Ryan Dzingel had a goal and an assist and Eric O'Dell added two important assists in leading the surging Binghamton Senators (14-19-3-0) over their rivals, the Syracuse Crunch (16-14-6-1) by an exciting 4-3 contest in overtime. Scott Greenham recorded 31 saves and was up to the task in the clutch with the goaltending situation in the organization upside down.
As we near the half way point the Senators have discovered what winning hockey is about as they have ten points in their last 11 games to pull within eight points of a playoff spot.
Syracuse would get on the board first as it appears Captain Mike Angelidis got credited with the goal however the shot by Matt Taormina from the circle trickles in by five hole, but regardless it puts the Crunch ahead 6:46 in the first. Senators tie the game at one apiece with Dzingel's beautiful backhanded saucer pass across the crease to a streaking Matt Puempel who stuffs it up high by Syracuse goalie Kristers Gudlevskis.
Then in the middle frame it took the better part of two minutes before the Crunch would regain the lead as Tanner Richard puts himself into position after trailing on the play by Greenham's corner with Sens' defenseman Troy Rutkowski and Angelidis tied up and scores into the empty cage. But Senators tie it up with a nice slapper from Nick Paul as he took an outlet pass from Tobias Lindberg from the wall and beats Gudlevskis thanks to a screen set by Zack Stortini in front as it's a power play tally.
Buddy Robinson ended up scoring his eighth of the season for the go ahead goal with some nice stick work by O'Dell as he twists and turns by three Syracuse players near the slot and managed to get a shot off with Gudlevskis responding with a toe save only to have Robinson in the right spot for the rebound giving the BSens the lead at 3-2.
With the third winding down and Binghamton clinging to a one goal lead, Philippe Paradis re-directs a Taormina slapper from the blue line past Greenham that tied it 3-3 with 4:58 left.
In the overtime some thrilling end to end action with both teams creating some odd man rushes with each goaltender coming up big as you felt there would be no shootout needed to decide the extra point. And that would come to fruition as O'Dell hustles into the offensive zone and draws Taormina to the ice in front of Gudlevskis and with a quick pass to Dzingel he lifted the puck up high on a snap shot.
I really like what I've been seeing lately as the players fought back and didn't give in and gave an effort as a whole without collapsing at the same time. This team has been down in the dumps early on in the campaign, but has risen to the occasion coming together in impressive fashion as showcased tonight.
Frank Palazzese back up
POST GAME NOTES
- Looks like this will be the set goalie rotation at least for the coming weekend with Greenham getting the starts as Chris Driedger is up in Ottawa taking Andrew Hammond spot, who's out on personal reasons. Matt O'Connor is still a ways off after suffering a knee injury and has recently resumed light skating. This left the club looking for a back up and signed Palazzese from the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL.
-Angelidis dropped the mitts in a second period fight with both not landing much as Stortini got credit with the take down.
- I thought Robinson had a really good effort, especially again on the PK as he created an offense threat feeding Cole Schneider for a break away only to be denied by Gudlevskis. He's been a key factor as of late with the team's recent success.
- Overall the team has turned the corner and looks to rebound in finding ways to win battling through early adversities. The players have embraced a winning habit and it shows with lots of hugs with Dzingel after his winning goal and continuing the newly found tradition of the stick salute that has won the fans over lately.
Sens are back at it with two games coming up with a home on home weekend series against the Rochester Amerks with the first on Friday at Blue Cross Arena then followed up on Saturday at The Floyd.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch