Binghamton, NY - Binghamton Devils would score two goals in the final period but their comeback would fall short in a 4-3 loss to the Utica Comets in the season opener on Saturday at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
The BDevils grabbed the lead 13:34 in the opening period as Mikhail Maltsev fed a quick cross-ice pass to Nathan Bastian and buried it past netminder Zane McIntyre (19 saves) for the only goal in the period.
But Utica roared back with four unanswered goals in the second as they dominated play and at one point held a 24-8 shot advantage as Binghamton got caught flat-footed.
Two quick goals 53 seconds apart by Carter Camper and Reid Boucher set the stage as Devils’ starter Evan Cormier (32 saves) couldn’t stop the bleeding. After Justin Bailey made it 3-1 with another going in through Cormier’s five-hole, a timeout was called by head coach Mark Dennehy.
However, the Comets kept the pressure on and it paid off as Guillaume Brisebois scored on a wicked snipe from the slot that landed top-shelf past Cormier’s right shoulder.
In the final period, Binghamton cut the three-goal deficit back to two as Michael McLeod found Josh Jacobs down low for a tap-in midway through. Then with Cormier pulled for the extra attacker with 2:30 left on the clock, Joey Anderson pushed the puck through a goalmouth scramble that gave the team life, including the home crowd.
BDevils continued to apply heat on the Comets but the clock ran out as the final buzzer sounded that would end what could’ve been a miraculous finish. Overall shots were in favor of Utica by a healthy margin, 36-22.
Line-Up, Game #1
Conner - Street - Anderson, Sharangovich - McLeod - Bastian, Seney - Maltsev - Studenic, Baddock - Schmelzer - Speers
White/Tennyson, Mermis/Jacobs, Melchiori/Paliotta
Cormier - Senn
Scratches: Zetterlund, Larsson, Gignac, Groleau
Post Game Notes
- Cormier was good as he stopped three breakaways, but let several in by the way of his 5-hole. With the first game of the season out of the way, he needs to tighten up things a bit. Also, Cormier goes down to his knees quite a bit which opens up the top half of the net and Utica players adapted by shooting high on scoring opportunities.
- Utica played a dirty game and took full advantage of muscling their way around the rink all night long. There is no enforcer type of player for Binghamton and they could have used the likes of Michael Sdao in the line-up. I’m not saying Sdao is an everyday player, but the crap that went on would’ve been handled differently instead of prospects that were given cheap shots by several Utica players.
- Referees with some terrible calls that got the hometown fans restless as the game wore on. They did, however, make the right one disallowing a Comet goal after a review that showed the puck was kicked in during the first period.
- A decent first 20 minutes followed by a terrible next 20, but BDevils had a spark in the final half of the third. They need to perform for a full 60 minutes to have any type of success this season.
- I thought Matt Tennyson looked good but Colton White and Josh Jacobs did not. Matter of fact, it was a bad night for a lot of players.
Your Three Stars
#1. Reid Boucher (1g, 1a), #2. Kole Lind (3a), #3. Nathan Bastian (1g)
Up next, the first of four consecutive road games for the BDevils as they travel north of the border to take on the Belleville Senators on Friday, Oct 11th and again on Saturday the 12th.