Another game, another loss. This is not fun. But, it’s still early.
In what was once a promising looking beginning of a season a few short weeks ago, it has now turned the corner for the worse as the Binghamton Devils lost their fifth straight and seventh of their last nine, this time at the hands of the Rochester Americans by a score of 3-0 on Wednesday at Blue Cross Arena with goaltender Linus Ullmark’s earning his second shutout in three years.
It’s the same results during this losing streak as either its A.) the lack of a 60 minute effort, or B.) costly penalties combined with C.) not enough urgency with the same group of players that have taken the ice. Frustration has been overly abundant not only from the players and coaches, but the fans themselves with such little results as the team sinks further down the pack in the North Division.
It’s still early.
Binghamton (5-7-1-0) quickly got in trouble as they started off shorthanded 00:44 into the first when rookie forward Nathan Bastian was whistled for roughing, followed by a tripping call to Bracken Kearns 75 seconds later for a five on three man advantage by the Amerks. Rochester (8-4-1-1) cashed in and got off to an early 1-0 lead with a goal by defenseman Stuart Percy’s one-timer from the point past a screened Mackenzie Blackwood, as Dalton Smith set-up shop in front.
That killed off one penalty however, there was still another the Devils had to contend with.
With the Amerks buzzing, they made it a two goal lead off a rebound shot served up to Rochester forward Eric Cornel from the circle and buried it into a partial empty net with Blackwood caught in the crosshairs from Sahir Gill’s initial blast across ice, opposite circle.
The Devils then faced an uphill battle that wasn’t problematic a few short weeks ago, but now has turned into a mountain to climb with very little confidence shown on the ice with misguided passes and no offensive rhythm.
It’s still early.
Luck hasn’t been too kind either during this streak with two shots hitting the crossbar in the middle frame and an apparent goal called back midway in the third by Blake Pietila’s laser from high in the slot that cleanly beat Ullmark top shelf. After a short video review conference, the net was off it’s moorings with no whistle blown beforehand from any of the four officials, so no goal.
Binghamton played their best hockey of the night halfway through the third period with crisp passing and hustle that led up to several scoring opportunities before Percy finished out with an empty netter, his second of the night, to cap off Rochester’s victory.
But let’s not sugarcoat this. With the lack of offense, some poor defense and very little effort except when it comes down to the final period and a switch is turned on midway through, the Devils need to find a way out of it’s funk as losing streaks are all too familiar for hockey fans in Bingo over the course of the last several seasons. They are never any fun.
The BDevils face the red-hot Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday, who are 9-0-0-1 in their last ten games and boasts the second best record in the league.
I gotta remind myself one again. It’s still early.
Forwards; Gignac-Kearns-Lappin, Pietila-Blandisi-Bastian, Thomson-Rooney-Mandat, Baddock-Cangelosi-Speers. Defensemen; Strait-Kapla, Loov-Jacobs, MacDonald-Dyblenko. In Goal; Mackenzie Blackwood. Back up; Ken Appleby. Scratches; John Quenneville (inj.), Tim Kennedy, Colton White and Ryan Kujawinski (inj.). Kearns, Rooney and Loov with the A’s.
Post Game Notes
- Sure there have a few injuries, namely the Devils’ best offensive weapon in JQ, but the defense has been intact and top heavy with Jacobs and Strait, who ironically were split up tonight. But Rochester have been missing five of their top six defenseman and still came up on top despite a not all too impressive performance. Early on this season, Binghamton would have dominated.
- How could all four officials miss the cage off it’s moorings for an extended amount of time? How does that happen?
- Blackwood was really good when needed, his players let him down, not him.
- Shots were 36-31 Amerks but five penalties were called against the Devils compared to one for Rochester.
- Joe Blandisi had Ullmark beat with the goaltender down on the ice, but his shot sailed too high and hit the crossbar in which should’ve been a goal. That, and Pietila’s in the third and we might have possible been in OT.
#1 Stuart Percy (2g, 1a), #2 Linus Ullmark (31 saves), #3 Eric Cornel (1g).
Binghamton has a a pair of home games this coming weekend against the Penguins on Friday, followed by a re-match with the Amerks Saturday.