Devils Now Just One Point Shy Of Playoff Berth
HERSHEY, NY – The Albany Devils had a chance to become the second team in the AHL to secure a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs. They needed a win Saturday against the Hershey Bears at Giant Center and a Rochester Americans loss against the Syracuse Crunch. Not everything panned out for the Devils, who fell one point shy of the playoff berth. Albany lost, 3-2, in a shootout moments after the score went final on a 3-1 Americans loss.
Despite the setback, the Devils moved to 39-17-8-2 for their 88th point – second most in the AHL. Hershey separated from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the top spot in the Atlantic Division at 38-18-4-7.
The back-and-forth action between the Devils and Bears included seven hit goal posts, including Graham Black striking iron in overtime and Jim O’Brien hitting the crossbar during the shootout. In the end, Hershey’s Jakub Vrana and Riley Barber beat netminder Ken Appleby in the skills competition, while Brian O’Neill was the only Devil to convert against Hershey’s Dan Ellis in the five rounds.
During regulation, Corbin McPherson netted his second goal of the season and O’Brien registered his 17th. Paul Geiger, who signed an ATO on Mar. 16, registered his first career point, assisting on McPherson’s tally. Ben Johnson had a helper on O’Brien’s marker to extend his point streak to three games (2g-1a).
In his eighth appearance, Appleby made 21 saves, including six during overtime.
The Devils erased two deficits on their way to securing a point for the eighth time in the last 10 outings. McPherson made it 1-1 at 2:14 of the second period and O’Brien tied it again at 9:14.
Hershey’s Travis Boyd had opened the scoring at 9:30 of the first and Barber made it 2-1 at 8:36 of the second. In goal, Ellis finished with 26 saves.
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Now the Devils will have a chance to clinch on home ice when they welcome the Hartford Wolf Pack to Times Union Center Tuesday at 7 pm.