Binghamton, NY - It took a full period before Syracuse found their legs, but it was Binghamton doing the early gift-giving to kick off the holiday season.
After the BDevils tied it late in the third, the two I-81 rivals skated into OT before an unfortunate bounce off the skate of Brett Seney that was the deciding factor in a 4-3 loss to the Crunch on Saturday.
Syracuse (11-8-2-0) peppered Devils’ goaltender Gilles Senn with 35 shots in the final two periods as Binghamton (7-11-4-0) suffered their fourth straight loss and fifth in their last six games.
After both clubs went through the motions in the opening twenty minutes with neither team scoring, Alex Barre-Boulet kicked off the second with his eighth just eight seconds in with a wrister from the slot. Devils would tie it after defenseman Dakota Mermis scored his first of the season on a slapper from the point that nicked the crossbar and in past netminder Spencer Martin.
But before the period would end, Syracuse regained the lead as Danick Martel scored on a breakaway on a nice deke as the Crunch were buzzing and in control.
In the third, it was once again a tie contest when another Devils’ defenseman scored his first of the season. Fabian Zetterlund loosely gave up the puck to Julian Melchiori in the slot and sent one past Martin at 3:18. However, the Crunch went ahead 3-2 on another breakaway goal, this time by Cory Conacher as he roofed one in close past Senn.
With time running down and Senn pulled for the extra man, Binghamton tied it for the third time in the see-saw battle.
Ryan Schmelzer drove the net as the puck bounced over to Joey Anderson in the circle as he buried it for his sixth goal with less than a minute left in regulation.
After the BDevils controlled play for the majority of the extra five-minute session, they couldn’t lock it down. Barre-Boulet skated towards the crease before losing it on some nice defensive work, as the puck caromed somewhat nervously off of Senn to Seney’s skate and into the net it went. Barre-Boulet was credited for the fluke goal, his second of the night giving Syracuse the win.
Shots ended up in favor of the Crunch 42-29.
Line-Up, Game #22
Seney - Street - Anderson, Conner - McLeod - Bastian, Baddock - Schmelzer - Zetterlund, Gignac - Maltsev - Studenic
Melchiori/Paliotta, Mermis/Jacobs, White/Morrow
Senn - Schneider
Scratches: Speers, Cumisky, Sharangovich, Larsson, Snuggerud, Groleau & Cormier
Post Game Notes
- Gilles Senn was solid in his first start in 10 days. Used his big body and showed his agility while focusing a quick glove. This kid is the real deal people have been clamoring about.
- Mermis and Melchiori each cashed in on their first goals of the season. That now leaves Luc Snuggerud, Michael Paliotta, Colton White and Jeremy Groleau as the other defensemen without a goal.
- To perhaps shake things up by the coaching staff, Chris Conner found himself with Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian at the start of the night, but midway through the first period he returned to the third line as Brandon Baddock was re-inserted with McLeod/Bastian. This line-up is so top heavy there has to be a way to balance it out.
- Speaking of Bastian, he blocked three shots in a series of less than 30 seconds late in the third, as the fans gave him a rousing cheer of approval with him slowly making his way to the bench.
- GM Tom Fitzgerald was not in attendance in this one after his appearance for Friday’s embarrassing loss to the Belleville Senators.
Your Three Stars
#1. Alex Barre-Boulet (2g), #2. Gilles Senn (38 saves), #3. Spencer Martin (26 saves)