GLENS FALLS, NY – The Adirondack Flames lost their regular season franchise home debut 5-1 to the Albany Devils Saturday evening at the Glens Falls Civic Center in front of 5,078, a sellout crowd.
The Flames were down 2-1 at the start of the third period, but Devils tacked on three goals to put the game out of reach. Adirondack went back and forth with the Devils to start the final period, but the Flames couldn’t respond.
Albany’s Paul Thompson added two goals, finishing the night with four, once 10:06 into the period and again at 13:53. Stefan Matteau sliced one in stick side for the Devils’ final goal of the night, with Seth Helgenson recording the assist with less than five to play.
Before the Devils’ three goals, Turner Elson tried to sneak one in on a wraparound chance. The play was deemed no goal on the ice but officials took to video replay, where the call was confirmed.
The Flames started the game with a high volume of shots on goal, but couldn’t convert their chances. Albany struck first on a shot by Thompson just over seven minutes into the first period to take a 1-0 lead. Winger Joe Whitney and center Scott Timmins recorded assists on the goal.
The Civic Center crowd got what it had waited for all night at 12:22 into the second period. Brett Kulak fired a puck from the high slot that squirted out of a traffic filled crease over the shoulder of Albany goaltender Keith Kincade during the last half of a power play to cut the Devils’ lead to 2-1. The Flames finished the night 1-for-4 on power plays.
Kulak’s tally was the Flames second goal of the season and first in front of the hometown crowd. It was Kulak’s first goal of the season. Center Turner Elson and defenseman Ryan Culkin recorded assists, also their first of the season.
The Flames led in shots on goal throughout the entire game. Adirondack ended with 35 to Albany’s 30. After giving up the goal in the first period, Adirondack tightened up in the final minutes of the period, allowing just one shot on goal in the final 10 minutes.
The Flames had two quality scoring chances in the first that came during their second power play of the night but couldn’t convert. Adirondack’s best look came when Max Reinhart fired a shot from the side, but it was gloved by Devils’ goalie Kincaid.
Albany added to its lead just 1:11 into the second period with another score from Thompson. The Devils continued their offensive onslaught with a series of shots during the middle of the period but Flames goaltender Joni Ortio stood tall denying all of them. Ortio finished the game with 25 shots saved on 30 shots in the second loss of the season.
The Flames are back in action Thursday as they host the Rockford IceHogs and then Saturday when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms return to Glens Falls. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Visit the Civic Center box office for tickets, call 855-432-2849 or online at glensfallscc.com.