Hockey has become once again exciting like never before seen, well let’s just say in a very long time, as the Binghamton Devils continued their early season success with a 3-2 victory over the Syracuse Crunch on Friday at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena to remain undefeated in regulation. The win also keeps the BDevils (3-0-1-0) in first place in the North Division while Syracuse (1-4-1-0) was sent to the cellar in the same division.
Binghamton jumped to an early lead with the first of three unanswered goals just eleven seconds in, as forward John Quenneville took advantage of a Syracuse miscue on the opening faceoff and raced in all alone to beat Crunch netminder Michael Leighton stick side for his fourth goal of the season and a Devils 1-0 lead.
Soon after Blake Speers made it a two goal game with his first professional goal as he received a short pass from Blake Pietila and lifted the puck over Leighton in front, which ended his night after just two shots and was replaced by Connor Ingram.
Binghamton increased their lead to three when forward Nick Lappin pounced on a rebound off a one timer from the blueline by defenseman Tim Erixon for his fourth tally of the season. It was all Devils in the opening 20 minutes with a solid offensive display on the road. Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood (2-0-1-0, 3.64 GAA, 0.869 SV%) had an easy go at it with his five saves he saw in the period.
But the success was short lived as Syracuse would cut the deficit to just one in the second, with a pair of shorthanded markers within the same penalty charged to the Crunch with a too many men call. Veteran forward Michael Bournival created a breakaway over a poor turnover on the Devils’ defensemen and skated in alone against Blackwood, skipping the puck short side for his first of the season. 92 seconds after, Erik Cernak and Mat Bodie led a three on two rush with Josh Jacobs and Brian Strait down the middle as Blackwood was beat glove side by Cernak.
It suddenly became a 3-2 contest that didn’t feel all too warm and fuzzy like earlier on.
With momentum against Binghamton, the Devils didn’t make things any easier in the final twenty minutes with two calls whistled against them in the final ten minutes of play, and as the team only managed two shots on net but hung on for their third win in four attempts. Despite the recent trend of late penalties in the third period, it’s been a really good show to watch so far. If that’s my only gripe, I’ll be more than happy to take it.
It’s early, but hockey is once again fun in the Southern Tier.
Forwards; Blandisi-Kearns-Lappin, Quenneville-Kennedy-Bastian, Pietila-Rooney-Speers, Mandat-Cangelosi-Thomson. Defensemen; Strait-Jacobs, MacDonald-Loov, Kapla-Erixon. In Goal; Mackenzie Blackwood. Back up; Ken Appleby. Scratches; Colton White, Brandon Gignac, Ryan Kujawinski and Yarloslav Dyblenko. Scott Wedgewood was called up earlier on Friday by New Jersey. Brandon Baddock served his one game suspension with an incident in Laval last Saturday as Mandat took his place. Loov, Kearns and Rooney with the A’s.
Post Game Notes
- Binghamton continues to take late penalties, as one thing they need to work on is to be more discipline with less than ten minutes left in the game.
- Blackwood with a really nice bounce back game compared to his last outing giving up eight goals in a OT loss in Laval last Friday. Shots ended up 28-22 Syracuse.
- Tim Kennedy missed the open net with Ingram pulled for the extra attacker in the waning seconds, as he rang the puck off two posts for an insurance goal.
- I like the hustle of Joe Blandisi. Speers has caught my eye. Lappin and JQ are ready in the short time I’ve seen them, or anyone play as far as call-ups.
- Devils will be home for a change tomorrow night as the last three games have been on the road with the team recording five out of a possible six points. They and Milwaukee Admirals (3-0-0-0) are the only two that remain undefeated in regulation in the AHL.
#1 Lappin (1g), #2 Bournival (1g), #3 Cernak (1g).
Binghamton is home on Saturday as they host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to close out the weekend.