Albany Devils Stave off Wolf Pack

A tumultuous March saw most of the Albany Devils‘ squad summoned to the New Jersey Devils. A flip of the calendar to April and a visit from the Hartford Wolf Pack and their league-worst .377 win percentage was what the A-Devils needed to snap a seven-game winless streak. Staving off the Wolf Pack, the 4-3 victory was Albany’s first at home since a 4-0 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Feb. 17.

Needing every point at this juncture, the A-Devils maintained their hold on third place in the North Division with a .543 win percentage.

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First Period

In the opening frame, Max Novak poked home the puck in front of the cage and gave the Devils an early 1-0 advantage. Novak’s seventh tally came at the 4:41 mark.

Late in the first frame, Nicklas Jensen countered with the equalizer for the Wolf Pack. On a nice deke around the Devils defense, Jensen wrapped the puck home for his 28th marker at the 17:46 mark.

Second Period

With the Devils shorthanded, a key intercept by Novak spurred a two-on-one breakout for Albany. The Devils forward was able to hit Kevin Rooney, who roofed the puck and hit the back of the net, reclaiming the lead for the A-Devils. Rooney’s 11th of the campaign came at 7:38 into the second stanza.

Late in the period, Blake Pietila, sent down from New Jersey on Friday, gave the A-Devils a buffer. With an extra attacker, Pietila bided his time, picked his spot and rifled the puck from the left circle, beating Chris Nell up high. Pietila’s 16th at the 19:21 point doubled the Devils’ advantage to 3-1.

Third Period

During the final frame, Hartford answered first. A Matt Carey shot from the middle bested Ken Appleby, who appeared to be screened by two of his own forwards. Carey’s 19th at 7:26 drew the Wolf Pack to within one goal.

Yet, back on the power play, Albany would strike back shortly thereafter. Pietila, off a tape-to-tape dish from Brian Gibbons, netted his second marker with an extra man. Pietila’s 17th at 7:50 redoubled the Devils lead.

The Wolf Pack and the local New York Rangers fans in attendance wouldn’t go quietly, though. Skating on the power play, Taylor Beck picked his spot and ripped the vulcanized rubber past Appleby from the right circle. Beck’s 19th of the season came at 11:34 into the frame and cut the Devils’ lead to 4-3.

In the end, the Devils would hold onto their lead and defeat the Wolf Pack 4-3.

Scoring Summary


ALB — Max Novak (7) assisted by Jacob MacDonald (9) and Vojtech Mozik (10)

HFD — Nicklas Jensen (28) assisted by Marek Hrivik (22) and Michael Paliotta (10)


ALB — Kevin Rooney (11) assisted by Max Novak (8) (SH)

ALB — Blake Pietila (16) assisted by Jacob MacDonald (10) and Carter Camper (23) (PP)


HFD — Matt Carey (19) assisted by Philip McRae (11)

ALB — Blake Pietila (17) assisted by Brian Gibbons (18) and Jacob MacDonald (11) (PP)

HFD — Taylor Beck (19) assisted by Marek Hrivik (23) and Nicklas Jensen (22) (PP)

THW Three Stars

First: Blake Pietila

Second: Jacob MacDonald

Third: Nicklas Jensen

Next Up

Hartford Wolf Pack at Providence Bruins

Dunkin Donuts Center, 3:05 p.m. EST on April 2

Rochester Americans at Albany Devils

Times Union Center, 3 p.m. EST on April 2