The tandem of Cole Schneider and Matt Puempel shined and goaltender Chris Driedger stood tall making 26 saves as they led the Binghamton Senators to a 5-1 win over the Toronto Marlies in downtown Binghamton. The victory improved the Senators record to 3-2-0 as it was Diedger's third straight win of the season and ninth overall.
The first goal of the contest came off the stick of Puempel as himself and Schneider found themselves streaking in on a two on one break. After Schneider hesitated faking the shot, he fed Puempel instead as Toronto netminder Garret Sparks had no chance being drawn out of position. Sens would add another at the 18:41 mark with David Dziurzynski scoring from way up top of the circle as his shot appeared to catch the skate of defenseman T.J. Brennan and re-directed into the back of the net past Sparks.
Sens increase their lead by three with a beautiful spin-o-rama pass from behind the net in front to Eric O'Dell from Tobias Lindberg, as O'Dell one times it up high to the corner of the cage. Things get physical as Dziurzynski knocks Brennan to the ice and Marlies' Sam Carrick steps in grabbing after Dizzy. The two would wind up getting tangled together after dropping the gloves with David missing on a wild swing knocking both down to the ice.
Then in the third Toronto's forward Richard Clune levels Ryan Dzingel into the boards and Senators Mark Fraser backs up the hit by getting the attention of Clune by way of knocking his stick to the ice. A brief fight followed with Fraser landing some quick rights before they to would fall to the ice.
Toronto finally gets on the board at 4:58 into the third as Josh Leivo scored his second of the season on a nice wrister through traffic beating Driedger spoiling the shutout bid. But the Senators would answer back with Puempel finding Schneider on a nifty heads up pass splitting the defense leading up to a breakaway as Cole slides the puck though Sparks' five hole to regain the three goal cushion.
The dynamic dual of Puempel and Schneider would hook up one final time with 4:19 left as Schneider received a back hand pass from once again Puempel and scored his second of the night beating Sparks easily to close it out.
- Injuries have hit the club with Michael Sdao, Buddy Robinson, Ben Harpur and Alex Guptill all out, but there's a slight chance that Harpur might be available for Sunday's game in Albany. Alex Wideman was the player called up to take Max McCormick's spot and wasn't really all that effective tonight.
- The Marlies' defense was absent as they left their goaltender hung out to dry all game long. Kinda reminded me of last season on the Senators' side of things.
- Driedger (3-0-0 1.99 0.932) looked solid in net, AGAIN! He's won his last nine games in a row dating back to the tail end of last season, and looks extremely comfortable in net. He is the club's #1 goaltender and is showing everyone why he is. He tracks the puck well and gives up very few rebounds while showcasing a quick glove. His talent level is through the roof at a ripe age of only 21 years old.
- A quick look at the special teams for the Sens as the power play needs some work. This Zack Stortini planting in front of the net experiment hasn't exactly taken off as of yet going 2 for 18 on the season including tonight. PK is better having only let in the same stat with 2 goals in 18 attempts. I'll get more involved with this on the next Bingo Bites coming this Wednesday.
- Lindberg has five assists in five games as it has worked out so far feeding O'Dell for his team leading five goals. Those two are playing very well on a line with Ryan Dzingel, who has three assists.
- I love what Fraser brings. He sticks up for his teammates and brings that element of toughness this team sorely lacked in the past. He's somewhat of a loose cannon but as long as he's out there, I'm rooting for him. For many seasons other teams come banging in and although Darren Kramer had the numbers, he's no match when it comes to Fraser.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch.