Devils Extend Home Winning Streak To Seven Games
ALBANY, NY — After an hour and twenty-five minute delay, the Albany Devils took care of business — as they usually do on home ice — defeating the Providence Bruins, 4-1, Saturday. Scott Wedgewood made 27 saves and Brian O’Neill, who was playing in his first game at Times Union Center in the red and black, netted the game-winning goal.
Albany extended its home winning streak to seven games and its overall record to 17-8-3-0. Providence lost their third straight game, moving to 11-13-5-1.
HIGHLIGHTS & GAME NOTES
• The Devils improved to 11-2-1-0 at Times Union Center this season and their .821 points percentage is second-highest in the AHL. This season, Albany has outscored opponents, 46-19, on home ice.
• Head Coach Rick Kowalsky coached his 700th career game. He has been behind the bench for 412 AHL contests and 388 ECHL games. He is the Devils all-time winningest coach with a 188-167-57 record.
• Lorito’s first period power play goal was his first tally since Nov. 20 against Springfield. The goal was his fifth of the season, giving him 22 points — the second highest on the team. Lorito’s man-up tally ended the Devils five game power-play goal drought.
• O’Neill, who New Jersey loaned to Albany on Dec. 17, netted his first goal of the season. He skated on a line with Jim O’Brien and Paul Thompson.
• Black, who has missed a third of the season so far with various ailments, netted his first goal of the season. It was his first tally since Jan. 3 at Bridgeport.
• Tropp’s seventh tally of the season was Albany’s first empty-net goal since Reid Boucher found the open net on Apr. 18 against Hartford.
• With an assist, Thompson extended his home point streak to seven games. He has nine points (5g-4a) on home ice since Nov. 20. This season, he has 13 points (6g-7a) in 19 outings.
• The game, which was originally scheduled for a 5 pm start, was delayed until 6:25 pm. The Albany Police Department and New York State Troopers investigated a suspicious item located under a car parked in one of the arena’s parking lots. The fans and players were allowed inside the building once it was determined that there was no threat.
Carrying a 1-0 advantage into the third period, the Devils built their lead thanks to a pair of goals within the first six minutes of play. O’Brien setup O’Neill 13 seconds into the period.
Nearly five minutes later, Black redirected Corbin McPherson’s bid from the point at 5:49.
HOW IT PLAYED OUT
Black nearly ended the night with two goals, but had a goal disallowed in the first period after the officials determined he redirected the puck with a high stick. Regardless, Albany still lead after the first period thanks to Lorito’s goal, which was setup by Joseph Blandisi and Mike Sislo, at 19:35.
After a scoreless second period, O’Neill and Black gave the Devils a 3-0 cushion during the opening minutes of the third.
Czarnik spoiled Wedgewood’s bid for a shutout, beating the Devils’ netminder blocker side at 9:20.
The Devils conclude the calendar year with a home-and-home series against the Utica Comets, starting Wednesday at Times Union Center. Puck drop is at 7 pm and fans can follow the action online at ahllive.com