A very sound effort against a difficult Comets’ club.
Binghamton Devils’ goaltender Cam Johnson started for his second game in 24 hours and gave his team a boost in a 4-3 victory over the Utica Comets on Saturday at Adirondack Bank Center. Kevin Rooney added three assists and John Edwardh scored two goals, including his first in the AHL as the Devils took four out of a possible four points on the weekend with their second consecutive win.
The loss for Utica (16-14-2-1) ended their five-game home win streak as well as seven games with a point in the divisional rival contest. Binghamton (14-16-3-0) relied on many substitutes with the current line-up ravished with injuries including several from their ECHL affiliate in Glens Falls, NY.
With eight regulars out of the line-up due to a variety of reasons, whether it be injuries, sickness or a suspension, the ones that took their place had themselves a successful outcome with the eventual results.
Devils went up by a score of 1-0 on a fluke play by defenseman Conor Riley for his first AHL goal, as his pass went off a Utica defender out in front past netminder Thatcher Demko at 16:05 in the first. Although the lead was short-lived when Tanner Kero (10) scored 90 seconds later on a simple chip in off the rebound by Johnson into the empty net. Devils’ defense was caught off guard with the wide open Kero near the crease.
In the second frame, Edwardh helped regain the Devils’ lead on a backhanded flip over Demko near the corner of the cage for his first AHL goal. But Reid Boucher scored his team-leading 16th to tie it once again on a one-timer from near the circle. Ryan Schmelzer scored his fifth on his second attempt off the rebound from Demko from his knees to end the second period.
In the final period, Binghamton pulled ahead by a pair of goals when Edwardh recorded his second of the game on the rebound chip in off a shot by Kurtis Gabriel on a faceoff at 2:25. However, things started to get dicey in the latter stages of the period.
Comets cut the deficit to one on a failed clearing attempt by Riley near the slot, as Darren Archibald was all over the puck with a simple poke past a surprised Johnson for a PP goal with plenty of time left in the period. It was then fueled with a boarding penalty that would follow next to Devils’ defenseman Eric Gryba with 2:27 remaining to set the tone for the second straight night, that included Friday’s scenario late in the game.
After a Utica timeout and Demko pulled for the extra attacker, Binghamton buckled down once again and shut the door with Johnson making some timely saves to preserve the win. Shots ended up 31-25 in behalf of the Comets.
Line-Up, Game #31
Forwards: Baddock - McLeod - Bastian, Gignac - Rooney - Schmelzer, Ward - Sharangovich - Speers, Edwardh - Gabriel
Defensemen: Kapla - Sissons, White - Hammond, Riley - Gryba
In Goal: Cam Johnson, Charles Williams
Scratches: Brian Strait, Eddie Lack, Marian Studenic, Nick Lappin, Blake Pietila, Josh Jacobs and John Ramage. Eric Tangradi 3rd game of 3 gm suspension
Post Game Notes
- The boys played a very sound game and another 60-minute effort that was on display as Johnson appeared to be totally spent after the final horn was heard. He got the job done for the 2nd night in a row making some key saves towards the end as I had my doubts and wanted to see what Charles Williams is about.
- McLeod with another strong performance with an assist to give him 4 points on the weekend. Like I stated before, patience.
- The team just plays well in front of Cam and it was impressive the last 2 nights with so many injuries that have hit this club. The ECHL players have something to prove and they indeed succeeded in my eyes. I was a bit concerned with the back-to-backs by Johnson but he indeed earned the win.
- What’s encouraging is the depth within the Devil’s Organization on the recent call-ups from Adirondack as Edwardh, Riley, Brian Ward, and Johnson have produced. As soon as the domino effect comes to a close with regulars back in action, the Thunder will benefit with the additional experience from some of these players that are in Binghamton.
- The team is off for the next 3 days as hockey is set on pause for the mandatory Christmas Break. Thanks for reading and have a great Christmas Holiday and I will see you on Wednesday!
#1. John Edwardh (2g), #2. Kevin Rooney (3a), #3. Tanner Kero (1g, 1a)
BDevils are off until a day after Christmas on Wednesday for a date with the Syracuse Crunch on home ice.