Devils, Falcons Deliver In Divisional Battle

Pelley

ALBANY, NY — The Albany Devils and the Springfield Falcons exchanged four goals during a 1:39 span in the third period to setup overtime where Darryl Boyce scored with 1:47 remaining, lifting Springfield to a 4-3 victory Friday at Times Union Center.

(VIEW: Complete gamesheet)

The matchup pitted two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Entering the night, second-place Albany trailed first-place Springfield by six points. The Devils move to 19-8-3-2, while the Falcons improve to 23-5-1-3.

“It was going to be a dog fight,” said center Kelly Zajac. “They’re a good team, we’re a good team. I thought when we had them 3-1, we had the momentum. Then they got one right back and kind of put us down. But, we let it slip, so we just have to come back tomorrow and get two points.”

Due to Mike Sislo‘s recall to New Jersey and Dan Kelly out with the flu, the Devils dressed 17 skaters. They were down to 15 after Tim Sestito left midway through the game after a collision near the Devils bench and Riley Boychuk became ill. Regardless, Albany still captured a point in its 10th straight home game, tying Manchester for the longest stretch in the AHL this season.

“I basically played three lines and it was a very gutsy effort,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “To score those two goals and to take that lead, you have to give them credit for that — no question. But, it stings giving up that lead and then not getting the two after that.”

The helter-skelter scoring began when Zajac, who scored the game’s first goal early in the first, setup Harri Pesonen at 10:59 of the third. Rod Pelley made the score 2-1 benefitting from Chris McKelvie’s drive to the net, while fighting off a Springfield defender at 12:07.

The Falcons came right back with goals at 12:37 and 13:38 by Jake Hansen and Austin Madiasky, respectively. In overtime, Jean-Francois Jacques setup Boyce in the high slot for the winner.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for guys to get some big time minutes and that’s why you have to be prepared,” McKelvie said. “You have to be prepared for anything in this league. I thought guys responded for the most part pretty well in the third, but it’s unacceptable that we gave up the two goals there at the end.”

Keith Kinkaid made 24 saves, including 21 during the first two periods. At the other end, Jeremy Smith turned aside 29 shots.

The Devils return to action Saturday with a 7 pm game against Northway rival, the Adirondack Phantoms, at Glens Falls Civic Center. Fans can follow the action online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com. Additionally, the game will be broadcast on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.

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