Forward Bracken Kearns took a short pass from defenseman Jacob MacDonald at center ice then turned on the jets into the offensive zone and let loose a snipe from just inside the circle that landed top shelf, far corner past goaltender Adam Wilcox for the game winner as the Binghamton Devils defeated the Rochester Americans 1-0 in overtime on Saturday at The Floyd.
It was Kearns’ 11th goal and team-leading 36th point of the season in what turned out to be one of the best overall games of the season for the BDevils. Starter Ken Appleby (6-10-2-2, 3.12 GAA, 0.890 SV%) was brilliant in net stopping 19 Amerks’ shots and earned his 2nd shutout of the season as he helped his team snap a four game losing streak.
It was a goaltending dual that went beyond regulation as Wilcox and Appleby battled, including the five minute three-on-three action. The last time the two rivals met also resulted in a Devils win, again in OT 4-3 on Feb 3rd on home ice. The two clubs will meet again on Sunday afternoon in Rochester.
Appleby was sharp in the opening period as he stopped Sahir Gill on a breakaway and came up with a quick toe save on Seth Griffith, two of his six saves that helped set the tone the rest of the night, as Binghamton played hard and didn’t give up in front of the large crowd. Especially in the final twenty minutes, as the Devils with all kinds of pressure but Wilcox bailed out his teammates as he came up with some big saves of his own during the man advantage for the Devils that kept it scoreless.
Binghamton outshot Rochester in all three periods and ended up with 35 compared to 19 for the Amerks as they were even up with two apiece in the OT session.
Forwards; Kearns-Kennedy-Speers, Lucia-Rooney-Bertschy, Latta-Mandat-Bastian, Baddock-Penny-Thomson. Defensemen; Strait-Jacobs, MacDonald-Santini, White-Kapla. In Goal; Ken Appleby Back up; Mackenzie Blackwood. Scratches; Brandon Gignac (inj.), Austin Cangelosi, Yaroslav Dyblenko, Kevin Morris and Jake Walman. Kearns, Latta and Rooney with the A’s.
Random Post Game Notes
- Blake Pietila was called up before tonight’s game, as he joined Nick Lappin and John Quenneville for New Jersey. Goaltender Eddie Lack still remains with the Devils and earned the 4-3 win over Tampa Bay on Saturday.
- Team plays better in front of Appleby and it showed despite the lack of offense this club has. Blackwood has been streaky as I prefer a more steady Applebly to get the nod on Sunday.
- First time I’ve seen the two forwards in Mario Lucia (4 shots) and Christoph Bertschy (5 shots) in action since the trade for defenseman Viktor Loov. Both didn’t look out of place and had regular minutes, including the PP as the team ended up with four and for their fifth straight game they failed to score a goal.
- Defensemen Michael Kapla with a really bad turnover late in the middle frame led to a semi-breakaway by Justin Bailey, but Applebly poked the puck loose to come to the aid of his defense. Kapla and Brian Strait have been hard to watch at times this season.
- The refs let them play as their were some big hits highlighted by Ryan Penny, as he delivered a punishing body check to defenseman Zach Redmond early in the first that sent him crashing to the ice, much to the delight of the fans.
- Amerks came into the game having scored a dozen goals in Friday’s 12-3 thumping over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at home. I don’t know if they took the BDevils too lightly, but I do know that Binghamton was ready and came through with a 60 minute effort while missing some key pieces on the offense. Regardless, it was a fun night to be a part of.
#1.) Bracken Kearns (1g), #2.) Ken Appleby (19 saves), #3.) Adam Wilcox (34 saves)
Devils and Amerks meet again on Sunday in Rochester to finish out the three games in three days weekend for both teams.