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Bingo Bites: Highlights From Last Weekend Including Video

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Two losses for Binghamton before ending their three in three weekend on a winning note.

Matt Trayling

Last weekend the Binghamton Senators were lucky enough to etch out a win on the road against the lowly Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The team lost the previous two battles to division rivals as Toronto put on a clinic in proving why they are quickly becoming one of the elite clubs in the AHL, while Rochester also continues to improve. The power play is still hurting, defensively the team continues to struggle and the goaltending has been one sided to say the least.

It's still early as Binghamton sits with a 4-7-0 record, but as the season moves on the basics just aren't there as of yet in building a foundation for success. On top of that is the coaching, as Luke Richardson benched two prospects on Saturday and apparently (I'm speculating here) he wasn't happy with their performances in a loss to Rochester on Friday. If there's ever a wake-up call, that would be it as it's a really bold move to make but Luke has pulled it off before with Shane Prince, and last time I checked he's still up playing for Ottawa.

I'm not exactly sure what to make of these characters other than what I previously mentioned, but it has got to come together as a team and string some W's soon. This past Sunday's result is at least a start, as the next three games (including tonight) are in four days that could correct some issues and bring them back to a rosy .500 record.

- SUNDAY

That was Stortini's fight five seconds in getting KO'ed and helped off the ice only to return soon after.

Sunday's contest resulted in a win that had a lot of to do with Tobias Lindberg and Nick Paul being reinstated after both were benched on Saturday. Though I admit, I got caught up in the Zack Stortini fan club for a brief moment, as he stunk up the joint in Allentown netting his first two goals of the season leading the Senators in ending their five game losing skid.

But in the aftermath, I came back to my senses as he hasn't been all that terrific overall and needs to be consistent more often besides one game against a former team. Being the team's Captain, Stortini needs to be that leader night in and night out and perform better. On a positive note, the power play clicked with two goals in four opportunities and Chris Driedger (4-2-0, 2.35 GAA, 0.922 SV%) continues to impress and should be the everyday starter with Matt O'Connor struggling.

Richardson continues to juggle the line-up in finding solutions for the offense and he might have found the answer on Sunday; (Also defensive pairings)

Dzingel-O'Dell-Lindberg
McCormick-Paul-Schneider
Greening-Dziurzynski-Stortini
Hobbs-Ewanyk-Carlisle

Fraser-Mullen
Lepine-Kostka
Claesson-Harpur

Highlights:

- SATURDAY

Just a really bad overall performance as the Sens lose to the talented Toronto Marlies by a five goal margin on  Saturday night in Bingo. No Lindberg or Paul in this one as they both rode the pine and watched the disaster take place from the seats. O'Connor (0-5-0, 4.24 GAA, 0.865 SV%) served up a stinker for his fifth loss in as many tries, as the defense just wasn't there to help bail him out.

It was strange to hear the boo-birds and mock cheers for the 23 year old goaltender this early that eerily reminded me of the Robin Lehner days during his struggles much to the same fanfare. At one point, O'C was vividly upset as he tossed the puck to the corner in disgust after a stoppage in play and making matters worse, hearing more from some (really very few) of the fans.

The 1st, 3rd, 5th and perhaps the 6th goals Matt would've stopped if he had the experience, along with the possibility of some better defense. (Although others have proclaimed Scotty Greenham would've made those stops in the past with a similar defensive line-up.) That's been the on going debate on whether or not O'Connor should be sent to Evansville. Driedger showed the same inexperience in a few early games last season for the Sens, then spent the majority with the IceMen and came back near the end a whole different player winning six in a row. It's most likely the right thing to do, but I have my doubts it'll happen.

Oh the drama this early in the season. Let's get to the highlights:

- FRIDAY

B-Sens began their three-in-three weekend on the road losing to rival Rochester Americans by a score of 3-1. A close game but Sens came up short, but the only real player that's starting to be a concern is defenseman Mark Fraser, as he gave up a terrible turnover in failing to get the puck out of the zone on Rochester's final goal in the second period. Maybe it's time to get him off the first line pairing with Patrick Mullen and move Fredrik Claesson up.

Fraser has also been lacking discipline often and is getting whistled for some excessive penalties, as in a melee or after a fight the refs like to tack on the extra two quite a number of times I've noticed. He's a talker so maybe his mouth lands him into trouble. Good guy to have in sticking up for his teammates but we seem to have plenty of them on this club.

Highlights:

Overall Richardson is pointing at the defense as well for some of O'Connor's struggles and says the same about Stortini and his inconsistent play needing to be ironed out. Interesting though, he's been silent on the benching of the two young prospects.

- UPCOMING GAMES

The Sens take on Lehigh Valley tonight in round two of a back-to-back series with the Phantoms as they will be looking for revenge following Sunday's loss in Allentown. But they'll have to face Driedger once again as he's getting the nod in net.

Then two games on tap for the weekend with a road game on Friday up in Syracuse, which is always fun if you are able to make the hour drive up north on I81, followed by a rare date with Springfield on Saturday in Binghamton.

Lets Go Sens!

*Cover Pic Courtesy of Matt Trayling