Binghamton broke loose with three goals within 1:46 in the second period but what was heading to be a blowout ended up in survivor mode as the Devils hung on for a 5-4 win over the visiting Cleveland Monsters on Saturday. Rookie netminder Evan Cormier made 32 saves playing in his third game in four days as the BDevils (19-20-3-0) won their season-high fourth straight.
Both clubs exchanged a goal in the opening twenty minutes as Marian Studenic’s floater from the point sailed over Monsters starter Jean-Francois Berube for his tenth of the season. But with a penalty called on Blake Speers, Dan DeSalvo (2) tied it on a one-timer from the circle.
The second period belonged to Binghamton as they exploded for four goals to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
Nathan Bastian took a quick feed from Brandon Baddock along the side wall and skated in on Berube all alone and let loose a low wrister for his ninth. Then the onslaught followed with a package of three goals from Egor Sharangovich (8), Brian Ward (1) with his first AHL goal off the rebound and a nice individual effort by Nick Saracino (1) as he skated through three Cleveland defenders. Cormier had a big leg save on a breakaway by Alex Broadhurst as he faced nine shots and was solid in net.
In the final period, Cleveland roared back with two quick goals to start the period as DeSalvo (3) scored his second of the night with a laser from the slot area over Cormier’s shoulder. That was then followed by Vitaly Abramov (6) as he was fed a cross-ice pass from Maxime Fortier for a one-timer as Cleveland came out of the break on a mission.
With the Monsters completely dominating to crawl back into it, the Devils called a timeout that helped things settle a bit. However, there was more drama to come.
Binghamton received a too many men call that put the fans on the edge of their seats but Cormier protected the lead with some timely stops. But the Monsters got to within one on a goal by Justin Scott (7) as he was able to squeeze the puck off of Cormier from the side of the cage with 2:07 left. Berube was pulled for the extra attacker on that goal and was pulled once again with plenty of time to possibly send it to overtime.
But the Devils hunkered down on several blocked shots and perhaps a little luck was on their side as they hung on for the W. Shots were overall 36-22 Cleveland as Binghamton mustered just two compared to 16 in the period.
Line-Up, Game #42
Forwards: Tangradi - Schmelzer - Lappin, Baddock - McLeod - Bastian, Saracino - Sharangovich - Studenic, Ward - Speers - Gabriel
Defensemen: White - Yakovlev, Kapla - Ramage, Sissons - Gryba
In Goal: Evan Cormier, Cam Johnson
Scratches: Brian Strait, Eddie Lack, Brandon Gignac, Josh Jacobs, John Quenneville and Tariq Hammond.
Post Game Notes
- This is exactly what we needed, a string of wins put together to climb back into the playoff race and because of that, we are two points out with some traffic in front, but it is encouraging news.
- Kurtis Gabriel and Brett Gallant had a throw down in the first period as Gabriel caught Gallant with a right that popped his lid off. The two would end of trading punches before Gabriel was wrestled to the ice.
- In the second Eric Gryba had a monster hit on Nikita Korostelev from behind the net and was soon challenged by Gallant with the two being separated by the linemen. Seems as though this Gallant guy clearly had some issues tonight.
- Ward with his first AHL goal and Saracino scored his first for the Devils as they both have fit in quite well considering the player shortages that have been occurring on this club, otherwise they both would be in the ECHL honing their craft.
- During this streak blocked shots have kept some pucks deflected and seem to be a thing recently.
- Cormier has been in net for all four victories as he improved to 4-1-0-1 but his stats took a dip at 2.09 GAA, 0.933 SV%. This was his third game in four days so some fatigue seemed to be a factor in the third period as well as from the players.
- One thing I’ve noticed about Cormier he is incredibility quick on his feet and stays square to the shooter with good positional movement.
#1. Nick Saracino (1g, 1a), #2. Dan DeSalvo (2g), #3. Brian Ward (1g)
The Devils are off until next Wednesday when the Hershey Bears make their only appearance of the season in Binghamton.