Tag Archives: ECHL

Week 8 In Review: Because You’re Hot or You’re Cold

The season of extremes continues for the Devils.  After a hot week last week that saw them sweep all three games, it was back down during a busy 4 game week.  What had potential for 8 points turned into a 3 point week, thanks to a penalty box parade and a dried up offense due to call-ups to New Jersey.

11/29 at Bridgeport: 5-4 L (SO)

To start the week and end the month of November, the Devils returned to the same place where they started it…Bridgeport, for a rare Tuesday night matchup against the Sound Tigers.  After a scoreless first period, the teams combined for 5 goals in the second.  On an early power play, Ben Sexton would pick up his 4th goal of the season for a 1-0 Devil advantage.  Kevin Rooney would double the Albany lead with his 5th goal, but then the Sound Tigers would make a comeback.  Former Devil Steve Bernier would cut the the lead in half with a power play goal, his 8th of the season.  Barely two minutes later, Jesse Graham would tie the game up with a power play goal.  Finally, Ben Holmstrom’s first goal of the season would put the hosts ahead 3-2.  But the Devils were not about to go away quietly, taking the lead back early in the third.  In a span of 5:50, Max Novak (2nd) and John Quenneville (7th, also a PP) would put Albany back on top 4-3.  Bridgeport would re-tie the game 4 minutes later on Joshua Winquist’s 5th goal of the year.  The game would end up going into overtime, where both teams were undefeated (Albany 4-0, Bridgeport 5-0), so something had to give.  After 5 minutes proved fruitless, it was on to the shootout, where Brian Gibbons, Blake Pietila, and Quenneville were unable to connect against Sound Tigers goaltender Eamon McAdam.  Mackenzie Blackwood was able to stop Andrew Rowe and Bracken Kearns in the first two rounds, but could not stop Jon Landry in Round 3, giving Bridgeport the extra point.  It was a mixed night for Blackwood, as he stopped 25 of 29 shots.  Quenneville would add two assists, while Sexton, Rooney, and three others had one assist each.

Lines:

Joe Blandisi-Blake Pietila-Petr Straka

John Quenneville-Blake Coleman-Brian Gibbons

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Gormley/Karl Stollery

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Steve Santini, Josh Jacobs, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 2 for 5.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 15.  Shots on Goal: 28.  Shots Allowed: 30.

Three Stars: 1. Jon Landry; 2. Devon Toews; 3. John Quenneville.

Highlight Reel:

AHL Live has your highlights here.

12/2 vs. Utica: 2-1 L

The Devils kicked off the month of December with a home and home series against the Comets, starting off in the Capital Region on Friday night.  Albany managed to kill off a double minor and 5 on 3 situation early in the first period, but would find themselves down late.  Andrey Pedan and Jake Virtanen would score near identical goals on Ken Appleby 1:06 apart for a 2-0 Comet advantage after the first 20 minutes.  Albany would finally play a strong second period, only allowing five shots on goal and cutting the lead in half on a Rod Pelley goal, his fourth of the season.  The Devils defense stepped up in the third, only allowing four Utica shots, but were unable to pick up the tying goal on Comets rookie goaltender Thatcher Demko.  The win marked the first ever win in regulation for the Comets against the Devils (they won twice during the regular season in overtime, along with Game 3 of the division finals).  Appleby did not have much to face in stopping 15 of 17 shots, but wound up the hard luck loser.  Andrew MacWilliam and Jan Mandat had the lone helpers.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Joe Blandisi-Ben Sexton

Blake Coleman-Blake Pietila-Petr Straka

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Jan Mandat

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Steve Santini, Josh Jacobs, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 0 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 10.  Shots on Goal: 25.  Shots Allowed: 17.

3 Stars: 1. Thatcher Demko; 2. Jake Virtanen; 3. Jan Mandat.

Highlight Reel:

12/3 at Utica: 3-1 L

It was off to Exit 31 of the Thruway on Saturday to finish off the home and home set.  Albany survived an extended period of being shorthanded late in the first period thanks to 3 straight calls in a 2:43 span (including a questionable double minor), but could not generate any offense against Thatcher Demko.  In the second, while on an extended power play of their own, a turnover near the bench ended up on the stick of Darren Archibald, who skated in alone on Mackenzie Blackwood and connected on a shorthanded goal for a 1-0 Comet lead.  Not to be outdone, Blake Coleman would pick up a shorthanded tally of his own (while Rod Pelley was serving another questionable double minor call) to tie the game at 1.  Penalties would in the end cost the Devils this one though…on two consecutive kills with less than 7 minutes to go in regulation, Carter Bancks would score twice in a 1:26 span to put Utica ahead 3-1.  A combination of that and Demko playing outstanding once again was too much for Albany to overcome, and they were swept by the Comets in the home and home set.  Blackwood stopped 29 of 32 shots in the loss.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Joe Blandisi-Ben Sexton

Jan Mandat-Blake Pietila-Petr Straka

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Blake Coleman

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Josh Jacobs

Vojtech Mozik/Brandon Gormley

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Steve Santini, Karl Stollery, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 0 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 8 for 10.  Penalty Minutes: 20.  Shots on Goal: 29.  Shots Allowed: 32.

3 Stars: 1. Carter Bancks; 2. Thatcher Demko; 3. Darren Archibald.

Highlight Reel:

12/4 vs. Binghamton: 3-1 W

The marathon week finished back on home ice on Sunday afternoon, as the Devils looked to avenge a humiliating loss to the Senators from mid-November.  And it didn’t take long for the home team to get on the board, as Kevin Rooney picked up his 6th goal less than four minutes into the contest for a 1-0 lead.  Blake Pietila would double the lead late in the second with 2:36 remaining in the second period, his 7th of the season.  Binghamton would break up Ken Appleby’s shutout bid with 7:29 to go in the third on a Phil Varone goal.  The Devils regained their two goal lead on a questionable goal call…during a scrum in front of Binghamton goaltender Matt O’Connor, the puck just managed to slide over the goal line.  Although it appeared that the entire puck did not make it across, the referee called it a good goal, awarded to Joe Blandisi.  Albany survived a 12-3 shot differential and a late 6 on 4 to break their two game losing streak, ending a difficult week on a positive note.  Appleby picked up his 4th win and stopped 24 of 25 shots.  Blandisi and three other Devils added assists.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Kevin Rooney-Petr Straka

Joe Blandisi-Blake Pietila-Ben Sexton

Ben Thomson-Blake Coleman-Jan Mandat

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Max Novak

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Steve Santini

Karl Stollery/Vojtech Mozik

Brandon Gormley/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Andrew MacWilliam, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Reece Scarlett, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 0 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 8.  Shots on Goal: 29.  Shots Allowed: 25.

3 Stars: 1. Blake Pietila; 2. Kevin Rooney; 3. Phil Varone.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

Keep an eye on Kevin Rooney, who outside of Joe Blandisi had a very good week with two goals and an assist.  He has mostly been a third line center, but his strong play of late has seen him jump up to first line with the Devils struggling to create offense in recent days.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Blake Pietila (7)

Assists: Joe Blandisi (11)

Points: Joe Blandisi (17)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+10)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (46)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Ken Appleby (1.59)

Save Percentage: Ken Appleby (.930)

Up North with the Thunder:

A solid week for Adirondack on home ice as they went 2-1.  On Tuesday, they picked up a 4-2 win over Manchester, as Ty Loney picked up his 9th goal and Mathieu Brodeur added two assists.  Friday night they started a 2 game set against Colorado with a 5-1 win.  Brian Ward picked up his 11th goal of the season, Brodeur added two more helpers (before being summoned to Syracuse on a PTO for Saturday), and Brandon Baddock picked up his first professional point with an assist in the third.  Colorado would earn a split of the two game series with a 6-2 win.  Alex Wall and Greg Wolfe would each have assists in the loss.  The Thunder wrap up the homestand this week with a 2 game set against Norfolk on Tuesday and Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

A little bit of an easier schedule this week.  Wednesday night, Binghamton returns to the Capital District for a rematch.  Friday the Devils return to Syracuse to take on the Crunch.  Then it’s back on home ice Saturday afternoon to take on Providence.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Week 7 in Review: Redemption

When we last left the Devils, they were coming off a two game losing streak to two division foes.

But what a rebound this week, thanks to some comeback magic and a little local nostalgia…and after a 3-0 week, they are back in first place in the division.

11/22 vs. Toronto: 3-1 W

To start the week, the Devils were back at home for the first time in 10 days, but for a rare Tuesday night matchup against the Marlies.  Toronto would get off to a good start by taking a 1-0 lead midway through the first on a Byron Froese goal.  The Devils would have a golden opportunity to get on the board against Antoine Bibeau in the second…a Milan Michalek high stick to Brian Gibbons (who left temporarily to get stitched up, but he would return) gave Albany a 4 minute power play opportunity.  After their first goal attempt was waved off, Vojtech Mozik would connect for his second goal of the season during the tail end of the man advantage (yes New Jersey, your read that right…an actual Devil power play goal) to tie the game up at 1.  In the third, a great play by Miles Wood and Blake Coleman (the latter with a sweet wraparound) gave the Devils a 2-1 lead 4:59 in.  Kevin Rooney would add an insurance goal, his third of the season, with 7:42 remaining for a 3-1 advantage.  Ken Appleby, just back from a stint in Adirondack, would take care of the rest, stopping 23 of 24 shots in improving his record to 2-0 on the season.  Five Devils, including Wood, had one assist each.

Lines:

Brian Gibbons-Joe Blandisi-Miles Wood

John Quenneville-Blake Coleman-Petr Straka

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Reece Scarlett/Brandon Gormley

Karl Stollery/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Andrew MacWilliam, Steve Santini, Brandon Baddock, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

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

3 Stars: 1. Ken Appleby; 2. Vojtech Mozik; 3. Miles Wood.

Highlight Reel:

11/25 at Hartford: 4-3 W (OT)

While I was in New Jersey on Friday night, the Devils took a quick trip east to Connecticut for their first matchup of the season against a struggling Wolfpack team.  But it would be Hartford getting off to a good start in the first, as they took a 1-0 lead halfway through the period on a Chris Brown goal.  Matt Carey would double the Wolfpack lead early in the second.  The Devils would finally get on the board midway through the period on Seth Helgeson’s second goal of the season, but would find themselves back down by two goals late thanks to an Adam Tambellini tally.  But the Devils would rally, picking up goals from Kevin Rooney (his 4th) and Ben Sexton (his 3rd) in a span of 2:49 midway through the third to tie the game up at 3.  Albany would cap off the successful rally in overtime, as Miles Wood would score his 2nd goal 1:43 into the extra frame.  Mackenzie Blackwood would recover from a shaky start and stop 24 of 27 shots to pick up his 4th win.  Five different Devils would add assists.

*Lines:

Blake Pietila-Joe Blandisi-Miles Wood

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Petr Straka

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

*Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Josh Jacobs

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Steve Santini, Max Novak, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Gormley

Power Play: 0 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 8.  Shots on Goal: 26.  Shots Allowed: 27.

3 Stars: 1. Miles Wood; 2. Adam Tambellini; 3. Ryan Graves.

Highlight Reel:

AHL Live has the highlights here.

11/26 vs. Rochester: 4-2 W

To finish off the week, it was back into the time machine to the mid 90s, as the River Rats made their triumphant return to the ice to take on Rochester.  And it looked like the power of the rat was with the current day Devils for this one.  In a span of 2:34 late in the opening period, Miles Wood (3rd) and Joe Blandisi (5th) would both pick up power play goals for a 2-0 lead.  The Rat domination would continue in the second period, as Blake Coleman (4th) and John Quenneville (6th) would score 4:25 apart for a commanding 4-0 lead.  But Rochester was not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet, as they showed a little sign of life late in the final period.  Mike Aviani and Evan Rodrigues would pick up two quick goals with less than 3 minutes to go in regulation to cut the Rats lead in half.  But they were unable to catch up any further, and Albany finished off another perfect 3-0 week.  Ken Appleby was his usual stellar self in net, stopping 19 of 21 shots to pick up his third win.  Quenneville and Brian Gibbons would each add two assists, while four others had one helper each.

Lines:

Blake Pietila-Joe Blandisi-Miles Wood

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Petr Straka

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood

Power Play: 2 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 5 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 15.  Shots on Goal: 30.  Shots Allowed: 21.

3 Stars: 1. John Quenneville; 2. Brian Gibbons; 3. Seth Helgeson.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

I could have easily given the nod to John Quenneville after a 5 point week, but I’m actually going to go in a different direction: give it to a guy who at this time last week was in Utah playing for the Thunder.  One injury to Scott Wedgewood later, Ken Appleby stepped in and was tremendous in net, going 2-0 and stopping 42 of 45 shots faced.

Team Leaders:

Goals: 2 tied with 6

Assists: Joe Blandisi (9)

Points: 2 tied with 14

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+12)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (44)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Ken Appleby (1.62)

Save Percentage: Ken Appleby (.932)

Up North with the Thunder:

A solid week for Adirondack, as they picked up three out of four points in a two game set with Florida.  Despite being outshot 29-17, Adirondack would pick up a 3-1 win on Tuesday night.  Ty Loney would score twice, while Brian Ward added two helpers.  The Thunder would rally from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 to force overtime and a shootout, but the Everblades would finally prevail 5-4.  Mathieu Brodeur would score the tiebreaker in the third and add an assist, while Patch Alber added a goal.  The homestand continues this week with three more games, as the Thunder host Manchester on Tuesday, then welcome Colorado in for a pair on Friday and Saturday night.

This Week’s Schedule:

A busy four game week is on deck.  First, the Devils finish off November where they started it: in Bridgeport.  Tuesday they make the trip south to take on the Sound Tigers.  Then, a 3 in 3 weekend to kick off the month of December: Friday Utica makes their second visit of the season.  Saturday night the Devils travel west on the Thruway to visit the Comets to finish off a home and home.  Finally it’s back to the Capital Region on Sunday afternoon to face Binghamton.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Week 6 in Review: Of Curses and Heartbreak

Just when you thought things were back to normal in Albany…everything happens.  And two out of six points and an injured goaltender later…

11/16 at Rochester: 3-1 W

The road trip began on Wednesday night in Rochester, as the Devils looked to extend a nearly year long shutout streak against the Amerks.  And judging by the first period, it looked like a real possibility.  Despite a 15-2 shot differential in the first twenty minutes of the contest, it took till nearly the end of the period for Albany to get on the board, thanks to Miles Wood’s first professional goal.  Joe Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season (and his third in 3 games) would double the lead for the visitors midway through the middle period.  But while on a power play with 24 seconds remaining in the second, the Amerks finally broke their scoreless drought after a full 3 hours, 21 minutes, and 45 seconds (but who’s counting?), cutting the lead in half on a Tyson Strachan tally.  Despite outshooting the Devils 10-7 in the third, the Amerks were unable to get the equalizer, and an empty netter by Rod Pelley late (his third straight game with a goal) would seal a third straight win.  Scott Wedgewood stopped 20 of 21 Amerk shots, while three Devils each had assists.  The game also marked the debuts of both Petr Straka (2 SOG) and Luke Gazdic (12 PIM).

Lines:

Miles Wood-Joe Blandisi-Ben Sexton

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Petr Straka

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ryan Kujawinski

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Josh Jacobs

Scott Wedgewood/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Steve Santini, Blake Coleman, Max Novak, Brandon Baddock, Carter Camper, Brandon Gormley

Power Play: 0 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 29.  Shots on Goal: 31.  Shots Allowed: 21.

3 Stars: 1. Joe Blandisi; 2. Miles Wood; 3. Tyson Strachan.

Highlight Reel:

11/18 at Binghamton: 6-2 L

It was off to the House of Horrors…I mean Binghamton…on Friday, as Albany paid the Senators a visit.  And if you believe in curses…well, the first period was beyond explanation.  Before most of the building was probably even settled into their seats, Buddy Robinson and Patrick Sieloff scored within the first 39 seconds of the contest for a 2-0 lead.  To add to the insult, Robinson would add his second two minutes later for a 3-0 lead, ending Mackenzie Blackwood’s night after 1 save on 4 chances.  But the home team wasn’t done just yet…Curtis Lazar would add a goal, and 4:56 in the Devils were staring at a 4 goal deficit.  Things would start to look up for the Devils in the second as they tried to get back into the contest.  Petr Straka’s first Devil goal would break up the shutout bid 7:19 into the middle stanza.  Brian Gibbons would pick up his 3rd goal on a power play with 3:43 left in the period to cut the Senators lead in half.  As if the night couldn’t get any worse for Albany…Scott Wedgewood, who was filling in quite well in a relief appearance, was forced to leave the game in the third due to an apparent hand/wrist injury, putting Blackwood back in the net.  And the Senators would put the game away late with two goals in the last 5:28 of the game to halt Albany’s win streak at 3.  Blackwood had a night he’d like to forget, only stopping 2 of 7 shots in 12:01, while Wedgewood stopped 15 of 16 in 47:37 of work before exiting.  Four Devils would add assists.

Lines:

Miles Wood-Joe Blandisi-Ben Sexton

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Petr Straka

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Blake Coleman

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Mackenzie Blackwood/Scott Wedgewood

Scratches: Steve Santini, Josh Jacobs, Brandon Baddock, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski

Power Play: 1 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 7 for 8.  Penalty Minutes: 28.  Shots on Goal: 28.  Shots Allowed: 23.

3 Stars: 1. Buddy Robinson; 2. Chris Carlisle; 3. Matt O’Connor.

Highlight Reel:

Saturday: On Friday night, Ken Appleby was in net in Utah picking up a win for the Thunder.  Saturday, he was backing up in Syracuse, getting the recall after Wedgewood’s injury.

11/19 at Syracuse: 3-2 L

Without Wedgewood, it was off to Syracuse, as the Devils looked to rebound from the night before.  Mackenzie Blackwood got a chance to redeem himself after a disastrous start, and early on he proved that, stopping all 9 Crunch shots in the first twenty minutes.  In the second, the Devils found themselves in a 2-0 hole rather quickly, as Matt Taormina and Tanner Richard would score 1:32 apart early in the period.  But Albany would rally to tie in the second half of the period, thanks to power play goals from Brandon Gormley (his 1st as a Devil) and John Quenneville (his 5th).  The third period was rather quiet at first…no penalties called and both teams each had chances to take the lead.  But just as everyone figured things would be settled in overtime…Erik Condra would get a pass and score on Blackwood with just 1.9 seconds left on the clock, turning a at least 3 point week into a 1-2 week for the Devils.  Blackwood, despite the loss, rebounded very nicely from Friday evening, stopping 27 of 30 shots.  Four different Devils had one assist each.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Kevin Rooney-Petr Straka

Miles Wood-Joe Blandisi-Brian Gibbons

Ben Thomson-Blake Coleman-Max Novak

Luke Gazdic-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Brandon Gormley

Karl Stollery/Josh Jacobs

Mackenzie Blackwood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Steve Santini, Brandon Baddock, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Vojtech Mozik, Ryan Kujawinski, Scott Wedgewood

Power Play: 2 for 6.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 6.  Shots on Goal: 31.  Shots Allowed: 30.

3 Stars: 1. Erik Condra; 2. Yanni Gourde; 3. Matt Taormina.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

A few to choose from…but let’s go with the new guy.  For someone who had not even played till this week, Petr Straka settled into the lineup quite nicely, picking up a goal and an assist in his first 3 games.

Team Leaders:

Goals: John Quenneville (5)

Assists: Joe Blandisi (8)

Points: Joe Blandisi (12)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+8)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (44)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (5)

GAA: Ken Appleby (1.85)

Save Percentage: Ken Appleby (.929)

Up North with the Thunder:

The Thunder wrapped up an extended trip out west with a 3 game series in Utah against Alexandre Carrier and the Grizzlies, taking two out of three.  On Monday, Adirondack dropped a 5-2 decision, with Brian Ward and Ty Loney each picking up a goal.  Friday night, the Thunder returned the favor with a 2-1 win, as Ken Appleby stopped 24 of 25 shots in picking up his fourth win before flying cross country to join the Devils in Syracuse.  Adirondack would finish off the three game set with a 3-2 win on Saturday night, as Loney would score again, and both Mathieu Brodeur and Alex Wall had two assists each. Adirondack finally returns home to Glens Falls this week, as they kick off a 7 game homestand with a two game set against Florida on Tuesday and Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

A sort of odd schedule this week for Albany, as they play a rare Tuesday night home game against Toronto (which originally was scheduled for Wednesday…thanks Siena College).  Friday night they hit the road for Hartford, then on Saturday afternoon against Rochester…the Rats are back.  The long awaited return of the River Rat jerseys is finally upon us!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Week 5 in Review: There’s No Place Like Home

Sometimes a little home cooking…and a few friends sticking up for you…helps get a team back on track.  And it worked for the Devils this week, breaking a brief losing streak and getting back to the team we saw in October.

11/11 vs. Hershey: 6-3 W

Back home for the first time since October 29th, the Devils looked to get some revenge from last Saturday’s shutout loss with a rematch against the Bears.  And it didn’t take very long to get things started.  Just 28 seconds after the opening puck drop, Joe Blandisi would score his second goal of the season for a very quick 1-0 lead.  Vojtech Mozik, in his first game back after sitting all week as New Jersey’s seventh defenseman, picked up a power play goal late in the period to double the lead.  The Devils would outshoot their visitors 16-4 through the first twenty minutes.  Hershey would get on the board early in the second on a Jakub Vrana power play goal, but a beautiful breakaway by Brian Gibbons would restore Albany’s two goal advantage.  But Hershey was not about to go away quietly, as a goal by Stanislav Galiev with 90 seconds remaining in the middle period would cut Albany’s lead to 3-2.  The Devils appeared to put it away midway through the third…Blandisi was awarded a penalty shot and would be successful, giving Albany their two goal lead back.  But the Bears would again answer with the man advantage, as Travis Boyd would pick up his first goal of the season to again cut Albany’s lead to one.  Finally, with less than 3 minutes to go in the contest, the captain would put the game away…Rod Pelley’s first of the season would put the Devils up 5-3.  Kevin Rooney would add an empty netter for good measure.  But all that was just the lead in to what would happen with 26 seconds remaining, as a near brawl near the benches would break out after a high stick injured Blake Coleman.  Both teams would combine for a total of 86 penalty minutes and 9 players leaving early.  The other story of the night?  Scott Wedgewood barely had to break a sweat in picking up the win–he only stopped 8 of 11 shots.  Blandisi added two assists to go with his two goal night, Blake Pietila had two helpers, while two other Devils had one assist each.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Ben Sexton

Miles Wood-Blake Pietila-Joe Blandisi

Ben Thomson-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Blake Coleman-Rod Pelley-Ryan Kujawinski

Defense:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Karl Stollery/Steve Santini

Scott Wedgewood/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Josh Jacobs, Brandon Baddock, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Brandon Gormley

Power Play: 1 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 3 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 56.  Shots on Goal: 26.  Shots Allowed: 11.

3 Stars: 1. Joe Blandisi; 2. Brian Gibbons; 3. Travis Boyd.

Highlight Reel:

11/12 vs. St. John’s: 4-3 W

A brief two game week wrapped up on Saturday afternoon, as the IceCaps came in for their second visit of the season.  And the Devils would see a familiar face in the other net–Yann Danis.  But it would be Blake Pietila stealing the spotlight on this day.  He got the scoring started with a power play tally 12:51 into the opening period for a 1-0 Devil lead.  Second period was a struggle once again for Albany, as the IceCaps would take the game over.  Nikita Scherbak would tie the game up less than 2 minutes into the period.  Michael McCarron and Mark Barberio would score power play goals 2:43 apart to put the visitors up 3-1.  But Pietila would come through with his second goal of the day with just 36 seconds to go in the period to cut the lead to 3-2.  After a strong showing by Albany in the first, the IceCaps would flip the script in the second, outshooting the Devils 18-8.  But in the third, Albany would put up a late rally.  With just 4:11 remaining in regulation, Rod Pelley’s second goal in as many days would tie the game up at 3.  Then just 1:46 later, Pietila would finish off his first pro hat trick and the Devil rally, putting the hosts ahead 4-3.  St. John’s could only muster 4 shots on goal in the final 20 minutes, and Albany finished off their second straight win in dramatic fashion.  Mackenzie Blackwood rebounded from his quick exit in Hershey the weekend before, stopping 27 of 30 shots.  Karl Stollery added two assists, while six other Devils had one helper each.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Brian Gibbons-Ben Sexton

Joe Blandisi-Blake Pietila-Miles Wood

Max Novak-Kevin Rooney-Ben Thomson

Ryan Kujawinski-Rod Pelley-Jan Mandat

Defense:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Karl Stollery/Steve Santini

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Mackenzie Blackwood/Scott Wedgewood

Scratches: Josh Jacobs, Blake Coleman, Brandon Baddock, Carter Camper, Brandon Gormley

Power Play: 2 for 3.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 6.  Penalty Minutes: 14.  Shots on Goal: 31.  Shots Allowed: 30.

3 Stars: 1. Blake Pietila; 2. Rod Pelley; 3. Nikita Scherbak.

Highlight Reel:

Roster Move: During Saturday’s game, a trade between New Jersey and Philadelphia saw forward Petr Straka come to New Jersey for a conditional 7th round draft pick in 2017 or 2018.  Straka was in his fourth season with the Phantoms, but had been a healthy scratch all season despite being a regular in the lineup the previous three years.  He has just three NHL games under his belt, picking up two assists for the Flyers in 2014-15.  He will report to Albany early next week.

My Player of the Week:

A five point week, including your first hat trick?  Blake Pietila was an easy choice.  Honorable mention to Joe Blandisi and his four point performance on Friday.

Team Leaders:

Goals: Blake Pietila (6)

Assists: 2 tied with 5

Points: Blake Pietila (11)

+/-: Vojtech Mozik (+8)

Penalty Minutes: Joe Blandisi (36)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (4)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (2.44)

Save Percentage: Scott Wedgewood (.905)

Up North with the Thunder:

Adirondack spent the week in Idaho, where they took 3 out of 6 points from Joe Faust and the Steelheads.  On Wednesday, the Thunder posted a 6-3 win, as Ken Appleby stopped 26 of 29 shots.  Brian Ward scored twice, while Alex Wall and Mathieu Brodeur added one goal each.  Idaho would pick up a 4-3 shootout win on Friday night, with Ward and Ty Loney scoring for the Thunder.  The Steelheads would finish off the 3 game set with a 4-2 win on Saturday.  Appleby stopped 27 of 31 shots in the loss, the first in regulation on the road for the Thunder this season.  Adirondack heads to Utah this week for a three game series against the Grizzlies to finish off their western road swing.

This Week’s Schedule:

The Devils head on an Empire State three game road swing this week.  Wednesday they head west on Interstate 90 for their first visit to Rochester.  Friday it’s west on Interstate 88 to Binghamton to face the Senators.  Then on Saturday the trip finishes in Syracuse.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Week 4 in Review: Misadventures in Tough Buildings

You know it wasn’t a good week when I have to plug in a favorite excuse of the Peter DeBoer days.  Two games, two goals, two losses.

11/2 @ Bridgeport: 4-2 L

What better way to start the month of November than to travel south to Bridgeport on a sunny Wednesday morning to take on the Sound Tigers, especially in front of roughly 7200 screaming kids for a school day field trip special?  (Sensing sarcasm?  You should.  I survived sitting through it.)  As usual, the Devils got off to a great start in the first period, outshooting their hosts 12-3 and taking a very quick lead.  Blake Coleman (2nd) and Ben Thomson (3rd) would pick up goals just :57 apart, and it was 2-0 Devils less than 3 minutes into the contest.  Second period, it was the Sound Tigers who got a wake up call.  Michael Dal Colle would cut the lead in half 5:06 into the second.  Later in the second, Seth Helgeson attempted to pass to another Devil…and that pass would end up on the stick of Carter Verhaeghe, and he would easily score to tie things up at 2.  It was a complete 180 from the first–the Devils could only muster three shots, while Bridgeport had 14.  It would be another unlucky bounce right by Scott Wedgewood’s net early in the third that would come back to bite Albany, as Ross Johnston would pick up the go ahead goal for a 3-2 Sound Tiger advantage.  Albany would manage a respectable 11 shots on goal in the final frame, but were unable to get anything past Bridgeport goaltender Christopher Gibson, who settled down nicely after the first few minutes of the contest.  Bracken Kearns would trickle a slow roller into the empty net late for an insurance marker.  Wedgewood would stop 23 of 26 in the loss, while Jan Mandat had the only assist…but assists were given to Joe Blandisi and Rod Pelley a few days later.  And unlike the last time the two teams met, it was just a little calmer this time around…only 46 penalty minutes combined.  But the Devil power play continued to struggle, as they went 0 for 7 with the man advantage.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Blake Pietila-Ben Sexton

Miles Wood-Joe Blandisi-Brian Gibbons

Blake Coleman-Kevin Rooney-Jan Mandat

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Max Novak

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Josh Jacobs

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Scott Wedgewood/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Steve Santini, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski

Power Play: 0 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 20.  Shots on Goal: 26.  Shots Allowed: 27.

3 Stars: 3. Michael Dal Colle; 2. Carter Verhaeghe; 1. Ross Johnston.

Highlight Reel:

11/5 @ Hershey: 4-0 L

After a rare Friday evening off, it was back to work on Saturday night, as the Devils made their lone trip to Chocolatetown to take on a Bears squad that had won their last four straight, and had yet to lose on home ice.  The first 10 minutes of the game looked promising for the Devils, but in a 3:06 span everything would go wrong.  First, Christian Thomas would snag a power play goal off a bounce from his own shot for a 1-0 lead.  Just under two minutes after that, Brad Malone would break away and score to double the advantage.  Then to finish it off, Stanislav Galiev would score for a 3-0 lead, chasing starter Mackenzie Blackwood from the net after only stopping 3 of 6 shots in 14:46 played.  Scott Wedgewood would come in and keep the Bears at bay for the remainder of the first.  In the second, the teams would combine for just 11 shots on goal…but rookie Colby Williams would pick up his second goal in as many days late in the middle frame for a 4-0 Bear advantage.  Albany would outshoot Hershey 12-11 in the third, but were unable to create any offense against rookie goaltender Vitek Vanecek and the Bears defense.  Despite a 27-25 shot advantage, Albany would end up getting shutout for the second time in 10 games.  Wedgewood played well in relief of Blackwood, stopping 18 of 19 shots in just over 45 minutes.  Steve Santini and Ryan Kujawinski both made their return to the lineup.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Blake Pietila-Ben Sexton

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Joe Blandisi

Miles Wood-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Ryan Kujawinski

Defense Pairings:

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Josh Jacobs

Steve Santini/Brandon Gormley

Mackenzie Blackwood/Scott Wedgewood

Scratches: Karl Stollery, Brandon Baddock, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Alex Wall

Power Play: 0 for 2.  Penalty Kill: 5 for 6.  Penalty Minutes: 16.  Shots on Goal: 27.  Shots Allowed: 25.

3 Stars: 3. Colby Williams; 2. Christian Thomas; 1. Vitek Vanecek.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

If you scored a goal this week, you get the nod.  But seriously…did anyone expect Ben Thomson to be among the team leaders in goals (he is currently tied for second with Blake Pietila with 3) from the fourth line?

Team Leaders:

Goals: John Quenneville (4)

Assists: Rod Pelley (4)

Points: John Quenneville/Blake Pietila (6)

+/-: Karl Stollery (+5)

Penalty Minutes: Joe Blandisi (32)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (3)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (2.35)

Save Percentage: Scott Wedgewood (.916)

Up North with the Thunder:

Adirondack would split a pair of games with Manchester this week.  On Tuesday, the Thunder suffered a 3-2 home loss to the Monarchs.  Brian Ward would score his fifth of the season late in the third period, while Greg Wolfe would add one helper.  Adirondack kicked off a season long 8 game road trip Saturday in Manchester with a 5-3 win.  Five different players would score, including Ty Loney and Mathieu Brodeur.  Ken Appleby picked up his second win, stopping 30 of 33 shots.  Since his return to the Thunder, he is 2-0-0-1 with a 1.30 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Adirondack will take on the Monarchs one more time on Sunday afternoon, then they head west to start a 3 game series with Idaho on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

This Week’s Schedule:

The Devils return home for a pair of weekend games.  Friday night, they wrap up their brief season series with Hershey.  Saturday St. John’s makes their second visit of the season to the Capital Region.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Week 3 in Review: The Struggle is Real?

Well…I was not expecting this team to go 76-0.  But this week the Devils were thrown back to reality by two very good teams…and it took an improbable comeback to get back to their winning ways.

10/26 @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: 3-1 L

With a shot at 6-0 on the line, the Devils traveled southwest to a place where they have not seen a lot of success in recent years…Wilkes-Barre, as they made their only visit of the season there to face the Penguins.  Unlike the first five games of the season, the Devils would find themselves in a first period hole, being outshot 17-7.  Then while on an extended penalty kill, Chad Ruhwedel would pick up his first of the season with under two minutes remaining in the opening period for a 1-0 Penguins lead.  That lead after 20 minutes of play marked the first time all season Albany trailed after a period.  Second period wasn’t that much better for the visitors, despite being awarded four power plays.  Not only could they not capitalize on those opportunities, they would give up a shorthanded tally to Josh Archibald early in the period for a 2-0 hole.  Jake Guentzel would add his third goal of the season with 3:15 to go for a 3-0 lead.  The Devils could only muster 7 shots for the second straight period, while Scott Wedgewood faced 28 total over the first 40 minutes.  He would leave in favor of Mackenzie Blackwood to start the third period, and it seemed to be a too little, too late wake up call.  Blackwood would stop all 8 shots faced, while Nick Lappin broke up Tristan Jarry’s shutout bid with his first goal of the season 8:05 into the third.  Albany would kill off a huge 1:41 5 on 3 midway through, but they just could not catch up to a stingy Penguins defense, and the first loss of the season happened.  Blake Pietila and Brian Gibbons had the lone assists.

Lines:

Blake Coleman-Brian Gibbons-Miles Wood

Blake Pietila-John Quenneville-Nick Lappin

Jan Mandat-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Steve Santini/Brandon Gormley

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Scott Wedgewood/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Karl Stollery, Josh Jacobs, Joe Blandisi, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski

Power Play: 0 for 5.  Penalty Kill: 6 for 7.  Penalty Minutes: 23.  Shots on Goal: 20.  Shots Allowed: 36.

3 Stars: 3. Chad Ruhwedel; 2. Josh Archibald; 1. Jake Guentzel.

Highlight Reel:

10/28 vs. Toronto: 3-0 L

The first big test of the season awaited the Devils as they returned to home ice on Friday night…a rematch against the team that eliminated them in the second round of last season’s playoffs, the Marlies.  But much like Wednesday night, the Devils dug themselves into a big hole at the outset.  Colin Greening would put the visitors up early with a goal 5:34 into the first.  Then with Blake Coleman sitting in the box on a questionable high sticking call, Tobias Lindberg would score twenty seconds into the man advantage to double the Marlie lead.  Albany would be outshot by a whopping 17-5 margin through the first 20 minutes.  Second period things looked to be turning around for the Devils, as they would find their shot and finally received a couple of power play opportunities.  Unfortunately, they were facing a literal brick wall in Antoine Bibeau, as he stopped all 13 second period shots.  Then it became a case of if you can’t beat the competition, beat up the competition–Seth Helgeson and Blake Coleman each got into scraps 18 seconds apart late in the period.  Third period the Devils really tried to get on the board, outshooting Toronto 19-5 and had three power play chances…but again, nothing was getting past Bibeau.  Midway through the third, a misplay behind Scott Wedgewood’s net would leave the net wide open and Trevor Moore would get an easy goal, giving Toronto a 3-0 advantage.  Despite a late 6 on 4 advantage with the empty net, Albany just could not solve Bibeau, and he would end up with a 37 save shutout.  Other than the misplay in the third, Wedgewood had another good night in net, stopping 28 of 31 shots.

The Lineup:

John Quenneville-Blake Pietila-Ben Sexton

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Joe Blandisi

Miles Wood-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Jan Mandat

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Scott Wedgewood/Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Steve Santini, Josh Jacobs, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski

Power Play: 0 for 5.  Penalty Kill: 2 for 3.  Penalty Minutes: 21.  Shots on Goal: 37.  Shots Allowed: 31.

3 Stars: 3. Trevor Dermott; 2. Colin Greening; 1. Antoine Bibeau.

Highlight Reel:

10/29 vs. Toronto: 4-3 W (SO)

About 20 hours later, both teams were back on ice for the rematch.  Albany made two lineup changes: Josh Jacobs in for Seth Helgeson, and Mackenzie Blackwood drew the starting assignment.  The Devils played their strongest first period all week, despite the 9-8 shot disadvantage.  After two more fights during the first half of the period, things calmed down and both teams would trade goals from the blue line.  Andrew Nielsen would put Toronto up 1-0 with just under three minutes remaining in the first, but Reece Scarlett would tie it up 1:35 later with his second goal of the season.  Things appeared to be going the Marlies’ way in the second, as Bryon Froese and Trevor Moore would pick up goals to give the visitors a 3-1 advantage.  Also throw in the play of Antoine Bibeau and after 40 minutes, it looked like the Devils were on their way to a third straight defeat.  Well…not so fast.  In the third, John Quenneville picked up a power play goal early, his fourth, to cut the deficit to 3-2.  After a fourth fight midway gave the Devils another power play, Ben Sexton, who moved up to Nick Lappin’s spot on the top line with Quenneville and Blake Pietila, would take advantage and score his second goal to tie the game up at 3.  The game would head into overtime, where both teams had to kill off separate 4 on 3 chances to keep the game tied.  On to the bonus round, where the Marlies tried to get fancy with their shootout attempts…only to fail as they reached Blackwood.  Quenneville picked up a goal in Round 2, while Blackwood stopped Kasperi Kapanen in round 3 to complete the comeback win and finish October at 6-2.  Blackwood picked up win #2 in his home debut, stopping 30 of 33 shots.  Sexton, Quenneville, and three others had assists.

The Lineup:

John Quenneville-Blake Pietila-Ben Sexton

Brian Gibbons-Blake Coleman-Joe Blandisi

Miles Wood-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Jan Mandat

Defense Pairings:

Karl Stollery/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Brandon Gormley/Josh Jacobs

Mackenzie Blackwood/Scott Wedgewood

Scratches: Seth Helgeson, Steve Santini, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski

Power Play: 2 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 4 for 4.  Penalty Minutes: 40.  Shots on Goal: 35.  Shots Allowed: 33.

3 Stars: 3. Andrew Nielsen; 2. John Quenneville; 1. Ben Sexton.

Highlight Reel:

My Player of the Week:

In a week where everyone seemed to have some struggles, one player did stand out to me: Mackenzie Blackwood.  He came in cold Wednesday night and was able to keep Wilkes-Barre off the board in his one period, then kept it together Saturday against a strong Marlies team.

Team Leaders:

Goals: John Quenneville (4)

Assists: 7 tied with 3

Points: John Quenneville/Blake Pietila (6)

+/-: Karl Stollery/Vojtech Mozik (+4)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (26)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (3)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (2.38)

Save Percentage: Mackenzie Blackwood (.930)

Up North with the Thunder:

It was a near sweep for Adirondack this week, as they took 5 out of 6 points against Elmira.  On Tuesday, the Thunder dropped a 2-1 shootout loss at home to the Jackals, despite a 40-17 shot advantage.  Brian Ward picked up the lone goal, while Ken Appleby made his season debut and stopped 15 of 16 shots in 65 minutes, but gave up the lone goal in the shootout round.  Brandon Baddock made his pro debut and managed just one shot.  In a 5-2 win in Elmira on Friday evening, Greg Wolfe picked up his second goal of the season, while Patch Alber and Ty Loney had assists.  Then on Saturday…apparently the Jackals didn’t quite make it into the building, as the Thunder outshot them 40-8 in a 3-0 win at home.  Ward picked up a goal, while Appleby barely broke a sweat in an 8 save shutout.  Adirondack starts a 3 game set against Manchester this week, hosting the Monarchs on Tuesday night then heading to New Hampshire for a pair on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

This Week’s Schedule:

A light two game schedule to kick off November, but both will be on the road.  First up, an 11 AM start in Bridgeport on Wednesday against the Sound Tigers, in their first meeting since the infamous double brawl to end last regular season.  Then it’s off to Hershey on Saturday for their only visit of the season to face the Bears.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Week 2 in Review: History Will Be Rewritten

Is it beginners luck?  Maybe.

Is it a team coming together to do exactly what it’s supposed to do?  Yeah, could be that too.

But no matter what reasoning you come up with…the fact is that the Devils did not only remain undefeated after a weekend 3 in 3 sweep, they are off to the best start an Albany AHL team has ever seen.  And the only unbeaten team left standing in the entire American Hockey League.

10/21 vs. Binghamton: 3-2 W (SO)

First on the 3 in 3 schedule: a visit from the Senators, only playing their second game of the season after winning their home opener last Saturday evening.  Unlike the first two Albany games, it was the opponent drawing first blood, as a Ryan Rupert goal just 6:11 in would give Binghamton an early edge.  But the Devils would answer back fairly quickly, as Ben Sexton’s first of the season would tie things up just 2:33 later.  A shot from Seth Helgeson from the blue line would find its way into the net later in the period for a 2-1 Devil lead.  After a noneventful second period, Binghamton would tie the game midway through the third on an impossible top shelf goal off the stick of Curtis Lazar.  With no one able to jump ahead, it was on to the first overtime of the season, where the Senators had several chances to finish off their comeback outshooting Albany 3-0, but were unable to finish it off (a video review halfway through would ensure that).  On to the shootout, where Lazar would come through again in round 1, only to see John Quenneville tie it in round 3, sending things to sudden death.  Binghamton would be unable to connect in rounds 4 and 5, but Blake Pietila would be the hero in Albany’s half of the fifth round, scoring the game winner to keep the Devils undefeated.  Ken Appleby drew his first start of the season and played very well, stopping 26 of 28 shots in 65 minutes, then 4 of 5 in the shootout round.  Three different Devils would add assists, while Brian Gibbons and Josh Jacobs made their season debuts.

Lines:

Blake Pietila-Brian Gibbons-Joe Blandisi

Carter Camper-John Quenneville-Nick Lappin

Kevin Rooney-Blake Coleman-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Josh Jacobs

Ken Appleby/Scott Wedgewood

Scratches: Mackenzie Blackwood, Ryan Kujawinski, Brandon Baddock, Jan Mandat, Brandon Gormley

Power Play: 0 for 2.  Penalty Kill: 2 for 2.  Penalty Minutes: 11.  Shots on Goal: 27.  Shots Allowed: 28.

Three Stars: 3. Curtis Lazar; 2. Ben Sexton; 1. Seth Helgeson.

Highlight Reel:

10/22 vs. Utica: 3-2 W

To finish off the three game homestand, Albany got a visit from the Comets, who were coming off their first win of the season in Syracuse the night before.  Reece Scarlett would put the Devils on the board late in the first period with a power play goal, his first of the season.  John Quenneville would follow that up early in the second with a power play goal as well, his third.  Then just as a major penalty to Joseph LaBate for checking to the head of Ben Thomson (he was OK) was about to expire, Utica cut the lead in half with a shorthanded goal from Michael Chaput.  Early in the third, Derek Hulak’s first goal of the season would bring the Comets and Devils even at 2.  But an unlikely hero would emerge for the home team halfway through the third…rookie Jan Mandat, making his professional debut, would score a beautiful goal to put Albany ahead.  Despite a last minute flurry in the Albany defensive zone, Utica could not re-tie, and Albany extended its best ever start for any AHL team to 4-0.  Another solid outing for Scott Wedgewood, as he picked up win #3 and stopped 18 of 20 shots.  Scarlett and Quenneville would add assists, while two others had helpers.

Lines:

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Blake Pietila-John Quenneville-Nick Lappin

Blake Coleman-Brian Gibbons-Joe Blandisi

Kevin Rooney-Ryan Kujawinski-Jan Mandat

Defense Pairings:

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Andrew MacWilliam/Reece Scarlett

Karl Stollery/Brandon Gormley

Scott Wedgewood/Ken Appleby

Scratches: Mackenzie Blackwood, Brandon Baddock, Carter Camper, Miles Wood, Josh Jacobs, Max Novak

Power Play: 2 for 7.  Penalty Kill: 5 for 5.  Penalty Minutes: 14.  Shots on Goal: 27.  Shots Allowed: 20.

Three Stars: 3. Reece Scarlett; 2. John Quenneville; 1. Jan Mandat.

Highlight Reel:

Bonus Video!

10/23 @ Providence: 4-3 W (OT)

Albany would finish off the first 3 in 3 of the season with another trip east to Providence to take on the Bruins.  The game marked the AHL debuts of Miles Wood and Steve Santini, both sent down by New Jersey over the last two days, and Mackenzie Blackwood.  First period was all Devils, as they outshot Providence 17-6.  Brian Gibbons would pick up his first Albany goal 7:28 into the first period for a 1-0 advantage.  Then a misplay by Blackwood behind his net would lead to the Bruins tying the game up.  But less than a minute later, the hosts would return the favor, as a misplay by Bruins goaltender Malcolm Subban behind his net would lead to Joe Blandisi’s first goal of the season to put the Devils back in front 2-1.  Much like the last visit to Rhode Island, the Bruins would suddenly find their shot in the second, peppering Blackwood with 18 of them.  One of those shots would re-tie the game at 2 early in the second, thanks to a power play goal by Austin Czarnik.  But, just like the last two days, Albany would take the lead back once again, as Blake Pietila’s third goal of the season would put the Devils up 3-2 after 40 minutes.  Third period was again all Bruins, as they got revenge from the first period with a 19-5 shot differential.  One of those shots would again tie the game up, as Tommy Cross would score with 7:42 remaining in regulation.  The Devils would find themselves going to overtime for the second time in three days, and once again, a different Devil would save the day.  Blake Coleman would score his first of the season just 1:53 into the extra session, wrapping up a fifth straight win and keeping Albany perfect on the season.  Blackwood was up to the challenge in his first professional start, stopping 42 of 45 Providence shots in just under 62 minutes in net to pick up the first of hopefully many wins.  Karl Stollery added two helpers, while Wood would pick up an assist in his Albany debut.

Lines:

John Quenneville-Blake Pietila-Nick Lappin

Miles Wood-Blake Coleman-Joe Blandisi

Brian Gibbons-Kevin Rooney-Max Novak

Ben Thomson-Rod Pelley-Ben Sexton

Defense Pairings:

Karl Stollery/Reece Scarlett

Seth Helgeson/Vojtech Mozik

Brandon Gormley/Steve Santini

Mackenzie Blackwood/Scott Wedgewood

Scratches: Josh Jacobs, Brandon Baddock, Andrew MacWilliam, Jan Mandat, Carter Camper, Ryan Kujawinski, Ken Appleby

Power Play: 0 for 4.  Penalty Kill: 5 for 6.  Penalty Minutes: 14.  Shots on Goal: 34.  Shots Allowed: 45.

Three Stars: 3. Peter Cehlarik; 2. Austin Czarnik; 1. Blake Coleman.

Highlight Reel:

AHL Live has your highlights here.

My Player of the Week:

Again, no clear cut choices out of the weekend slate.  So I will salute the two rookies who made a splash in their debuts this weekend, Jan Mandat (game winner and awesome celebration to follow) and Mackenzie Blackwood (42 saves in your first start is quite the workload).

Team Leaders:

Goals: 2 tied with 3

Assists: 4 tied with 3

Points: 2 tied with 4

+/-: Karl Stollery (+5)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (26)

Wins: Scott Wedgewood (3)

GAA: Scott Wedgewood (1.67)

Save Percentage: Mackenzie Blackwood (.933)

Up North with the Thunder:

Adirondack had only one game this week: their home opener on Saturday evening, a 4-3 loss to Manchester.  Mathieu Brodeur picked up his first goal of the season on a power play, while Ty Loney and Brian Ward each had one assist.  Albany camp invitee Joe Pedenza scored twice for the Monarchs.  The Thunder start a three game series against Elmira this week, starting on Tuesday night at home, then a home and home Friday out west and Saturday in the North Country.

This Week’s Schedule:

Three more games this week, but they’re a little more spread out.  Wednesday, the Devils travel southwest to Wilkes-Barre Township for their only visit of the season to face the Penguins.  Then it’s a playoff rematch on Friday and Saturday at home to finish off October…for the first time since May, the Marlies will be in to visit.  Can the Devils make it to 8-0?  Toronto could be a serious challenge.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized