BINGHAMTON – Nathan Bastian scored the game-winning goal in the third period and Evan Cormier made 40 saves as the Binghamton Devils won their eighth game in a row with a 5-2 victory over visiting Cleveland on Wednesday night inside Floyd L Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
Cleveland got on the board 8:41 into the game after a turnover by the Devils below the goal line. Sam Vigneault took the puck and shot towards the net from an off angle and beat goaltender Evan Cormier for the 1-0 lead. The goal was Vigneault’s ninth of the year from Calvin Thurkauf and Dillon Simpson.
The Devils were quick to answer, grabbing the tying goal with 8:11 remaining in the first frame. Julian Melchiori passed the puck over to Brett Seney out in front of the blue line. Seney grabbed his 14th of the season as he sent a line drive that bounced around in the back of the net behind Matiss Kivlenieks to even the score, 1-1. Melchiori logged his fifth assist on the play and Nick Merkley registered the secondary assist.
A Binghamton turnover resulted in a 2-1 Monsters lead early in the second. Trey Fix-Wolansky tried sneaking the puck in the side of the net from behind, but it resulted in a Cormier deflection that landed on the stick of Brett Gallant. Sinking the rebound just under the crossbar was Gallant, just 3:37 into the stanza for Cleveland. Fix-Wolansky recorded the only assist on the play.
After several blocked shots, the Devils finally got one through and tied the game at two with 9:27 remaining in the middle frame. Seney sent the puck over from the right side to Joey Anderson who poked it past the pads of Kivlenieks. Seney and Merkley were credited with the assists to tie the game, 2-2.
In the final period, Nathan Bastian gave the Devils the lead on a tip from just above the crease. Dakota Mermis sent a shot to the net that Bastian tipped by Kivlenieks for the eventual game-winning goal at 5:38 of the final frame. Mermis and Josh Jacobs were given assists on Bastian’s sixth of the year.
With the net empty, Anderson and Bastian each scored empty-net goals for a 5-2 win over the Monsters. Cormier earned first star honors with 40 saves.
The Devils are back home Saturday as they host the Syracuse Crunch in a rematch at 7:05 p.m. Fans can arrive and enjoy Happy Hour specials and LIVE music from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the concourse between Section 19 and 20. Also, take advantage of $5 24-ounce Labatt draft beer!. Tickets are available by calling or texting “TICKETS” to 607-722-7367.
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