I saw some signs that led me believe that Wednesday’s game with the Marlies could go the way towards the Devils, as Binghamton defeated Toronto 3-1 at Ricoh Coliseum for a franchise record third win in a row. Goaltender Ken Appleby continued his hot streak making 27 saves and forwards Michael Latta and Christoph Bertschy each had a goal and an assist as the BDevils ended their five game losing streak to the Marlies.
- One tell tale sign was the start time, 11:00 AM for the annual event for school kids in attendance. That didn’t give much time to prepare for the game which benefited the Devils with a nothing to lose attitude, just the opposite for Toronto with the best record in the league.
- Toronto has been in a recent funk, losing two of their last three and perhaps their approach in taking the Devils too lightly with a recent weekend sweep on Feb 10th and 11th.
- Appleby has been on a roll with back-to-back wins over Rochester last weekend.
Toronto (38-14-0-1) found themselves in a two goal hole as Binghamton (16-27-6-3) scored first after a scoreless opening twenty minutes with a shot from Latta near the corner of the net that eluded Marlies netminder Calvin Pickard for his sixth of the season and a 1-0 lead.
A BDevils’ power play goal would come next, the team’s first in six games, and upped the lead to two when Bertschy’s wrister found its way through Pickard’s five hole with a Devil in front providing a partial screen. That would be Bertschy’s first as a Devil and ninth overall of the season for the third year pro.
Toronto forward Dmytro Timashov cut the deficit in half 9:44 in the third period with a sniper from inside the circle, top corner for a Marlies power play goal, but an empty netter by Tim Kennedy ended any hopes of a Toronto comeback and made that bus trip back to Binghamton so much sweeter, 3-1 the final. Shots ended up 28-27 Toronto.
Forwards; Kearns-Kennedy-Speers, Lucia-Rooney-Bertschy, Latta-Cangelosi-Bastian, Baddock-Mandat-Thomson. Defensemen; Strait-Jacobs, MacDonald-Santini, Kapla-Walman. In Goal; Ken Appleby Back up; Mackenzie Blackwood. Scratches; Brandon Gignac (inj.), Yaroslav Dyblenko (inj.), Kevin Morris (inj.) and Colton White. Strait, Jacobs and Rooney with the A’s.
Random Post Game Notes
- Devils have found some rhythm and more importantly, some confidence. Unable to hold a lead into the final period has been problematic in the past, but they seemed to have turned the corner in that department for the most part.
- New guys Bertschy, Latta, Jake Walman and Mario Lucia all have made a difference since the start of the season, along with the recent addition of Steve Santini and his strong play on defense. It’s good to see NJ willing to continue to make Binghamton more improved, and it shows.
- During the streak, Appleby has posted 3-0-0-0, 1.92 GAA, 0.971 SV% including a shutout win last Saturday against the Marlies. Overall he has improved to 8-10-2-2, 2.89 GAA, 0.896 SV%.
- Regular forwards John Quenneville, Blake Pietila and Nick Lappin were recently up with the parent club giving the new guys a chance in the line-up and it’s paid off. Lappin was sent back on Wednesday.
- Speaking of line-ups, coach Kowalsky has kept it the same in all three games for the most part with minor changes, as Latta moved into the third line that sent Jan Mandat centering the fourth line.
- Appleby clearly is now the #1 in net and should get the nod on Friday against the BSens, then Blackwood on Saturday. (Although, don’t rule out a possible switch giving the team a better chance of winning vs Lehigh Valley with Appleby on Saturday.)
#1.) Christoph Bertschy (1g,1a), #2.) Michael Latta (1g,1a), #3.) Ken Appleby (27 saves)
Devils return home for a pair of weekend games beginning on Friday vs Belleville and Lehigh Valley, Saturday.