For the second Friday in a row, the Binghamton Senators hosted the Hershey Bears at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton. The game kicked off a three games in three days stretch for the Sens. The playoffs a very distant hope in a forgetful season. The Sens have matched up pretty evenly with the Bears this season with a 2-2-1 record.
The Sens early game woes would continue with the Bears opening the scoring in the first period off the stick of Wellman. Not long thereafter, the Bears would make it 2-0 off a rebound in front. A low-shooting first period would end with the Sens outshooting the Bears 6-5.
Midway through the second period, Wellman would cash in his second goal for the Bears and the rout would be on. Robinson would take a tripping penalty late in the period, which would send the Sens to the penalty kill their best penalty killer. Kundratek would fire home the powerplay marker for the Bears to make it 4-0 going into the second intermission.
A goal midway through the third from Alex Guptill would be the lone bright spot for the Sens when he finished off a feed from Robinson to make it a 4-1 game. The four-goal lead would be restored when Gazley would bank it off Greenham and into the net.
In the second half of the third, Max McCormick would drop the gloves with former BSens forward Jim O'Brien. McCormick would get the best of O'Brien, sending him off bloodied in need of repairs and he wouldn't return. The Bears would hold on for the blow-out win over the Sens by a 5-1 score.
Binghamton Senators 1 - Hershey Bears 5
Binghamton Senators Record: 22-26-6
Saturday: Binghamton Senators at Lehigh Valley Phantoms
For the ninth time this season, the Senators took on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday night. After Greenham earned the loss on Friday night, the Sens turned to Peter Mannino to try and get them back in the win column.
In what seems to happen every game, the Sens gave up the first goal. A shot from the point hit a body in front and redirected over to a wide open Phantom who ripped it home past Mannino who couldn't react in time. Mannino stood tall for the Sens and kept the Phantoms to just one goal in the first.
Near the end of first, Ryan Dzingel and Nick Cousins (who had a hat trick against the BSens in January) would drop the gloves for a wild scrap. Both players would get some good shots in. A frustrated Dzingel kept swinging punches when the linesmen stepped in, earning him an extra ten-minute misconduct.
Both the Sens and Phantoms would exchange chances in the second period, but both goalies would continue their solid play. I was really impressed with Mannino's game, despite his somewhat scrambly style.
Early in the third period, Dzingel would shoot home the game-tying marker off a juicy Patrick Mullen rebound. Later, an absolutely terrible D-to-D pass by the Phantoms would land on Dzingel's stick who would dzangle to his backhand for the go-ahead goal.
Newly signed (PTO) BSens forward Matt Tassone would take a cross-checking penalty and send the Phantoms to the powerplay. Just before the penalty expired, a wristshot from the point would make its way through to Mannino who was unable to squeeze it. The Phantoms' Hextall would find it and jam it home to make it 2-2. Near the end of regulation, Dzingel would have a high quality chance to finish off the hat trick to give the Sens the win, but he would be stopped on a one-on-one and the game would go to overtime.
Towards the end of the 4-on-4 portion of the overtime period, the Phantoms' Manning would step into a slapshot from the point and rip it past Mannino for the OT winner.
Binghamton Senators 2 - Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 (OT)
Binghamton Senators Record: 22-26-7
Sunday: Binghamton Senators at Albany Devils
To finish off the weekend, the Sens went to Albany to take on the Devils. Peter Mannino got the start in goal for the Sens for the second night in a row.
An early Devils interference penalty sent the Sens to the powerplay before the game was a minute old. On the powerplay, Dzingel would break into the zone, dish it cross-ice to Brad Mills for a shot that produced a juicy rebound for Cole Schneider to bury the rebound for the early 1-0 lead. Later, Robinson would come in on a breakaway, get a little too fancy and fail to get a shot off.
Past the midpoint of the first, the Sens were unable to clear the net and the puck would be jammed in for the 1-1 goal. Before the first period was through, the Devils would take the lead on a point shot through a ton of traffic.
Late in the second period, the Devils would break in two-on-one. In an effort to prevent the scoring chance, Aaron Johnson would take a lazy hooking penalty that sent Albany to the powerplay. The penalty would prove costly as the Devils would cash in off the rush with three seconds to go.
Seven minutes into the third, down 3-1, Chris Wideman would send a point shot through for a tip. Buddy Robinson was able to get a stick on it to fool the Devils goaltender to cut the deficit to one. Carter Camper would finish off a centering feed from Derek Grant to tie it up with just under three minutes to force overtime.
A late third period delay of game penalty to Schneider would put the Devils on the powerplay to start the overtime period. The Devils worked it around the box and fired a one-timer past Mannino for the winning goal 33 seconds into overtime.
Binghamton Senators 3 - Albany Devils 4 (OT)
Binghamton Senators Record: 22-26-8
Bits and Bites from Bingo:
- First year pro Ryan Dzingel continues to score in bunches. He had a big game against the Phantoms with two goals and a fight. He had an opportunity late for the hat trick but was stopped.
- Defenceman Alex Grant injured his leg last weekend and missed all three games this weekend. They haven't announced any timetable for his return.
- In an interview with TSN1200 on Monday, Bryan Murray mentioned that he'd like to see Buddy Robinson get a chance in Ottawa later this week. Buddy is an excellent penalty killer thanks in large part to his great speed. After a slow start to the season, Robinson has picked up a few more points recently with two goals and six assists since the start of February.
- I'd be interested in seeing how Cole Schneider would fare at the NHL level. He is tied for first on the team in goals and he's third on the team in points (after Wideman and Prince) with 18 goals and 18 assists for 36 points. He isn't the flashiest player out there, but he knows where to be on the ice and can finish.
The Week Ahead:
Wednesday, March 4 at 7:15pm. Binghamton Senators at Norfolk Admirals
Friday, March 6 at 7:30pm. Binghamton Senators at Norfolk Admirals
Sunday, March 8 at 3:00pm. Syracuse Crunch at Binghamton Senators
Notable Updates from North American Prospects:
Vincent Dunn: He had two goals and two assists in two games this week for Rimouski. His team blew out Acadie-Bathurst 8-0. The Rimouski Oceanic are first in the East Division with a record of 40-15-4.
Nick Paul: Had a big week for North Bay, scoring two goals and picking up three assists in three games this week. He is ranked 15th in the OHL with 33 goals.
Tobias Lindberg: Had a goal and three assists this week for the Oshawa Generals. His Oshawa Generals seem poised to go far this year as they have been dominating the OHL with a record of 46-9-5.