On Friday, the Binghamton Senators played host to the St. John's IceCaps. The Sens were happy to welcome Cole Schneider back into the lineup as they try to keep from drowning in the Eastern Conference basement. With only one win in his last eight starts, coach Luke Richardson turned to Andrew Hammond for the start on Friday night.
Derek Grant would open the scoring for the Sens at the midway point of the first period. He carried the puck through the neutral zone, stepped across the blueline and fired a wristshot on net through the defenseman. The puck managed to squeak through Hellebuyck (the IceCaps goalie), and trickle across the goal line.
Hammond would play some of his best hockey in quite a long time by stopping 28 of 28 shots through two periods and the Sens would head into the second intermission up 1-0. Unfortunately for Hammond and the Sens, hockey games are three periods long.
Thanks to an Aaron Johnson slashing call that would carry over to the third period, the IceCaps would get on the board with a powerplay marker just 40 seconds into the frame. The very next shift, the Icecaps would break in on a rush and put one over Hammond's shoulder for a 2-1 lead. A minute and a half later, Hammond would be unable to grab a loose puck in the crease and it was thrown into the empty net. It took less than three minutes into the third for the Sens to give up a trio of goals. Just disastrous.
In the second half of the period, Hammond would get caught overpursuing and was beat on a nice shot top shelf. Hammond would then slam his stick on the post, which is of course the universal sign for frustration.
AHL All-Star Chris Wideman would score a late powerplay marker to make the score 4-2, but it was too little too late. The IceCaps added an empty net goal to hand the Sens the 5-2 loss.
Binghamton Senators 2 - St. John's IceCaps 5
Binghamton Senators Record: 17-19-4
Saturday: Binghamton Senators at Hershey Bears
After splitting their previous two meetings, the Sens went into Hershey hoping to pick up a little more than just souvenir chocolates. Two points perhaps? We'll see.
On the backend of back-to-back games, the Sens turned to Peter Mannino in goal for his shot at getting the Sens in the win column. Facing off against the Sens for his first time ever, was none other than former Senator Jim O'Brien who of course has points in five straight games since returning from the KHL.
On a very ill-advised Bears breakout pass up the middle, Buddy Robinson would pick it off in the slot, put on a little juke and bury it past the Bears goalie. The goal would put the Sens up 1-0 at the midway point of the first.
Later in the period, the Sens would get the benefit of a very very bad call. The Bears broke in 3-on-2 and put a hard wrister on net. Mannino struggled with the stop and it trickled through and across the goal line. The referee ruled that he had blown the whistle before the puck went in. The Sens caught a huge break on this one and would head into the first intermission up 1-0.
The Bears would finally get on the board on another 3-on-2 rush in which the puck would again trickle across the goal line. Only difference this time, there wasn't an early whistle to save the Sens. 1-1 game.
Following a Johnson hooking call, the Bears would score a nice tic-tac-toe goal on the powerplay off of the stick of Jim O'Brien. With the goal, JOB stretched his point streak to six games.
Shortly thereafter, the line of Prince-Camper-Schneider would even up the game at two. Prince dropped it over to Camper who sniped one past Grubauer, the Bears goaltender.
The teams would trade chances in the third period, but the two goaltenders would stand tall and the game would be headed for overtime.
Early in the overtime period, Connor Carrick of the Bears took control on the halfwall in the Binghamton zone and walked into the slot. He fired a hard wristshot on net which Mannino initially stopped, but the rebound bounced off defenseman Fredrik Claesson and into the cage behind him to hand the Sens the overtime loss.
Binghamton Senators 2 - Hershey Bears 3 (OT)
Binghamton Senators Record: 17-19-5
AHL All-Star Weekend:
A big congratulations to both defenseman Chris Wideman and forward Shane Prince who both represented the Binghamton Senators at the AHL All-Star game and skills competition this past weekend. The Western Conference picked up the 14-12 win over the Eastern Conference. Shane Prince put on quite the show, scoring three goals for the hat trick and also adding an assist.
The Week Ahead:
Friday, January 30 at 7:00pm. Norfolk Admirals at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, January 31 at 7:00pm. Norfolk Admirals at Binghamton Senators
Notable Updates from North American Prospects:
Ben Harpur: Played three games this week and picked up a goal in a 4-3 loss to the Soo Greyhounds. Now this wasn't just any goal, he scored it shorthanded from behind his own net while icing it down the ice. The Greyhound goalie picked up the puck behind his goal, brought it out front, and accidentally fired it into his own net.
Nick Paul: Scored a pair of goals this past week, including a goal and an assist against the Sudbury Wolves on Sunday.
Francis Perron: Put up a pair of goals on Sunday in a 6-3 loss to Baie-Comeau. He now has 20 goals and 36 assists for 56 points in 44 games. This has him ranked 17th in the QMJHL in points at the end of the weekend.
Tobias Lindberg: It was a big week for him, scoring three goals and adding three assists through three games. His two goals and one assist on Thursday earned him the first star selection in a 5-2 win for his Oshawa Generals over the Peterborough Petes. The Generals outshot the Petes by a huge 57-31 margin.
Chris Driedger: The rough season continues for the Evansville Icemen (11-24-5). Driedger only had one start this week, a 4-1 loss to the Indy Fuel in which he stopped 17 of 20 shots (the Fuel added an empty netter).