Devils Pesonen Goal Late Downs Whale

Devils Pesonen Goal Late Downs Whale

15 Dec 2012 | By Gerry Cantlon

HARTFORD,CT-Albany's Harri Pesonen's breakaway goal with 2:19 left in regulation help the Albany Devils squeak out a 4-3 road victory over the Connecticut Whale.

Swedish winger Jacob Josefson spotted the Finnish rookie and hit him with a perfect pass as he split the veteran defensive pairing of Mike Vernace and Logan Pyett and sped in and beat goalie Cam Talbot 5 hole scoring his third of the season.

The win gave the Devils their ninth win to push the Devils above the .500 mark to 9-8-0-5 and pulled them to within one point of third place Whale. The Whale host the Portland Pirates  tomorrow night and Albany heads home to play Providence.

Despite a strong game by the Whale head coach Ken Gernander was succinct in his appraisal of the game winning goal.

"There were glaring mistakes. Terrible, terrible mistakes that cost us the game. It's extremely frustrating those aren't the kids we talk about with the growing pains. It wasn't the first time in the game that happened."

The Whale had chances to break the tie with Kyle Jean beings topped on the doorstep twice at 9:55 by Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid. JT Miller had a good chance after a hit on Brandon Burton forced a turnover,but Miller's shot went wide shortside.  

Albany is team that has given the Whale fits this season.

"That's way Albany plays they are a very opportunistic team you have to work hard against them and they captalized on their chances," remarked winger Ryan Bourque.

The second period the two teams traded the lead twice.

The Devils tied the game at one as Tim Sestito whipped a blind backhand pass from just below the left wing faceoff dot and beat a partially screened Talbot at 1:25 with his second of the season. David Wohlberg came out from behind the cage after Whale defenseman Sean Collins wiped out creating an odd man situation down low for the Whale.

The Whale briefly held the lead scoring a shorthanded goal as Kris Newbury effectively took the puck and with his back to big Swedish defenseman Adam Larsson Newbury slipped a pass to winger Chad Kolarik who then quickly passed it back to Newbury who turned sideways angling off Larsson and tapped the puck his 8th of the season into an open 8:26.

The Devils answered back 1:18 later on the same powerplay when defenseman Eric Gelinas racing in from the left point drilled Mattias Tebeny's pass to the back of the net for his first of the season even the game at two.

The Whale reclaimed the lead on a five on three powerplay as rookie Christian Thomas just inside the top of the left wing faceoff circle one timed Matt Gilroy's pass at 9:44for his 7th of the season just 12 seconds into the powerplay at 12:18.  The play was made possible by a win on the faceoff by JT Miller that started the scoring chain reaction.

The Devils again answered the challenge at 17:27 on a poor cross ice pass from defenseman Sam Klassen found its way right to Albany's Bobby Butler who wasted little time firing his ninth of the season past Talbot. 

The Whale took a 1-0 lead in the first period on either a very well designed play or some wild good luck.

Micheal Haley was behind the net fighting off a Devils player spotted an open Kelsey Tessier in the slot 10 feet in front of the net and fired a pass toward him,but he fanned and it went to Ryan Bourque who took the shot and beat Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid for the 1-0 Whale lead.

"It's not how you draw it up on the board, but I'll take it," said Bourque. 

The game was played with a heavy heart with the awful elementary school shooting in the Western Connecticut town of Newtown and the Sandy Hook elementary school hanging in the air like a summer thunderstorm.

"Not an easy day, so devastating our hearts go out to all those who are grieving. It was a very difficult day to prepare for a game," said Bourque

NOTES: The Whales JT Miller earned an assit has a point in five of his last 7 gamers…Albany's other Swedish foward Mattias Tebedny had two assits…Albany's Bobby Butler led both teams with 7 shots on goal and Devils rearguard Eric Gelinas had 5… Former Whale defenseman Brendan Bell has made a second trip to Europe. After off season hip surgery Bell signed on Thursday with HC Frolunda of Swedish Elite League for the remainder of the SEL season.

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