Devils Remain Undefeated Against Comets
UTICA, NY — The Albany Devils dominance against the Utica Comets continued Thursday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Jim O’Brien, Reid Boucher, Graham Black and Paul Thompson each scored in a 4-1 win. The Devils improved to 9-0-0-0 all-time against their in-state rival.
The win comes less than 24 hours after the Devils defeated the Comets, 3-2, in overtime at Times Union Center. Albany improves to 19-8-3-0, while Utica goes to 16-11-3-2.
Scott Wedgewood registered his second straight victory. He made 24 stops for his third victory of the season.
For Utica, Jon Landry scored and netminder Richard Bachman made 26 stops.
HIGHLIGHTS & GAME NOTES
• O’Brien extended his point streak to three games, registering his third tally in just two outings. His goal was his seventh of the season, giving him five goals and three helpers in eight games since returning from a groin injury.
• Boucher netted his 11th goal — second most on the team. He is third on the team with 21 points and is averaging 0.84 points-per-game. In the last four outings, he has a goal and two helpers.
• Black posted his second goal of the season and second in the last three games. In 12 contests, he has three points.
• Thompson extended his point streak to three games (1g-3a). He has 16 points (7g-9a) in 16 games.
• Scott Wedgewood improved to 3-1-0-0, making eight stops in the first, seven in the second and nine in the third. His effort moved improved his goals-against average to (1.58) and his save percentage to (.933).
• Corbin McPherson had a hand on two Albany goals. He now has four assists for the season and three helpers in as many outings. Chris McKelvie posted his second assist in as many contests and Corey Tropp tallied his second point (1g-1a) in the last three outings.
• Raman Hrabarenka returned to the lineup after a 17-game hiatus with a lower-body injury. His last game was Nov. 13 at Providence.
The Devils were forced to play with just five defenseman for the second half of the game. Reece Scarlett left the game during the second period after being hit awkwardly into the end boards behind the Devils’ net. He was attended to and helped off the ice.
HOW IT PLAYED OUT
The Devils were in penalty trouble early, putting the Comets on the power play four times during the first half of the period. Utica broke through during their third power play. Landry sent a slapper through a screen past Wedgewood at 8:07.
O’Brien had Albany’s response less than five minutes later after McPherson and Thompson worked the puck through the neutral zone. O’Brien received a pass before the blueline and wheeled his way into the offensive zone. He sent a shot along the ice, beating Bachman at 12:54.
In the second, Boucher broke the 1-1 at 15:25. McKelvie found Boucher streaking along the right boards. He moved towards the net and picked his spot into the upper-right corner.
Black and Thompson combined for two third-period goals. Tropp slowly carried the puck into the offensive zone and found Black trailing on the play. He deked and went high at the 12:31 mark.
Thompson concluded the scoring with an empty-net goal at 16:07.
The Devils remain on the road for a 7 pm contest against the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday at XL Center. The game will be available online at ahllive.com.