Adirondack 4, Albany 0 11/3
Let's recap them. Adirondack entered the game allowing 3.75 goals per game, 29th in the AHL. They respond by shutting out the Albany Devils, a team now averaging less than two goals per game.
Keep in mind that five of Albany's 15 goals came against Adirondack last Friday night, so they've basically got 10 goals in their other seven games. That won't win you many hockey games.
"Guys did a really good job of clearing rebounds," goalie Scott Munroe said. "Kudos to them. I thought we just played a better game. More intensity in our game, a little more fight. That's what we need to do."
Adirondack improves to 4-0 when scoring a power play goal. They went 2-for-5 tonight, making them 7-for-27 in their four victories. They're 0-for-28 on the power play in their five losses, which Adirondack captain Ben Holmstrom addressed in the game recap.
Brayden Schenn had two assists tonight, giving him 11 points in nine games. But that's basically 11 points in four games. In each Adirondack win, he's had a multi-point game. He had a really good pass to set up Sean Couturier's shorthanded breakaway goal, the team's first one since opening night.
And scoring the first goal was critical. Scott Munroe sort of addressed that in the game story, but I wanted to throw in a quote from Terry Murray. He's talked about the importance of that all year because the numbers, historically, show teams who enter the locker room with leads usually win.
"We didn't treat it properly at the start of the second. We got on our heels. They had some opportunities. Overall, the general feeling in the locker room was good. The guys were excited, they were talking and there was pretty good energy. We finished it off the right way."
A big part of that was Holmstrom's power play goal, which was a tremendous effort. The puck was sitting loose at the top of the crease and he literally dove toward it, swung his stick like a baseball bat (maybe a golf club is a better analogy, since the puck was grounded) and chipped (see?) it over Kinkaid's pad. I think going down in a 2-0 hole is a pretty big momentum killer for any team, but especially when it's on that kind of a goal. Here's him walking reporters through it after the game:
"It was up with Fordo (Matt Ford), they did a good job working it across," Holmstrom said. "Fordo cut through and he just put a shot on net. He was just trying to get around and I tipped the first one. It just kind of trickled off his leg pad and it was sitting there. I just gave a whack at it."
Erik Gustafsson (five-on-three) and Shane Harper (even strength) scored in the third period. Gustafsson finished an assist shy of a Gordie Howe hat trick after Matt Corrente instigated a fight with him after Harper's goal. Becuase that was in the game's final five minutes, Corrente faces an automatic one-game suspension from the American Hockey League.
One other thing that didn't make it into the game story, Holmstrom got slapped for two hand on the puck penalties, including one for using his hand to move a puck on a face-off.
Here's his comment on that: "Both of those were my fault. They made the right call. It's just a couple of those were instinct. That's the rule. You can't close your hand over the puck anywhere and then you can't use your hand on the face-off. Both of them were just kind of instinct."
Finally, the boys over at Broad Street Hockey kept tabs on Adirondack's defensemen tonight and calculated their time on ice. With their permission, here are those stats:
Around the division: Bridgeport scored three power play goals to beat Hershey, 3-2, in front of a record crowd. One of Hershey's goals in that game was Matt Clackson from Kevin Marshall and Jon Kalinski. All three former Phantoms. Connecticut and Springfield were idle. Marcel Noebels' point streak comes to an end in Trenton's 2-1 loss to Reading. Scott Wedgewood got the start there.
Adirondack is off tomorrow, but should be back on the ice Monday.
Expect an update early next week.
Until next time,