Binghamton, NY - It took just 1:16 into the opening period to set the tone for the rest of the night as Binghamton defeated the Cleveland Monsters 5-2 on Friday.
Egor Sharangovich received a short pass from Nathan Bastian in the neutral zone before he turned on the afterburners in peeling away from any others to record his third tally of the season. Monsters’ netminder Veini Vehvilainen was helpless in net as the defense was stuck in the mud.
And so it would go as the game progressed with the BDevils winning their sixth in a row in the first of four meetings between the two North Division foes.
Binghamton (15-17-4-0) has been on a roll ever since some alterations that have not only been reached in the line-up but has included the locker room. Cleveland (17-16-1-2) is now three points in front of the BDevils with an identical number of games played, 36.
Devils continued to dominate the first period and opened up a two-goal lead after rookie Nate Schnarr fed a cross-ice pass to Brandon Gignac for a one-timer and more importantly, a two-goal lead.
Defenseman Josh Jacobs capped off the scoring in the first 20 minutes after regaining control of the puck within the slot area as his backhander was good off the rebound for his third of the season.
In the middle frame, each team would exchange goals with the first by the Devils as they opened up a four to nothing lead. Chris Conner found Mikhail Maltsev by the corner of the cage for his fourth of the year.
Cleveland was able to finally beat goaltender Cory Schneider, who had a fine outing finishing with 29 saves. Forward Calvin Thurkauf pounced on a loose puck that was sent wide of Schneider that made it a 4-1 contest.
Gignac would score his second after a hard wrister from the circle in the final period as he eventually earned 1st Star Honors with his efforts on Friday. Sam Vigneault would add to the Monsters’ final score off a deflection in front.
The two teams meet again on Wednesday in Binghamton as bad blood was evident during the final 40 minutes of play with a Cleveland club frustrated on the way things ended up. Cannot wait. Bring it Cleveland after a certain veteran player shouted that the rematch would be different in kicking one’s butt.
Line-Up, Game #36
Seney - Sharangovich - Merkley, Conner - Maltsev - Anderson, Baddock - McLeod - Bastian, Gignac - Schnarr - Zetterlund
White/Tennyson, Mermis/Jacobs, Melchiori/Groleau
Schneider - Senn
Scratches: Paliotta, Cumiskey, Schmelzer, Larsson, Studenic & Cormier
Post Game Notes
- Goaltender Evan Cormier was called up from Adirondack as one of the three netminders in Binghamton is on notice for a replacement for MacKenzie Blackwood, who appears to be out while recouping from missing some teeth in a recent game. Also, Ludvig Larsson was on recall from the Thunder.
- Schneider was in beast mode as he looks to be finally returning to his former self in capturing 3rd Star Honors with his 29 overall saves. It has been a long haul in his return from injury.
- Two points recorded each by Devils’ forwards Joey Anderson (2a), Fabian Zetterlund (2a), Chris Conner (2a), Nathan Bastian (2a), & Brandon Gignac (2g) in the win over the Monsters.
- After some recent adjustments in the locker room, this club looks to be coming together. It has taken some time, but the results don’t lie, along with the actions on the ice. What we are seeing is players sticking up for one another that was blatantly missing.
- Both Brandon Baddock and Nate Bastian were on a mission in getting under the skin of several Cleveland players throughout the game. It was entertaining, to say the least.
- Both clubs have a rematch set for this coming Wednesday in Binghamton which will be featured on local television. There was a lot of bad blood slung along with several melees that popped up in the third period that should be quite the event to take in.
Your Three Stars
#1. Brandon Gignac (2g), #2. Chris Conner (2a), #3. Cory Schneider (29 saves)