UTICA, NY – Blake Pietila scored late and Ken Appleby earned first-star honors in net as the Binghamton Devils defeated the Utica Comets, 2-1, on Friday night inside Adirondack Bank Center.
Late in the opening period, Nathan Bastian put the Devils up 1-0 with his third goal of the year. Austin Cangelosi played the puck off the right wall down the ice and Bastian went right around the defenseman to pick up the puck at the bottom of the right wing circle. Bastian sent a low shot on net that snuck through the left side of goaltender Thatcher Demko for the lead. Cangelosi and Jacob MacDonald were awarded the assists and Binghamton held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play while also outshooting the Comets, 6-5.
With under a minute to go in the second period, Cangelosi was denied on a shorthanded breakaway by Demko to keep the Comets’ deficit at one goal. After two periods, the Devils were outshooting the Comets, 16-10.
Binghamton added to the lead late in regulation as Blake Pietila slammed home a rebound for his third of the year with exactly four minutes to go. Assists were credited to Yaroslav Dyblenko and MacDonald for his second point of the night. Following the goal, the Comets pulled Demko with 2:45 left in the game for the extra-attacker.
The Comets pulled within a goal with the net empty as Evan McEneny sent a shot on net from the right point that found a way through traffic and by goaltender Ken Appleby to decrease the Devils’ lead back to one goal with 1:22 left in the game. Right after the goal, Bracken Kearns took a penalty to put the Comets up two skaters and a chance to tie the game.
After a late push, the Devils penalty kill held the Comets off the board to secure a 2-1 victory. Appleby earned first-star honors tonight as he stopped 25 of 26 in the win while Demko denied 18 of 20 for the loss.
The Binghamton Devils return home tomorrow against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:05 p.m. Call the Devils’ front office at 607-733-7367 for more information.
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