UTICA – Despite all the injuries and playing with 17 skaters, the Binghamton Devils picked up their second win in a row with a 4-3 road victory over the Utica Comets on Saturday night at Adirondack Bank Center.
In just his second American Hockey League game, Conor Riley put the Devils on the board for a 1-0 lead. Riley, playing defense in the game, moved down the left wall and sent the puck on net and got a deflection by goaltender Thatcher Demko for the lead. The goal came at 16:05 with assists from Michael McLeod and Brandon Baddock.
Just 1:30 later, the Comets tied the game as Tanner Kero punched the puck into a wide-open net for his 10th of the year. Reid Boucher played it towards the net and the deflected went right to an awaiting Kero at 17:35. The game was tied, 1-1, after one period with the Devils holding an 11-9 shot advantage.
John Edwardh scored his first AHL goal in the second period to give the Devils a 2-1 lead over the Comets. Edwardh took a pass down the right wing wall and lifted a backhand over the left shoulder of Demko just 3:32 into the second with assists from Kevin Rooney and Colby Sissons.
Utica came back again to tie the game less than seven minutes later on the power play. After a turnover in the neutral zone by the Devils, Kero fed Boucher for the one timer and he beat Johnson on the glove side for his 16th of the year. Assists on Boucher’s power-play tally were credited to Kero and Zack MacEwen who helped force the turnover.
Late in the scond, the Devils took back the lead, 3-2. Rooney made the play happen as he skated all around the Comets in the offensive zone and finally found Ryan Schmelzer who beat Demko on his own rebound with 3:45 left in the second. Schmelzer’s goal was his fifth of the year from Rooney and Brandon Gignac and the Devils led by one after two frames.
Edwardh scored his second of the night as Demko had trouble playing the puck in the third period. Just 2:25 into the final frame, Demko couldn’t handle the puck and Edwardh tapped it in for his second-career AHL goal and a 4-2 Devils lead.
Another turnover helped the Comets get within one at 14:33 of the third on the power play. Darren Archibald forced a turnover and ripped a shot over Johnson for his tenth of the year to cut the Devils’ lead to 4-3.
Binghamton fought off late power play and an extra attacker for the one-goal victory, 4-3. Johnson collected the win, stopping 28 of 31 and Demko was handed the loss with 21 saves.
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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