on Friday night.  Albany managed to kill off a double minor and 5 on 3 situation early in the first period, but would find themselves down late.  Andrey Pedan and Jake Virtanen would score near identical goals on Ken Appleby 1:06 apart for a 2-0 Comet advantage after the first 20 minutes.  Albany would finally play a strong second period, only allowing five shots on goal and cutting the lead in half on a Rod Pelley goal, his fourth of the season.  The Devils defense stepped up in the third, only allowing four Utica shots, but were unable to pick up the tying goal on Comets rookie goaltender Thatcher Demko.  The win marked the first ever win in regulation for the Comets against the Devils (they won twice during the regular season in overtime, along with Game 3 of the division finals).  Appleby did not have much to face in stopping 15 of 17 shots, but wound up the hard luck loser.  Andrew MacWilliam and Jan Mandat had the lone helpers.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Joe Blandisi-Ben Sexton

Blake Coleman-Blake Pietila-Petr Straka

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Jan Mandat

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Steve Santini, Josh Jacobs, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 0 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 10.  Shots on Goal: 25.  Shots Allowed: 17.

3 Stars: 1. Thatcher Demko; 2. Jake Virtanen; 3. Jan Mandat.

Highlight Reel:

12/3 at Utica: 3-1 L

It was off to Exit 31 of the Thruway on Saturday to finish off the home and home set.  Albany survived an extended period of being shorthanded late in the first period thanks to 3 straight calls in a 2:43 span (including a questionable double minor), but could not generate any offense against Thatcher Demko.  In the second, while on an extended power play of their own, a turnover near the bench ended up on the stick of Darren Archibald, who skated in alone on Mackenzie Blackwood and connected on a shorthanded goal for a 1-0 Comet lead.  Not to be outdone, Blake Coleman would pick up a shorthanded tally of his own (while Rod Pelley was serving another questionable double minor call) to tie the game at 1.  Penalties would in the end cost the Devils this one though…on two consecutive kills with less than 7 minutes to go in regulation, Carter Bancks would score twice in a 1:26 span to put Utica ahead 3-1.  A combination of that and Demko playing outstanding once again was too much for Albany to overcome, and they were swept by the Comets in the home and home set.  Blackwood stopped 29 of 32 shots in the loss.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Joe Blandisi-Ben Sexton

Jan Mandat-Blake Pietila-Petr Straka

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Blake Coleman

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Josh Jacobs

Vojtech Mozik/Brandon Gormley

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Steve Santini, Karl Stollery, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 0 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 8 for 10.  Penalty Minutes: 20.  Shots on Goal: 29.  Shots Allowed: 32.

3 Stars: 1. Carter Bancks; 2. Thatcher Demko; 3. Darren Archibald.

Highlight Reel:

12/4 vs. Binghamton: 3-1 W

The marathon week finished back on home ice on Sunday afternoon, as the Devils looked to avenge a humiliating loss to the Senators from mid-November.  And it didn’t take long for the home team to get on the board, as Kevin Rooney picked up his 6th goal less than four minutes into the contest for a 1-0 lead.  Blake Pietila would double the lead late in the second with 2:36 remaining in the second period, his 7th of the season.  Binghamton would break up Ken Appleby’s shutout bid with 7:29 to go in the third on a Phil Varone goal.  The Devils regained their two goal lead on a questionable goal call…during a scrum in front of Binghamton goaltender Matt O’Connor, the puck just managed to slide over the goal line.  Although it appeared that the entire puck did not make it across, the referee called it a good goal, awarded to Joe Blandisi.  Albany survived a 12-3 shot differential and a late 6 on 4 to break their two game losing streak, ending a difficult week on a positive note.  Appleby picked up his 4th win and stopped 24 of 25 shots.  Blandisi and three other Devils added assists.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Kevin Rooney-Petr Straka

Joe Blandisi-Blake Pietila-Ben Sexton

Ben Thomson-Blake Coleman-Jan Mandat

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Max Novak

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Steve Santini

Karl Stollery/Vojtech Mozik

Brandon Gormley/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Andrew MacWilliam, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Reece Scarlett, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 0 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 8.  Shots on Goal: 29.  Shots Allowed: 25.

3 Stars: 1. Blake Pietila; 2. Kevin Rooney; 3. Phil Varone.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

Keep an eye on Kevin Rooney, who outside of Joe Blandisi had a very good week with two goals and an assist.  He has mostly been a third line center, but his strong play of late has seen him jump up to first line with the Devils struggling to create offense in recent days.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Blake Pietila (7)

Assists: Joe Blandisi (11)

Points: Joe Blandisi (17)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+10)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (46)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Ken Appleby (1.59)

Save Percentage: Ken Appleby (.930)

Up North with the Thunder:

A solid week for Adirondack on home ice as they went 2-1.  On Tuesday, they picked up a 4-2 win over Manchester, as Ty Loney picked up his 9th goal and Mathieu Brodeur added two assists.  Friday night they started a 2 game set against Colorado with a 5-1 win.  Brian Ward picked up his 11th goal of the season, Brodeur added two more helpers (before being summoned to Syracuse on a PTO for Saturday), and Brandon Baddock picked up his first professional point with an assist in the third.  Colorado would earn a split of the two game series with a 6-2 win.  Alex Wall and Greg Wolfe would each have assists in the loss.  The Thunder wrap up the homestand this week with a 2 game set against Norfolk on Tuesday and Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

A little bit of an easier schedule this week.  Wednesday night, Binghamton returns to the Capital District for a rematch.  Friday the Devils return to Syracuse to take on the Crunch.  Then it’s back on home ice Saturday afternoon to take on Providence.

 

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