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Michael McLeod Leads Binghamton Devils 4-3 Win Over Charlotte Checkers

Charlotte suffers just their second loss in 12 games and first on the road as Binghamton hunkered down after a timely TO call that resulted in three unanswered goals in the victory

Binghamton, NY - Binghamton forward Michael McLeod (#9) had a three point night as the Devils would comeback after being down by two in a 4-3 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Friday.
Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

The Binghamton Devils came back with three unanswered goals en-route to a 4-3 win over the mighty Charlotte Checkers at The Floyd on Friday. Rookie forward Michael McLeod took first Star honors with his three points (1g, 2a) and Blake Pietila had the winning shot in the final period for his third of the season. Goaltender Eddie Lack stopped 21 shots to improve to 2-1-0-0 on the season.

Binghamton (6-6-2-0) was in trouble down by a pair of goals midway through the second period to the best team in the league. It didn’t look good as Charlotte (10-2-0-0), with a perfect 7-0-0-0 road record, were in control after scoring two on the power play that caught the Devils flat.

Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

After a critically called timeout by Coach Mark Dennehy at 10:44 in the second, it woke the team up as they scored two goals in a span of 2:26 seconds to tie it at three apiece with momentum now on their side.

McLeod cradled a pass from defenseman Eric Gryba and sent the puck past Checkers’ netminder Alex Nedeljkovic’s glove for his third goal of the season. Then McLeod and defenseman Josh Jacobs exchanged some short passes near the corner as Jocobs skated into position at the blueline. After he received McLeod’s pass back Jacob’s shot sailed high, far corner, through heavy traffic for his first goal of the season.

As the game wore on Charlotte appeared to have lost their legs as this was the first of six upcoming road contests for the Checkers in the next seven days. On the other side of the rink, Binghamton seemed to have settled in and was loose heading into the final thirty minutes.

Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

After quite an eventful middle frame for the Devils, they managed to capture the lead in unusual fashion, a shorthanded tally.

With Checkers’ defenseman Dan Renouf in the box, Binghamton sprung for an odd man rush as McLeod skated into the zone and fed Pietila with a on target, cross-ice pass for a sweet one-timer, down on his knee shot that sent the fans into a frenzy.

The remaining 3:20 was effective as Binghamton had several clearing attempts that made it difficult for Charlotte to set up once Nedeljkovic was pulled for the extra attacker.

In the end, a hard fought victory with a timely called timeout. Shots ended up 28-24 Binghamton.

Line-Up, Game #14

Forwards: Quenneville - Zacha - Studenic, Pietila - Rooney - Lappin, Baddock - McLeod - Bastian, Gignac - Schmelzer - Speers

Defensemen: Kapla - Ramage, White - Gryba, Sissons - Jacobs

In Goal: Eddie Lack, Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Eric Tangradi, Brian Strait both out injured. Healthy, Tariq Hammond and Yegor Sharangovich

Post Game Notes

  • Baddock, Rooney and Ramage with the A’s.
  • The players wore special jerseys representing Military Appreciation night and will also do so for Saturday’s tilt with the Comets.
  • Dennehy lit a fire under their butts during his TO, which was exactly what they needed. A good call and it worked as he said he lost his voice later on after screaming at his players.
  • With three first round draft picks currently on the Binghamton roster, one of them (McLeod) is starting to believe in himself with his three point performance. Pavel Zacha was held off the score-sheet and John Quenneville had an assist.
  • A fight almost broke out in the middle frame as ex-BSens’ Zack Stortini tried some after whistle activities while taking a shove to Brandon Baddock, as the two would be surrounded by the officials with no punches thrown, except to the helmet of one of the linesman.
  • Lack (4.24 GAA, 0.860 SV%) cleared waivers hours before game-time and should be here as a call-up when needed for the immediate future.
  • No bad clearing attempt this time from Pietila as he made things right once again with his nifty goal in the third for the eventual game winner. His half attempt effort last weekend in Allentown ended up costing a goal that the BDevils otherwised had a win in their back pocket.

Three Stars

#1. Michael McLeod (1g, 2a), #2. Blake Pietila (1g), #3. Josh Jacobs (1g)

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Devils right back at it on home ice Saturday, when they face the Utica Comets.