HERSHEY, PA - Evan Cormier was busy in net making 48 saves on 51 shots as the Hershey Bears defeated the Binghamton Devils 3-2 in overtime on Sunday at Giant Center as the two clubs split the weekend series. Binghamton (3-5-3-1) earned three points out of a possible four over Hershey (8-4-2-0) in a rematch following Friday night’s win by the BDevils in Newark.
This was Cormiers' best performance in some time as the Bears simply are a difficult opponent in their own barn, but the Devils hung in there and nearly pulled it off. The winning goal in OT came with no time left on the clock, but the green light wasn’t lit to indicate time had expired and for the period to end, and with no video review this season in the AHL, it stood.
However, anytime you give up 51 shots, you have no business of winning for the most part. There are exceptions to the rule and Cormier did his part.
Nolan Foote scored the lone goal in the opening twenty minutes after Jesper Boqvist skated the puck into the zone and around the cage to Foote parked in front for his fourth of the season as he beat netminder Zach Fucale.
Early in the 2nd Hershey would tie it as Garrett Pilon buried the puck off the rebound, but it was short-lived. Very short. Just 10 seconds later Binghamton would regain the lead when Ben Street sent a cross-ice pass to Graeme Clarke by the corner of the crease and scored his fourth goal and fifth point in his last five games.
The score would stand until very late in the third period as the Bears outshot the Devils 23-6 in that middle stanza. But the BDevils made it competitive with a tight-checking third period that was lacking in the previous periods only to come up short.
With Fuclae pulled for the extra attacker, Connor McMichael tied the contest with 0:53.3 remaining in the third as he lifted the puck over a sprawled-out Cormier during a goalmouth scramble that sent the game to overtime.
In the five-minute extra session, both teams would have their scoring opportunities with a shootout looming as time ran out, it would appear. McMichael’s shot from the slot area beat Cormier, glove side for his second of the day as the celebration ensued for Hershey while the Devils skated off the ice with no argument.
LINE-UP, GAME #14
Martel - Street - Clarke, Foote - Boqvist - Zetterlund, Studenic - Schnarr - Irvine, Thomson - Darcy - Koules
Bahl/Carrick - Okhotiuk/Walsh - Vukojevic/Jacob
Cormier - Senn
Brodeur, White, Seney, St. Denis, & Schmelzer
- Hershey had a goal waived off just before they tied it late in the 3rd as a high stick was ruled, and TV replays showed it was a correct call. Again with no goal reviews this season, this one was pretty obvious.
- Nikita Okhotiuk and Eddie Wittchow dropped the gloves after a battle in the corner in the 1st as the two teams were fiesty after their second tilt in three days. The fight was brief with little punches landing as it ended quickly.
- The red hot PP cooled off somewhat as Binghamton was 0/4 that included a 5v3 for a minute in the 2nd. PK went 0/1. I dive deeper into the special teams during the next Bingo Bites slated for Monday morning.
- Clarke has looked good during this scoring streak as he is a really smooth skater and it appears to be a natural goal scorer as he also ran one off the iron on the PP for the second unit.
- Defenseman Conner Carrick looks to be a regular for the BDevils as this is his 4th game since being sent to Binghamton as he battled with Kale Kessy throughout the day getting under his skin. Carrick also had a team-high 5 shots for the Devils.
Garrett Pilon (1g, 2a), Evan Cormier (48 svs), Connor McMichael (2g)
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