This weekend, the Binghamton Senators played host to the Norfolk Admirals for a pair of games while needing to make up some serious ground in the Eastern conference. With Andrew Hammond on recall in Ottawa, Binghamton turned to Peter Mannino in net on Friday night. The pair of games offered the Binghamton crowd an opportunity to see former Ottawa Senator Dany Heatley in some AHL action. After clearing waivers this past week, Colin Greening also made his AHL season debut on Friday night. As an added bonus, I was also able to make the trip down to Binghamton this weekend to be able to experience some live BSens action.
The Admirals would strike first at the 8-minute mark of the first period, before the Sens were able to record a shot on net. Norfolk cycled around the Binghamton zone, threw it on net from the right side and Emerson Etem was able to poke home the rebound for the 1-0 lead. Later, a Derek Grant tripping call would prove costly as an Alex Grant clearing attempt would take a strange bounce off the glass and onto the stick of Etem who fired home the rolling puck for the two goal lead.
The Senators fourth line would cut the lead to one off the stick of Darren Kramer following a very sloppy, but successful, zone entry. Darren Kramer fired it shortside on Norfolk goalie John Gibson for his third goal of the season and third of January.
Later in the second period, Mark Fistric would lay a hard hit on Matt Puempel and Colin Greening would take exception to the hit and drop the gloves with Fistric for a short bout.
At the midway point of the third period, Heatley would take a penalty well behind the play to put the Sens on the man advantage. The BSens would make them pay on a rebound goal off the stick of Cole Schneider to tie the game at two.
It didn't take long for the Admirals to regain the lead as a point shot would go off Fredrik Claesson's leg and fool Mannino. Thirty seconds after that, the Admirals would win the battle for the puck behind the net, throw it out front to Max Friberg who snapped it past the Binghamton goalie for the 4-2 lead.
The flurry of goals would continue as Carter Camper and Shane Prince would work a nice give-and-go off the rush that Prince finished past a sprawling Admiral goaltender. The Sens would go into the last minute down 4-3.
As Peter Mannino started to head to the Binghamton bench for the extra attacker, Norfolk was able to have a clean breakout and worked the puck down to the Senators zone, forcing Mannino to scramble back into the goal. While Mannino tried to get set, Etem fired home his third goal of the game to give the Admirals a 5-3 win.
Despite giving up five goals on 44 shots, BSens goaltender Peter Mannino played a good game and was able to give them a chance to win it but they couldn't capitalize.
Binghamton Senators 3 - Norfolk Admirals 5
Binghamton Senators Record: 17-20-5
Saturday: Norfolk Admirals at Binghamton Senators
After dropping the game to the Admirals on Friday night, the Senators looked to get back in the win column on Saturday. After being recalled to Binghamton, Scott Greenham got the start on Saturday for the Sens.
The Senators would open the scoring while killing a Tuzzolino interference penalty. After some extended zone time by the Admirals, a long rebound would bounce out and set up a two-on-one rush for Derek Grant and David Dziurzynski. The pass got through to Grant who slid it under a sliding John Gibson. The quick first period would end with the Sens outshooting the Admirals by a 9-4 margin and a 1-0 lead.
In the second period, Claesson sent the puck down the ice and it looked as though Buddy Robinson had beat the Admirals down the ice to have the call waved off, but the linesman disagreed. The icing call would prove costly, as the Admirals would win the ensuing faceoff and Emerson Etem would fire home his fourth goal in two nights to tie the game at one.
The solid goaltending would continue for both teams as no one would be able to find the twine in the third period. As such, the game would head to overtime in order to find a winner.
In overtime, Emerson Etem had looked to had found a winner early on for the Admirals but Chris Wideman was there to pull the puck off the goal line. A minute later, the Admirals would break up the ice again. Nick Kerdiles would drop it for Andrew O'Brien on the rush who would unleash a howitzer that blew past Scott Greenham to give them the 2-1 overtime win.
Binghamton Senators 1 - Norfolk Admirals 2 (OT)
Binghamton Senators Record: 17-20-6
Bits and Bites from Bingo:
- Colin Greening saw his first AHL action of the season on the top line with Matt Puempel and Derek Grant. I was expecting him to look like one of the best players out there, but he didn't seem to have an impact in his first weekend back in the AHL. With that said, he did outmuscle some Admirals and win some puck battles along the boards which the average AHLer would not be able to do.
- The Sens continue to struggle to put a full team game together. They have given up the third most goals in the AHL, while scoring the sixth most goals. When the offense is there, the defence/goaltending isn't and when the defence/goaltending is there, the offense isn't. Definitely not a recipe for success.
- Just a couple of thoughts on Dany Heatley. He comes across as though he is drifting and coasting for the most part of his shifts. He almost seemed disinterested in carrying the puck or battling for the puck along the boards. Off the ice, I was impressed that he came out immediately following the game to meet with kids and fans for 15-20 minutes to sign autographs and speak with fans. The former Sens 50-goal scorer went pointless on the weekend and has two goals and one assist through 16 AHL games this season.
- The Binghamton Senators are now last in the Eastern Conference with a record of 17-20-6 for 40 points and they are winless in their last four games. Also, they have only won one of their last five games at home.
The Week Ahead:
Friday, February 6 at 7:00pm. Hershey Bears at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, February 7 at 7:00pm. Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Binghamton Senators
Sunday, February 8 at 3:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Utica Comets
Notable Updates from North American Prospects:
Nick Paul: Recorded a goal and two assists through three games this week. He now has 23 goals and 20 assists through 38 games this season.
Vincent Dunn: The Rimouski forward has been suspended for five games for a aggressive crosscheck to the throat in a game last week.
Francis Perron: The Rouyn-Noranda winger had a solid week, scoring a pair of goals and adding three assists in two games this weekend. He is ranked 17th in the QMJHL with 22 goals and 39 assists through 47 games. He is also 14th in the league with 181 shots.
Ben Harpur: Had a pair of assists and was a game-high +3 in a 6-3 win over the Niagara IceDogs on Saturday night.