On Wednesday, the Pageau-less Binghamton Senators went to visit Lehigh Valley - and it could not have gotten off to a worse start. Awful. Terrible. Ugly. Brutal. Atrocious.
15 seconds into the first period:
The Phantoms blew through the neutral zone, Fredrik Claesson gets caught flat-footed and they break in 2-on-1 on Alex Grant who didn't receive any help from Senator back-checkers. The pass gets through and the Phantom forward roofs it over Andrew Hammond to put them up 1-0.
27 seconds into the first period:
The next 5 skaters jump over the boards hoping to shake off the bad first shift. The Phantoms break in along the right wing, throw it out to the slot, and beat Hammond with a wrister. On the goal, the Senators were all in generally good position, but they failed to lay the body on someone and just watched the Phantoms own the ice in their zone.
36 seconds into the first period:
It couldn't get any worse right? The next 5-man unit took the ice hoping to right the ship. Again the Phantoms took possession, entered the Binghamton zone, and floated a soft wristshot on net from the right wing that found its way through Hammond. 3-0 Lehigh Valley.
Lehigh Valley broke the record for the fastest three goals (21 seconds) that had stood for 52 years. Before the game was a minute old, all Senator skaters except Dzingel, Schneider, and Mills had a big "-1" next to their name. The third goal also spelled the end of the night for Hammond whose stat line did not look pretty: 3 goals against on 3 shots, 300.00 GAA, 0% Save Percentage.
The Sens would get some chances and end up outshooting the Phantoms by a 15-6 margin in the period, but they could not find the back of the net. They would go into the first intermission down 3-0.
Special teams would begin to rule the rest of the game. An early second period powerplay put the Phantoms up 4-0. The Sens would reply with a powerplay marker of their own when Derek Grant tipped home Alex Grant's point shot. On a third period powerplay, the Sens would cut the lead to two with a Chris Wideman slapshot from the left point. Lehigh Valley replied with their second powerplay marker of the game. In the final minute, the Sens would make the score respectable with their third powerplay goal. Derek Grant showed some great hand-eye coordination by batting in a rebound goal out of the air.
The Phantoms were 2-for-6 on the powerplay and were able to repeatedly throw the puck through the Sens penalty kill box. Meanwhile, the Sens powerplay stayed hot by going 3-for-7 on the night.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 5 - Binghamton Senators 3
Binghamton Senators Record: 12-11-3
Friday: Springfield Falcons at Binghamton Senators
Looking to help him bounce back from his poor start on Wednesday, coach Luke Richardson again turned to Andrew Hammond in goal for the Binghamton Senators.
Danny New opened the scoring for the Sens seven minutes into the game. After some great offensive pressure from Schneider, Mills and Puempel, the puck squeaked out to the point where New stepped into a shot that beat the Springfield goalie clean. Later in the period, the same line had some sustained pressure which drew a penalty to put the red hot Senator powerplay to work. Right before the penalty expired, Alex Grant ripped one past the goaltender from the same spot as New's goal to put the Sens up by a pair. Near the end of the first, a turnover in the Springfield zone led to what looked like a harmless one-on-one rush, but the Falcon forward made a great shot and ripped it over Hammond's shoulder.
Early in the second, Carter Camper drew a soft hooking call to put the Sens on the powerplay again. After a failed clearing attempt, the Sens worked it around the zone before Mullen chipped home a goal off a Puempel rebound. Shortly thereafter, a strong Shane Prince forecheck created a turnover that Camper ripped past the Springfield goalie to put them up 4-1. At this point, the game looked like it was well in Binghamton's hands.
Also in the second, the Falcons would get another one on the board with a shot from the high slot through a screen. Later after a Sens offensive faceoff win, Alex Grant tried to feed Claesson at the point but the pass was intercepted. The Falcons broke in 2-on-0 and squeaked one past Hammond. Before the period was over, Claesson got beat to the outside and the Falcons tied the game at four heading into the second intermission. Hammond was bumped on the play and seemed to have tweaked something on the play, so Scott Greenham came in to take over.
Thirty seconds into the third period, Chris Wideman hit Ryan Dzingel with a long stretch pass. Dzingel dzangled in and sniped one past the goaltender. Springfield would answer right back with one of their own to tie the game at five. After Alex Grant flipped it out of play to give the Falcons a powerplay, the Falcons worked it around the zone and fired the game winning goal past Greenham for the 6-5 win.
Binghamton Senators 5 - Springfield Falcons 6
Binghamton Senators Record: 12-12-3
Saturday: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Binghamton Senators
After coming in for relief in the past two games, Greenham was given the start on Saturday night against the Penguins. The Pens opened the scoring off a tipped point shot that floated up high over Greenham to give them a 1-0 lead. Later, Drazenovic of the Penguins would enter the Senator zone and wrist one past Greenham to put them up by two.
Hoping to get back on the board, Binghamton forward Brad Mills would cross the Penguin blue line and fire one towards the net. The shot would go wide and set up a 3-on-2 rush the other way. The Penguin forward would make no mistake and put them up by three.
The Sens would have a ton of chances in the third outshooting the Penguins 13-3 in the third. The Sens would keep firing all night, but unfortunately they could not manage to beat the Penguins' Jeff Zatkoff who earned the shutout. Some frustrations would boil over at the end of the game, causing Alex Grant and Shane Prince to square off in a pair of scraps. The Sens would win the fights, but lose the game.
Binghamton Senators 0 - W-B/Scranton Penguins 3
Binghamton Senators Record: 12-13-3
The Week Ahead:
Friday, December 26 at 7:00pm. W-B/Scranton Penguins at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, December 27 at 7:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Hershey Bears
Watch for the World Junior Prospect Update later this week!