BINGHAMTON – The Binghamton Devils were unable to come back and tie the game late in an eventual 7-4 loss to the visiting Utica Comets on Saturday night at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
Reid Boucher scored his team-leading 12th goal of the year to give the Comets a 1-0 lead just 0:17 into the game. Blake Pietila turned the puck over at the blue line and Tanner Kero fed Boucher for the early tally.
The power play came through for the Comets to take a 2-0 lead 3:15 into the game off the stick of Jonathan Dahlen. From the left side, Dahlen beat Blackwood for his seventh of the season with assists from Zack MacEwen and Boucher for the two-goal advantage.
After the teddy bear toss goal was waived off, John Quenneville put one in that counted and got the Devils on the board. Quenneville spun and sent a shot on the ice under the pads of goaltender Richard Bachman at 4:50 of the opening period. The goal was Quenneville’s seventh of the year with assists from Colton White and John Ramage.
Ashton Sautner and Darren Archibald scored in the first to give the Comets a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. Sautner’s shot from the top of the left wing circle beat Blackwood and Archibald took a poke check from Blackwood and lifted it over his right shoulder on a delayed penalty call.
After facing several penalties in the second period, the Devils began to claw their way back into the game. Michael McLeod located a rebound after Josh Jacobs was stopped and put home his fourth of the year 6:16 into the second with assists from Nathan Bastian and Jacobs to trail 4-2.
With Eric Gryba off on a ten minute misconduct, Jamie Sifers gave the Comets their second three-goal lead of the night on a shot from the point that found a way by Blackwood for a 5-2 lead, unassisted, at 13:56.
The Devils finally cashed in on a power-play chance with only 1:53 left in the second frame. McLeod fed Bastian going hard to the net and he deflected the puck by Bachman for his seventh of the year and the Devils trailed by two, 5-3. Assists were given to McLeod and Brandon Gignac.
Just 3:29 into the third period, White fired a slap slot off the inside of the post and in for his fourth of the season assisted by Quenneville and Blake Pietila. The power-play goal by White brought the Devils back within a goal of the Comets, 5-4.
MacMaster moved the Comets back out to a two-goal lead after he lifted the stick of Gryba in front of the net and spun a shot through the pads of Blackwood for a 6-4 lead with 8:32 left in the game. MacEwen added an empty-net goal for a 7-4 win.
After three games on the road tomorrow, Wednesday, and Friday, the Devils are back home next Saturday to host the Belleville Senators at 7:05 p.m.
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