Binghamton, NY - It wasn’t the lack of the Devils’ effort on Saturday, but the missed opportunities for Binghamton as the Rochester Americans escaped with a 3-2 victory in front of a capacity crowd. A few posts, a fumbled breakaway, and a lucky goalie named Andrew Hammond to name a few.
Binghamton’s (21-20-4-0) four-game winning streak came to an end and the bottom of the North Division became a bit tighter with the Devils percentage points in 6th place, four points out of a playoff spot with two games on hand. Meanwhile, Rochester (26-13-2-4) extended their win streak to five and are in 2nd place in the North.
The BDevils broke out in front with six seconds left in the first period as Michael McLeod’s tip-in off a wrister by Brandon Gignac sailed by Hammond for his sixth of the season. But a critical penalty would cost them in the second period.
After a too many men call against the Devils, Rochester capitalized as Brett Murray beat Devils’ netminder Cory Schneider during a goalmouth scramble that took a fortunate bounce the Amerks way. Soon after, the Devils regained the lead on a nice individual effort by Marian Studenic in his first game back coming off the IR. But Murray would strike again as he poked the puck off of Schneider’s back from behind the cage that tied it once again.
In the final period, Rochester pulled ahead for the first and only time as Sean Malone scored from the slot on a sharp wrist shot, stick side of Cory for the game-winning goal. Binghamton came close to sending it to OT on several opportunities but came up short.
Overall shots in favor of Binghamton 32-27.
Line-Up, Game #45
Boqvist - Maltsev - Anderson, Seney - Sharangovich - Merkley, Baddock - McLeod - Bastian, Gignac - Schmelzer - Studenic
White/Tennyson, Mermis/Jacobs, Melchiori/Cumiskey
Schneider - Senn
Scratches: Paliotta, Schnarr, Zetterlund, Groleau, Conner
Post Game Notes
- Brandon Baddock was involved in a fight with Tyler Randall sticking up for his linemate McLeod and was tossed around a bit never catching his bearings as he slammed onto the ice headfirst. He didn’t return as he was seen in dress clothes shortly after.
- Mikhail Maltsev just missed on a rebound attempt that would have tied it during the waning minutes.
- Egor Sharangovich was on a shorthanded breakaway late in the 3rd but was denied by Hammond after a weak attempt.
- Nick Merkley hit consecutive posts with Hammond flopping around like a fish out of the water as Sharangovich then missed the net up high over the crossbar.
- The season’s biggest crowd showed up as fans are starting to re-connect with the team and what has transpired over the course of the last 6 weeks. I’ll dive deeper into the turn-around in this week’s Bites column on Wednesday.
- That would conclude the first ever Slap Shot weekend with themed jerseys auctioned off afterward. I hope this becomes an annual thing as the addition of the organ really help sets it off.
Your Three Stars
#1. Brett Murray (2g), #2. Sean Malone (1g, 1a), #3. Michael McLeod (1g)