T-Birds' "Special" Effort Secures Win in Binghamton
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (11-7-0-0) got a much-needed lift from their special teams en route to a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Devils (6-8-3-0) on Saturday night inside the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
The power plays on both sides would have first period success in the initial meeting between the two clubs. The Devils wasted just 13 seconds on the game's first power play, as Ben Street fired a perfect wrist shot pass into the crease, where veteran Chris Conner deflected it past Philippe Desrosiers for his seventh goal of the season to hand Binghamton a 1-0 lead at the 6:29 mark.
Springfield's power play was in desperate need of a confidence boost, having gone 0-for-26 in the span of six games after they failed to connect on their first try on Saturday night. But on their second attempt, the frustration finally subsided as Paul Thompson dove to keep a play alive in the slot area as a Devils defender was without a stick. The puck eventually found its way to Aleksi Saarela in the right circle, and he one-touched a feed to Owen Tippett, who defiantly blasted it over the blocker of Gilles Senn to tie the game, 1-1, at 17:23.
At the conclusion of the first period, Brady Keeper delivered a bruising shoulder to Devil defenseman Kyle Cumiskey, to which Nathan Bastian challenged Keeper, and after which the two players earned matching minors.
In the 4-on-4 play to start the second, the Devils took just 58 seconds to retake their lead as Street won a puck battle on the near side and spotted a cutting Brett Seney on the left post to finish off the play and give Binghamton the 2-1 lead.
Springfield's man advantage, with newfound confidence, had another response to a one-goal deficit just 2:48 after the Seney goal as Saarela snapped a wrist shot through a Thompson screen and past Senn's stick hand to tie the score, 2-2, at 3:46.
Where the power play stole the show in the first two periods for Springfield, the penalty kill took its turn in the spotlight less than two minutes into the third. As the T-Birds were killing a minor penalty, Greco raced through center ice on a 2-on-1 with Dominic Toninato, distributing the puck to his teammate in the right circle. While Toninato could not beat Senn on the first forehand try, he corralled his rebound and spun the puck back past Senn to give Springfield the lead for good at 1:43 of the third, 3-2.
Desrosiers took care of the rest in his crease, time and time again stonewalling the Devils' feverish efforts to tie the score. Desrosiers' win was his fifth straight, tying a T-Birds goaltending record. He finished the night with 35 saves on 37 shots. Senn stopped 17 of 20 in the losing cause for Binghamton.
The Thunderbirds play seven of their next nine contests inside the MassMutual Center, beginning with a matchup with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday, Nov. 22 at 7:05 p.m.
For more ticket information or to become a 2019-20 Springfield Thunderbirds ticket package member, or to purchase single game tickets, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.
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