Winning in overtime of game seven, the Binghamton Senators advanced in the playoffs for the first time since their inaugural season in 2002-03, when they went all the way to the conference finals. The BSens rallied in this series from being down three games to one, and did so by winning three straight games in overtime. The team now advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they'll face the Portland Pirates.
Binghamton dominated Manchester in the first period, outshooting them 15-9. They took a two goal lead into the second period thanks to Ryan Keller, who scored both goals. They opened the second with more domination, as Erik Condra scored a shorthanded goal just 56 seconds in. That goal marked the end of Martin Jones's day, as he allowed 3 goals on 16 shots for the game, and backup Jeff Zatkoff came into the game well rested.
Zatkoff's play seemed to give the Monarchs new life, as they started to carry the play after that point. Bud Holloway scored Manchester's first goal of the night while on the power play before the period was six minutes old. Bobby Butler answered back to give Binghamton a three goal lead again, but Manchester did not give in. Patrick Mullen, Brandon Kozun, and John Zeller scored three straight goals, the last two less than a minute apart, to tie the game heading into the third period.
In the third, Dwight King gave Manchester its first lead of the game at 10:19, with the team's second power play goal in four opportunities. Now trailing, the BSens began to shoot more, but despite their 13 shots and a power play, had nothing to show for it as the clock continued to tick. The effort finally paid off with Erik Condra scoring again -- just one minute away from having the season end. Cardiac finishes were the norm in this series, and for the fifth time -- and the third game in a row -- the game would be decided in overtime.
Unlike last night, this game was decided quickly. Ryan Potulny scored his eighth goal of the playoffs with just 3:07 gone to make Binghamton the 16th team in AHL history to rally from 3-1 series deficit to win a series.
(read on for Heroes and Zeroes...)
BSens Hero: Erik Condra
Scored Binghamton's third goal shorthanded, assisted in Bobby Butler's goal, which restored the three-goal lead, and tied the game up with less than two minutes left. Condra had been silent for most of the series, but picked a great game to show up.
BSens Hero: Ryan Keller
Got Binghamton on the board early with two goals, and added two assists. The assists came on the Condra's game tying goal, and Potulny's game winning goal. Talk about clutch.
BSens Hero: Ryan Potulny
Ryan Potulny had five points, four assists and the game winning goal. He leads in the Calder Cup Playoffs with eight goals and 14 points.
BSens Zero: Power Play
This was the top ranked power play in the regular season, but they went 0-for-3 on a night when a power play goal might have really made a difference. The Monarchs, meanwhile, were 2-for-4 on their power play. If Condra didn't score shorthanded, this game might have seen a much sadder outcome for Binghamton fans.
Binghamton will play the Portland Pirates in the Atlantic Division Finals.
Ryan Potulny's series winning goal