The Albany Devils kicked off the 2017 AHL Calder Cup playoffs at home at the Times Union Center with a 3-0 win over the Toronto Marlies in game one of their first round series.
Ben Thomson scored at 16:22 of the first (assist to Seth Helgeson), John Quenneville scored unassisted on the power play at 13:03 of the second period and Brian Gibbons scored unassisted into an empty net at 19:23 of the third period to round out the scoring for the first matchup.
In goal, Mackenzie Blackwood made 27 stops on 27 shots faced. He was named the game’s first star. Thomson was the second while Quenneville was the third, each with a goal. Quenneville also led the team with four shots on goal.
Toronto’s Garret Sparks made 20 saves on 22 A-Devils shots.
On the power play, the Marlies were 0-for-4 while the Devils were 1-for-5 with three shots on goal.
Game two takes place on Saturday from Albany, New York with a 5 PM puck drop.
Over in the OHL, the Mississauga Steelheads began their third round series against the Peterborough Petes. This one was a little bit closer, with Mississauga taking the game 5-3.
Michael McLeod had four points, including a goal and three assists in being named the game’s first star.
Owen Tippett got the scoring started in the only goal that McLeod did not factor into at 12:57 of the first period. Steven Lorentz and Nikita Korostelev (on the power play) would put Peterborough up 2-1 in a ten minute span early to midway through the second period.
But Spencer Watson scored at 14:08 of the second and from then it was the Steelheads’ game to lose. McLeod had an assist there and an assist on his brother, Ryan’s power play goal at 19:07 of the second.
In the third period, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev briefly tied the game up at three for the Petes. But Watson scored the game winner at 12:23 with assists to both McLeod brothers.
Michael then scored the insurance goal to put Mississauga up 5-3 unassisted at 13:42 of the third period.
In goal, Matthew Mancina made 27 saves on 30 shots faced while the Petes’ Dylan Wells made 27 saves on 32 shots.
Game two of this series takes place on April 22 as well. The game will be played at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.
In one final bit of news, the Devils signed a player today from the KHL’s Moscow Spartak to an entry level deal.
Defenseman Yaroslav Dyblenko signed a two year entry-level deal today as the announcement was made by Ray Shero. He had four goals and seven assists for 11 points to go with 51 penalty minutes in 51 games last season according to the Devils’ press release on the matter. Over his KHL career, he has 12 goals, 27 assists, 39 points and 150 penalty minutes all in 180 games.
He is a 23-year-old native of Surgut, Russia and shoots from the left side. He is 6-foot, 1-inch tall and 205 pounds. The press release mentions that he won a bronze medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia; was a member of the Russian Selects team that played in (and won) the 2012 Subway Super Series tournament; was the KHL’s Rookie of the Month for October 2013; and was invited to Team Russia’s training camp for the 2016 World Championships.
That is quite a resume, hopefully he pans out as more and more NHL teams begin to look at the KHL as a feeder league to try to get prospects at a decent price.