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Bingo Bites: David Dziurzynski & Cole Schneider Shine

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Two players have emerged this season for the Binghamton Senators, filling the void left by the players who graduated to the big team.

Alicia Strauch

It's been a tough start for the BSens this season with a lot of issues to address at some point, but now's not the time. I will be concentrating on two long-time veterans serving for the organization that have been consistently solid. Forwards David Dziurzynski and Cole Schneider are putting themselves out in front on the ice, and proving they are the true leaders on this club and have the willingness to do whatever it takes to help turn things around in Binghamton.

- DAVID DZIURZYNSKI

A fan favorite, Dizzy is playing in his sixth year for Binghamton and is off to a sizzling start offensively scoring 5 goals, 6 assists in 16 games, which ties him with Ryan Dzingel's 11 points for second on the team, two behind leader Schneider. The 26-year-old is not the most vocal on the team, but he carries respect and leads by example on the ice with his hard work.

Born in Lloydminster, AB, a small town that straddles the provincial border between Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, Dziurzynski played for the Lloydminster Bobcats for two seasons at the AJHL, followed by a year for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs powering his team to a first place finish in the division recording 21 goals, 53 assists in 57 games, only to lose in the conference finals.

The next year Dizzy turned pro and went directly to the AHL, signing as a free agent for three years with Ottawa. He later helped Binghamton win their first ever Calder Cup in the city's history as a rookie and remains the lone player from that team today.

He's one of the better grinders in the league and is an excellent shorthanded specialist that often gets overlooked. You'll find Dziurzynski on most five on three penalty kills along with Frederick Claesson and Michael Kostka. He also leads the team with a 21.7 SH% scoring five goals on 23 shots as his career numbers in 2011-'12 (11 goals, 17 assists in 72 games) are in jeopardy of being surpassed.

I remember him being on a little bit of a tear last year before it was cut short for the big man after 39 contests in suffering a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery. He has since bounced back with vigor this season centering the checking line with Zack Stortini and Colin Greening.

Playing in his second year of a two-year, two way contract, this will most likely be his final one as a Senator. It appears his playing days for Ottawa have come and gone. Hopefully Ottawa will see David's value and possibly re-sign him once again knowing his role as a team leader for upcoming prospects, while owning up to that championship ring.

- COLE SCHNEIDER

Lo and behold, Cole is the club's lead goal and point producer! Schneider has been on a steady diet of putting the biscuit in the oven with a team leading eight while adding five helpers. Schneider is beginning his fifth season in Binghamton and has been efficient on the first line with Eric O'Dell at center and Dzingel on the wing. He also leads with 56 shots and has two power play tallies, tied with Matt Puempel for the club lead.

The 25-year-old native of Williamsville, NY, a tiny village in Western NY with a population of 5300, began his playing career playing for the Mahoning Valley Phantoms of the NAHL as an 18 year old. The next year he participated with the Topeka Roadrunners as they won the South Division title only to lose in round two of the playoffs.

Schneider then attended the University of Connecticut the next two years playing for the Huskies. He earned All-AHA Rookie Team honors in his freshman season and in 2011-'12, was selected to the All-AHA First Team breaking school records along the way with 23 goals and 22 assists in 38 games. Ottawa liked what they saw and signed him to a two-year, entry level contract as a free agent.

He had a career high 29 goals and 29 assists in 69 games last season and is looking to break those numbers this season, while spending time on the first power play unit.

Schneider is currently on his one-year, two-way contract but he's yet to see any ice surface located in Kanata other than the yearly AHL game that takes place at Canadian Tire Centre in a Binghamton uniform. Which is really too bad, as I don't see it changing anytime soon, since Cole sometimes appears soft with not a lot of grittiness to his game. But he has a gifted shot that has proven deadly when hot.

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Whether Ottawa does consider to offer Cole another contract, I have my doubts. After five years in the same organization seeing prospect after prospect passing by and not one mention of what he's accomplished to earn a cup of coffee, it's probably best to part ways as you want to have all opportunities available for not only him, but for other players to play in the NHL and if not here, then elsewhere. It's hard to face that reality, but it's the way it is in the minors.

Meanwhile, both players have deserved the recognition in what's turning out to be another lost season of hockey here in the Southern Tier of NY. The team has not played to their potential on paper, while lacking a consistent 60 minute effort, and fighting some locker room situations with a few key players. I'm just as frustrated as the fan sitting next to me hoping things turn for the better.

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Stay tuned as the Senators take on the Penguins as I'll have tonight's re-cap following the annual (USA) Thanksgiving Eve contest.

*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch.