TROY, NY — The Albany Devils have put Wednesday’s 3-0 win against the Hartford Wolf Pack in the rearview mirror. The team practiced Thursday at Knickerbacker Ice Arena in preparation for Friday’s battle with the Springfield Falcons.
The Devils and Falcons are jostling for real estate atop the Northeast Division. Both teams have amassed 21 points, but Albany sits in second place because it has played three more games than Springfield.
“These points now, I know it’s early, are big towards the end of the year,” said assistant captain Tim Sestito. “Especially when you can try and take them away from someone you are chasing. We’ve played a couple more games than [Springfield], but still it’s essentially a battle for first place. We are excited for that. Not looking too far ahead, we do know we are playing a lot of divisional games coming up.”
Friday’s contest, which can be streamed online and on mobile devices at ahllive.com, is the first of eight meetings between the two clubs. The Devils are one game into a span of six straight divisional outings.
“Every game is important, but certainly these divisional games mean a lot,” said winger Mike Hoeffel. “It’s early in the season, but at the end it can come down to a couple of points here and there that decide playoff spots.”
Albany is riding a four game winning streak and has won five of its last six contests. During the Devils last four outings, they have outscored opponents 13-3. The team has had a mix of balanced scoring and solid defense/goaltending.
“We’ve just been playing an overall, real strong team game,” Hoeffel said. “All three zones are playing strong. We are limiting turnovers and we’re capitalizing on offensive chances. In the defensive zone, shutting it down. Hopefully, we can just keep playing a real strong team game and be hard to play against.”
This season, the Devils are 5-3-0-0 against divisional opponents, while the Falcons are 5-2-0-0.
Reid Boucher, Riley Boychuk, Mike Hoeffel, Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvie, Rod Pelley, Harri Pesonen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac