LAVAL, QUE. – Scott Wedgewood made 36 saves and Nick Lappin recorded a hat trick as the Binghamton Devils took three of four points with a 5-1 victory over the Laval Rocket on Saturday afternoon inside Place Bell.
Nick Lappin put the Devils up early in the first period on the power play. Joe Blandisi and John Quenneville put together great passing that led to a shot on goal that was stopped by Charlie Lindgren. The rebound went to the top of the crease where Lappin got the final touch for his first of the year. The goal by Lappin was his first of the year and came 5:37 into the game with assists from Quenneville and Blandisi.
Laval responded late in the opening period on a wrist shot by Nikita Scherbak that beat Scott Wedgewood. Scherbak moved down the left wing side of the ice and left a shot go that sailed over the left shoulder of Wedgewood and just under the cross bar to tie the game. The goal was Scherbak’s first of the year with assists from Matt Taormina and Chris Terry at the 14:14 mark. The two sides went into the first intermission tied at one goal apiece with the Rocket leading in shots, 16-4.
In the second period, Brian Strait put Binghamton up 2-1 just 38 seconds after the puck dropped. Strait slid down from the left point and lifted a backhand shot over the right leg pad of Lindgren for the one-goal lead. The tally was Strait’s first of the year with assists from Josh Jacobs and Lappin.
Tim Kennedy set up Binghamton’s third goal of the game and second of the period with a great pass from below the goal line to Nathan Bastian. Viktor Loov held the puck inside the zone on the right side of the ice and fed Kennedy below the goal line. Kennedy hit Bastian with a pass in the hash marks and the rookie beat Lindgren over the shoulder for a 3-1 lead at 9:50 of the second. Kennedy and Loov collected the assists and Binghamton led 3-1 after 40 minutes despite being outshot 30-9.
Nick Lappin put the Devils up by three goals with his second goal of the night in the third period. Jacobs sent a shot from the right point purposely off the end wall where Lappin picked it up and wrapped the puck around the post and under the pads of Lindgren. The goal was Lappin’s second of the night and third point of the game for a 4-1 Devils’ lead 5:02 into the third.
Lappin added an empty-net goal for the hat trick late in regulation and secured Binghamton’s 5-1 victory. Wedgewood earned first star honors stopping 36 of 37 shots for the win while Lindgren denied 12 of 16 in the loss.