BINGHAMTON – Brandon Gignac scored a hat trick and the Binghamton Devils exploded for four goals in the third period to complete a comeback win over the Providence Bruins, 6-3, in front of 3,637 fans at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday night.
It took the Bruins just 16 seconds to open the scoring to take a 1-0 lead. Anders Bjork sent a pass to the front that Ryan Fitzgerald put off the post. Defenseman Connor Clifton jumped in and sent the rebound by goaltender Cam Johnson for the lead on his second of the season.
With Ryan Schemzler in the box for the second time of the period, Providence moved out to a 2-0 lead on another rebound goal. Gemel Smith cleaned up to Johnson’s left for his first of the year at 18:26 with assists from Mark McNeill and Peter Cehlarik.
The Devils responded with a power-play goal of their own to get within one late in the first. Gabdon Gignac skated into the left wing circle and fired a wrist shot through a screen and beat netminder Zane McIntyre for his third of the year. Assists were credited to Michael McLeod and Colton White and the Devils trailed, 2-1, after one period.
Devils’ captain Kevin Rooney tied the game on his first goal of the season, on the power play. McLeod played a great puck through traffic to Rooney who deflected it over the left shoulder of McIntyre at 8:33. Assists on Rooney’s first of the year were given to McLeod on the pass and Gignac.
Providence forced a few turnovers in the Devils defensive zone and Anton Blidh converted to get the lead back for the Bruins. After getting the puck, Blidh snapped home his sixth of the year, unassisted, at 18:08 and the Devils trailed by one to start the third.
The Devils exploded in the third period and it all started with Ryan Schmelzer’s shorthanded goal. Rooney forced a turnover in the offensive zone and fed Schmelzer who beat McIntyre on the short side to tie the game, 3-3. The goal came 7:41 into the third and was Schmelzer’s fourth of the year.
Gignac’s second goal of the game put the Devils up for the first time of the night at 11:47 of the third. With the team’s skating four-on-four, Eric Gryba tapped a pass to Gignac at the blue line and he skated to the top of the circle and snapped a shot by the blocker of McIntyre for the one-goal lead. Assists were given to Gryba and White.
Just 26 seconds after Gignac’s goal, Josh Jacobs skated down the right wing side wristed home his third of the year with assists from Tariq Hammond and McLeod. The assist was McLeod’s third helper of the night and Binghamton took a 5-3 lead.
With the Bruins’ net empty, Gignac sent the puck all the way down the ice and into the net for the hat trick and sealed the 6-3 victory. Johnson picked up the win, stopping 29 of 32 shots he faced including three key two man advantages for Providence in the game.
The Devils return home the Day after Christmas, December 26, as they host the rival Syracuse Crunch at 7:05 p.m. Join the Devils for Re-Gifting Night, where you can bring your unwanted clothing gifts from Christmas and get a discount ticket with the items going to Salvation Army.
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