It took a third period comeback and another 35 saves from Marcus Hogberg, as the Belleville Senators got by the Binghamton Devils 3-2 in a shootout, at Yardmen Arena on Wednesday.
Binghamton led 2-1 heading into the last period, but Belleville rallied to force overtime, with Gabriel Gagne scoring the shootout winner.
Binghamton opened the scoring at 10:42 of the first period, when Ben Thomson ripped a wrist shot by Hogberg, off a Kevin Rooney face off win in the offensive zone.
That was the only goal of the period.
Belleville tied it 1-1 early in the second, with Nick Paul netting his second of the season and first since returning from a stint with the Ottawa Senators, pouncing on the rebound from a Jordan Murray shot at 4:29.
But the Devils answered about ten minutes later, when Brian Strait flung a knuckling wrist shot from the point that eluded Hogberg and made it 2-1.
The only goal of the third came courtesy of Max Reinhart who buried his sixth, one-timing home a pass from Francis Perron, off a good offensive zone possession.
Overtime solved nothing with Belleville outshooting Binghamton 3-2 in the extra frame.
In the shootout, Colin White missed Belleville’s first attempt, but Gagne fired a wrister past Eddie Lack blocker side, with Hogberg stopping Nick Lappin, Blake Pietila and John Quenneville.
The win in front of 3,248 at Yardmen Arena improves Belleville’s home record to 8 wins and 8 losses on the season.
Another big story line to the game was the return of Kyle Flanagan, who played in his first game since October 7th.
Flanagan says he was thrilled to be back from a long-term layoff due to a concussion, but given today’s data about the long-term effects of head injuries, he was in no rush.
Flanagan, who was thrown right back into the action seeing plenty of ice time, credited Strength and Conditioning Coach Jeremy Benoit with helping him stay in shape during the layoff.
He also stressed the importance of picking up a win against a divisional rival during the playoff drive.
The Senators head on the road to continue a three game in four night stretch, they’ll finish the home and home series with Binghamton on Friday, before heading to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to face the Penguins for the first time on Saturday.
CJBQ has both games starting at 6:50 p.m. with the Coach’s Pregame Show.
You can read the full game sheet from Wednesday by clicking here and see highlights from the game below.