Week 14 in Review: Patchwork Makes It Work

So…four forwards injured or ill.  Three other players called up to New Jersey due to injury/extended travel west.  Four new players plugged in to fill the void.

And…it actually worked!  Taking 5 out of 6 points for the week is not a bad showing, despite the lineup challenges.

1/11 at Springfield: 3-2 W (OT)

To start the week, all the Devils had to do was make a quick trip east on the Mass Pike to Springfield, for their first ever matchup against the Thunderbirds and former River Rats captain Geordie Kinnear.  Both teams would trade goals in the first period…Brent Regner would give Springfield an early lead, only to have Carter Camper tie things up later on with his second goal of the season.  After a relatively quiet second period, things would get interesting in the final 20 minutes.  Ryan Kujawinski would finally pick up goal #1 of the season with 13:26 remaining to put the Devils ahead 2-1.  And just as it looked like the Devils would pull it out in regulation…the T-Birds were not ready to pack it in just yet.  With former Devil Mike McKenna pulled for an extra attacker, their lone All Star selection, Mackenzie Weegar, would get the puck past Ken Appleby with 1:41 remaining to tie the game up at 2.  But in the end, the road team would get the last laugh…Ben Sexton would score the game winner, his 10th, with 1:40 remaining in the extra period to give the Devils the extra point.  Appleby would stop 33 of 35 shots in his 9th win of the season.  A pair of PTOs, Brian Ward (Adirondack) and Jacob MacDonald (Toledo), would each have one assist, along with three other Devils.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Carter Camper-Ben Sexton

Max Novak-Blake Pietila-Tylor Spink

Ryan Kujawinski-Kevin Rooney-Brian Ward

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Ty Loney

Defense:

Vojtech Mozik/Brandon Gormley

Reece Scarlett/Jacob MacDonald

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Joe Blandisi, Jan Mandat, John Quenneville, Scott Wedgewood, Petr Straka

Power Play: 0 for 5.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 8.  Shots on Goal: 37.  Shots Allowed: 35.

3 Stars: 1. Ben Sexton; 2. Mackenzie Weegar; 3. Mike McKenna.

Highlight Reel:

1/13 vs. Springfield: 3-2 L (OT)

Friday night came the rematch on Albany’s home ice, with the only changes coming in net: Mackenzie Blackwood and Reto Berra got their turns in net.  This time, it would be Albany jumping out to the early lead…with Andrew MacWilliam in the penalty box serving an interference call, Jacob MacDonald (or as I have dubbed him, Last Week’s New Guy…got to keep the PTOs straight somehow) would get his first AHL goal shorthanded to make it 1-0.  After struggling to get shots on net, the Thunderbirds would find their way onto the scoresheet midway through the second, as former Ranger Dylan McIlrath, who was sent to Springfield by the Panthers for a conditioning stint, would tie the game up at 1.  But, less than two minutes later, Ben Sexton would pick up a power play goal, his 11th, to put Albany back on top 2-1.  Much like Wednesday night, the Devils were looking to hold on to that lead through the third…and then the same thing happened again.  With Berra pulled, the T-Birds would tie the game at 2 with just 52 seconds remaining in regulation.  Unfortunately for Albany, this overtime round would not end the way they wanted it…on the T-Birds first shot of the extra period, Shane Harper would pick up the game winner less than two minutes in for the extra point.  It marked the first overtime loss for the Devils this season, and also the first loss at home when holding a lead after the first or second period (they were 10-0 going in).  Blackwood did not have much work to do, only stopping 16 of 19 shots.  Three Devils would have one assist each.

Lines:

Blake Pietila-Carter Camper-Ben Sexton

Ryan Kujawinski-Kevin Rooney-Ty Loney

Tylor Spink-Brian Gibbons-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Brian Ward

Defense:

Vojtech Mozik/Brandon Gormley

Reece Scarlett/Jacob MacDonald

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Joe Blandisi, Jan Mandat, John Quenneville, Nick Lappin, Scott Wedgewood, Petr Straka, Justin Agosta

Power Play: 1 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 11.  Shots on Goal: 26.  Shots Allowed: 19.

3 Stars: 1. Shane Harper; 2. Matt MacKenzie; 3. Jacob MacDonald.

Highlight Reel:

1/14 at Binghamton: 3-2 W

To finish off the week, the Devils headed west to Binghamton to take on the Senators.  Unlike the last time the team visited Broome County in November, when the Sens had a 3-0 lead less than 5 minutes into the contest, it would be Albany getting off to a strong start in the first.  Just 14 seconds after getting their first power play opportunity of the night, Ben Sexton would continue his big week, picking up his 12th goal for a 1-0 lead.  After the Senators had a potential tying goal waved off, the Devils would double their lead on Brandon Gormley’s 2nd goal of the season.  In the second, despite a 20-9 shot differential in favor of Albany, it would be Binghamton getting into the game.  Jason Akeson and Max McCormick would tie the game up with goals 1:40 apart.  However, Sexton would end up with the last laugh late in the period, as his second power play goal of the night would put the Devils back ahead 3-2.  Albany was able to prevent the Senators from re-tying the game, actually surviving a sixth attacker situation late in this one to pull out the win.  Another strong outing from Ken Appleby, who stopped 21 of 23 shots in win #10.  Carter Camper added two assists, while Gormley and PTO pickup Ty Loney had one helper each.

Lines:

Ryan Kujawinski-Carter Camper-Ben Sexton

Brian Gibbons-Blake Pietila-Ty Loney

Brian Ward-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Tylor Spink-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Defense:

Josh Jacobs/Brandon Gormley

Andrew MacWilliam/Justin Agosta

Reece Scarlett/Jacob MacDonald

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Joe Blandisi, Jan Mandat, John Quenneville, Vojtech Mozik, Nick Lappin, Scott Wedgewood, Petr Straka

Power Play: 2 for 2.  Penalty Kill: 2 for 2.  Penalty Minutes: 9.  Shots on Goal: 34.  Shots Allowed: 23.

3 Stars: 1. Ben Sexton; 2. Brandon Gormley; 3. Max McCormick.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

This week is basically a slam dunk choice…Ben Sexton stepped it up this week with most of the firepower out of the lineup.  With four goals, two of those game winners, he may have a legitimate shot at AHL Player of the Week honors.  Honorable mentions to two of the PTOs, Jacob MacDonald and Ty Loney, for stepping in and doing a great job filling in.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Blake Pietila/Ben Sexton (13)

Assists: John Quenneville (17)

Points: John Quenneville (27)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+11)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (61)

Wins: Ken Appleby (10)

GAA: Ken Appleby (1.87)

Save Percentage: Ken Appleby (.929)

Up North with the Thunder:

It wasn’t the greatest of weeks for Adirondack, as they went 1-2 and were outscored 14-11.  Their lone win came on Wednesday night, a 5-1 win at home against Elmira.  Before getting the PTO call, Ty Loney had one goal and two assists, while local product and captain Peter MacArthur picked up a hat trick.  On Friday, the Thunder had a 2-0 lead after one, proceeded to give up 4 goals to Manchester in the second, score three more of their own, blow the lead in the third, tie the game up with 7 seconds remaining in regulation, then ultimately lose 7-6 to the Monarchs in overtime.  The two teams would continue their weekend set Saturday in New Hampshire, where Manchester would take a 6-3 decision.  Adirondack and Manchester finish up their three game series on Monday afternoon in Glens Falls, then the Thunder will host the ECHL All Star Game on Wednesday evening.  Adirondack will hit the road for the weekend, starting Friday in Reading then heading south to Norfolk on Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

A big divisional week lies ahead for the Devils.  On Wednesday, they will host Syracuse for the first time all season in a 1st vs. 2nd battle.  Then it’s off to Newfoundland for the next two, as they face St. John’s on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

 

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