Yes! Keep reading to see how it happened.
It was a huge week for the Albany Devils. They played four games and needed a lot of wins to keep, solidify, and clinch a playoff position for the first time since 2009-2010 when the team was still in Lowell.
|Mike Sislo (X)||1988||Albany||AHL||RW||57||23||17||40||0.70||7||24||7||2||137||16.8|
|Tim Sestito (X)||1984||Albany||AHL||C||49||13||13||26||0.53||-1||79||2||1||74||17.6|
|Adam Larsson (X)||1992||Albany||AHL||D||32||3||16||19||0.59||1||16||1||0||61||4.9|
|Artem Demkov (X)||1989||Albany||AHL||C||22||6||5||11||0.50||6||6||1||0||45||13.3|
|Jon Merrill (X)||1992||Albany||AHL||D||14||2||7||9||0.64||-1||0||2||0||20||10|
|Eric Gelinas (X)||1990||Albany||AHL||C||10||1||4||5||0.50||6||8||1||0||34||2.9|
|Riley Boychuk (X)||1984||Albany||AHL||RW||18||1||1||2||0.11||2||14||0||0||6||16.7|
|Harry Young (X)||1991||Albany||AHL||D||10||0||0||0||0.00||-1||15||0||0||3||0|
|Anthony Brodeur||1995||Gatineau Olympiques||QMJHL||G||30||1467:39:00||13||10||1||2||71||2.9||560||0.887|
|(X - not on active roster)|
|Artur Gavrus||1994||Dinamo Minsk||KHL||C||30||1||3||4||0.13||-11||8||1||0||36||2.78%|
|Vladimir Zharkov||1988||CSKA Moskva||KHL||RW||49||2||5||7||0.14||0||6||0||0||75||2.67%|
|CSKA Moskva - Playoffs||KHL||RW||4||0||0||0||0.00||-2||2||0||0||4||0.00%|
|Graham Black||1993||Swift Current Broncos||WHL||C||69||34||63||97||1.41||18||43||9||2||-||-|
|Swift Current - Playoffs||WHL||C||6||2||2||4||0.67||1||4||2||0||-||-|
|Myles Bell||1993||Kelowna Rockets||WHL||LW||69||42||35||77||1.12||21||51||10||2||-||-|
|Kelowna - Playoffs||WHL||LW||4||3||1||4||1.00||0||2||2||0||-||-|
|Damon Severson||1994||Kelowna Rockets||WHL||D||64||15||46||61||0.95||47||63||5||1||-||-|
|Kelowna - Playoffs||WHL||D||9||4||9||13||1.44||5||6||2||0||-||-|
|Ben Johnson||1994||Windsor Spitfires||OHL||C||59||28||25||53||0.90||18||30||5||2||-||-|
|Windsor - Playoffs||OHL||C||4||4||2||6||1.50||-4||2||2||1||-||-|
|Ben Thomson (total)||1993||North Bay Battalion||OHL||LW||55||27||18||45||0.82||15||90||6||2||-||-|
|North Bay - Playoffs||OHL||LW||13||4||4||8||0.62||-1||22||0||0||-||-|
|Ryan Kujawinski||1995||Kingston Frontenacs||OHL||C||45||23||18||41||0.91||3||39||8||0||-||-|
|Kingston - Playoffs||OHL||C||7||1||1||2||0.29||-5||2||0||0||-||-|
|Blake Coleman||1991||Miami Ohio||NCAA||C||23||18||6||24||1.04||8||63||6||0||96||18.75%|
|Miami Ohio - Playoffs||NCAA||C||4||1||3||4||1.00||0||2||0||0||14||7.14%|
|Alexander Kerfoot||1994||Harvard University||NCAA||C||25||8||6||14||0.56||0||8||3||0||40||20.00%|
|Blake Pietila||1993||Michigan Tech||NCAA||LW||37||8||19||27||0.73||-3||82||7||0||112||7.14%|
|Michigan Tech - Playoffs||NCAA||LW||2||0||1||1||0.50||-1||2||0||0||2||0.00%|
|Derek Rodwell||1990||University of North Dakota||NCAA||LW||25||5||2||7||0.28||5||20||0||0||53||9.43%|
|UND - Playoffs||NCAA||LW||8||0||3||4||0.50||0||8||0||0||3||0.00%|
|Miles Wood||1995||Boston College||NCAA||LW||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Joe Faust||1991||University of Wisconsin||NCAA||D||34||2||12||14||0.41||11||6||0||0||29||6.90%|
|University of Wisconsin - Playoffs||NCAA||D||2||0||0||0||0.00||-2||2||0||0||3||0.00%|
|Curtis Gedig||1991||Ohio State University||NCAA||D||30||2||7||9||0.30||2||8||2||0||47||4.26%|
|Ohio State - Playoffs||NCAA||D||3||0||1||1||0.33||2||0||0||0||12||0.00%|
|Steve Santini||1995||Boston College||NCAA||D||29||2||8||10||0.34||27||44||0||0||33||6.06%|
|Boston College - Playoffs||NCAA||D||7||1||0||1||0.14||-5||14||0||0||5||0.00%|
- In their first of four games last week the Devils defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1. Keith Kinkaid was in net and made 22 saves in the win while Kelly Zajac scored both Albany goals.
- The following night, the Devils had a huge game against the Providence Bruins. The Bruins sit right behind the Devils in the Eastern Conference, so this was a must-win. The game went to a shootout, but the Devils earned the extra point with a 2-1 win. Kinkaid was in net again and made 18 saves in the win while Harri Pesonen scored the lone goal for Albany in regulation while Stefan Matteau and Joe Whitney scored in the shootout.
- It was another big game on Sunday as the Devils faced the Syracuse Crunch. With a four goal second period, the Devils got the big win while Scott Wedgewood got his fourth shutout of the season. Reid Boucher had two goals and Harri Pesonen had three assists. The other two goals were from Chris McKelvie and Reece Scarlett.
- With three straight wins, it set up for last night's game to be the biggest of the season against the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the Portland Pirates. With a win, the Devils would clinch the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-2010 season. Eric Gelinas, Adam Larsson, Jon Merrill, Tim Sestito, and Mike Sislo were all back in the lineup after being in New Jersey to close the NHL regular season while Graham Black was making his AHL debut. It was stressful. After a scoreless first, the Devils fell behind 1-0 in the second period, but by the second intermission had taken a 2-1 lead with goals from Boucher and Dan Kelly. The Pirates tied the game and forced overtime. Then came shootout. It hasn't been as painful in Albany as it has in New Jersey, and this one was quite pleasant. After falling behind 1-0 in the skills competition, the Devils scored two unanswered (Matteau and Sislo) to win the game and clinch a spot in the 2013-2014 AHL playoffs!
- Jon Merrill and Eric Gelinas were named to the Hockey's Future Top 50 Prospects list. Merrill was listed at 22 while Gelinas was listed at 45. There was one more Devils' prospect listed in the top 50 from Juniors (covered in "Other Notes").
- Only three junior Devils' prospects are left in the playoffs. In the WHL, Damon Severson and Myles Bell (though he is injured) are in the Western Conference Finals with the Kelowna Rockets battling the Portland Winterhawks. In the OHL, Ben Thomson and the North Bay Battalion are playing the Oshawa Generals in the Eastern Conference Finals.
- I missed this last week, but Damon Severson was named the WHL and CHL Player of the Week for the week ending April 6. In nine playoff games, Severson has 13 points (4g, 9a).
- Speaking of Severson, he was named one of Hockey's Future Top 50 Prospects at number 44 (one ahead of Eric Gelinas).
- After having just three assists in his first 10 playoff games, Ben Thomson now has four goals and four assists in 13 games (4g, 1a in his last three).
- Derek Rodwell and the University of North Dakota fell to Minnesota 2-1 in the Frozen Four Semifinal. It was a heartbreaker as Minnesota scored the short-handed game-winner with sixth-tenths of a second left in regulation.
- Steve Santini and Boston College also fell in the Frozen Four Semifinals to the eventual winners, Union. Santini had what was a huge goal at the time, tying the game 2-2 about 15 minutes into the second period. They would go on to lose the game 5-4.
Prospect of the Week:
Keith Kinkaid earned three HUGE wins last week. He got two of the three wins last weekend and then won the shootout win that is sending the Albany Devils to the playoffs. This is huge for the team that hasn't been to the Calder Cup Playoffs since they've been the Albany Devils and it is something for all Devils fans to look forward to. The honor of Prospect of the Week goes to Kinkaid, but a huge congratulation goes to the entire Albany team.
Are you excited for the Calder Cup Playoffs? How far do you think the team can go? Who do you think needs to stand out in order for them to make a deep run? Do you think Kelowna or North Bay can win in the WHL or OHL playoffs? Leave your thoughts and comments on the prospects in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!