Devils’ offense can’t help Wedgewood

The Albany Devils could not convert on several late-game opportunities, failing to provide goalie Sc
Scott Wedgewood
Scott Wedgewood

The Albany Devils could not convert on several late-game opportunities, failing to provide goalie Scott Wedgewood with any goal support against Springfield on Sunday.

Wedgewood earned the shutout, as both teams made it through overtime scoreless, but the Devils lost in the shootout, dropping the tiebreaker, 2-0, and the game, 1-0. Albany had two power plays in the final 6:30 of regulation and tested Falcons netminder Scott Munroe, but could not beat him.

“Our goalie played huge tonight,” Albany defenseman Dan Kelly said. “Our power play’s struggling the last two games. We’ve had our chances, and we’re just not finding the back of the net. Defensively, I don’t think you could ask much better from our team, but we’ve got to get some offense going.”

The loss gives two standings points to eighth-place Springfield, edging them one further from Albany, which sits in 12th with eight fewer points than the Falcons and just 14 games to catch them.

The Devils in front of Wedgewood were on hand to poke loose pucks to the corner or skate them out of danger. At the other end of the ice, Munroe had a few more rebound saves to make.

Albany outshot the Falcons, 14-8, in the third period. The Devils began the frame on a power play and had eight shots before Springfield had one. After a Stefan Matteau blast from the left side on that power play, Paul Thompson rung the rebound off the right post. Just after the advantage expired, Mike Sislo skated in and tried to stuff the puck past Munroe, and Reid Boucher almost potted the rebound of that shot.

When Springfield’s Sean Collins took an interference penalty at 12:30 of the third, Scott Timmins missed an opportunity in front when he couldn’t connect on a pass out of the right corner. A moment later, he had a look after a shot from the point rebounded back to him, but his shot for the inside of the near post was blocked wide.

At 17:01, Jaime Sifers took a tripping penalty, giving Albany another power play. Shots by Reece Scarlett and Raman Hrabarenka had the best chances, but neither was too much of a test for Munroe, who finished with 35 saves.

“It looked like he was handling everything real well,” said Springfield coach Jared Bednar. “If there was a rebound, he was there to make that save, too. I’ve got to say, at the other end, I thought their guy was equally impressive in the second period.”

Wedgewood finished with 33 saves. He stopped all 15 shots he faced in the second period, including five on a penalty kill halfway through the period for too many men. He said he looks forward to those stretches in a game when he has so much contact with the play.

“I love action, I love to work, so when I get to stay in it and not wait around too long, it’s always enjoyable and fun,” Wedgewood said. “That’s why you play the position, to touch the puck and make big saves and things like that. When they get power plays and opportunities, as long as you’re not getting scored on, it’s kind of fun.”

In the shootout, Springfield’s T.J. Tynan beat Wedgewood low to his glove side and Collins beat him to the blocker side. Albany’s Thompson had his shot gloved aside, then Sislo’s shot soared wide to the left.

The Devils had their chances before it ever went to the shootout, though. They finished 0-for-6 on the power play. For the weekend, they were 0-for-17.

“Timmins had a real good shot off the Boucher shot. Their PK did a good job for the amount of power plays we had,” Devils coach Rick Kowalsky said. “We probably should have generated a little more, but their PK did a good job. But we still had some quality chances on it.”

Springfield 0 0 0 0 — 1

Albany 0 0 0 0 — 0

Springfield wins shootout, 2-0

First Period – None. Penalties – St. Denis, Spr (delay of game), 6:21; Collins, Spr (tripping), 15:48.

Second Period – None. Penalties – Weber, Spr (delay of game), :17; Pelley, Alb (tripping), 2:50; Albany bench, served by Boucher (too many men), 9:06; Boucher, Alb (charging), 14:34; Sauve, Spr, major (fighting), 18:16; D. Zajac, Alb, major (fighting), 18:16; Labrie, Spr (boarding), 20:00.

Third Period – None. Penalties – Pelley, Alb (boarding), 5:08; Collins, Spr (interference), 12:30; Sifers, Spr (tripping), 17:01.

Overtime – None. Penalties – None.

Shootout – Springfield 2 (Tynan G, Collins G), Albany 0 (Thompson NG, Sislo NG).

Shots on goal – Springfield 4-15-8-6-1 – 34. Albany 11-7-14-3-0 – 35.

Power-play opportunities – Springfield 0 of 4; Albany 0 of 6.

Goalies – Springfield, Munroe 6-8-1 (35 shots-35 saves). Albany, Wedgewood 9-13-6 (33-33).

A – 3,477. T – 2:41.

Referees – Jon McIsaac, Chris Brown. Linesmen – Jim Harper, Francis Trempe.

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