Week 18 in Review: A Long Winter’s Week

It was a busy 4 game week that produced mixed results for the Devils…two comebacks and two days where you wished you could hit the reset button.

2/7 vs. Providence: 4-1 L

A busy week got underway on a rare Tuesday night, as the Devils played host to a well rested Bruins team that was only playing in its second game since the All Star break.  Providence would get things started in the first, as Alex Grant would get a shot in from the corner just five seconds into their first power play opportunity for a 1-0 advantage.  Vojtech Mozik would tie things up with a power play goal, his seventh of the season.  The Bruins would take the lead back for good with 6 and a half minutes remaining in the first on an Anton Blidh tally.  Second period was mostly Providence, as they held the Devils to just 4 shots and went ahead 3-1 on a Jordan Szwarz power play goal.  Peter Mueller would seal the Devils third straight defeat late in the third with an empty netter.  Ken Appleby drew the start and was a little better than Saturday’s loss in Binghamton, stopping 22 of 25 shots.  Nick Lappin was the only other Devil to register a point, assisting on Mozik’s goal.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Carter Camper-Nick Lappin

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Ben Sexton

Ryan Kujawinski-Kevin Rooney-Blake Pietila

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Defense:

Vojtech Mozik/Brandon Gormley

Reece Scarlett/Yohann Auvitu

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/J.P. Anderson

Scratches: Karl Stollery, Joe Blandisi, Max Novak, Jan Mandat, Mackenzie Blackwood, Scott Wedgewood, Petr Straka, Jacob MacDonald

Power Play: 1 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 1 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 18.  Shots on Goal: 20.  Shots Allowed: 26.

3 Stars: 1. Anton Blidh; 2. Colby Cave; 3. Vojtech Mozik.

Highlight Reel:

2/10 at Rochester: 3-2 W

A three in three road trip kicked off Friday night in Rochester, as the Devils looked to avenge their pre-All Star break loss to the Amerks.  For the first forty minutes, a whole lot of shots on goal–47, to be exact–for both sides, but Ken Appleby and Linus Ullmark stopped all of them.  Finally, 41:35 into the contest, the first goal would come, courtesy of Rochester’s Cole Schneider, putting the home team ahead 1-0.  Ben Thomson would answer at the 8:59 mark with his 4th goal of the season, tying things up at 1.  Just under two minutes later, Karl Stollery would put Albany ahead 2-1 with his first marker of the season.  Just as it looked like the Devils were going to hold on for the win, former Devils ATO Paul Geiger would re-tie the game with 2:06 remaining in regulation.  Fifteen seconds after the tying goal, Amerks forward Evan Rodrigues would get called for a high stick…and the Devils would make Rochester pay.  With 45 seconds remaining on the clock, Nick Lappin would score on the ensuing power play to put Albany up 3-2.  The Amerks would pull Ullmark, but were unable to come up with a quick equalizer, and the Devils 3 game losing streak would come to an end.  Appleby rebounded nicely after struggling the last two starts, stopping 28 of 30 shots in his 14th win.  Stollery and five other Devils had one assist each.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Nick Lappin

John Quenneville-Carter Camper-Ben Sexton

Luke Gazdic-Max Novak-Ben Thomson

Petr Straka-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

Defense:

Vojtech Mozik/Karl Stollery

Reece Scarlett/Yohann Auvitu

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Joe Blandisi, Rod Pelley, Blake Pietila, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Gormley, Jacob MacDonald

Power Play: 1 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 5 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 10.  Shots on Goal: 35.  Shots Allowed: 30.

3 Stars: 1. Nick Lappin; 2. Karl Stollery; 3. Linus Ullmark.

Highlight Reel:

2/11 at Toronto: 5-4 W (OT)

The road trip moved over the border into Toronto, as the Devils and Marlies kicked off a two game weekend set.  And at first…it was all Marlies.  They would outshoot the Devils 18-9 and score 3 on Mackenzie Blackwood, making his first start in over two weeks thanks to illness.  Eric Faille, on recall from Orlando, would get things started 2:57 into the contest with his first goal.  Byron Froese would add his 22nd goal midway through to double the Toronto lead.  Then, with the Devils on a power play, Travis Dermott would pick up a shorthanded goal for a 3-0 advantage.  Petr Straka would score his first goal since returning to the lineup and third of the season late to cut the lead to 2.  But, Toronto was not finished.  Justin Holl would score the second shorthanded goal for Toronto on the day, going end to end, for a 4-1 Marlies lead.  Jan Mandat would answer that with a power play goal, his fifth, to again cut the lead to 2 goals.  Then, we think this happened:

Call it Secret Stuff, call it a rally…but third period was absolutely all Devils, as they held the Marlies to just 4 shots on goal.  And one player would singlehandedly give Albany at least one point…Ben Sexton would score twice in a span of 2:23 late in the third to tie the game up at 4 apiece, sending the game to an unlikely overtime session.  It was late in that extra frame that the unlikely Devil comeback…and another chapter of It was 4-1 Toronto jokes…would be completed.  Yohann Auvitu would score the overtime winner with 49 seconds remaining to finish off the Devil victory.  Blackwood rebounded from a very shaky start to pick up win #9, stopping 33 of 37 shots.  Blake Coleman and Nick Lappin each had two assists, while Straka and four others had one assist each.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Nick Lappin

John Quenneville-Carter Camper-Ben Sexton

Petr Straka-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

Luke Gazdic-Max Novak-Ben Thomson

Defense:

Vojtech Mozik/Karl Stollery

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Yohann Auvitu/Jacob MacDonald

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Rod Pelley, Blake Pietila, Ryan Kujawinski, Reece Scarlett, Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Gormley

Power Play: 1 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 11.  Shots on Goal: 45.  Shots Allowed: 37.

3 Stars: 1. Yohann Auvitu; 2. Seth Griffith; 3. Ben Sexton.

Highlight Reel:

2/12 at Toronto: 6-2 L

Less than 24 hours later, the rematch, with Ken Appleby and Garret Sparks taking over in net.  And like the day before, it would the Marlies getting off to a good start.  Travis Dermott would score his third on the power play 3:08 into the contest for a 1-0 lead.  Justin Holl would double the lead early in the second with his 3rd goal.  Eighteen seconds later, Carter Camper would cut the lead in half with his third goal of the season.  Later in the second, with Albany on a four minute power play, Toronto would jump ahead 3-1 on a Byron Froese shorthanded goal, the third given up by the Devils in the last two days.  But the special teams would redeem themselves, as Reece Scarlett would score, his third of the season, to cut the Toronto lead to 3-2.  Sadly, there was no comeback in the Devils on this day, as the Marlies blew the game wide open midway through the third.  In a span of 3:14, Frank Corrado, Holl with his second of the day, and Andreas Johnsson would all score to put Toronto ahead 6-2.  Appleby took the hard loss, stopping 25 of 31 shots.  Three Devils would have one assist each.

Lines:

Petr Straka-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Nick Lappin

John Quenneville-Carter Camper-Ben Sexton

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Thomson

Defense:

Karl Stollery/Reece Scarlett

Yohann Auvitu/Jacob MacDonald

Andrew MacWilliam/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Max Novak, Blake Pietila, Ryan Kujawinski, Vojtech Mozik, Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Gormley

Power Play: 1 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 12.  Shots on Goal: 33.  Shots Allowed: 31.

3 Stars: 1. Justin Holl; 2. Andreas Johnsson; 3. Travis Dermott.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

One name showed up in the boxscore in all four games this week: Nick Lappin, with one power play goal and four assists.  He has registered at least one point in his last eight games.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Ben Sexton (17)

Assists: John Quenneville (23)

Points: John Quenneville (33)

+/-: Blake Coleman/Vojtech Mozik (+15)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (79)

Wins: Ken Appleby (14)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (2.18)

Save Percentage: Scott Wedgewood (.912)

Up North with the Thunder:

Adirondack had a relatively busy week as well with three games on tap.  It started on a good note Tuesday as they picked up their sixth straight victory with a 3-2 win at home against South Carolina.  The streak would come to a halt in Manchester on Saturday, as the Monarchs would take a 3-2 victory.  But Adirondack would get their revenge in a big way on Sunday afternoon at home, as they crushed Manchester 10-4, setting a new franchise record for goals in one game.  Greg Wolfe and Mikkel Aagaard would each have five point games, with both scoring twice and assisting on three others.  All but three players would pick up at least one point, and the power play had an especially good day, going 5 for 6.

This week is a busy one for the Thunder: they host Reading on Valentine’s Day, then hit the road for a three in three weekend starting in Atlanta on Friday and Saturday night against the Gladiators, then up to South Carolina on Sunday afternoon.

This Week’s Schedule:

It’s a busy three game week, but all are on home ice.  Wednesday the division leading Crunch make their second visit in two weeks.  Friday night the best team in the league, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, make their only appearance.  Then a quick turnaround on Saturday afternoon as Bridgeport comes in, as the Times Union Center does the rare hockey/basketball doubleheader (Siena has a 7 PM home game that night).

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