Oh so close.
With the Devils down by a pair of goals after two periods, the mighty Checkers looked to be in control heading into the third. But Binghamton managed to fight back with two of their own to send the game into overtime only to lose 4-3 to Charlotte at The Floyd on Friday. The Checkers (7-1-0-0) remain undefeated on the road in six outings and lead the AHL with a 0.875 percentage.
Binghamton (4-4-1-0) received a pair of goals from rookie forwards Brett Seney and Michael McLeod in the third, but it was short lived. Charlotte defenseman Jake Bean received a pass down the middle from Andrew Poturalski and put the puck over goalie Cory Schneider’s blocker for the game winner, his first as a pro.
It was an ugly opening period for the special teams as the Checkers scored three times on the man advantage, and that can’t happen. It was a hole to dig out of the rest of the night although a few calls were not the best, it’s not about blaming the on ice officials at all.
Janne Kuokkanen (5), Julien Gauthier (3) and Morgan Geekie (4) gave the Checkers a 3-1 lead as the team managed just seven shots in the period. Schneider wasn’t to blame as their power play was dominate with puck movement and creating scoring opportunities.
The lone Devils goal in that period was from Nick Lappin as his backhanded shot went through the five hole of netminder Callum Booth playing in his first start of the season. The goal gave Lappin six in nine games, tops on the club.
Seney’s marker at 5:37 was a deflection in the lane from a slapper by defenseman Josh Jacobs coming off the blueline that made it 3-2 and momentum leading up to McLeod’s tally soon after.
In a Binghamton timeout, a set plan actually worked with John Quenneville on the side wall and Eric Tangradi along with McLeod planted on opposite sides of the cage. JQ fed the puck to Tangradi who quickly turned it over to McLeod and into an empty net around Booth for his first professional goal in 14 contests dating back to last season.
It took only 53 seconds into the OT before the end results but the BDevils earned a hard fought point for their effort against a very good team from Charlotte.
Line-Up, Game #8
Forwards: Tangradi - Seney - Lappin, Gignac - McLeod - Studenic, Pietila - Sharagnovich - Quenneville, Baddock - Speers - Bastian
Defensemen: Strait - Ramage, Sissons - Jacob, Kapla - White
In Goal: Cory Schneider, Cam Johnson
Scratches: Mackenzie Blackwood, Ryan Schmelzer, Tariq Hammond and Kurtis Gabriel
Post Game Notes
- Kapla, Tangradi and Pietila with the A’s.
- Eric Gryba, Kevin Rooney and Yegor Yakovlev all up in NJ. John Quenneville was sent down earlier in the day and Joey Anderson was called up prior to the start of tonight’s action. Anderson has 2 goals and 3 assists in 8 games this season for Binghamton.
- If there is one thing that is very noticeable this season over last, is the third period. Players are gutting it out and not rolling over with hard play and determination, whether they are up by two or down by two, it’s refreshing to see the fight right to the final horn.
- Seney was all over the place giving his all. At one point a pass was out of reach heading to the net as he dove and was able to get his stick blade on the puck and nearly scored, but instead he was the one that landed into the cage and not the puck. He also pinged the iron late in the third.
- McLeod has improved tremendously. He hustled and battled hard all night before scoring with 2:10 left in the third for his first as a pro. You see, hard work pays off!
- Quenneville showed a lot of hustle himself and was engaged in the action with several offensive opportunities and time on the PK.
- Tangradi had three assists giving him 7 points in 8 games. His line with Lappin and Seney combined for 6 points.
- Special teams have been a sore point all season as Charlotte went 3/3 on the powerplay while Binghamton was 0/5. Shots ended up in favor of the home team 27-24.
- NJ Devils’ brass was in attendance for tonight’s contest.
- Schneider results in his 3 game conditioning stint reads 1-1-1-0, 2.67 GAA, 0.897 SV%. Says he wanted to test his body playing in two games in three nights and he felt pretty good afterwards.
#1. Jake Bean (1g, 1a), #2. Michael McLeod (1g), #3. Brett Seney (1g, 1a)
The three games in four nights will conclude on Saturday as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms come to town for their first of two appearances on the docket.