ALBANY, NY — Trailing 2-0 after two periods, the Albany Devils came out in the third with purpose. However, despite an incredible offensive effort, they couldn’t tie the game, falling, 2-1, to the St. John’s IceCaps Saturday at Times Union Center.
Here are the three takeaways from the contest:
Flurry of Chances
The Devils had lots of opportunities, but couldn’t get the right bounces. They hit numerous posts and had the puck jump over their sticks at the worst moments. The puck even sat on the goaltender’s back before the net came off its moorings ending the play. In the third, Mozik finally broke through on the power play. His goal energized the team, who had 13 third period shots and constant pressure.
“We had a real good stretch late in the second there where we had some opportunities,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “We hit the post on the scrum there when we were all over them. In the third period, we really made a push. The chances were there tonight, even right down to when we pulled the goalie.. They laid out blocking shots both goaltenders played well again.”
Kelly Brings Physical Presence
Dan Kelly led by example Saturday, playing a very strong defensive game. He landed several big hits and rifled two heavy shots on goal. Kelly was solid defensively and made his presence known all night long. He sent Michael Bournival to the ice with a seismic hit to retake the puck and was a constant thorn in the side of opposing puck carriers — all without taking any penalties.
“I just tried to be tough on their skill guys and get them to turnover the puck so we can transition faster,” Kelly said. “Anytime I can do that and my gap is good and I can make those hits I think it builds the team up.”
Morale Not Lost
While the Devils have lost five in a row, Kowalsky was still happy with the way the team has played of late. The team is getting good chances and executing well defensively. The team morale isn’t at its highest point, but the players knows that if they continue to play their game they will return to the win column.
“It’s just focusing on the basics, what made us successful in the beginning of the year,” Kelly said. “Things aren’t going our way right now — some of the bounces. We just have to keep good habits and things will turn around. We just have to stick to what we do best and the results will come. We always have a chance to win. We’ve come back. We’ve scored more than two goals in a period. Guys had that mindset and they came out hard.”