GLENS FALLS, NY — Round two of the 12-game series between the Albany Devils and the Adirondack Phantoms went to the home team Saturday at Glens Falls Civic Center. Mike Hoeffel scored and Maxime Clermont made 27 saves in the Devils 3-1 setback.
Trailing 3-0, Head Coach Rick Kowalsky altered his lines for the final 20 minutes. The decision paid dividends early as Hoeffel scored 2:55 into the period off a Tim Sestito rebound.
“Anytime the coach changes things, it’s kind of a wake-up call,” said assistant captain Chris McKelvie. “You see the lines change up, we are down by a couple of goals and we need something to happen, so we’ll find chemistry where ever we can. It seemed to work. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we started to get more chances.”
Albany outshot Adirondack, 13-3, in the third period, but couldn’t completely erase the deficit. The Phantoms established their lead thanks to Straka’s goals at 6:23 of the first and 10:52 of the second. Chris VandeVelde made it 3-0 at 19:10 before the intermission.
“Two or maybe even all three we left him out to dry,” McKelvie said of Clermont’s performance. “There is nothing on his shoulders he has to worry about. I think he played a pretty solid game and he should be happy with the way he played.”
Clermont, who was reassigned by New Jersey from Elmira (ECHL) a week ago, made 12 saves in the first, 12 in the second and three in the third. Arguably, his best save came during the second period, denying Rob Bordson on a backdoor one-timer with his left pad near the 12 minute mark.
“I felt pretty good actually,” Clermont said. “Guys did a good job around the net, grabbing rebounds and letting me see the puck. They played well and I felt good out there.”
At the other end, Yann Denis made 24 saves for his second win.
Albany moves to 5-5-0-1 overall, while the Phantoms improve to 5-4-0-2. The two Northway rivals will meet again on Nov. 9 at Times Union Center.
Before then, the Devils travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to face the Penguins Friday at 7:05 pm at Mohegan Sun Arena. Fans can stream the game online at ahllive.com or listen on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.
“The jump we had in the third period was utter desperation,” McKelvie said. “We need to learn how to do that for a full 60 minutes. It needs to be an everyday thing. Us leaders need to make sure we are doing that and we have to lead by example. Next Friday, we are playing a really good team and I think if we can do that for 60 minutes we can get back rolling.”