Hockey became fun again, at least for one night.
Behind a pair of goals by defenseman John Ramage, Binghamton put an end to the longest losing streak in their brief history as they cruised to a 5-1 win on Wednesday at Place Bell. John Quenneville also had a two-point night (2a) as well as Brandon Gignac (1g, 1a) while a 21 save effort from goaltender Cam Johnson help secured the victory for the BDevils.
Laval, (28-28-6-6) desperately looking for two points entering the night six points out of a final playoff position, lost their composure largely focused on Ramage throughout parts of the contest. It was a difficult loss for the Rocket as they were 3-0-0-2 in their last five.
In the opening period, Ramage laid out what apparently looked like a clean shoulder hit to rookie forward Lukas Vejdemo but his head kissed the glass along the wall during the process. The Rocket would then seek revenge soon after as Alex Belzile jumped Ramage at center ice negating a Laval powerplay at the time.
Binghamton (25-37-6-0) continued their aggressive ways after the first period and exploded for three goals on 12 shots in the second. Laval netminder Connor LaCouvee couldn’t contain the offensive onslaught that the Devils so rarely has shown during the losing skid. Blake Pietila whipped one in off the post by the faceoff win outside the circle followed by a one-timer off a pass from Gignac that eluded LaCouvee. Nick Lappin then made it 3-0 with a rebound push off the stick of JQ for a powerplay tally for his 18th of the season.
Daniel Audette scored his 14th on a Laval powerplay that shrunk the Devils lead to two, but Binghamton was determined to put an end to this current losing streak rallying for two more in the final 20 minutes.
Ramage was able to push the puck past LaCouvee on a power move towards the net that regained the three-goal lead held by the Devils. Gignac added an insurance goal on a breakaway clearly beating the Rocket tender up high for his 11th, unassisted. Laval was outshot 26-22 and are now eight points out for that final playoff spot.
BDevils played spoilers tonight and it was fun to watch, at least for a night.
Line-Up, Game #68
Forwards: Quenneville - Pietila - Schmelzer, Tangradi - Seney - Lappin, Gignac - Sharangovich - Popugaev, Baddock - Sorkin - Saracino
Defensemen: White/Ramage, Jacobs/Gryba, Hammond/Murphy
In Goal: Cam Johnson, Evan Cormier
Scratches: Brian Strait, Eddie Lack, Blake Speers, Alex Krushelnyski, Brian Walker and Marian Studenic
Post Game Notes
- Binghamton last win took place on Feb 23rd on a 4-1 result against Utica with Johnson in net. With all the injuries that occurred for the big club, a lot was missing parts with many PTO’s that were temporary fixes.
- Vejdemo would not return after the first period hit as he was helped off the ice in somewhat of a concussion. I think the Laval players over re-acted as the hit was clean.
- I thought Ryan Schmelzer made an impact as he was all over the ice involved in some ways while fulfilling his role on the top line and killing off penalties.
- Ramage was involved in all facets as he was at the center of attention for whatever reasons. I’ll give him credit as responded without retaliation, but two goals including the game winner and #1 Star.
- Johnson was great coming up with some key saves when called upon.
- This Nick Sorkin guy is really good at faceoffs. Seems like a player for the future if the organization signs him long term.
- Eight games remain on the docket with half on home ice as the team is coming off a six-game road trip. This was the first of three in four nights with the next two on home ice.
#1. John Ramage (2g), #2. John Quenneville (2a), #3. Brandon Gignac (1g, 1a)
The Devils play two this weekend both on home ice with the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday and on Saturday the Rochester Amerks.