Sunday, March 10, 2013

Devils 3, Phantoms 2 (SO) 3/10

Staff Report

ALBANY -- Because the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils share an ECHL affiliate in Trenton, N.J., a few Adirondack Phantoms were teammates with Devils farmhand Scott Wedgewood earlier this season.

The highly-touted prospect spent the first five months of his pro career in the ECHL with Trenton, where some Phantoms players began the season due to the NHL lockout, so those players were shooting on Wedgewood in practice on an almost daily basis.

If they figured out how to score on him, it didn't show Sunday afternoon.

Making just the second start of his AHL career, the 20-year-old Wedgewood made 34 saves to lead his Albany Devils to a 3-2 shootout win at Times Union Center, spoiling Adirondack's chance at a six-point weekend, and a chance to tie their season high three-game win streak. They fell to 22-30-2-3, but their 51st point moved them out of sole possession of last place in the AHL. They're now tied with St. John's.

Wedgewood stopped all three Phantoms he faced in the shootout, while Albany scored on its first three shots to avoid the dubious honor of tying the AHL record for most shootout losses in a season with 11. The Devils are 3-10 in shootouts, and their 26-20-1-10 record leaves them one point behind Connecticut for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot. They hold four games in hand on the Whale.

Albany winger Mike Sislo, who snapped a 1-1 tie in the second period, scored the game-winner in the first round of the shootout when he beat Adirondack goalie Brian Boucher, who had just been sent down from Philadelphia. Phil DeSimone and Matt Anderson also scored, while Wedgewood denied Jason Akeson, Garrett Roe and Matthew Ford to improve to 2-0 with a 1.44 goals-against average in his two AHL starts.

Phantoms winger Jon Sim scored the goal that forced overtime at 18:58 of the second period, 6-1/2 minutes after Sislo scored the go-ahead goal. He also assisted on Jason Akeson's goal that put Adirondack up 1-0 just 7:44 into the first period, and gave Akeson sole possession of the team scoring lead. He tied Brayden Schenn, who hasn't played for Adirondack in two months, with a hat trick Saturday.

Akeson also assisted on Sim's goal, giving him a Phantoms-best 35 points. Boucher made 18 saves.

Albany winger Joe Whitney made it 1-1 just 20 seconds into the second period, continuing his torrid ghostbusting pace. Seven of the second-year pro's 21 goals have come against the Phantoms, and he has 12 points in his eight appearances in the season series, which Albany now leads by a 7-3 count.


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