Week 9 in Review: The Struggle is Real

Apparently slumping is contagious within the Devil organization?

While New Jersey has had its issues during their last 10 games (3-4-2-1), it has trickled down to the farm, as the AHL version is also in a slump.  0-3 this week, and just 3 wins since Thanksgiving.  That 5-0 start seems like years ago now.

12/7 vs. Binghamton: 3-2 L

Three days after Albany broke a three game skid against Binghamton, the Senators returned on Wednesday night for the rematch, looking to break a seven game skid of their own.  Much like in November, Binghamton would get off to a quick start in the first period, as they took a 1-0 lead 5:09 in on a Max McCormick goal.  Casey Bailey would double the lead 8 minutes later on a power play goal.  Things would not improve for the Devils in the second, as a power play goal by Kyle Flanagan would put them in a 3-0 hole after 40 minutes.  After having to kill off a Blake Pietila boarding major to start the third period, the Devils would finally start showing some signs of life.  Rod Pelley would pick up his fifth goal to cut the Senators lead to 3-1.  Then with under 6 minutes remaining in regulation, the power finally came back on, as Brian Gibbons would pick up Albany’s first power play goal in 4 games to get to within 3-2.  Despite having a 6 on 4 opportunity late in the contest, the Devils were unable to get that tying goal late, and suffered just their third home loss of the season.  It was another trying night for Mackenzie Blackwood, as he stopped 18 of 21 shots.  Four Devils, including John Quenneville in his first game back from New Jersey, would each have an assist.

Lines:

Blake Pietila-Joe Blandisi-Ben Sexton

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Petr Straka

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Blake Coleman

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Steve Santini

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Josh Jacobs/Karl Stollery

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Max Novak, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Gormley, Vojtech Mozik

Power Play: 1 for 4.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 15.  Shots on Goal: 23.  Shots Allowed: 21.

3 Stars: 1. Casey Bailey; 2. Rod Pelley; 3. Kyle Flanagan.

Highlight Reel:

12/9 at Syracuse: 4-2 L

On a snowy Friday night, it was due west on the Thruway to Syracuse, where the Devils looked to avenge their last second loss to the Crunch from November.  Things got off to a good start for the visitors, as John Quenneville picked up his 8th goal of the year 8:08 into the game for a 1-0 advantage.  Tanner Richard would tie the game up late in the first.  Blake Coleman would help the Devils regain the lead in the second with his 6th goal of the season, and after two periods it looked like Albany had a good chance of taking this one, considering they were 9-0 on the season when leading after 40 minutes.  But…the Crunch had other plans.  In the third, with Vojtech Mozik in the box, Adam Erne would pick up a power play goal to tie the game up at 2.  Then with 5:24 remaining in regulation, a wrap around goal off the stick of Yanni Gourde would give the Crunch a 3-2 lead.  The Devils would pull Ken Appleby late in an attempt to tie it up, but Erik Condra would get an empty netter with 1:18 remaining to seal the comeback win for the Crunch.  Appleby would stop 28 of 31 shots in the loss, while Jan Mandat and Blake Pietila added assists.

Lines:

Note: Albany went with an 11 F/7 D lineup for the first time this year.

Blake Coleman-Blake Pietila-Petr Straka

Ben Sexton-John Quenneville-Jan Mandat

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley (right wings were rotated on at least two lines)

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Steve Santini

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Vojtech Mozik

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Joe Blandisi, Josh Jacobs, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 0 for 5.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 8.  Shots on Goal: 27.  Shots Allowed: 32.

3 Stars: 1. Yanni Gourde; 2. Adam Erne; 3. Jake Dotchin.

Highlight Reel:

12/10 vs. Providence: 3-1 L

To finish off the week, it was back to home ice to take on the Bruins, who came into the afternoon on a 10 game point streak.  The visitors would come to play in the first period, outshooting Albany 10-2 and taking a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a power play goal by Peter Cehlarik.  The Devils would show signs of life in the second, peppering Malcolm Subban with 17 shots and tying the game up thanks to Blake Pietila’s 8th goal of the season.  The special teams would fail Albany once again in the third, as former Union Dutchman Wayne Simpson would score on a power play to give Providence a 2-1 lead.  Jordan Szwarz would pick up an insurance goal with less than 7 minutes remaining, ensuring a third straight Albany loss.  Ken Appleby drew the start for the second straight day and stopped 23 of 26 shots.  Blake Coleman would pick up the lone assist.  As for the power play?  0 for 4 today, 1 for 13 for the week.

Lines:

Blake Coleman-Blake Pietila-Brian Gibbons

Jan Mandat-John Quenneville-Petr Straka

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense:

Karl Stollery/Vojtech Mozik

Seth Helgeson/Steve Santini

Andrew MacWilliam/Brandon Gormley

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Josh Jacobs, Joe Blandisi, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Reece Scarlett, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 0 for 4.  Penalty Kill: 1 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 6.  Shots on Goal: 28.  Shots Allowed: 26.

3 Stars: 1. Malcolm Subban; 2. Wayne Simpson; 3. Blake Pietila.

Highlight Reel:

AHL Live has your highlights here.

My Player of the Week:

There was one player who came up offensively in all three games this week…and it’s been a nice stretch lately for Blake Coleman.  In his last 5 games, he has scored twice and assisted on two others.

Team Leaders:

Goals: John Quenneville/Blake Pietila (8)

Assists: Joe Blandisi (12)

Points: John Quenneville (19)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+9)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (48)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Ken Appleby (2.01)

Save Percentage: Ken Appleby (.919)

Up North with the Thunder:

It was a good week for the other boys in red, as Adirondack picked up three out of four points in a two game set against Norfolk. Despite outshooting the Admirals 36-18, the Thunder dropped a 4-3 overtime decision on Tuesday.  Ty Loney picked up his 10th goal of the season and added a helper, while Alex Wall and Brian Ward each had one assist.  The Thunder would dominate in an 8-1 win on Saturday night, with Loney picking up another goal and three assists.  Adirondack hits the road to Canada for a pair against Brampton on Thursday and Friday, then return home on Saturday to finish an odd three game series against the Beast.

This Week’s Schedule:

After the annual Holiday Party with the Booster Club on Monday, the Devils hit the road for the next three.  Wednesday night they make their second visit in 11 days to Utica to face the Comets.  Then it’s off to Canada on Saturday and Sunday for a pair against the Marlies, with Saturday’s contest an early afternoon start at Air Canada Centre.

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