ALBANY, NY – Fitting, the penalty kill put the finishing touches on the Albany Devils 2-1 win against the Utica Comets Sunday at Times Union Center. The Devils completed a perfect 3-for-3 weekend and the PK went 16-for-16 and produced two goals.
“They’ve been playing well, they’ve been playing hard and I thought both teams were ready to play a hard game,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “Obviously when the specialty teams take it over it certainly has an impact. Then on Sunday, your guys maybe are a little more fatigued and you have to ride some of your specialty team guys more.”
After a hooking call with 50 second remaining in regulation, the Devils were tasked playing two-man down with Utica netminder Joe Cannata on the bench for the extra attacker. The visitors only mustered two shots on goal and the Devils held on to improve to 29-17-3-5.
“It’s tough, 6-on-4, it’s a lot of pressure being outnumbered by two, but a good situation in that moment is you can ice the puck without any consequence,” Wedgewood said. “We did what we had to: got out of the zone and, obviously, killed it off.”
The Devils, who have scored 40 percent of their goals in the second period, continued their success during the middle frame. Mike Sislo redirected a Reece Scarlett bid at 3:44 of the period to grab a 1-0 advantage.
Sislo’s goal was his fourth of the weekend and 17th of the season. Boucher’s tally was his second in as many games and 14th on the year.
The Comets lone tally came off the stick of Jeremy Welsh at 14:57 of the second.
Wedgewood, who has played in seven of the team’s last nine games, made 15 saves for his ninth win. His most acrobatic save came midway through the first period, robbing Darren Archibald from a sure goal.
“You’re on your back in desperation there,” Wedgewood said. “I was trying to take it away as much as I could with my hands and my stick. Luckily it got near my right elbow and Pesonen was there to grab [the puck].”
Albany, which improved to 17-8-2-1 at home, outshot Utica 28-16, forcing Cannata into making 26 saves.
The Devils will enjoy five days off before hosting the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall Saturday at 5 pm. Fans can follow the action online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com. Additionally, the game can be heard on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.