The New Jersey Devils’ AHL affiliate stayed in contention for a spot in the 2015 Calder Cup playoffs by extending their improbable winning streak to ten wins in their last fourteen games. Their latest conquest was against the Rangers’ affiliate the Hartford Wolf Pack in Albany on Saturday, April 18.
Unfortunately, it was not enough to get them into the playoffs. The Springfield Falcons won 4-3 in overtime in St. John’s, Newfoundland against the IceCaps to end the A-Devils higher hopes. Albany ended the 2014-15 season with a 37-28-5-6 record.
Brandon Burlon, Reid Boucher and two goals from Mike Sislo powered the A-Devils in their victory over the Wolf Pack, with Whitney recording his 59th and 60th points of the season (both assists), putting him behind only Petr Vrana (who had 61 points in 2007-08) in team history. Stefan Matteau also had an assist in the game, which gave him four points (3 goals and 1 assist) in the last four games. All of this information comes from Kevin Zalaznik on the Albany Devils official website (thealbanydevils.com).
According to Zalaznik, Scott Clemmensen went 7-3-1 during the last part of the A-Devils season. During that same stretch of games, Clemmensen had a 1.57 goals against average and a .942 save percentage. In the game versus Hartford, he made 26 saves.
Hartford, who finished 43-24-5-4, will qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs and, at this point, would play the Providence Bruins in the first round.
However, Springfield has not officially clinched the final spot in the Eastern Conference due to the fact that the Portland Pirates have one extra game in hand (they beat Providence on Saturday and will face the Worcester Sharks at Worcester on Sunday, April 19).
The Devils made a really great run and it is too bad that it did not turn out in a more positive way. They showed a lot of heart and, as Head Coach Rick Kowalsky said, the team played “gutsy.” Goalie Scott Clemmensen put it another way, telling Zalaznik: “I’m very proud of these guys. The way we stuck together all year long, and the way we played all year long. Particularly these last few weeks, we really put the playoff push on.”
Albany, like their parent club, put as best an effort as they could put forth in light of a rough last few weeks of the season. Even though the New Jersey club often found themselves on the short end of the score, the Albany team really made teams sweat leading into the playoffs.
Although neither Devils teams will play for their league’s respective championship this year, the guts shown by the AHL team in never giving up and trying to push to the end is an inspiration to the club from top to bottom. The future of the New Jersey Devils is truly in good and capable hands.