Spring Hockey: Instense, But Enjoyable

ALBANY, NY — Spring hockey is intense and it doesn’t start with the playoffs. The last few weeks of the regular season can be just as nerve wracking.

The Devils have been in that do-or-die mentality for a couple of weeks. Thanks to six wins in their last seven outings and a 9-3-1-1 since Mar. 1, the team is just five points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference with six games remaining.

As stressful as the final days of the regular season are there is still enjoyment to be found.

“That’s what you play for,” said netminder Scott Clemmensen. “The wins at this time are a little bit more rewarding. It’s fun. It’s fun playing in the spring and towards the regular season, getting into the playoffs or trying to get in. It is enjoyable in that aspect. I think that everyone plays with a little more enthusiasm and a little more desire.”

Albany’s continued ascent into a the top eight includes a three-in-three road hurtle this weekend. The team travels to face the Binghamton Senators Friday, the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday and the Worcester Sharks Sunday.

“Our belief is improving,” said center Scott Timmins. “The more wins we get, we are seeing it’s more possible to make this happen. Obviously it starts with Friday; if we win that we seem to be a little more positive after wins. We’ve been feeding off the good vibes.”

This season, the Devils, who practiced Thursday at Times Union Center, are 11-7-2-2 on Fridays, 12-8-2-0 on Saturdays and 5-5-1-2 on Sundays.

Of note this weekend, the eighth-place Portland Pirates are at Manchester Friday and host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday and Sunday. The ninth-place Springfield Falcons are at Hartford Friday and at Syracuse Syracuse Saturday.

Devils TV: Clemmensen and Timmins