Ex-NHL veteran Scott Gomez scored a goal and an assist in helping another ex-NHL vet, goaltender Dan Ellis, to his third shutout of the season as the Bears silenced the recently hapless Binghamton Senators by a score of 4-0. Chris Driedger (9-9-1-0, 3.05 GAA, 0.902 SV%) took the loss for the Senators, as they fell for the second game in a row on home ice and 11 points out of a final playoff spot.
After the Senators (15-21-3-0) applied endless waves of pressure on Ellis in the opening period, Bears defenseman Mike Moore put his team out in front with a slapper from just inside the circle eluding Driedger's stick for the 1-0 lead. Another strong beginning as the team is struggling for answers.
Then in the second, Hershey jumped to a 2-0 lead when Paul Carey carried the puck into the offensive zone and his short pass found Gomez, who was trailing on the play, flipped it calmly over to forward Chris Bourque, as he then dropped to one knee sending a one-timer past Driedger into the back of the net.
Gomez added to the misery, simply tapping home a rebound in front making it 3-0 contest, as the Senators are outmatched with their efforts. Travis Boyd rounds up the scoring with his eighth of the season, grabbing a loose puck in front sending it home with a snapper with three Senators standing around in front of Driedger.
Fast forward to the third period as Ryan Penny was rewarded a penalty shot and showcased how the evening went as he whiffed on the shot with Ellis calmly getting a stick on it. This is not to be expected if the Sens are going to climb up the ladder in the standings. I know there has been some key players that have been missing, but the team has overcome adversity before. Time to get it together and regain some lost momentum.
POST GAME NOTES
- Player movements; Matt Puempel is up with Ottawa and Fredrik Claesson was returned. Ben Harpur and Troy Rutkowski are now in Evansville and Alex Wideman was sent to Bingo.Travis Ewanyk inserted back into the line-up after missing his last 6 games as a healthy. Conor Allen changes numbers from #26 to his familiar #40.
- Gomez, in his third game for Hershey after signing a PTO last week, scored his first ever AHL goal and retrieved the puck soon after. The former first round draft pick by the Devils was smooth and collective with the puck, as he was the cornerstone on the Bears power play.
- Driedger struggling as of late and needs to reset and get back to doing what it takes to keep his team in it. Yes the offense wasn't there tonight for support, but he missed some basic saves that he should have had.
Syracuse Crunch return to Binghamton on Saturday after the Senators thrilling overtime win on the 13th, then play three straight on the road starting next week.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch