Week 13 in Review: Of Domination and Deficits

This week was a tale of two teams.

First, you got a team where everything clicked at home.  Then to the (sort of) long road west, later south…and the whistling returned, among other things.

The result?  A 1-2 week for the Devils.

1/4 vs. St. John’s: 6-2 W

The week began with the third visit of the season from the IceCaps, who were in the midst of a long 10 game divisional road swing.  Much like the last two games, it was the Devils getting off to a quick start, as Carter Camper finally scored his first goal of the season just 1:14 into the contest for a 1-0 lead.  Blake Coleman would double the lead 33 seconds into the middle period with his 11th goal of the season.  The IceCaps would find their way onto the scoresheet 3:25 in on a Nikita Scherbak goal, only to have Brian Gibbons score his 9th 36 seconds later for a 3-1 lead.  On the first power play opportunity for either side, Blake Pietila took advantage and picked up his 13th goal for a 3 goal advantage.  Thirty-five seconds after that goal, the IceCaps would answer with Brett Lernout’s first goal of the season to make it 4-2.  However, Coleman would come through with his second goal of the period for a 5-2 Devil lead, chasing IceCap starter Charlie Lindgren in favor of former Devil Yann Danis.  The Devil scoring wasn’t quite finished…Ben Sexton would cap off a 5 goal second period with his 9th on a power play to give Albany a 6-2 lead.  Ken Appleby would be the benefactor of all this offense, as he only needed to stop 20 of 22 shots to pick up win #8 and a fourth straight victory for Albany.  Nine Devil skaters would pick up at least one point, lead by Coleman’s three: Gibbons, Sexton, Pietila, and Camper would finish with one goal/one assist, while Max Novak, John Quenneville, Reece Scarlett, and Yohann Auvitu added one assist each.

Lines:

Blake Pietila-Blake Coleman-Brian Gibbons

John Quenneville-Carter Camper-Ben Sexton

Ryan Kujawinski-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Brian Ward

Defense:

Reece Scarlett/Yohann Auvitu

Karl Stollery/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Seth Helgeson, Joe Blandisi, Jan Mandat, Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Gormley, Petr Straka

Power Play: 2 for 4.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 6.  Shots on Goal: 32.  Shots Allowed: 22.

3 Stars: 1. Blake Coleman; 2. Brian Gibbons; 3. Blake Pietila.

Highlight Reel:

1/6 at Utica: 4-2 L

A three game road trip began down the Thruway on Friday night, as the Devils traveled to Utica to take on a struggling Comets team that was winless in their last 9 games. With Josh Jacobs serving a double minor for a high stick (his second high stick in a span of 3:24), Colby Robak would give the home team a 1-0 lead in the first with a power play goal.  Max Novak would match that later in the period with his fourth of the season just as the man advantage was about to expire.  Alexandre Grenier would put Utica ahead 2-1 in the second with his 9th goal of the season.  Just 14 seconds after the puck dropped to begin the third, Curtis Valk would put the Comets ahead 3-1 with his 11th goal of the season.  Blake Coleman continued his hot play as of late, scoring his 13th with 8:06 remaining to cut the Comet lead to 3-2.  Wacey Hamilton would put the final nail in the coffin late with an empty netter, bringing the Albany win streak to a halt at four games.  Mackenzie Blackwood would end up with the loss in net, stopping 28 of 31 shots.  Coleman and three other Devils would have one assist each.

Lines:

Blake Pietila-Blake Coleman-Brian Gibbons

John Quenneville-Carter Camper-Ben Sexton

Ryan Kujawinski-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Ben Thomson/Rod Pelley

Defense:

Reece Scarlett/Yohann Auvitu

Karl Stollery/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Jacob MacDonald

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Joe Blandisi, Jan Mandat, Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Gormley, Petr Straka, Brian Ward

Power Play: 1 for 4.  Penalty Kill: 7 for 8.  Penalty Minutes: 18.  Shots on Goal: 24.  Shots Allowed: 32.

3 Stars: 1. Colby Robak; 2. Blake Coleman; 3. Darren Archibald.

Highlight Reel:

Saturday: Albany found themselves down another defenseman, as Yohann Auvitu was summoned back to New Jersey before the parent Devils took on Edmonton.

1/7 at Lehigh Valley: 2-0 L

The week finished off in Allentown, as the Devils finally faced their old North Country rivals (that they never see anymore) the Phantoms.  It would be a battle of two very good rookie goaltenders, Alex Lyon for Lehigh Valley and Ken Appleby for Albany.  Appleby would be tested late in the first period after Jordan Weal was awarded a penalty shot, but the Phantoms All Star forward would be denied by the goalpost.  The Phantoms would find their way onto the scoreboard midway through the second, as just seconds after Ryan Kujawinski was whistled for an elbowing penalty, Greg Carey would pick up his 17th goal of the season to put the home team ahead 1-0.  Late in the period, during a Devils power play, Reece Scarlett would turnover the puck, which landed on the stick of Scott Laughton.  He would proceed on a break and score, doubling the Phantom lead.  Albany did manage to outshoot Lehigh Valley 10-7 in the third, and had a late 6 on 4 opportunity, but the offense was simply unable to get anything past Lyon, who picked up his second shutout of the season.  Appleby played well despite the loss, stopping 31 of 33 shots.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Carter Camper-Ben Sexton

Blake Pietila-Blake Coleman-Brian Gibbons

Ryan Kujawinski-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Brian Ward-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Defense:

Karl Stollery/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Reece Scarlett/Jacob MacDonald

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Joe Blandisi, Jan Mandat, Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Gormley, Petr Straka

Power Play: 0 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 20.  Shots on Goal: 31.  Shots Allowed: 33.

3 Stars: 1. Alex Lyon; 2. Scott Laughton; 3. Greg Carey.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

Again, another great week from Blake Coleman, adding three more goals and two more assists to his comeback season.  Still considered a rookie by AHL rules, he has joined teammate John Quenneville in the top 10 among league rookies in scoring, ranks third among rookies in goals (13), and is tied for first in the league in game winning goals with 4.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Blake Pietila/Blake Coleman (13)

Assists: John Quenneville (17)

Points: John Quenneville (27)

+/-: Blake Coleman (+15)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (57)

Wins: Ken Appleby (8)

GAA: Ken Appleby (1.86)

Save Percentage: Ken Appleby (.929)

Up North with the Thunder:

Much like the Devils, the Thunder also went 1-2 on the week, with all three games away from Glens Falls.  Adirondack would start the trip with a 4-2 loss against Norfolk on Wednesday night.  Ty Loney picked up his 13th goal in the third period in the loss.  On Friday, the Thunder would pick up a 4-2 win against Reading, as Loney scored his 14th and Alex Wall added a goal and an assist.  The Royals would get their revenge on Saturday with a 4-3 win.

The Thunder return home next week for a pair of games, hosting Elmira on Wednesday and Manchester on Friday, then they travel to New Hampshire on Saturday for the middle game of a three game set with the Monarchs.

This Week’s Schedule:

Three games coming up for the Devils this week.  On Wednesday, Albany finishes off a three game road trip in Springfield, starting a home and home set against the Thunderbirds.  After returning home on Friday to face the T-Birds, it’s off to Binghamton on Saturday night to take on the Senators.

Also coming up this week: the official midpoint of the season hits on Friday!  Expect my annual halfway stat review to be up sometime on Saturday.

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