Albany Devils Captain Rod Pelley was the lone goal scorer making his first attempt of the season a success in the shootout beating Scott Greenham down low to earn the extra point and the 3-2 win over the Binghamton Senators. Sens gave it their best but ran short in the end as they completed their three games in two and a half days earning five out of six possible points to increase their division lead to two over the idle W/B-Scranton Penguins while still having a game in hand. The magic number is now down to nine including the tie breaker point.
Early pressure by Albany in the first period as Senators are somewhat flat-footed. A Patrick Mullen giveaway to Reid Boucher and shoots in on Greenham but is denied by the rookie netminder as he is tested early and often. Derek Grant starts a two on one rush and shoots in but Scott Wedgewood is there getting a glove on it. Devils continue to push however Binghamton would light up the lamp first by a goal from Matt Puempel, his 26th of the season. Shane Prince took advantage of a Devil turnover by Brandon Burlon and made a quick work finding Puempel all alone in Wedgewood’s door mat and snapped it into the twine. Greenham then stops the rubber with his mask on Joe Whitney‘s wrist shot as Jacob Culek sends Mike Sislo sailing into the boards and promptly gets a boarding call, which looked like a legal check to this guy. Sens defense tight and clogs the lanes to kill it off as Greenham makes a great leg save on Whitney to end the period. Not a very eventful first with ample amount of icing and off-side’s being whistled.
Jean-Gabriel Pagaeu and Buddy Robinson go on an odd man rush but Robinson can’t handle the hot potato pass from Pageau as we are in the middle frame with the Senators up 1-0. Senators have turned the tide and in control as Prince shoots in on Wedgewood sending down to his knees as he appears to have been stun by the shot. After Wedgewood shakes off the stinger, Mark Borowiecki gets his graphite up high on Harri Pesonen and draws blood for a double minor high stick call giving Albany a four-minute power play. Greenham with another good save on Whitney then the Devils hit the iron for the second time of the afternoon. Albany is buzzing and finally breaks through the stingy Senators defense when Boucher’s shot from up high lands in the cage as Greenham was late on the save as he never saw it through a mass of players in front. Binghamton would get it back when Wedgewood blocks an Alex Grant wrist shot but can’t make a play on his second attempt as Grant simply unloads a bullet on a rising slapper to give his team a 2-1 lead. That would be Grant’s second goal in less than 24 hours and ninth of the season as the second period draws to a close. Shots are 14-8 with Sens out-shooting Albany in the period and 20-18 for the game.
Senators good back-checking in trying to protect the lead as the third period is underway and let’s see if Binghamton has anything left in the tank with their third game in two and a half days. Maybe not, as Albany ties it up at the 10:47 mark when David Wohlberg takes a cross ice pass off the stick of Darcy Zajac and beats Greenham easily as he was drawn out of position by Zajac. Soon after Wedgewood flashes the leather on Cole Schneider‘s wrist shot as both team’s defense digs deep in the trenches and not a whole lot of offensive opportunities develop. The only play worth repeating is Stefan Matteau run at Robinson knocking him to the ice but at the same time Matteau bouncing off the 6′ 5″ 235 lb Buddy and losing his balance in the process ending up on the ice as well. We are heading to overtime as we are knotted up at two a piece.
In the extra frame neither team has any really good scoring chances and a shootout will be needed for the second time in less than 24 hours to decide the outcome. Binghamton sends Schneider, Puempel, Prince. Pageau and D. Grant with no one scoring and helping Greenham’s effort as he stops four attempts and looked good until Pelley plants one far right side down low and wins it for the Devils.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Good effort by the Senators and glad to earn a point. Team without the services of Stephane Da Costa, Mark Stone, Jim O’Brien and Nathan Lawson as the club was a tad thin over the weekend. At one point Culek, Danny Hobbs and Greenham shared the ice at the same time as the trio normally would be playing for Elmira.
- That would keep the Devils hopes alive for the post season play as they climbed to the sixth position in the Easter Conference while Senators maintain the third spot.
- Albany had three power plays and was successful on one as Binghamton had none. Quite the rarity as both ref’s put their whistles away in the third and overtime session with quite a few calls that could have been made. Not blaming the officiating, just making a point.
- Team looked tired in the overtime and especially the shootout as all five players didn’t create much in beating Wedgewood as Greenham played well throughout the contest.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Pelley (so g)
- #2 Wedgewood(23 saves)
- #3 Wohlberg (1g)
Friday Night vs. Rochester Americans.
Cover photo courtesy of Jeff Ulmer.