A-Devils Ousted From Playoffs in Triple OT Epic

An era came to an end as the Albany Devils skated into the Ricoh Coliseum for game three of their first round playoff series against the Toronto Marlies. They fell, 2-1 in three overtimes, losing the series, three games to one and putting an end to the current era of Devils AHL hockey in the New York state capital.

Travis Dermott got the scoring underway at the 8:55 mark of the first period with assists to Kerby Rychel and Justin Holl. That would be Toronto’s last goal for about the next 100 minutes.

The Devils tied things up with a goal from Carter Camper, his second of the playoffs, assists to John Quenneville and Ben Sexton. The game was tied at one and that was the end of the scoring until the 6:43 mark of the third overtime, when Holl scored from Frederik Gauthier and Brendan Leipsic. That goal won the game for the Marlies and sent Toronto into the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs.

The A-Devils had a chance to end things in the first overtime, when Toronto’s Rinat Vallev received a double minor for high sticking at the 12:52 mark. Albany would have four minutes to work with, but the Marlies killed it off, essentially sending the game into the second OT period. Overall, Albany went 0-for-3 on the power play with a single shot while Toronto was 0-for-2 with the extra man, mustering two shots on goal. The Marlies had their shot at ending things in the second OT when Ben Thomson was called for a hooking minor.

The real story of this game was the goaltenders. For the A-Devils, Mackenzie Blackwood made a whopping 58 saves on 60 shots allowed in 106:43 of ice time. He was named the game’s second star for his efforts. For Toronto, Kasimir Kaskisuo made 30 saves on 31 A-Devils shots in getting the win and was named third star of the game. Holl was named the game’s first star with his goal and assist.

So, with that, the Marlies advance deeper into the Calder Cup playoffs and the A-Devils cease to exist. They will move to Binghamton next season. Toronto will likely play the Syracuse Crunch, who defeated the St. John’s IceCaps three games to one, in the next round.

So, congratulations to the Toronto Marlies in a hard fought win and a good series. And good luck to the Devils’ American Hockey League affiliate as they begin their next chapter in a new city next season.

Steelheads Complete Sweep with 7-0 Win

The Mississauga Steelheads took home the Bobby Orr Trophy and will play for the OHL championship as they completed a four game sweep of the Peterborough Petes with a 7-0 win at the Hershey Centre tonight.

Owen Tippett scored from Trent Fox and Devils prospect Nathan Bastian at 8:29 of the first period and that was all they needed.

Ryan McLeod scored at 11:54 of the first with assists to his brother, Devils prospect Michael McLeod and Stefan LeBlanc. From there, the Steelheads got goals from Vili Saarijarvi (2:05 of the second), Jacob Moverare (9:20 of the second), Trent Fox (16:58 of the second), Michael McLeod (33 seconds into the third period) and Brendan Harrogate (17:18 of the third).

Matthew Mancina made 24 saves in getting the shutout, while Dylan Wells made 24 saves on 31 shots for Peterborough. Mancina was named the game’s first star. Saarijarvi was the second star and Fox was the third star.

Michael McLeod’s stat line saw him with the goal and assist for two points, a plus-3 rating and one shot on goal. He won nine of twelve faceoffs taken. Bastian had the assist for one point, was also a plus-3, had three shots on goal and won six of thirteen faceoffs taken.

With this win, the Steelheads claimed the Bobby Orr Trophy as winners of the OHL’s Eastern Conference and will face the winners of the Owen Sound Attack and the Erie Otters, who are battling for the Wayne Gretzky Trophy in the Eastern Conference, the OHL Finals and the chance to go play for the Memorial Cup. Owen Sound currently has a 2-1 series lead with game four being played tonight.

Congratulations to the Mississauga Steelheads and Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian on making it this far and good luck in the next round.

Meanwhile, in the AHL tonight, the Albany Devils and the Toronto Marlies got together in game three at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. That game took an overtime to finish, but the Marlies won 3-2, going up two games to one in their best-of-five first round series.

Brendan Leipsic scored first for Toronto at 3:49 of the first period, with assists to Kasperi Kapanen and Travis Dermott. That put the Marlies up 1-0 in the first before John Quenneville tied things up with assists to Karl Stollery and Ben Sexton. That goal came on the power play, set up when Kapanen went off for tripping at 9:49. The goal came at the 10:16 mark of the first. Albany went 1-for-4 on the power play while Toronto was 0-for-2.

Toronto retook the lead at the 17:59 mark of the second period when Leipsic scored his second of the game from Kapanen and Frederik Gauthier.

That lead only lasted about 23 seconds. At the 18:22 mark, Carter Camper tied it up for the A-Devils (assists to Steve Santini and Blake Pietila). And that was the scoring in regulation.

The game winner came at the 45 second mark of the first OT when Colin Greening scored for the Marlies from Justin Holl to win the game and give Toronto the 2-1 series lead.

In goal, Mackenzie Blackwood made 22 saves on 25 Toronto shots in the 60:45 of game time. Opposing him, Kasimir Kaskisuo made 27 saves on 29 Albany shots.

Greening was named the game’s first star with the overtime game winning goal. Leipsic was named the second star with his two regulation goals and Kapanen was the third star with two assists.

Game four takes place in Toronto on Friday. The Marlies have a chance to wrap things up then.