Rochester Americans hung on and roughed the storm out as Binghamton showed some true character tonight and didn't give in until the final buzzer, as their comeback fell short losing 6-5. Scott Greenham made his first appearance this season a forgettable one and was pulled midway through the second, letting in five goals on 17 shots as Matt O'Connor stepped in making five saves on six shots.
Rochester gets rattled around as Binghamton ups their physical play that would last throughout the night, but find themselves down 3-0 after the first. Amerks' rookie Evan Rodrigues scores while patiently hanging with the puck skating freely in the slot before letting a soft shot by Greenham with him down early on the ice early and through some traffic.
Then Sens killer Jason Akeson (Phantoms), with his new team, rips a sharp zinger from the circle past Greenham's glove for a power play tally. Phil Varone caps out the Amerks scoring in the opening period as Akeson undresses Nick Paul in the faceoff circle and slides it to Varone all alone in front.
David Dziurzynski made an ill advised pass in the neutral zone only to get picked off by Rochester's Matt Ellis as he hustles in on Greenham beating him with a low wrister putting the visiting team up by four as the rout is on. William Carrier makes it 5-0 that sends Greenham to the early showers with an easy tap in off the rebound from Justin Bailey's shot form low in the circle. Enter Matt O'Connor.
Local native Jerry D'Amigo scores his third of the season through O'Connor's five hole much to the chagrin of the home fans as the Senators are just not having anything go their way in this one. Up until the point with around five minutes left in the middle stanza, Zack Stortini takes a Patrick Mullen pass in front makes it count scoring his third of the season past Amerk goaltender Andrey Makarov, giving hope and maybe something to build on for the third.
That's exactly what would happen as Binghamton unleashes the offense scoring four unanswered goals. Matt Puempel (4th), Darian Dziurzynski (1st), Chris Carlisle (2nd) and Buddy Robinson (2nd) all contribute as the team peppers Makarov with 13 shots and have momentum in control the final period. Puempel banks one off the leg of Makarov and into the back of the net.
Darian streaks into the attacking zone taking a pass from Ryan Dzingel and sends the puck far side past Makarov. Carlisle gets a rebound in and Robinson finds the puck in front from behind the cage and rips it home sending the fans into a tizzy.
With O'C finally getting pulled with 1:25 left, Senators can't set up and time runs out. However, they showed some character in the way they positioned themselves to comeback, making an otherwise blowout back to a game and almost pulled it off.
Darian D-David D-Stortini
Matt O'Connor back up
POST GAME NOTES
- With the home crowd quiet for the first 40 minutes, they showed their appreciation with the team's third period effort and supported them until the game was over with applause. That's what we want to see is some effort and the team came through. Whatever was said during that intermission worked as they should have won hadn't been for the lackluster first two periods.
- Entering tonight's game, Senators total shots by period (including overtime on Wednesday; 12 - 3 - 3 - 3. On Friday in Albany; 1 - 4 - 1. That's a grand total of 12 shots in the last 5 periods of regulation play that is downright amazing, yet comical at the same time. As for tonight, big improvement as Binghamton outshot Rochester 34-23.
- Captain Stortini tonight with a goal and an assist as you have to believe he was the vocal one in-between periods. Whatever he might have said obviously worked as the team responded.
- For those that continue to blame Luke Richardson for the team's recent problem's and want him fired, it ain't happening. He isn't going anywhere anytime soon (this season) and that's an absolute guarantee. Ottawa has accommodated his wishes to be close to his family the last three seasons renewing his contract every time, but will this be his final year in Binghamton before moving on? Time will tell and probably can say the same for Steve Stirling.
- Paul was completely undressed at the dot in the first period leading to a goal and continues to be so-so. It's still early but I think there's potential.
- Good effort from Dizzy's younger brother Darian as he was signed to a PTO with Eric O'Dell and Danny Hobbs both out. The former pest for the Portland Pirates was injured in the first period but bounced back in returning as he made quite the impression that he wants to stay, and he should.
- The line of Max McCormick back at center with Puempel and Dzingel really paid off as the #1 line as all three had strong showings.
- O'Connor with a really bad goal let in though his five hole as he's got to shore that up with some guidance from Rick Wamsley. It was a fluke play but it seems there is always that certain goal you wished you had back and O'C has seen his share of them.
Friday night brings the return of the other I-81 rival up north, the Syracuse Crunch, as they host Binghamton next Friday, followed by a home tilt with the St. John's IceCaps on Saturday.
Also look for my quarterly grades reports all season long with the first due up on this Wednesday's Bites.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch.