That's the best term I can come up with in describing what has come over the Binghamton Senators lately, as they are a team full of confidence. A very powerful word in the world of sports that is often contagious. Another win, another stick salute and another two points in the standings as the Senators squeak by the St. John's IceCaps 3-2 to extend their winning streak to five to close out the year on home ice in front of a lively New Year's Eve crowd.
The Senators (11-17-2-0) were facing a tough IceCaps team (15-9-5-3) that was a good measuring stick on how well they've been playing during this winning streak even without the services of defenseman Fredrik Claesson, who remains up in Ottawa.
A great start would see that confidence emerge as Buddy Robinson scores on a play just 1:20 in after Ryan Dzingel puts a spin move from behind the net with IceCaps forward Charles Hudon on his heels and feeds Buddy in front as he puts it by goaltender Zachary Fucale for an early 1-0 lead.
Senators continue to pressure and are rewarded when Eric O'Dell scores his team leading 12th on the power play taking a short pass from Cole Schneider as the two were slotted on the corners of the cage with Fucale having no chance of stopping.
Binghamton grabs a 3-0 lead as Tobias Lindberg shoots high stick side from the slot after the puck kicks off Schneider's skate from the corner to Nick Paul who short passes to Lindberg. Talk about getting all the breaks as that was a lucky bounce on a broken play that I'll gladly take.
St. John's with a push as they score two quick goals late in the second period with Sven Andrighetto receiving the puck off of Kyle Flanagan's stick trying to intercept a pass, and a 1:24 later Stefan Fournier scores his fifth of the season on a deflection that dribbles past Driedger making it a one goal game.
The third period would see Binghamton dominate trying to increase the lead as they take chances they would not normally would've done. In the past the team would sit back and wait for things to develop conceding that they will be scored upon creating an eventual collapse. Not this time around as the team has all of the (wait for it...) confidence in the world and plays aggressively in not letting a tie develop.
Shots end up 34-33 Binghamton.
POST GAME NOTES
- Highlight of the night during Kiss Kam and the center point was on two IceCaps' players near the end of the bench. Normally the opposing players just ignore it but not this time as the one looked up at the video board and reacted by planting one on the other's helmet drawing a huge response in laughter and applause from fans. Gif coming up soon for sure.
- Guillaume Lepine had an eventful game as he was involved in the physical department laying out two players on separate occasions that resulted into fights. After interfering with St. John's forward Michael Bournival, Fournier came after Lepine as the two drop the gloves but end up wrestling on the ice. Then a hard check to the boards on Bud Holloway saw the rematch of Fournier and Lepine as the two were prepared staging a fight at center ice with Lepine landing and getting the take down. Although both stayed in the game as the first fracas was just minor roughing calls.
- I normally don't make a stink on three stars, but Schneider with one assist for the second star over Driedger's 31 save performance? Really?
- With Lindberg in the line-up the Sens have won 10 and lost 12. Without him, the club has 1 win and 8 losses. That goes to show how valuable the rookie is when he's playing. After being a healthy scratch twice for whatever reasons, it appears he's gotten the message. Attitude goes a long ways and hopefully he's straighten things out.
- Max McCormick and Claesson both remain with the big club as well as David Dziurzynski. On defense, Michael Sdao made his season debut tonight and Kostka was returned from Ottawa.
D-man Michael Kosta enroute to Bingo as is Scott Greenham. Coach Richardson says the initial hope is that O'Connor's injury is 10-14 days.— Grady Whittenburg (@BSensRadio) December 31, 2015
Another meeting down in Hershey again on Saturday. Then Wilkes-Barre/Scranton next Tuesday in their barn.
Happy New Year Sens' fans!
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch.