Albany Devils Drop Out of AHL Playoffs
Emotions and hopes were riding high for the Albany Devils following their game two 4-2 win over the St. Johns IceCaps to level the series. However, it wasn’t meant to be, as Albany was unable to grab a game three win on the road, despite a hard fought effort, and the team dropped like a lead balloon in game four.
Devils goalie Keith Kincaid put on another outstanding show in game three, turning away 34 of the 35 shots he faced. The one that slipped past him was the difference in the game, as St. Johns skated to a 1-0 victory. The Devils head coach, Rick Kowalsky,said about his goalie after the game, “[Keith] was outstanding, He made big save after big save. A lot of it was fighting through traffic; he had good rebound control. He did everything he could to give us a chance to win that game”.
Kincaid said of his own performance after the loss, “I felt pretty good the whole game. You just control yourself and just try to give the boys a chance to win.”
The Devils grew stronger in the shots department as the game went on. In the first period it was 17-6 St. Johns, in the second it was 13-8 St. Johns, and in the third it was 10-5 Devils. Despite fighting back in the game, the Devils did not prevail, turning game four into a possible — soon to be eventual — elimination game.
Things got ugly early for the Devils in game four. A little over three minutes in, they trailed 1-0 after Andrew Gordon got the first goal (and the first of his eventual hat trick) for St. Johns. Gordon would notch his second 7:58 into the second period, making it 2-0. The Devils got a little bit of life back when John Merrill scored a couple of minutes later, but Gordon finished off the hat trick five minutes later for a 3-1 lead over the reeling Devils. Jon Albert scored the fourth St. John’s goal with just three minutes left but by then it was all over for the Devils.
The worst stat for the team (and fans) to mull over in the off-season will likely be going 0-6 on the power play in game four. Failing to capitalize on the mistakes of opponents and knowing that even if you went 2-4 it would have been a tie game is a tough pill to swallow.
Though it is a tough way for the Albany Devils to go out of the playoffs, t it is certainly a positive sign for the New Jersey Devils organization as a whole. Good youthful players are coming up through the system, bringing with them the ability to replenish the New Jersey Devils and play strong on all levels.