Schneider earns 31-save win over Marlies

Gordon Brown
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Monday, February 17, 2020

Binghamton (5) - Toronto (2) Final

Julian Melchiori scored the eventual game-winning goal and lifted the Binghamton Devils 5-2 over the Toronto Marlies in Monday afternoon’s Family Day clash at Scotiabank Arena. 

The Marlies were without Mason Marchment, Egor Korshkov, and Timothy Liljegren, as all remained with the Toronto Maple Leafs on a call-up basis following the weekend. Jeremy Bracco, the Marlies’ leading scorer last season, has been away from the team due to personal reasons and hasn’t played since Feb. 1.

Binghamton (25-23-4-0) scored twice in the second period to erase a 2-1 deficit and maintained a lead the rest of the way to victory. Jesper Boqvist had two points, including the game’s opening goal, while Brett Seney, Melchiori, Marian Studenic, and Egor Sharangovich scored the other Binghamton goals.

Cory Schneider started in his 14th game for Binghamton since being re-assigned on Jan. 19 by New Jersey. The 33-year-old turned away 31-of-33 shots and improved his record to 7-7-0 with a .903 save percentage and 2.71 GAA. This is Schneider’s second stint in the minors this season after initially clearing waivers on Nov. 19. 

The local statutory holiday saw fans of the hometown Marlies (26-20-3-2) arrive in droves to see what the future has in store for this group of prospects. However, the home team struggled after falling behind without several important players in the lineup.

Pontus Aberg produced two points to bring his season total to 40 and is now tied with Kenny Agostino for the team’s scoring lead. The duo has combined for five NHL games this season but may prove to be viable NHL depth should the need arise.

Kasimir Kaskisuo faced 39 shots and allowed four goals on a busy night in the crease. The Finn saw his record fall to 14-9-2-1 on a night his team failed to provide consistency, a term head coach Greg Moore acknowledges is needed down the stretch if Toronto is to maintain a playoff spot.

“Consistency. We have found it for the most part,” said Moore, to media outside the Toronto dressing room. “Today was a little inconsistent, but overall, you look at the timeline in the last month or so, the team’s coming along and we’re doing a lot of good things.

“Today was a little bit of a hiccup. There were some good things out of the game, but not what we needed to find a win tonight.”

Aberg, who skated in his 250th career AHL game, knotted the score at 1-apiece with a power-play equalizer less than three minutes after surrendering first blood. It was Tanner MacMaster’s backdoor feed that allowed Aberg to record his 17th goal of the season, as he threaded the puck through several opposing defenders to find his target.

The Marlies exploded out of the first intermission and commanded their first lead of the game 0:42 into the second. Agostino extended his point streak to five games and received credit for his team-leading 23rd goal of the season, pulling himself into a tie with Alex Formenton and Martin Frk for seventh league-wide. Assists were drawn by both MacMaster and Aberg, respectively.

Despite a hot start to the second period, the Marlies failed to maintain that intensity and were outpaced 18-7 in the shot department. Predictably, the team fell victim to the consequences of their actions—or lack thereof. 

After protecting a one-goal lead for much of the second frame, the Marlies surrendered two power-play goals within the final six minutes of play. Seney broke through at 14:13 to tie the score 2-2 before Melchiori’s go-ahead tally mere minutes later, reestablishing a 3-2 advantage in his team’s favour.

Toronto proved unable to weather the Devils’ offence and allowed Studenic to record a fourth goal against Kaskisuo. Sharangovich went on to add an empty-net goal to complete the victory.

The teams will rematch on Wednesday at Coca-Cola Coliseum with a North Division playoff spot very much up for grabs down the stretch.