Timmins

IceCaps Take Game 1

ALBANY, NY — Ben Chiarot‘s point shot with just 23.1 seconds remaining sailed past Albany Devils netminder Keith Kinkaid, giving the St. John’s IceCaps a 2-1 victory during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

“A loose rebound just sort of laid there in front of Keith,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “When everybody went to the net, he lost his stick and I don’t know that he ever really recovered. [The play] went to the top; it was a knuckler that kind of handcuffed him. We weren’t able to get in the shooting lane. It’s a tough one.”

The Devils were making their first Calder Cup Playoff appearance since 2010 and 6,572 fans were on hand at Times Union Center. It was the largest postseason crowd in Albany since Game 1 of the 1995 Calder Cup Final.

(VIEW: Complete gamesheet)

St. John’s Eric O’Dell took the audience out of it early, opening the scoring 4:29 of the first period. A Devils miscue in the defensive end led to Jerome Samson finding O’Dell cutting to the net.

In the second, Joe Whitney tied the game with a power-play goal. Jon Merrill and Mike Sislo assisted on the tally, which came from a wrister in the slot at 2:13.

Albany, which averaged 25.4 shots against during the regular season, was outshot 32-26.

“Tonight’s over with,” Whitney said. “We played the game, gave everything we had and it wasn’t enough. We hit the reset button. We’re back at it tomorrow; maybe execute a little more and put a few more pucks into the net.”

Kinkaid finished with 30 saves in his Calder Cup Playoffs debut. At the other end, Michael Hutchinson made 25 saves.

“A loss is a loss,” Kinkaid said afterwards. “It could’ve been 7-2 or it could’ve been 2-1. A loss is a loss and you have to move on. It’s best of five for a reason.”

These two teams will meet for Game 2 Saturday at 7 pm at Times Union Center. Fans not in attendance can follow the action online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com.

Lineup

Goaltenders: Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood

Defensemen: Eric Gelinas, Seth Helgeson, Dan Kelly, Adam Larsson, Corbin McPherson, Jon Merrill

Forwards: Reid Boucher, Stefan Matteau, Rod Pelley, Harri Pesonen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Mattias Tedenby, Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac

Photos

Sislo

Game 1 | Devils vs. IceCaps Breakdown

Turning Point

Game 1 seemed to be heading into overtime until St. John’s won an offensive-zone battle and Ben Chiarot sent a knuckleball past Keith Kinkaid with just 23.1 seconds remaining in regulation. Before the IceCaps worked the puck to the point, Kinkaid lost his stick, handicapping the Devils netminder.


Tale of the Tape

Goals
1
2
Shots
26
32
Power Play
1-2
0-4

Three Stars

1. Ben Chiarot

2. Michael Hutchinson

3. Joe Whitney


Collision of the Night


Image of the Night

Celebration

The Devils celebrate Joe Whitney’s second period power-play goal.

Game-1-Devils-vs-IceCaps

Devils vs. IceCaps: Apr. 25 (7:00 pm)

Follow the Action

• Video: AHLLive.com
• Radio: AHLLive.com
• Twitter: @albanydevils, #STJvsALB, #leadthecharge


Storyline

The Albany Devils host the St. John’s IceCaps for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The best-of-five series begins Friday at 7 pm at Times Union Center. The Devils are returning to the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2010, while the IceCaps are back after missing last year’s postseason.

Albany used five straight wins to close out their 76-game schedule and earn a franchise record 40 wins, while St. John’s finished the season with three consecutive wins and five in its last seven.


Tale of the Tape

Regular Season Record
40-23-5-8
46-23-2-5
Regular Season Goals For
230
258
Regular Season Goals Against
193
207

Players To Watch

Joe Whitney/LW
22g-31a in 13-14

Mike Sislo/RW
23g-18a in 13-14

Jason Jaffray/LW
18g-41a in 13-14

Andrew Gordon/RW
23g-34a in 13-14


Devils vs. IceCaps Series

The Devils and IceCaps met for the first time during the 2012-13 season. At Mile One Centre, St. John’s claimed a 4-3 shootout win on Nov. 16, but Albany responded with a 5-3 victory on Nov. 17. At Times Union Center, St. John’s posted a 1-0 win on Nov. 30 and a 4-2 victory on Mar. 27.

During their last meeting on Mar. 27, 2013 at Times Union Center, Joe Whitney opened the scoring at 4:29 of the first period. St. John’s responded with four straight goals, including two from Aaron Gagnon, before Brandon Burlon conluded the scoring at 15:06 of the third period.

Albany and St. John’s did not meet during the 2013-14 regular season.


Regular Season Breakdown

Team GP W L OTL SL PTS PCT
St. John’s IceCaps 76 46 23 2 5 99 0.651
Albany Devils 76 40 23 5 8 93 0.612

Bench

Devils vs. St. John’s Schedule Set

ALBANY, NY – The Albany Devils (40-23-5-8, 93 pts.) will face the St. John’s IceCaps (45-23-2-5, 97 pts.) in the opening round of the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs. The series, which pits the fifth-place Devils against the fourth-place IceCaps, will begin with two games at Times Union Center Friday and Saturday. Both games are slated for 7 pm.

The best-of-five series shifts to St. John’s for game three on Apr. 30. Games four and five – if necessary – will be played on May 2 and May 3, respectively. All three away games are scheduled for 6:00 pm EDT.

Gm Day Date Opponent H/A Time/Result
1 Fri. Apr. 25 St. John’s H 7:00 PM
2 Sat. Apr. 26 St. John’s H 7:00 PM
3 Wed. Apr. 30 St. John’s A 6:00 PM^
4* Fri. May 2 St. John’s A 6:00 PM^
5* Sat. May 3 St. John’s A 6:00 PM^

*If Necessary
^ Eastern Time

Individual tickets for the Times Union Center games will go on sale Monday at 10 am. They can be purchased at the Times Union Center box office or at any Ticketmaster outlet. Fans can also buy tickets via charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.

Fans who have renewed or purchased/will purchase season tickets for 2014-15 can take advantage of the “Pay as we Play” ticket option. By committing to all home playoff games, individuals will not have to pay for their first round tickets and will receive the same ticket price throughout the postseason.

Additionally, “Devils Playoff Packages” come in sets of four or eight. Fans will receive vouchers to use in any quantity for all home games during the first and second rounds. Any voucher(s) not used can be returned to the Devils executive office for credit towards ticket packages for the third and fourth rounds or for the 2014-15 season.

Fans can begin reserving ticket packages for the postseason by calling (518) 433-8457 or by visiting the team’s executive office located at Times Union Center during regular business hours: 8:30 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

McPherson-Merrill-Boucher

All That’s Left Is The Game

ALBANY, NY – The game plans have been established. Practices have been held. Videos have been watched. Now all that is left is the actual game.

The Albany Devils host the St. John’s IceCaps for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Friday at 7 pm at Times Union Center. Both teams practiced Thursday at the site of the first two games of the series.

(VIEW: Instagram photos from practice)

The Devils playoff roster includes 29 names, giving Head Coach Rick Kowalsky more choices than he has had all season.

“I told the guys, this is a short series, so if we need to make changes, they need to be ready,” Kowalsky said. “It may be a result of a right-hand, left-hand shot. It may be the result of somebody that we may need on the power play. It may be a toughness thing or a speed thing. Guys have to be ready and in a short series you have to do everything you can to win the next game.”

Albany’s roster includes 15 players with NHL experience, including Joe Whitney, who made his big league debut on Jan. 24. Like the previous two seasons, Whitney has led Albany in scoring. During the regular season, he posted a career-high 53 points. He is the team’s all-time leading scorer with 149 points, 63 goals and 86 assists.

He hopes his goal during Saturday’s regular-season finale, jump starts his production. Before netting his 22nd tally of the season, Whitney went 14 games without a goal.

“I’ve been a little cold as of late, but I’ve been working hard each and every day,” Whitney said. “Hopefully that turns around for me and I start putting the puck in the net a little more to help the team win. You can always use a couple more goals here and there.”

Kowalsky has paired Whitney with Mike Sislo and Tim Sestito in the middle. Whitney, who has served as the right winger when playing with Scott Timmins and Reid Boucher, finds a little bit of comfort moving back to the left side.

“Maybe a little easier when breaking the puck out of the D-zone,” he said. “It’s just a little more comfortable, but as you come up the ice it doesn’t really make a difference. I think, Sislo on the right side — he has a lot of speed and he can shoot the puck pretty well — we’ll be good.”

The Devils will hit the ice one more time before Game 1. They will hold their morning skate at 10 am Friday morning.

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