BINGHAMTON, NY - This one would go the distance and was settled at the wire as time expired before sending it to OT. However, the Devils would skate away with two very important points as Binghamton defeated the Toronto Marlies 5-4 on Saturday afternoon. Gilles Senn with back-to-back appearances, finished with 24 saves although it was a rocky one for the 23-year-old rookie, soon to be 24 on Sunday.
Binghamton (29-24-4-0) exchanged blows with Toronto (27-24-3-2) throughout the day in front of another large crowd as the two clubs fought their way with a tied game four times, and almost a fifth time around before the final buzzer sounded. It was the second victory of the weekend with one more to go on Sunday in Bridgeport.
Both teams exchanged goals in the first period with Pontus Aberg’s wrister from the blue line that beat Senn through traffic just 1:37 in and the Devils tied it with Mikhail Maltsev’s 10th of the season on a roof shot past Parker Gahagen, who was making his Marlies debut.
In the middle frame, Nathan Bastian slapped home the rebound off of Ben Street’s shot attempt for a shorthanded tally, but Toronto answered when Aberg scored his second on a deflection off a wrister from Kevin Gravel. Janne Kuokkanen gave Binghamton back the lead 3-2 with his first as a Devil after Chris Conner found him in front for the easy tap-in. The Marlies again tied it as Riley Woods wrist shot from the hash marks beats Senn down low, glove side.
Street then scored the go-ahead goal early in the third after taking a touch pass by Brett Seney on the PP, but shortly after Kevin Gravel’s blast from the blue line sailed past Senn. BDevils would take the lead 5-4 inside of five minutes left in the final period as Conner was able to squeeze the puck past Gahagen off the far post, but the game wasn’t finished yet.
Joseph Duszak took a purpose shot off the end wall that bounced to Matt Lorito, planted at the side of the cage. With Senn not being able to transfer in time, it appeared as though Toronto had pulled off the impossible. The referee signal was a good goal even though the green light was displayed beforehand. After a short review, the call on the ice was reversed as time had expired.
Shots ended up in favor of Binghamton, 31-28.
Line-Up, Game #57
Seney - Street - Merkley, Conner - Maltsev - Zetterlund, Koukkanen - Sharangovich - Studenic, Baddock - Schmelzer - Bastian
White/Tennyson, Cumiskey/Quenneville, Melchiori/Groleau
Senn - McIntyre
Scratches: Paliotta, Schnarr, Gignac & Summers
Post Game Notes
**PLAYOFF WATCH** - Binghamton (62 pts) is in 5th place 3 points behind 4th place Syracuse (65 pts) with 2 games in hand and percentage points ahead of 6th place Laval (62 pts), also with 2 games in hand in the North Division.
- Transactions include defenseman Josh Jacobs, who remains on recall for the big club as well as forward Jesper Boqvist it was announced before the start of today’s contest. Defensemen Colby Sissons was sent to Adirondack, and Kelly Summers was recalled from the Thunder.
- Kuokkanen registered an assist in Friday night’s 5-3 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack, his first point in his BDevils’ debut. On Saturday, he scored his first goal in the second period.
- Officials ruled out that potential devastating desperation attempt by Toronto as time expired once the puck hit the end wall before bouncing off to the front. Marlies also got away with one, as 7 players were on the ice for the majority of the final 30 seconds of play.
- Toronto scratches included 10 players compared to only 4 for the Devils.
- David Quenneville is quite the find, as he has fit in quite nicely within the group. He’s a good puck possessor with some offensive upside and plays a physical game for a small defenseman.
- Not thrilled with Senn starting in net after his game on Friday, but newcomer Zane McIntyre should make his debut on Sunday in Bridgeport, as Binghamton goes for the weekend sweep.
Your Three Stars
#1. Chris Conner (1g, 2a), #2. Pontus Aberg (2g), #3. Ben Street (1g, 1a)