My apologies for not having these up sooner. Saturday was pretty crazy with the Islanders-Devils game at 1 and the BU-Cornell game at 8. I’ll have today’s release up when I get it…but just as a heads up, it ain’t pretty.
As I’m sure you also saw, Jeff Prough was again recalled by Lowell. Myles Stoesz was called up to Lowell and Kevin Cormier was sent down from Lowell to Trenton. Had a hunch that might happen. I wrote about that somewhere recently, may have been in the comments…
(Saturday’s T-Devils PR) Trenton, NJ, November 28, 2009 – Elmira was late to the party and did not bring enough to the table at the Sun National Bank Center as the Devils defeated the Jackals 3-2. The game was delayed 30 minutes because the Elmira team bus was stuck in traffic on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Trevor Kell earned first star honors with the eventual game-winning goal along with two assists in his second game back from a five-game stint with Lowell. Dave Caruso made a season high 43 saves for his third win of the year.
The Devils struck first on a power play goal by Andy Thomas ten minutes into the first period. Trevor Kell passed the puck out to Justin Pender quarterbacking the power play at the center point position. Pender’s hard pass toward Thomas at the right point went to the side wall and the ricochet came right back to Thomas who ripped a the one-timer over the glove of Michael-Lee Teslak for a 1-0 Devils lead.
A buzzer-beater from Brett Wilson gave the Devils a two goal lead with less than a second left in the first period. Trevor Kell chased a Mike Harder dump-in behind the net, beating the Jackals defender to the puck. Kell quickly collected and passed the puck to Wilson who cut to the front of the net from the left wing side. With a defender on his back, Wilson took the puck on his backhand and shoveled a short side shot past the blocker of Michael-Lee Teslak.
The contentious mood typical of the rivalry was not evident Saturday, with only 18 total penalty minutes, compared to 113 in the meeting on Halloween. The only scuffle of the night occurred just after the Wilson score just after the first period horn. The small scrap led to coincidental minors to Olivier Proulx and Dave Leaderer for unsportsmanlike conduct, leaving four players on each side to start the second period.
Utilizing the open ice early in the second period, Trevor Kell took a pass from Tony Zancanaro in the neutral zone, just left of center, for an odd man rush. The Devils’ captain skated to the top of the left-wing circle, opened up and ripped a slap shot past Teslak for a 3-0 lead and Kell’s third point of the night and first Trenton goal since November 6.
Following Kell’s goal 50 seconds into the period, Gord Burnett was assessed a roughing penalty at 2:18 leading to Elmira’s first goal. The Jackals stopped a short-handed rush by the Devils, transitioned the other way and worked the puck to the front of the net for a shot by Justin Donati. Yannick Tifu slammed in Donati’s rebound over the sprawling Dave Caruso 1:01 into the man-advantage, cutting Trenton’s lead to 3-1.
The Jackals would have three more power play opportunities in the period to the Devils’ one, but neither team could convert. Elmira had a 90-second four-on-three advantage just over halfway through the period but strong Devils defense and timely saves from Caruso kept the Devils’ lead at two.
The Jackals made a game of it at 18:04 of the third, slamming home another rebound to reduce the deficit to one. Just after Caruso tied his season high in saves, Tifu again banged home a rebound, mirroring his earlier goal, following shots from Proulx and Jean-Francois David. The Trenton defense clamped down in the final two minutes, though, securing a 3-2 win.
Now two points shy of second place, the Devils (8-8-1-2, 19pts) againt take on the Jackals (9-6-2-1, 21pts) Sunday afternoon in Elmira with a 4:05 p.m. puck drop at First Arena.
(Friday’s T-Devils PR) Reading, PA – Forty-two shots produced only two goals, as the Devils struggled to solve Royals goalie Matt Dalton in a 4-2 loss Friday at the Sovereign Center. Two early Reading scores forced Trenton into playing from behind, and despite staging one successful comeback, they could not answer Reading’s third and fourth goals. Trenton’s firepower was bolstered by the return of Trevor Kell and Jeff Prough from Lowell, but Prough couldn’t score on his nine shots and Kell had one shot and a minus one.
A quick strike put the Royals up 1-0 just 66 seconds into the game. Devils goalie Gerald Coleman, starting his second consecutive game, was beat by Ryan Cruthers who banged one home for his fourth of the year, with assists to Ben Gordon and Daniel Steiner. Eight minutes later, Trevor Kell was called for a clipping minor which set up Reading’s second goal of the period. Dan Steiner tried to jam the post on Coleman’s right, but the puck came across the goal mouth to Danick Bouchard who had plenty of room to flip in the power play goal at 9:45 and a 2-0 Reading lead.
Trenton’s first power play of the game began a minute later, following an interference minor to Rob Kwiet. Blueliners Andy Thomas and Justin Pender passed from point to point, looking for shooting lanes. A one-time try from Pender was stopped, but the puck came back to him for a slap shot. Myles Stoesz redirected the blast past Dalton off the inside of the long post and into the goal for the power play tally at 12:43 in the first.
Another power play chance came early in the second period when Jared Ross was called for hooking at 2:33. With the penalty time winding down, Mike Harder sent the puck toward a mess of players in front, but it popped toward the left wing. Dave Leaderer pinched in from the point to fire the loose puck just under the cross-bar. His third goal of the year tied the game at 2-2, with Harder and Brett Wilson assisting.
The Royals took the lead back for good, netting an even strength goal five minutes later.Charlie Kronschnabel took a timely pass from Kwiet on the left wing and beat Coleman for his fourth goal of the year and a 3-2 lead Royals lead.
An insurance goal was added at 10:23 of the third from Ben McLeod.Ben Gordon drew the attention of Coleman and the Devils defense, skating tantalizingly close the goal mouth, but rather than shooting he found McLeod open in the crease for the final score of the game.
Matt Dalton, named the game’s first star, made 40 saves in his third win of the season, coming up with his most impressive saves in the most clutch situations. Trenton created several scoring chances late in the third during a four-on-four stretch which turned into a Devils power play, and then a six-on-four when Coleman was pulled for the extra attacker. Dalton and the Royals sustained the attack and held on for the 4-2 victory.
The victory propels Reading (10-6-1-1, 22pts) into first place in the East, one point ahead of the Elmira Jackals who lost 4-1 against the Wheeling Nailers Friday night. Trenton (7-8-1-2, 17pts) remains in third place and returns home to host Elmira Saturday at 7 p.m. at the newly renamed Sun National Bank Center, formerly the Sovereign Bank Arena. The back end of the home-and-home series starts at 4 p.m. at Elmira’s First Arena on Sunday.