Elmira, NY – The Devils took leads of 1-0, 3-1, and 5-3 Wednesday at First Arena in Elmira, and though the Jackals tied the game twice, Trenton never trailed in a 5-4 victory over its division rival. Shane Connelly made 28 saves in his first victory against his former team, while seven different Devils recorded points.
A new line combination of Dan Charleston, Ryan Ginand and Matt Vokes registered eight total points. Ginand posted his sixth three-point night of the season (2g, 1a) while surpassing Jeff Prough for the team lead in goals (21) and extending his team lead in points (56). Charleston had three helpers, and now averages better than two points per game. Vokes (1g, 1a) scored his first goal since December 11, his first points since returning from 21-day injured reserve on February 4.
Matt Lombardi extended his point streak to four games with two goals, his 14th and 15th of the season and his third two-goal game of the year. The rookie picked up his second game-winning goal of the season at 8:58 of the third period from Darcy Zajac and Taylor Vichorek, giving the Devils a two goal lead for the second time in the contest. Elmira’s Eric Lampe completed a hat trick with his 15th goal at 17:53 to pull within 5-4, but the Devils survived the comeback effort in their fourth win against the Jackals in nine meetings.
The Devils set the tone in each period with goals 90 seconds into the game, 95 seconds into the second, and 2:31 into the final frame. Ginand’s two goals and Lampe’s first put the Devils up 2-1 at the conclusion of the first, but when Matt Lombardi came from behind the net to bank the puck off starting goalie Zane Kalemba early in the second, Jackals coach Malcom Cameron pulled Kalemba in favor of Marco Cousineau. While Kalemba allowed three goals on 11 shots, Cousineau fended off each of Trenton’s 11 shots in the remainder of the second period. Lampe and Michael Dubuc beat Trenton’s Shane Connelly to get the game knotted, 3-3, at the end of the second.
Elmira’s game-tying score from Dubuc was retribution for an earlier pummeling at the hands of Darcy Zajac. Simultaneous fights late in the first period pinned Dubuc against Zajac and Myles Stoesz against Chris Frank. Dubuc’s fight, assist and goal couldn’t get the Jackals into the lead, instead the Devils capitalized on their only power play of the night early in the third. The power play unit of Trevor Kell and Brad Miller at the points, with Charleston, Ginand and Vokes up front, needed only nine seconds on the man advantage to cycle the puck and find the back of the net. Vokes did the scoring with Ginand and Charleston getting assists.
Connelly saved his best work for the third period, making timely saves in the most urgent situations. In support of Connelly, Trenton defensemen Justin Coutu and Taylor Vichorek each posted a team-high plus-3 rating in the Devi’s 5-4 victory.
The Devils and Jackals battle again Friday at First Arena at 7:35 p.m.