The more, the merrier.
That’s how Albany Devils rookie goaltender Keith Kinkaid, a Union College product, feels about the shots he has to face on a given night. So he got quite a merry send-off into the Christmas break, as the Binghamton Senators sent 36 shots his way Wednesday. Kinkaid stopped them all, though, in a 3-0 Albany win for his second professional shutout.
“I definitely like that [kind of] game. Shots early, the more shots, the better,” Kinkaid said. “You’re more in the game. It’s tiring, but you’re more in the game and
Not to be an ingracious host,
Albany sent 44 shots to Binghamton goalie Mike McKenna.
Kinkaid’s 36 saves tied his
career high, set Nov. 27 in a 3-2 win at Springfield. In his other shutout, he stopped 34 shots to blank the Norfolk Admirals on Nov. 4.
His last few outings, though, had been less stellar. Four starts back, he was pulled in the first period
after allowing three goals on seven shots. He recovered to post a solid win in his next start. However, in his last two starts, he allowed four and five goals, respectively.
Albany coach Rick Kowalsky said he thought maybe the rookie was putting too much pressure on himself.
“I talked to him a little bit [Tuesday] about, don’t worry about ‘I’ve got to make every save,’ or if you let one in,” Kowalsky said. “I don’t think he’s been through a lot of this before. Then Jeff [Frazee] comes in, we play better in front of him. Jeff’s been real solid. It was good to see [Keith] bounce back tonight, and I thought he got more comfortable as the game went on and he had to make some real big saves in traffic, especially in the second period.”
Frazee looked outstanding in his last two starts, but is out with an upper-body injury suffered in a collision Monday.
Kinkaid said this win was
exactly what he needed to get back to form.
“I definitely needed that. The past few games, I wasn’t getting the bounces,” he said. “It was a little frustrating. Jeff’s been playing great. I think I needed this just to get back in the flow and try to get a groove going.”
Kinkaid got all the goal support he needed when Joe Sova’s seeing-eye shot at 2:46 in the second period put Albany up, 1-0. Darcy Zajac was screening McKenna, a former Albany Devil, and Sova’s shot caught a piece of McKenna before it carromed off the crossbar and in.
The rookie defenseman has posted two goals and an assist in his nine games with Albany this season, along with an even plus-minus rating.
“I’m trying to earn some more ice time in different situations. I’m not a for-sure guy here, so I need to work hard every day to keep playing every game,” Sova said. “That’s my goal, to stay here and not go back to Kalamazoo [of the ECHL]. Every day in practice and in games, you just have to keep working hard and hope for the best.”
The Devils added a goal from Vladimir Zharkov just 1:38 later. He also assisted on both the other Albany goals. Nick Palmieri added the final tally on an empty-netter he shot from beyond the blue line at 18:32.
Binghamton 0 0 0 — 0
Albany 0 2 1 — 3
First Period — No scoring. Penalties — Borowiecki, Bng, major (fighting), 1:53; Banwell, Alb, major (fighting), 1:53; Klinkhammer, Bng (high-sticking), 15:46; Conboy, Bng, major (fighting), 19:35; Veilleux, Alb, major (fighting), 19:35.
Second Period — 1, Albany, Sova 2 (Sislo, Zharkov), 2:46. 2, Albany, Zharkov 3 (Whitney, Anderson), 4:24. Penalties — Corrente, Alb (interference), 4:45; Hoeffel, Alb (hooking), 9:14; Mills, Alb (high-sticking), 17:49.
Third Period — 3, Albany, Palmieri 2 (Mills, Zharkov), 18:32 (en). Penalties — Schira, Bng (holding), 9:54.
Shots on goal — Binghamton 12-15-9 — 36. Albany 17-15-12 — 44.
Power-play opportunities — Binghamton 0 of 3; Albany 0 of 2.
Goalies — Binghamton, McKenna 5-9-0 (43 shots-41 saves); Albany, Kinkaid 8-6-0 (36-36).
A — 1,995. T — 2:10.
Referees — Mark Lemelin, Chris Ciamaga. Linesmen — Rich Patry, Frank Murphy.