ALBANY, NY – The Albany Devils face off against the Toronto Marlies for the first round of the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs. The series will kick off Thursday, April 20 at Times Union Center for Game One in the best-of-five series. Fans might have déjà vu due to Albany and Toronto facing off in the 2016 playoffs in Round Two, which ultimately ended the Devils postseason run after a seven game battle.
In 2016, the Devils and Marlies division finals was the series to watch. Although the Marlies held the number one spot in the division and ended the regular season with a 54-16-5-1 (.750) record, the Devils held their franchise-best record at 46-20-8-2 (.671) when the regular season closed. The Devils closed the 2016-17 season at third with a 39-32-2-3 (.546) record while the Marlies finished in second with a 42-29-4-1 (.586) record.
During the 2017 regular season, John Quenneville led the Albany Devils in points with 46 (14g-32a), however, Blake Coleman and Ben Sexton were tied for the lead in goals with 19 a piece. For the Marlies, Kerby Rychel led the team in points with 52 (19g-33a) but Byron Froese led the team in goals with 24 overall.
When looking at netminders, the Albany Devils had two rookies take the spotlight after Scott Wedgewood suffered a shoulder injury on November 25 that kept him out for the remainder of the regular season. Mackenzie Blackwood had a 2.55 goals-against average and .907 save percentage on the regular season with a 17-14-4 record including three shutout victories. Ken Appleby had a 2.63 goals-against average and .903 save percentage with a 17-14-1 record.
In the opposing net, Garret Sparks held a 21-9-0 record on the season with a 2.16 goals-against average and a 9.22 save percentage. Toronto’s other goalie, Antione Bibeau, had a 3.08 goals-against average and an .894 save percentage with a 13-14-5 record.
It won’t just be déjà vu for the fans, but also for 27 players, as 12 Devils players and 15 Marlies players were a part of the 2016 Round Two matchup. Below is a list of those players:
*Did not play in 2016 Round Two series but was on the roster
**Played in 2016 Round Two series but was on the opposite team
Game One is at Times Union Center Thursday at 7 pm and Game Two is on Saturday at 5 pm at Times Union Center. The teams will travel to Toronto for the rest of the best-of-five series. Fans can get ticket information here for the games in Albany.