Speed Is Key

ALBANY, NY –– Adversity can be a good thing as long as you can learn and grow from it. If the Albany Devils want make a run at the 2016 Calder Cup Championship, they are going to battle through the highs and the lows.

Coming off back-to-back wins during Games 1 and 2, the Devils dropped Game 3 Wednesday at Utica in overtime.

“I thought the game was pretty even until we got to overtime,” said forward Brian O’Neill, who won a Calder Cup with Manchester against Utica last season. “That’s a learning experience, going through some growing pains. If we are going to make a run, we are going to face some adversity. This will be good for us. Hopefully, we can answer the challenge on Thursday.”

The Devils weren’t able to generate much offensively and according to Head Coach Rick Kowalsky they will need to pick up the pace in order to be successful.

“We have to manage the puck better,” Kowalsky said after Game 3. “We just didn’t move the puck. We use the term ‘play fast’ and I thought we played slow tonight. When we did have ice we didn’t take it. Whether it was our defensemen or our forwards. I thought at times we looked hesitant. Not that we didn’t want to make a mistake, but we were airing on the side of caution too much.

“We have to get back to our pace game where we are skating. If there are plays to be made, make them. If not, we have to get pucks behind and get pressure. That’s where we’ve had success.”

The Devils are trying to wrap up their first Calder Cup series win in franchise history. The team is making its third postseason appearance and second in the last three campaigns.

Albany has faced Utica 17 times between the regular season and postseason and is yet to lose in regulation. The Devils will go for their 15th all-time win against the Comets Thursday at 7 pm.