BINGHAMTON – The Binghamton Devils were unable to keep two separate leads in a 5-3 loss to the Utica Comets at the Adirondack Bank Center on Friday night.
Eric Gryba scored his second goal of the season just 21 seconds into the game for a 1-0 lead. The puck moved up the right wing wall and Gryba let a blast go from the right point that sailed over the shoulder of goaltender Ivan Kulbakov. Gryba’s goal was unassisted for the early one-goal lead.
Kole Lind tied the game up at exactly 12:00 of the first frame. Lind took the puck as the Devils tried to break out of the defensive zone and beat goaltender Cam Johnson. The goal was Lind’s second of the year, unassisted, to even the score.
The Devils moved out to another one-goal lead late in the first to complete a great shift by Eric Tangradi, Michael McLeod, and Nathan Bastian. After taking a great pass from McLeod, Colton White took a low shot and Bastian beat Kulbakov on the rebound. The goal was Bastian’s 10th of the year with helpers from White and McLeod with 3:14 remaining.
With just 2:02 left in the first, Evan McEneny’s shot just squeaked over the line for his fifth of the year. Assists on McEneny’s goal were credited to Reid Boucher and Adam Gaudette and the game was tied at two after one period.
In the second period, the Comets scored late to take their first lead of the night. Zack MacEwan sent a pass to the front of the net and Brendan Gaunce buried his 13th of the year to give the Comets a 3-2 lead heading to the third period.
In the final period, Brendan Woods and Carter Bancks scored in the span of 2:26 to give the Comets a 5-2 lead. Woods put in his second of the year at 2:20 and Bancks added another at 4:26 to give Utica a three-goal advantage.
Nick Saracino got one back for the Devils with a great wrist shot from the hash marks. Saracino beat Kulbakov at 7:03 of the third with assists from Brandon Baddock and Josh Jacobs and the Devils deficit was two. The Comets held on for the 5-3 win as Johnson was credited with the loss, stopping 26 of 31 shots he faced.
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