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Early Lead doesn't help Devils in Charlotte

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Charlotte, NC -

Despite goals from Christoph Bertschy and John Quenneville, the Binghamton Devils fell to the Charlotte Checkers, 4-2, in front of 8,104 at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Saturday night.

Christoph Bertschy got the Devils going on the power play for the 1-0 lead. The puck bounced off the wall on the right side and Bertschy fired a slap shot over the left shoulder of goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic for his 12th of the year. Bertschy’s power-play goal came 1:20 into the game from John Quenneville and Jacob MacDonald.

Three minutes later, Charlotte tied the game as Roland McKeown put home his seventh of the year. Greg McKegg fed McKeown in the right wing circle and he beat Mackenzie Blackwood through the legs at 4:30 from McKegg and Dennis Robertson.

Aleksi Saarela helped put the Checkers up 2-1 late in the first period with a great pass to Valentin Zykov who tallied his 32nd of the year. Saarela skated to the goal line wide of the net and fired the puck towards the top of the crease where Zykov beat Blackwood’s right leg pad for the one-goal advantage with just 2:37 left in the first. Charlotte took the lead into the second period along with a 13-7 shot lead. 

Warren Foegele tracked down a loose puck in front of Blackwood’s crease and put it in for a 3-1 lead. After two big chances were stopped by Blackwood, Foegele sent a backhand shot by the right leg pad for the two-goal lead just 2:55 into the second with assists from Marcus Kruger and Brenden Kichton.

Binghamton answered with another power-play goal to pull within one late in the second period. Bertschy sent a low shot on net that Nick Lappin deflected and was denied by Nedeljkovic. The rebound went right to a pinching John Quenneville who put home his 14th of the year at 16:55 of the second and the Devils trailed 3-2. Assists on Quenneville’s power-play goal were credited to Bertschy and Lappin and the Checkers took a one-goal lead into the third. 

Late in regulation, Lucas Wallmark added to the lead with his 14th of the year for a 4-2 advantage. That score held up as the final as Blackwood stopped 25 in the loss and Nedeljkovic put away 31 for the win.

The Binghamton Devils are back home next Saturday, March 24, against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 7:05 p.m. Help the Devils Faceoff Against Cancer and score a $16 ticket with proceeds going back to American Cancer Society. Also, all battleing or who have battled cancer can participate in the Survivors Lap during the first intermission. For more information, call the Devils’ front office at 607-722-7367 for more information.

For more information, including pricing, benefits, and much more, visit the Devils website at binghamtondevils.com or call the Devils front office at 607-722-7367.  

Courtesy: Binghamton Devils