The Albany Devils had just suffered two straight brutal losses at home to fall behind in their AHL North Division Final playoff series three games to two. Heading back north of the border to the Ricoh Coliseum, it just seemed a mere formality that the Toronto Marlies had this thing sewed up.
As an article on TheAHL.com mentioned, the A-Devils were without Mike Sislo, Jim O’Brien, Pavel Zacha and Brian O’Neill who have all sustained injuries during this series. They are all a key part of the Devils’ offense and cannot be replaced.
But somebody forgot to tell the Devils about the script. Albany came out swinging and defeated the Marlies 4 to 1 to force a game seven on Monday night in Toronto.
The A-Devils showed they meant business when they scored just 4:24 into the game. Reid Boucher had that goal (with Vojtech Mozik and Seth Helgeson getting the assists) to make it 1-0.
Albany would not wait long to double their lead. Less than a minute later at 5:13, Corbin McPherson netted his first of the playoffs from Rod Pelley to make it 2-0 Devils.
Coming out of the first intermission, Toronto knew that they needed something to get back in the game and that something would come off of the stick of Kasperi Kapanen, as he scored his second of the playoffs from Stuart Percy and Viktor Loov at 10:45.
The A-Devs would get that goal back when game three hero Nick Lappin scored his fourth of the playoffs (assists to Matt Lorito and Boucher) at 14:42 to put Albany up 3-1.
Graham Black would add a goal 8:56 into the third period (with McPherson and Lappin with the helpers) to top the game off 4-1 for the A-Devils.
Lappin (one goal, one assist for two points) would be named the first star of the game as Boucher would be the number two star (also with a goal and an assist on the night). The third star was Albany goalie Scott Wedgewood.
And speaking of Wedgewood, he made 34 saves on 35 shots seen in getting the clutch win. Toronto goaltender Antoine Bibeau saw 28 shots and had 24 saves in taking the loss.
Albany went 0-for-3 on the power play while Toronto was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
And now looms game seven. The game will be played Monday in Toronto as both teams look to move on to the AHL’s Eastern Conference Final. With so much on the line, can the A-Devs complete the comeback and move on? Or will Toronto, the best team in the AHL in the regular season, move on and continue playing for the Calder Cup? Each team will now get a chance to write their own destiny.