After an emotionally charged up game on Saturday with the Pens, The BDevils weren’t able to find their legs until the third period as they found themselves once again playing from behind to Utica 3-0 after 40 minutes. Although Comet’s goaltender Richard Bachman played a great game up to that point with 21 saves, Devils’ weren’t having the same success from netminder Eddie Lack as he let in all three goals on the first seven of ten shots.
After scoring three in the third period, a final push near the end came up short as the Comets defeated the Devils 4-3 on Sunday at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. With the win, Utica clinched a playoff spot.
Comets reached first on the scoreboard at 16:56 in the first when forward Zac Lynch’s sharp angle shot landed upper far corner over Lack’s shoulder for his second of the season. Probably Lack would want that one back, as it looked to be his positioning was off.
Utica then struck for two more goals in the second period as forward Frankie Simonelli struck the back of the net from the blueline with Zack MacEwen providing a screen in front for a power play marker. A little more than four minutes later it was 3-0, when Andrew Cherniwchan intercepted a bad drop pass from Devils’ rookie defenseman Michael Kapla intended for Blake Speers near neutral ice, and skated away on a breakaway with a deke on Lack for a shorthanded tally.
Nathan Bastian put Binghamton on the map 1:35 into the third period as he swatted in the puck from the corner of the net after a lively bounce off the wall from a quick slap shot by defenseman Jake Walman and there was hope, as the BDevils were within striking distance. However, Matt Leitner put Utica back up to a three goal lead with a sharp angle shot from near the goal line that eluded Lack, as he slammed his stick in response.
BDevels would again cut it to within two after defenseman Jacob MacDonald burned Utica rookie forward Tanner MacMaster inside the blueline and his blast beat Bachman which made it 4-2.
Blake Speers made it 4-3 at 16:51 for the only power play goal by Binghamton on seven attempts for the night, as he pushed the puck into the net after a mad scramble in front for his 10th of the season.
The Devils continued to push and push with Lack pulled with over two minutes left, but several opportunities went wide of the net or Bachman simply put up a brick wall. The boys came close right to the final seconds, but the Comets prevailed as the players on the ice were seen bent over due to exhaustion once the final horn sounded.
Forwards; Kearns-Rooney-Lappin, Quenneville-Seney-Bastian, Lucia-Speers-Latta, Thomson-Mandat-Baddock. Defensemen; Strait-Dyblenko, MacDonald-Santini, Kapla-Walman. In Goal; Eddie Lack. Back up; Mackenzie Blackwood. Scratches; Brandon Gignac (inj.), Austin Cangelosi, Jagger Dirk, Colton White, Josh Jacobs, Tim Kennedy, Christoph Bertschy, Blake Pietila, John Edwardh and Mackenzie Blackwood. Rooney, Kearns and Latta with the A’s.
Random Post Game Notes
- Binghamton with 20 third period shots compared to four for Utica and a game total of 41-14.
- BDevils’ killer goalie Bachman was dialed in whereas Lack was just average at best. I thought Applebly was going to be it but he played back-up for the second straight night.
- A fight broke out early in the second when Vincent Arseneau’s high hit on John Quenneville torqued off Brandon Baddock, as the two dropped the gloves in what was a long, drawn out battle with the edge for Baddock. Best one of the season outside possible Michael Latta’s comeback tilt with Zack MacEwen a few weeks ago.
- Prospect Brett Seney played his third game in 2 1⁄2 days to begin his pro career and came close tonight on several occasions but recorded his first professional point on Friday in Rochester. I’ll have follow up report on Seney sometime this week.
#1.) Matt Leitner (1g), #2.) Andrew Cherniwchan (1g), #3.) Nathan Bastian (1g, 1a)
BDevils have a midweek game against their arch-rival Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday.