WILKES-BARRE, PA – It’s been 334 days since the last time the Binghamton Devils played a game as they started right where they left off with a thrilling 4-3 OT win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Monday at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Danick Martel, Ryan Schmelzer, and Nolan Foote each contributed a goal and an assist, while Reilly Walsh scored the game-winner in overtime for his first professional goal. Defenseman Michael Vukojevic also added two assists in his pro debut.
Down 3-1 entering the third, the BDevils put the pedal to the metal and tied it as they peppered goaltender Emil Larmi with 15 shots compared to just four for the Pens. This was a make-up game with the postponement over the weekend due to Covid-19 last Saturday.
Evan Cormier was in net for Binghamton and finished with 20 saves on 23 shots, although there were two he most likely wished he had back however, he wasn’t challenged much, except the lone period in the second.
Jordy Bellerive scored the only goal in the opening 20 minutes as Cormier made a shoulder save but, the puck came back and bounced off of Brandon Gignac’s skate and in. In the second, the Devils tied it with a similar play when Colton White’s shot deflected in off of Nolan Foote for his first goal in his pro debut.
Penguins would jump to a two-goal lead as Josh Currie’s floater from near the top of the circle found its way past Cormier, as he misplayed the velocity of the shot. It was then the Devils would get sloppy towards the end of the period. With a delayed penalty call against Wilkes-Barre, Cormier was off to the bench in favor of an extra player, but the puck slithered into an empty net as Justin Almeida was credited for the goal.
In the third, the ice was tilted in favor of the Devils as Michael Vukojevic started a crisp tic-tac-toe type of sequence with a slap pass to Tyler Irvine, who then found Martel by the side of the cage for the easy tap-in. A little over five minutes later, the game was tied, as Binghamton was buzzing. Martel rang one off the iron, but Schmelzer was there for the rebound as momentum would carry over going into overtime.
Another eye-catching play by the BDevils as Foote skated up the ice and passed the puck to Schmelzer along the wall. With his backhanded pass to Walsh, who was all alone in the slot as his wrister landed top-shelf, past Larmi for the game-winner as players gathered around to celebrate their first victory in 334 days.
Shots ended up 34-23 Binghamton.
Line-Up, Game #1
Seney – Street – Foote, Gignac – St. Denis – Zetterlund, Studenic – Darcy – Schnarr, Martel – Schmelzer – Irvine
White/Groleau, Okhotiuk/Jacobs, Vukojevic/Walsh
Cormier – Brodeur
Scratches: Sissons, Rivera, Koules, Quenneville, Clarke & Thomson
More From The Game
- Transactions: Ben Thompson is currently on a PTO and the addition of Graeme Clarke who was signed to an AHL deal earlier on Monday.
- Making their pro debuts were Vukojevic, Foote, Irvine, Okhotiuk & Walsh. Thomson, Clarke & Koules are on the quarantine list.
- That fourth line of Martel – Schmelzer – Irvine was terrific as they lead the comeback alongside Vukojevic. Another standout was Nikita Okhotiuk with several big hits, including one early in the second on Pens’ Captain Josh Currie near center ice. Fabian Zetterlund also was noticeable, while Captain Ben Street led the team with five shots and Josh Jacobs doing what he always has, being that reliable veteran at the tender age of 24.
- Coach MD in typical fashion has this group playing hard and not quitting as he has the pulse of the locker room. With so many new faces it’s an impressive start to the shortened season.
- BDevils next up on Wednesday when they take on Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Your Three Stars
#1. Walsh (1g) , #2. Martel (1g, 1a), #3. Lee (2a)