Hershey made their only appearance of the season in Binghamton a rough one as the Devils shutout the Bears 3-0 behind goalie Mackenzie Blackwood’s 18 saves in front of a packed house at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday. Forward’s Tim Kennedy and Bracken Kearns each provided a goal as Blackwood celebrated his second shutout of the season.
It was a goalie battle between Blackwood and Vitek Vanecek of the Bears with both coming up with several big saves throughout the night.
The BDevils (20-30-7-3) led 1-0 past Hershey (25-28-4-5) behind Kennedy’s poke into an empty net with Vanecek caught out of position after a collision with Mario Lucia as he crashed the net while the puck landed free to Kennedy in front of the crease. That would be all the scoring until late in the final period as Binghamton was able to crack Vanecek as he faced 33 shots compared to just 18 by Hershey.
Two late goals by Binghamton would help support the shutout and send the crowd home with a victory.
With time winding down the BDevils surely didn’t want a return trip to OT for the second consecutive night as they clung to the slim lead. However, Kearns would alter the Bears’ plans when defenseman Jacob MacDonald, after a recovery of the puck right on the blueline, sent it on net for a Vanecek save only to have Michael Latta pounce on the rebound and fed Kearns in front for a power play goal.
Kevin Rooney added an empty netter 31 seconds later from center ice for the 3-0 win as the BDevils take three out of four points so far on the weekend heading to Allentown, PA on Sunday.
Forwards; Kearns-Rooney-Speers, Lucia-Kennedy-Bertschy, Pietila-Mandat-Latta, Baddock-Cangelosi-Bastian. Defensemen; Strait-Jacobs, MacDonald-Dyblenko, Kapla-Walman. In Goal; Mackenzie Blackwood. Back up; Eddie Lack. Scratches; Brandon Gignac (inj.), John Quenneville , Colton White, Steven Santini, John Edwardh, Nick Lappin, Ken Appleby and Ben Thomson. Rooney, Kearns and Latta with the A’s.
Random Post Game Notes
- Lappin, Thomson, Santini and JQ all sat as we are in the middle of a three-in-three weekend and I would expect them all in on Sunday vs Lehigh Valley.
- Shots in favor of the Devils 33-18 with Hershey recording 3 in the first, 4 in the third.
- Blackwood saves include some flashes of the glove on Wayne Simpson and Anthony Peluso while Vanecek simply robbed Latta up close with a diving glove block as the puck was batted away in the second period during a 1-0 contest.
- Blake Speers moved from centering the fourth line on Friday to wing on the first line finishing with three shots and a +1 for those keeping track.
- Good to see Jan Mandat back in the line up with his bulldog tenacity after a healthy scratch on Friday.
- I don’t ever recall seeing such a bad Hershey club in a really long time. They were always the powerhouse team to fight through, especially in the playoffs. And wouldn’t you know it, we only face them twice this season vs eight or so in the past.
- Binghamton is eyeing 5th place Laval percentage points in the North behind with a game on hand. If they catch them, that would be an accomplishment in what has been a crazy, topsy-turvy season.
#1.) Mackenzie Blackwood (18 saves), #2.) Tim Kennedy (1g), #3.) Bracken Kearns (1g)
The weekend rounds up on Sunday with a tilt in Allentown, PA against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.