2017 Calder Cup Playoff Preview, Round 1: Albany vs. Toronto

Locations: Times Union Center, Albany, NY (Games 1 & 2); Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, ON, Canada (Games 3,4,5).

Dates/Times: Game 1 Thursday @ 7 PM, Game 2 Saturday, April 22 @ 5 PM, Game 3 Wednesday, April 26 @ 7 PM; Game 4 Friday, April 28 @ 7 PM; Game 5 Saturday, April 29 @ 7 PM

Regular Season Series:

Albany took 5 of 8 matchups:

October 28th @ Albany, Marlies 3 Devils 0: In the first matchup since last season’s playoffs, Antoine Bibeau would stop all 37 shots to hand the Devils their second loss of the season and first shutout loss.  Scott Wedgewood took the loss, stopping 28 of 31 shots.  Three different Marlies had goals.

October 29th @ Albany, Devils 4 Marlies 3 (SO): In the rematch the following day, the Devils would erase a 3-1 deficit in the third by goals from John Quenneville and Ben Sexton to force the game into overtime.  In their first shootout of the season, Mackenzie Blackwood would shut down all 3 Toronto skaters, while Quenneville had the lone shootout goal.  The game also saw a combined 96 penalty minutes, after scraps in both the second and third periods would see an early exit for both Joe Blandisi and Rinat Valiev of Toronto.

November 22nd @ Albany, Devils 3 Marlies 1: In his first start since replacing Scott Wedgewood on the roster, Ken Appleby came up big, stopping 23 of 24 shots, while Blake Coleman, Kevin Rooney, and Vojtech Mozik all scored.

December 17th @ Toronto, Devils 3 Marlies 1: Brian Gibbons would score twice in the first, and that was all Ken Appleby needed to pick up the win, stopping 34 of 35 Toronto shots.

December 18th @ Toronto, Marlies 4 Devils 1: 24 hours later, it would be Toronto getting off a 2-0 start, and the Marlies never looked back.  Jan Mandat had the lone Devil goal in the second period.

December 30th @ Albany, Devils 4 Marlies 2: Goals 50 seconds apart by John Quenneville (his second of the contest) and Ben Sexton would be the difference in this one.  Mackenzie Blackwood would stop 22 of 24 shots in the victory.

February 11th @ Toronto, Devils 5 Marlies 4 (OT): Down 4-1 with 2:30 to go in the second period, the Devils would make an improbable comeback, with Ben Sexton scoring twice in the final 2:59 of regulation to tie it up, followed by Yohann Auvitu’s game winner with 49 seconds left in overtime to cap it.

February 12th @ Toronto, Marlies 6 Devils 2: A 3 goal third period was all Toronto needed to put the rematch away.  Carter Camper and Reece Scarlett would each have a goal.

2016-17 Records:

Toronto: 42-29-4-1, 89 points, .586 points percentage, 2nd place in North Division.

Albany: 39-32-2-3, 83 points, .546 points percentage, 3rd place in North Division.


Toronto Marlies

Albany Devils

Toronto By The Numbers:

Home: 24-11-3-0. Road: 18-18-1-1.

Power Play: 22.3% (4th in AHL). Penalty Kill: 81.8% (17th).

Goals For/Game: 3.22 (8th). Goals Against/Game: 2.72 (11th).

Leading Scorers (Top 5): Kerby Rychel (52), Brendan Leipsic (51), Cal O’Reilly (50), Andreas Johnsson (47), Seth Griffith (44)

Goals: Andreas Johnsson (20)

Assists: Cal O’Reilly (41)

+/-: Andrew Campbell (+20)

Penalty Minutes: Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (128)

Wins: Garret Sparks (21)

GAA: Garret Sparks (2.16)

Save Percentage: Garret Sparks (.922)

Albany by the Numbers:

Home: 22-13-1-2. Road: 17-19-1-1.

Power Play: 17.9% (13th in AHL). Penalty Kill: 84.0% (6th).

Goals For/Game: 2.68 (21st). Goals Against/Game: 2.71 (10th).

Leading Scorers (Top 5): John Quenneville (46), Blake Coleman (39), Brian Gibbons (36), Carter Camper (35), Blake Pietila (33).

Goals: Ben Sexton/Blake Coleman (19)

Assists: John Quenneville (32)

+/-: Blake Coleman (+21)

Penalty Minutes: Andrew MacWilliam (100)

Wins: Ken Appleby/Mackenzie Blackwood (17)

GAA: Mackenzie Blackwood (2.55)

Save Percentage: Mackenzie Blackwood (.907)


Print: Times Union, Toronto Sun

Radio: AHL Live


Facebook: Albany Devils, Toronto Marlies

Instagram: albanydevils, torontomarlies

Twitter: @AlbanyDevils, @PeteDougherty, @trace_1114, @TorontoMarlies, @HockeyCrock

Game 76: Albany vs. Rochester

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Time: 5:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 4-3.

Media Kit


Albany: 38-32-2-3, 81 points, .540, 3rd place in North Division

Rochester: 32-40-0-3, 67 points, .447, 6th place in North Division

Amerks Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Cole Schneider, 63 points (24 G, 39 A); Nick Baptiste, 41 points (25 G, 16 A); Mat Bodie, 39 points (10 G, 29 A HFD/RCH)

Linus Ullmark, 26-26-2, 2.88 GAA; John Muse, 3-8-0, 3.08 GAA; Jonas Johansson, 3-3-1, 2.85 GAA

Last Game, Amerks: Rochester defeated Albany 5-4 at home on Friday.

Latest News/Notes:

We have reached Game 76.

But yet there are many uncertainties as to who the Devils will face in the first round.

First, the updated standings:

  1. Toronto: 89 points, .593
  2. Syracuse: 88 points, .587
  3. Albany: 81 points, .540
  4. St. John’s: 80 points, .533
  5. Utica: 79 points, .527

Toronto and St. John’s finish off a two game set, while Utica travels to Syracuse in a last ditch attempt to extend their season.  What St. John’s, Utica, and Albany do today will determine who the third and fourth North seeds are.  Also still in the air: who clinches the division title?  Syracuse still trails Toronto by one point at the start of business today.  I could go through every single scenario, but we’d be sitting here till next year.  Let’s just enjoy the last regular season home game and see where everything falls.

Amerks win last game of home schedule with 5-4 victory (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

Albany Devils rest some players, lose to Rochester (Times Union)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live, ESPN Rochester

Social: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @AmerksHockey

Game 75: Albany at Rochester

Location: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY.

Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 4-2.

Media Kit


Albany: 38-31-2-3, 81 points, .547, 3rd place in North Division

Rochester: 31-40-0-3, 65 points, .439, 6th place in North Division

Americans Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Cole Schneider, 62 points (24 G, 38 A); Nick Baptiste, 41 points (25 G, 16 A); Mat Bodie, 39 points (10 G, 29 A HFD/RCH)

Linus Ullmark, 25-26-2, 2.86 GAA; John Muse, 3-8-0, 3.08 GAA; Jonas Johansson, 3-3-1, 2.85 GAA

Last Game, Americans: Rochester lost 3-2 in a shootout to Binghamton on Wednesday at home.

Latest News/Notes:

The Amerks enter the final weekend of their season winners of 6 of their last 10 (6-3-0-1); goaltender Linus Ullmark and forwards Evan Rodrigues and Alex Nylander were returned from Buffalo on Monday; forward Cole Schneider is 7th in the AHL in scoring; Ullmark continues to lead the league in minutes (3082:36) and saves (1464), and is tied for the lead in losses (26).

Devil injury update: Rod Pelley and Viktor Loov are definitely out this weekend, while Ben Sexton may finally be cleared to return.  Expect several regulars to be rested over the final two days as the playoff tuneup begins.

Last place Senators need shootout to edge Amerks (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

Players returning to Albany Devils adjust to new roles (Times Union)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live or ESPN Rochester

Social: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @AmerksHockey

Game 74: Albany vs. Hartford

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 3-0.

Media Kit


Albany: 37-31-2-3, 79 points, .541, 3rd place in North Division

Hartford: 24-43-4-2, 54 points, .370, 7th place in Atlantic Division

Wolfpack Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Taylor Beck, 63 points (19 G, 44 A BAK/HFD); Nicklas Jensen, 52 points (29 G, 23 A); Marek Hrivik, 39 points (15 G, 24 A)

Magnus Hellberg, 12-14-5, 2.86 GAA; Brandon Halverson, 9-15-0, 3.38 GAA; Chris Nell, 1-2-0, 3.70 GAA

Last Game, Wolfpack: Hartford lost 3-2 to Bridgeport on the road on Sunday.

Latest News/Notes:

The Wolfpack have dropped two in a row and seven out of their last 10 games; forward Taylor Beck and goaltender Magnus Hellberg were returned by the Rangers on Tuesday; the Wolfpack will finish the season on the road, traveling to Utica on Friday then finishing in Springfield on Saturday against the Thunderbirds; Hartford is last in the AHL in goals allowed/game (3.62); forward Michael Joly has 4 goals in his last 3 games; Albany can clinch a playoff spot with a win in regulation and if Utica loses to Syracuse in regulation.

Wolfpack Weekly April 10-16 (hartfordwolfpack.com)

New Jersey Devils Prospect Update 4/11 (All About the Jersey)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live

Social: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @WolfpackAHL

Game 73: Albany at Syracuse

Location: Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY,

Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 4-3.

Media Kit


Albany: 37-30-2-3, 79 points, .549, 3rd place in North Division

Syracuse: 34-24-7-7, 82 points, .569, 2nd place in North Division

Crunch Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Matt Taormina, 56 points (14 G, 42 A); Erik Condra, 44 points (13 G, 31 A); Byron Froese, 43 points (27 G, 16 A TOR/SYR)

Kristers Gudlevskis, 13-10-7, 2.68 GAA; Mike McKenna, 12-15-10, 2.91 GAA (SPR/SYR)

Last Game, Crunch: Syracuse dropped a 4-3 decision to Binghamton in overtime on the road on Friday.

Latest News/Notes:

Despite a 0-1-1-2 record in their last four games, the Crunch have a magic number of 3 to chance to clinch a playoff spot, and could finish the job three different ways; former Devil Matt Taormina received the Eddie Shore Award, given to the AHL’s best defenseman, yesterday afternoon; 9 Crunch regulars, including leading scorers Cory Conacher and Yanni Gourde, remain up with Tampa Bay as they sit one point out of a playoff spot with one game remaining on Sunday; in the season series, the home team has won every game; Albany’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot sits at 5.

Syracuse Crunch’s Matt Taormina named AHL defenseman of the year (syracuse.com)

Albany Devils hold off St. John’s for big win (Times Union)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live, ESPN Radio Syracuse

Social: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @SyracuseCrunch, @syrhockey, @CrunchSyracuse

Game 72: Albany vs. St. John’s

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Albany leads 5-2.

Media Kit


Albany: 36-30-2-3, 77 points, .542, 3rd place in North Division

St. John’s: 33-28-8-2, 76 points, .535, 5th place in North Division

IceCaps Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

Chris Terry, 61 points (27 G, 34 A); Charles Hudon, 44 points (25 G, 19 A); Nikita Scherbak, 39 points (13 G, 26 A)

Yann Danis, 11-8-4, 2.94 GAA; Zachary Fucale, 0-2-0, 3.56 GAA

Last Game, IceCaps: St. John’s lost to Toronto 5-2 on the road on Tuesday morning.

Latest News/Notes:

The IceCaps have dropped three of their last four games, and find themselves just barely outside the playoff picture; St. John’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 12 with 5 games remaining; this is the second game on a four game road swing for the IceCaps, they head to Binghamton on Saturday and Utica on Sunday before heading home for a pair with Toronto to close out the regular season; former River Rat Chris Terry was named to the AHL’s Second All-Star Team on Thursday; Albany’s win on Wednesday lowered their magic number to 10 with 5 games to go.

A few transactions to pass along:

Another new guy has joined the ranks: 2016 3rd rounder Brandon Gignac was reassigned to Albany on Thursday.  He just completed his fourth season with Shawinigan (QMJHL), scoring 23 goals and picking up 39 assists in 59 games for the Cataractes.

Also on Thursday, forward Sam Kurker was released from his amateur tryout after only making one appearance.

Friday, the first wave of send downs from New Jersey as the parent Devils close out the season this weekend: Luke Gazdic and Steve Santini are on their way back to Albany.

Buddy the Puffin voted AHL’s best mascot (The Telegram)

Albany Devils shut out Syracuse Crunch (Times Union)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live

Social: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @IceCapsAHL

Game 71: Albany vs. Syracuse

Location: Times Union Center, Albany, NY.

Time: 7:00 PM.

Season Series: Tied at 3.

Media Kit


Albany: 35-30-2-3, 75 points, .536, 3rd place in North Division

Syracuse: 34-23-6-7, 81 points, .579, 2nd place in North Division

Crunch Leading Scorers/Goaltending:

2 tied with 56 points

Kristers Gudlevskis, 13-10-7, 2.68 GAA; Mike McKenna, 12-14-9, 2.87 GAA (SPR/SYR)

Last Game, Crunch: Syracuse lost 3-2 to Toronto in a shootout on Saturday.

Latest News/Notes:

A 0-1-0-2 stretch against Toronto during the last week of March finally dropped the Crunch into second in the North, but they remain four points behind the Marlies; Syracuse’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 6 with 6 games remaining; over a two week span, forward Joel Vermin has been recalled to Tampa or sent down 7 different times; in 10 appearances since joining the Crunch, former Devil Mike McKenna is 3-4-2 with a 3.00 GAA; the Crunch lead the AHL in average penalty minutes per game (18.09); Ben Thomson finally received his first recall to New Jersey on Tuesday, making his NHL debut against the Flyers at The Rock…Luke Gazdic also was recalled, with injuries keeping Miles Wood and Jacob Josefson out; the Devils magic number to clinch decreased to 12 with St. John’s losing to the Marlies on Tuesday morning.

Syracuse Crunch’s goalie of the future arrives in town this week (syracuse.com)

New Jersey Devils Prospect Update 4/4 (All About the Jersey)

Broadcast Info: AHL Live or ESPN Radio Syracuse

Social: @trace_1114, @AlbanyDevils, @SyracuseCrunch