While most of the attention was on the big club in Ottawa, the Binghamton Senators took to France for some pre-season action. They started off their trip with a 5-3 comeback win over the Syracuse Crunch. Early in the second period the Sens were down 2-0, but in true #PeskySens fashion, they battled back for a decisive 5-3 win. The game featured a pair of goals from Chris Wideman and one each from Troy Rutkowski, Carter Camper, and Daniel New.
The Binghamton Senators also took part in an inter-league game against the Brûleurs de Loups de Grenoble (Grenoble Wolf Burners). Despite receiving quite a scare, the Sens prevented an upset and held on for a 6-4 win. Shane Prince cashed in two goals, while Darren Kramer and Patrick Mullen had one apiece. AHL rookie Ryan Dzingel put up two goals as well while earning Player of the Game honours.
To conclude their trip to France, they played the Syracuse Crunch who were trying to seek revenge for their previous defeat. Binghamton took control early with two goals in the first period and kept the pedal down for the rest of the game for a 6-0 victory. In the blow-out, goals were scored by Mike Sdao, Carter Camper, Brandon Wong, Alex Guptill, Danny Hobbs, and Derek Grant. Andrew Hammond was a brick wall for the Sens while earning a shutout.
After returning to North America, Binghamton trimmed their roster and added a few other late cuts from Ottawa.
As per the Binghamton Senators' official press release:
Forwards (14): Matt Puempel, Buddy Robinson, Cole Schneider, Shane Prince, David Dziurzynski, Darren Kramer, Derek Grant, Ryan Dzingel, Carter Camper, Alex Guptill, Max McCormick, Brad Mills, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Garrett Thompson
Defencemen (7): Fredrik Claesson, Mike Sdao, Chris Wideman, Danny New, Alex Grant, Patrick Mullen and Aaron Johnson
Goaltenders (2): Andrew Hammond and Scott Greenham
Along with announcing their final roster, they officially named defenceman Aaron Johnson their captain while Patrick Mullen and Jean-Gabriel Pageau will wear the A's.
Regular Season Opener:
The Binghamton kicked off their season on Saturday night against the Worcester Sharks (San Jose's AHL affiliate). They came out strong carrying most of the play for the first half of the first period and then play began to shift more in the Sharks' favour.
The first goal of the season belonged to the Sharks as the puck was thrown out front from the corner and tipped home past Hammond by Carpenter. This was a goal that both defenceman Fredrik Claesson and goalie Andrew Hammond would love to have back. Claesson failed to tie up Carpenter's stick as he cruised past and Hammond did not seem to take the shot seriously enough.
A few minutes later, Dzingel picked off a Shark clearing attempt, dropped the puck to Max McCormick who fed Garrett Thompson down low for a shot. Ryan Dzingel was right there in the low slot to bury the rebound for the Binghamton Senators' first goal on the season.
Unfortunately the tie was short-lived. Three minutes after the tying goal, Hammond was able to somehow see through a maze of bodies in front of him to stop the initial Shark shot, but had no chance on the rebound goal by Haley. The Sens trailed 2-1 after one period of play.
Towards the end of the second, Alex Grant intercepted a pass in the defensive zone and fed Ryan Dzingel with a breakaway pass. He made no mistake and rifled it top shelf over the Shark goaltender's left shoulder popping the water bottle off the net.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the third period. After regulation time, the Senators and Sharks found themselves tied at two which provided them with their first opportunity to experience the new AHL overtime format. For those unfamiliar with the new rules, they play a seven minute sudden victory period. They begin playing 4-on-4 until the first whistle following the three minute mark and then switch to 3-on-3. In my opinion, the new rules accomplished what they had hoped by creating a more wide open game with plenty of opportunities for each team to finish it off.
In the extra frame, Pageau found himself with the game on his stick on a partial break but couldn't beat Sharks' goaltender Grosenick. A couple minutes later during the 3-on-3 portion of overtime, the Sharks circled the net and threw it out front to a wide open Taormina who buried it past Hammond to hand the Senators their first overtime loss on the season.
Binghamton Senators 2 - Worcester Sharks 3 (OT)
Who Stood Out:
Andrew Hammond: After shaking off a bad goal in the first period, Hammond played a solid game. He came up big when he needed to be relied upon. Hammond was left scrambling on the other two goals with no chance of getting over to stop them. Overall, he stopped 45 of 48 shots in the overtime loss.
Buddy Robinson: He used his speed to his advantage throughout the game and was able to draw a early penalty by outskating the Sharks defencemen. Not only was his speed a factor, but he also fired 5 shots on net for the Sens.
Ryan Dzingel: He and his linemates Thompson and McCormick were all over the Shark defencemen and created an excellent cycle game. Dzingel scored a beauty of a breakaway goal in the second period after beating the Shark defenceman down the ice. He is definitely a player to keep your eye on this year.
The Week Ahead:
Friday, October 17, 7:00pm. Portland Pirates at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, October 18, 7:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Syracuse Crunch