Albany Devils Split First Two in Calder Cup Playoffs
The Albany Devils began their Calder Cup Playoffs campaign against the St. Johns IceCaps this weekend with two home games on Friday and Saturday nights. The Devils achieved a split of the first two games, losing game one 2-1 and winning game two 4-2.
The Devils lone goal of game one had come from Joe Whitney on the power play early in the second to tie the game. Unfortunately for the Devils, the tie was broken again with just 23 seconds left in regulation as Ben Chiarot shot the puck from the point after receiving it from a net mouth scramble, putting it past Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (the net minder’s stick was knocked out of his hand in said scramble).
After the game, Whitney said, “Tonight’s over with. We played the game, gave everything we had and it wasn’t enough. We hit the reset button. We’re back at it tomorrow; maybe execute a little more and put a few more pucks into the net”.
Whitney’s words would ring true for game two: they put a few more pucks in the net and won the game 4-2 to even the series at one apiece. Kinkaid, who was helpless as the losing goal got past him in game one, was tremendous in game two. He stopped 30 shots overall and 20 in the second period alone. Reid Boucher, Mattias Tedenby, Stefan Matteau, and Scott Timmins scored the goals for Albany.
This was the Devils’ first playoff appearance since 2010. The excited fans set records for attendance in the home games — in game one alone, 6,572 fans gathered at the Times Union Center. This is a big deal because it is the biggest playoff crowd the Devils have had since game 1of the 1995 Calder Cup Finals (the same season their NHL affiliate New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup). This year’s game two eclipsed the first record, as more than 8,000 fans were on hand to witness the Devils win.
The Devils, who are the lower seed in the series, now go to St. Johns for the duration of the best of five series. The next game will be Wednesday, April 30th at 6 PM EST.