BINGHAMTON, NY – It was the second sellout crowd of 4,897 in a row at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night for the Binghamton Devils, but the visiting Lehigh Valley Phantoms held on for a 4-3 victory.
After the Phantoms came out flying, Binghamton’s Blake Pietila caught a bounce and put the Devils on the board for a 1-0 lead. Defenseman Viktor Loov played the puck from center ice and it deflected off the boards as goaltender Alex Lyon tried to play it behind his net. Pietila scooped up the puck and beat the diving Lyon who couldn’t get back in time. The goal wa Pietila’s second of the year with assists from Loov and Bracken Kearns at 7:45.
Lehigh Valley responded at the 14:36 mark of the first period courtesy of Corban Knight. From behind the net, Oskar Lindblom sent a pass to Knight who cut to his left and lifted the puck over the right leg pad of goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood to even the score, 1-1.
Mark Alt put the Phantoms up by one later in the first frame. Phil Varone hit Alt with a pass at the top of the circles and the defenseman sent a wrister through traffic and by Blackwood for his first of the year at 16:17. Alt’s goal was assisted by Varone and Greg Carey.
Binghamton answered back on the power play late in the period as Bracken Kearns scored his first goal of the season in front of the net. John Quenneville fed the puck to the net behind Lyon and a crowd went to the net to find it. Kearns got the final touch on it to even the score at two with 2:57 left in the first with Quenneville and Jacob MacDonald collecting assists.
With just four seconds left in the first period, Samuel Morin ripped a one timer from a pass by Radel Fazleev by Blackwood’s glove to put Lehigh Valley back out to a one-goal lead, 3-2. Morin’s tally was assisted by Fazleev and Mikhail Vorobyev and the Devils trailed heading into the first intermission. Shots favored Lehigh Valley after twenty minutes, 22-9.
After no scoring in the second period, Nicolas Aube-Kubel put the Phantoms up by a pair of goals with his third goal of the season at 10:55. Aube-Kubel’s shot went off the post and cross bar before dropping into the net. Assists were given to Mike Vecchione and Morin and the Devils trailed 4-2 late in the game.
The Devils came back late in the game to pull within one as Brandon Gignac picked up his first professional goal on a great rushing play. Austin Cangelosi took a feed from Josh Jacobs and slipped the puck to Gignac who beat Lyon on the glove side to pull the Devils to a 4-3 deficit.
In the end with the net empy, Binghamton came close but could not convert and the Phantoms came away with the victory. Blackwood stopped 33 in the loss and Lyon put aside 28 in the victory.
The Binghamton Devils return home Friday against the Providence Bruins at 7:05 p.m. Kid’s 12 and under can get a FREE ticket to the game and trick-or-treat on the concourse. Call the Devils’ front office at 607-733-7367 for more information.
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