Tonight the Albany Devils played host to the Worcester Sharks for an early Saturday night contest. The last time these two teams met was back on October 20th, 2012 in Worcester during their season opener that featured a 4-0 shutout by the Devils. In that contest several New Jersey Devils prospects saw the score sheet. Amongst those prospects included Adam Henrique, Adam Larsson, Jacob Josefson and Tim Sestito. Henrique scored this first goal of the season for the Devils and himself, while Josefson talled his first two goals of the season, with the fourth goal was by Harri Pesonen. In addition, that contest also had plenty of penalties that totaled out to be 66 PIM’s.
Meanwhile, Worcester is coming off of a 4-3 overtime victory over the Springfield Falcons. Sharks defenseman Nick Petrecki was the hero of the night when he scored his first of the season to send the fans at the DCU Center home happy. For the host team Albany, they entered tonight’s contest having lost to the Manchester Monarchs by a 7-4 final despite the Devils converting 3-7 on the power play.
With the NHLPA ratifying the new CBA, Worcester Sharks Head Coach Roy Sommer elected not to dress to following players, Tennyson, McCarthy, McLaren, Sheppard, Kearns, Irwin, Pelech, and Petrecki. This was done in anticipation of the projected NHL training camp that is scheduled to open league wide on Sunday. In addition, Sacha Guimond who is on loan from the San Francisco Bulls and newly signed Patrick Rissmiller made their Worcester Sharks 2012-2013 AHL season debut.
Noteables: The Devils are tied for third in the Northeast Division and tied for 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 13-12-1-6 record (33 pts.), including a 6-6-0-4 home mark. The Sharks are second in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 19-13-1-2 record (41 pts.) with an 11-8-0-1 road showing.
At the 4:18 mark of the first, Devils Wiseman was charged with the contests first penalty as he was for tripping. Worcester would not convert on their first man advantage as the special teams for Albany denied the Sharks from taking an early one goal lead.
Shortly after the power play ended for Worcester, Freddie Hamilton stuffed in a loose puck to put the Sharks up 1-0. Hamilton’s goal was his sixth tally of the season with the lone assist to Daniil Tarasov at the 7:16 mark of the first.
Following the go ahead goal to Worcester, Mikael Tam was caught with a cross checking minor giving the Devils the opportunity to try and tie it up. The Devils put some pressure on the Sharks and they almost tied up the game at 1 as the puck hit the cross bar then post. This caused a long video review by the refs. After the lengthy review, it was determined by the AHL officials that the puck did not cross the goal line as the score remained 1-0 Worcester.
At the 12:21 marker of the opening period, Jay Leach of the Albany Devils was called with a hooking, giving the Sharks another opportunity to add to their 1 goal lead. Much like their first pp opportunity they came up short keeping the score at 1-0 Worcester.
Over two minutes later, Livingston of the Sharks went off to the box for a roughing minor. Moreover, like their first man advantage opportunity, Albany failed to convert on their second attempt. However, that did not matter because at the 19:25 mark of the period, the Devils got on the board as Zalewski scored as converted on his own rebound from a wraparound opportunity on his old teammate Stalock to knot the game up a 1-1. Zalewski’s goal was his sixth of the season with the lone assist Bobby Bulter.
At the end of 20 minutes Albany held a 2:1 ratio on the shot clock over the Sharks with 8-4 margin.
Less then three minutes into the second period, newly called up defenseman Sacha Guimond was charged with his first AHL penalty of his hockey career as he was called for holding. On the man advantage for Albany, Tedenby put the Devils ahead on a nice backhander as he put the rubber past Stalock to give his team a 2-1 lead. Goal by Tedenby made it his ninth of the season with the only assist to defenseman Adam Larsson.
Nearly five minutes following the go ahead goal to the Devils, Sislo of Albany was caught for a holding the stick minor. This made it the third power play chance for the visiting Sharks. Unfortunately the Sharks came up short again on the power play as Albany remained a perfect 3-3 on special teams.
As the period went over the halfway mark, Albany’s Wohlberg was called for a slashing minor giving Worcester another shot to try and tie the contest up two goals apiece at 11:11 of the second stanza. On the power play, frustrations continued for Worcester as they were unable to convert on their fourth man advantage opportunity.
With less than four minutes remaining in the period, the Sharks would go back on the power play when Albany defenseman Adam Larsson got caught for a hold. While shorthanded, the Devils special teams unit on the pk stepped up huge as they denied the Sharks the opportunity to set up on the power play, in doing that they remained solid on the penalty kill.
After the power play ended for Worcester, the Devils kept their foot on the gas and applied enough pressure to add some insurance as Gelinas scored their third goal of the game to make it a 3-1 Albany lead. Gelinas goal, would be his third of the year with assists from Zelawski who also got his second point of the contest and from Wiseman at 18:54 of the second.
Thru 40 minutes of play, the Devils put some distant between the Sharks on the shot clock as it read 19-11 in favor of Albany.
As the Devils controlled the majority of play in the final period, they added their fourth goal of the night when Darcy Zajac put the puck past Stalock, to make it a 4-1 Albany Devils lead. Zajac scored his fourth of the season with Tedenby and Gelinas picking up the assists at 8:44 of the final frame.
Shortly after the goal, the Devils went on the power play when Sharks Daniil Tarasov was caught for hooking at the 8:56 mark of the third. The good news for the Sharks was that the Devils did not convert on power play as it remained 4-1 Albany.
Worcester would not come any closer to the Devils as they walked away with this one a 4-1 victory over the Sharks. Also the Devils maintained their lead on the shot clock all night as they held a nine lead over the Sharks 28-17.
The Sharks are back in action again Sunday at the DCU Center as they face off against the Portland Pirates. Puck drop is set a 3:00p EST and can be heard on WTAG News/Talk 580 and 94.9 FM with live televised action at AHL Live for their subscribers.
3 Stars of the game:
1. ALB – 21 Mattias Tedenby
2. ALB – 24 Eric Gelinas
3. ALB – 15 Steve Zalewski
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