Albany Devils website writer Kevin Zalaznik recently penned an article that put forth the notion that the A-Devils versus Toronto Marlies North Division Final playoff series was the series to watch in the 2016 Calder Cup playoffs. And how can you argue with him? These are the two top teams in the AHL this past season and should make for some amazing American League-level hockey. In any other season, Zalaznik pointed out, this would be a matchup saved for the Conference Finals. However, with the new AHL playoff format, the Devils and the Marlies would be going at it for the North Division playoff championship.
The Devils pulled out to a quick 1-0 series lead when they downed Toronto 2-1 at the Ricoh Coliseum this past Wednesday.
True to form, Toronto evened out the best-of-seven series on Friday night with a 5-3 win over Albany.
Dan Kelly, Nick Lappin and Matt Lorito all scored for Albany in game two. Scott Wedgewood has been solid throughout the young series.
Game three is Sunday at the Times Union Center in Albany at 5 PM. Can the A-Devils take another series lead?
In other New Jersey Devils-related news, Team USA dropped their opener at the World Championships in Russia with some New Jersey players in the spotlight.
Keith Kinkaid got the start for John Hynes’ squad and made 28 saves, in a losing effort against Canada on Friday. The good news for Devils fans is that David Warsofsky assisted on the only American goal of the game, scored by the Edmonton Oilers’ Patrick Maroon on the power play in the first period.
Stat lines for the Devils involved in the game saw Warsofsky getting the assist, one shot and 16:48 time on ice. Steven Santini had 11:33 of ice time while Miles Wood had 5:16 of ice time. Kinkaid faced 33 Canadian shots, but took the 5-1 loss. The US next plays Belarus on Saturday in Group B action in St. Petersburg.
Other Devils active in the World Championships are Adam Larsson, who registered a shot in 18:03 in ice time as Sweden defeated Latvia 2-1; and Sergey Kalinin, who had 12:24 TOI as Russia lost to the Czech Republic, 3-0. Sweden next plays the Czechs on Monday and host Russia takes on Kazakhstan on Sunday.