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BDevils Give Their All In 6-5 Loss To Mighty Phantoms

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3rd period collapse too much to overcome as Lehigh Valley scored three in comeback win over Binghamton on Saturday

Binghamton, NY Rookie defenseman Michael Kapla (#32) attempts to defend his position in Saturday night’s 6-5 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Alicia Strauch

Binghamton with an abundance of energy in the opening twenty minutes that payed off with a 3-1 lead, came crashing down in the final frame in Saturday night’s 6-5 loss to visiting Lehigh Valley. The Phantoms reversed the scoring with three of their own in the final twenty minutes led by forward Chris Connor’s four point performance however, not to be overshadowed by Devils’ forward Nick Lappin and his three point night.

Binghamton Devils ended their modest two game winning streak with a 6-5 home loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday.
Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

BDevils (5-3-1-0) jumped to a 2-0 lead with goals by Nathan Bastian, his fourth of the season and Lappin with his team leading sixth as Phantoms starter Alex Lyon felt the pressure early on. Lehigh Valley (8-2-0-2) cut the gap to within one on a push towards the net with Devils’ goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood down to the ice with a mast of players in front, as Cole Bardreau somehow found a seam and poked the puck home for his second of the season.

Binghamton would regain the two goal advantage as Blake Pietila scored on a turnaround wrister that sailed high into the cage past Lyon’s blocker for a 3-1 contest.

Blackwood would begin the second with a leg pad save on a two on none rush after a deep turnover by Ben Thomson, as Radel Fazleev and Corban Knight rushed towards the net only to be denied. Soon after, the Phantoms would come through on a breakaway by Chris Conner with a forehand-to-backhand dish through the five hole that made it 3-2.

Both teams traded a goal as Danick Martel scored his league-leading 12th on a lasar, top shelf over Blackwood’s shoulder to tie it. Defenseman Jacob MacDonald gave the Devils the lead once again with some quick, snap like passing between Lappin and Joe Blandisi and beat Lyon glove side for a power play tally.

Players huddle for celebration after a recent goal as Binghamton would fall short to Lehigh Valley by a score of 6-5.
Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

In the third the Phantoms felt the need to change goalies as Dustin Tokarski replaced Lyon as he gave up four goals on 15 shots, and it payed off as they came back with three unanswered. Connor scored his second of the night to tie it, TJ Brennan gave his team the lead for the first time on a power play marker and eventual game winner by Nicolas Aube-Kubel as the puck reached the back of the net on a screened Blackwood for a Phantoms 6-4 lead.

The Devils looked to be gassed and deflated but dug hard and came back to within one inside of three minutes while Blackwood was on the bench for the extra attacker. Lappin then scored his second of the night on a loose puck scramble in front that sailed by Tokarski with 2:20 left as a wild finish would follow, but Lehigh Valley would eventually come out on top with the road victory.

Line-Ups

Forwards; Gignac-Kearns-Lappin, Pietila-Blandisi-Speers, Baddock-Cangelosi-Bastian, Thomson-Rooney-Mandat. Defensemen; Kapla-Jacobs, White-Loov, MacDonald-Dyblenko. In Goal; Mackenzie Blackwood. Back up; Ken Appleby. Scratches; John Quenneville (inj.), Tim Kennedy (inj.), Brian Strait (inj.) and Ryan Kujawinski. Kearns, Pietila and Lappin with the A’s.

Post Game Notes

  • Another game, another six penalties. It seems to be the norm as of late with the Phantoms cashing in on two power play marks, while Binghamton was a dismal 1/5.
  • Blackwood (2-3-1-0, 4.19 GAA, 0.859 SV%) hasn’t been consistent enough as he’s had a rough go at it so far. At times he’s looked awesome and positionally sound, while others he just loses what looks to be his concentration (or skill) level. I’m not all that concerned as he appears to have the tools at such a young age.
  • Great first period and one of their best of the season as they were prepared with spark and energy that was sorely missed against this same Phantom club two weeks ago. But it would come back and bite them as they lost steam midway through the third. However I do smell a rivalry brewing between the two cities, but unfortunately not enough games to support it throughout the season.
  • Defenseman roll call; Josh Jacobs has been steady and consistent, Jacob MacDonald not so much. Brian Strait very much so, Victor Loov, decent but careless. Colton White is green and the other rookie in Michael Kapla, meh. My biggest disappointed has been Yaroslav Dyblenko, perhaps I set the bar too high without seeing him play.
  • I continue to like the play of Brandon Gignac, as the rookie has worked his way from a healthy scratch to the top line with Bracken Kearns and Lappin, as he brings hustle and grit with a knack for the net.
  • Speaking of Kearns, he’s off to a slow start having only one goal in nine games thus far, as he’s had back-to-back 23 goals for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers the last two seasons. The 36 year-old was brought into the fold for his veteran leadership, but at some point he needs to start contributing, especially now with some key players out on the injury list.
  • Last but not least, Ex-BSens forward Phil Varone with a quiet 4 point night, all assists, as he leads his club in that category and tied for second in the league.

Three Stars

#1 Connor (2g, 2a), #2 Lappin (2g 1a), #3 Bardreau (1g, 1a).

Video Highlights

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Upcoming Games

Binghamton will faceoff against the BSens for the very first time up in Belleville on Wednesday, followed by a pair of home games on the weekend.