So after attending the Cornwall First Assist Charity Classic, it was time for the second hockey trip of the week to Binghamton. Jonathan von Teichman and Dan Bergeron, co-presidents of the Hat Trick Ball Hockey League in Ottawa organized a one night trip to see the B-Sens in action against the Anaheim Ducks' affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. 46 people ended up signing up, enough to make Ottawa's presence felt in Binghamton.
We arrived in Binghamton on Saturday (Nov. 10th) around 4:30, enough time to grab a bite at a local eatery. My group was lucky enough to know two local Binghamton residents to show us around. They brought us to a popular strip only a few minutes walk away from the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. We ended up selecting a local pub "Tom & Marty's" to grab dinner.
One of the Binghamton residents insisted we try one of their local favourites, a "Spiedie Sub" which is "a Binghamton tradition, homemade recipe, marinated chicken served on a toasted sub roll". It was good, with the taste similar to that of a Greek souvlaki except in sub form.
After that it was game time as we walked to the arena with tickets in hand.
The immediate thing I noticed about the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena is that the design of the rink is almost exactly the same as the arena in Cornwall. Below are a few shots from inside showing their scoreboard, shot count board, replay screen as well as the flying blimp! (iirc the Ottawa Senators used to have one of these blimps fly around during games)
With the game about to start, the advantages of knowing the locals came into play as one of them informed us the public could easily access the B-Sens' locker room entrance/exit as they came out to take the ice. Surprisingly there were only a few kids present to give the players props on their way out. I was expecting it to be much more crowded, but maybe that's because we don't get this type of access in Ottawa. Below are a few pics I managed to grab. Notice the B-Sens were wearing special jerseys for this game to commemorate war veterans.
One interesting thing about this arena is that it has the small benches, meaning the backup goalie isn't able to squeeze in, meaning Ben Bishop was stuck in his own private seat.
It's almost like the B-Sens knew some of Ottawa was watching live as they quickly built a three goal lead showing some lethal offence that we haven't seen of them recently. This got the crowd riled up quickly as their Sens were controlling the play against one of the top AHL teams. I only grabbed a few pictures before putting my camera away to focus on the game.
During the intermission I took a walk around the arena. The B-Sens have two merchandise stands, a main booth as well as an open one in the concourse.
Interestingly, the concourse merchandise stand had a rack of game worn training camp/pre-season jerseys for sale from previous years. They even still had this Ottawa Senators' legend available!
Ottawa's goalie saviour, Mike Brodeur!
Binghamton would cruise to victory for the remaining two periods. Some general highlights of the night included:
- The Ottawa Senators DJ was actually in house running the music for this game, providing some solid tunes and making us Ottawa folk feel right at home. In return our group continuously got the Seven Nation chant going.
- Robin Lehner continues to shine and really looks like he's ready to prove he can handle a full season as a starter earning the first star of the game.
- Mika Zibanejad is just snake bit, he was inches away from a goal in this game but couldn't put a stick on it. I wouldn't be worried about him, from watching him I get the feeling it's only a matter of time before he starts putting the puck in the net.
- Jakob Silfverberg seems to be adjusting to the North American rink pretty quickly. Every game he seems to improve. He was all over the ice in the game, continuously being a part of numerous scoring chances. He even put up two assists, good enough for 3rd star. I think most surprising to me was that Silfverberg was constantly used on the PK paired with Zibanejad. I never pictured him as a penalty killer. Our group also got going the Silfverberg chant (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2HP5MhV6Fc), hopefully hear this in SBP eventually.
- This was Mark Stone's game back from injury and he got limited ice time because of that. When he was on the ice though he always seemed to be a threat, almost scoring on a breakaway during the game.
- Former 67s player Corey Cowick has made huge strides in his game. For a while it seemed he would be stuck to ECHL, but he's really found his role as a power forward using his large frame to his advantage. He's also proven to be a solid penalty killer. However, most valuable is that he's begun putting up points as well, getting a goal and assist in the game earning him 2nd star.
With the game over, we headed to Dillingers, the most popular place to be at night according to almost all the locals.
To our dismay, they were showing a replay of the still too recent Game 6 of the Ottawa-New York series. It was hard not to watch though, seeing the likes of Spezza, Alfredsson, and Karlsson on TV. It's been that long that even a replay is enough to fill the lack of live NHL games.
As the night passed and the upstairs patio level of Dillingers opened we soon found out that this did seem the place to be in Binghamton as we spotted several players including Jared Cowen, Mark Stone, and Ben Bishop. Good news for Sens fans is that from what I saw Cowen had no visible limp so hopefully his current knee injury (edit: assuming it is a knee injury, hasn't been officially confirmed) isn't serious. With that being said, I hope you enjoyed the recap of the Binghamton trip and if you get the chance I highly recommend going down there to catch a game (even if the NHL season ends up starting). It's definitely a trip any Ottawa Senator fan should make.