Week 17 in Review: One Step Up, Two Steps Back

All Star Break over.  The most negative stretch of news in team history is (sort of) behind us.  Time to get back on the ice.

With three straight games to finish the week, it was a busy one.  But the Devils would discover that holding a lead wasn’t as easy as they thought.

2/2 vs. Syracuse: 3-2 W

Distractions aside, it was back to work for the Devils on a rare Thursday game night, as they welcomed the first place Crunch.  Nick Lappin’s 3rd goal of the season would put the hosts up 1-0 late in the first period.  Then much like on Saturday, the Devils seemingly looked like they were taking control of the contest in the middle stanza.  Brian Gibbons would pick up his 10th goal early in the period to double the Albany lead.  Ben Sexton, who was still recovering from illness and forced into duty with the callup of Joe Blandisi earlier in the day, would score his 14th for a 3-0 lead.  But like on Saturday, the Devils would sit back and allow the opponent to rally.  With Kevin Rooney off for an interference call, All-Star Yanni Gourde would score on a power play to break up the shutout.  With goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis pulled for a 5th man during a 4 on 4 situation,  Tanner Richard’s 10th goal with 5:23 to go in regulation would cut the lead to 3-2.  But despite a rush late, Albany was able to hold on to the one goal lead, and move to within .002 percentage points of first place in the North.  Another good outing from Ken Appleby, as he stopped 22 of 24 shots in his 13th win.  Three Devils would have one assist each.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Ben Sexton

John Quenneville-Carter Camper-Nick Lappin

Ryan Kujawinski-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Max Novak

Defense:

Vojtech Mozik/Yohann Auvitu

Brandon Gormley/Jacob MacDonald

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/J.P. Anderson

Scratches: Blake Pietila, Reece Scarlett, Mackenzie Blackwood, Scott Wedgewood, Petr Straka

Power Play: 0 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 23.  Shots on Goal: 27.  Shots Allowed: 24.

3 Stars: 1. Nick Lappin; 2. Brian Gibbons; 3. Tanner Richard.

Highlight Reel:

2/3 vs. Lehigh Valley: 4-3 L

It was a quick turnaround on Friday, as the second best team in the AHL, the Phantoms, came calling.  Early on, it was the Devils getting off to a great start.  Blake Coleman (15th) and Nick Lappin (4th) would score 39 seconds apart late in the first for a 2-0 lead.  Scott Laughton would cut the lead in half just after the puck dropped for the second.  But in the third…things got interesting, and Lehigh Valley showed why they’re one of the best teams in the league.  In a span of 26 seconds, it went from a 2-1 Devil lead to a 3-2 Phantoms edge, thanks to goals from Corban Knight and Chris Conner.  Coleman would re-tie the game up with 5:48 to go in regulation with a power play goal, his second of the game and 16th of the season.  Less than a minute later, a hit by T.J. Brennan on John Quenneville would not only produce a five minute major for elbowing, but also a fight with Jan Mandat, who was hit with an instigator minor along with the fighting major.  Just over a minute later, a questionable hooking call on Coleman would put the Phantoms on a 4 on 3, and Andy Miele would cash in with the go ahead goal with 3:12 remaining.  Albany was unable to get anything going with the major power play time.  J.P. Anderson, pressed into duty with Mackenzie Blackwood catching illness and in the middle of a 3 in 3 week, was not bad in his Albany debut, stopping 24 of 28 shots.  Brian Gibbons added two assists, and three other Devils had one helper each.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Ben Sexton

Ryan Kujawinski-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

John Quenneville-Carter Camper-Nick Lappin

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Max Novak

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Vojtech Mozik/Yohann Auvitu

Jacob MacDonald/Brandon Gormley

J.P. Anderson/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Blake Pietila, Reece Scarlett, Ben Thomson, Mackenzie Blackwood, Scott Wedgewood, Petr Straka

Power Play: 1 for 5.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 25.  Shots on Goal: 31.  Shots Allowed: 28.

3 Stars: 1. Andy Miele; 2. Chris Conner; 3. Blake Coleman.

Highlight Reel:

2/4 at Binghamton: 6-2 L

That awkward moment when you go to your future home and play against the current tenant.  That was the case on Saturday in Binghamton.  It looked good for the Devils in the beginning…Ben Sexton would score his 15th goal of the season just 34 seconds after the puck dropped for a 1-0 advantage.  Then the infamous Curse of Broome County would strike once again.  Mike Blunden would tie the game up 5:20 into the period with his 5th goal.  Kyle Flanagan would give Binghamton a 2-1 lead midway through the first with his 5th.  In the second, it was more B-Sens: Flanagan would score his second, then Jason Akeson would score his 6th within a 5 minute span for a 4-1 Senators lead.  It would get physical late in the period, as two separate bouts would put Reece Scarlett (in his first game back in the lineup since he was the first illness victim) and John Quenneville in the showers early.  Binghamton would continue the rout into the third period, as Blunden and Akeson would each pick up their second goals of the night for a 6-1 lead.  Jacob MacDonald would give Albany a brief highlight late with his third goal since joining the Devils.  It was not a good night for Ken Appleby in net, as he was only able to stop 16 of 22 shots.  Blake Coleman and Nick Lappin had the lone assists.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Ben Sexton

John Quenneville-Carter Camper-Nick Lappin

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Max Novak

Defense:

Vojtech Mozik/Brandon Gormley

Reece Scarlett/Jacob MacDonald

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/J.P. Anderson

Scratches: Blake Pietila, Ryan Kujawinski, Mackenzie Blackwood, Scott Wedgewood, Petr Straka, Yohann Auvitu

Power Play: 0 for 1.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 44.  Shots on Goal: 35.  Shots Allowed: 22.

3 Stars: 1. Kyle Flanagan; 2. Mike Blunden; 3. Jason Akeson.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

Out of the three games this week, one line was the most consistent: Blake Coleman (4 points), Ben Sexton (3 points), and Brian Gibbons (3 points).  So we’ll call it My Line of the Week I guess?

Team Leaders:

Goals: Blake Coleman (16)

Assists: John Quenneville (20)

Points: John Quenneville (30)

+/-: Blake Coleman (+14)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (74)

Wins: Ken Appleby (13)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (2.18)

Save Percentage: Ken Appleby/Scott Wedgewood (.912)

Up North with the Thunder:

It was a very good week for the other boys in red, as they have won five straight, including all four games this week.

On Sunday in Elmira, Adirondack would score the go ahead goal with 4:25 remaining in regulation to win 3-2.  Next, they would start the month of February in Virginia, as they took a 4-3 win against Norfolk.  Before getting the call to back up Ken Appleby on Thursday, J.P. Anderson would be getting the win in net, as he stopped 23 of 26 shots.  Brian Ward scored his 15th, while Brandon Baddock and Ty Loney would each get an assist.  Friday night the two teams started a two game set in Glens Falls, with the Thunder prevailing 5-2.  Loney and Ward would each have a goal, with Loney adding two assists.  The Thunder would finish off the sweep of Norfolk in dramatic fashion on Saturday, scoring the game winning power play goal with 1:15 to go in regulation to cap off a 4-3 win. Loney would score his 18th and assist on another.  Ward was forced to leave the game in the second with a concussion after a nasty hit.

On tap this week: the Thunder host South Carolina on Tuesday, then play a home and home series with Manchester on Saturday (road) and Sunday (home).

This Week’s Schedule:

A very busy week for the Devils as they have four games on tap.  Tuesday they host Providence, then hit the road for a 3 in 3 weekend.  Friday night they return to Rochester to face the Amerks, then head north on the border for two games on Saturday and Sunday afternoon against Toronto.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s