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Syracuse Crunch Escape With 3-2 Win Over Binghamton Senators

Bad call late in the third adds to the Senators' frustrations in 3-2 loss

Alicia Strauch

I don't ever recall going off on a tangent of sorts blaming a official for a bad call, but tonight, it was so blatantly obvious, I'm about to.

The scenario is the following; With the Crunch clinging to a one goal lead late in the third, Binghamton was pressing with Chris Driedger pulled for the extra attacker, and had some momentum going their way with good puck control in the offensive zone. Sens' defenseman Michael Kostka fed a short pass over to fellow D-man Conor Allen at the blueline, and in the process of cradling the puck, he was whistled for an offside call by the linesman with 30.2 seconds left in the third.

With replays showing it was clearly onside, the large, yet rowdy home crowd showed their displeasure with a chorus of boos and a thrown octopus. Yes, an octopus. (How anyone got that in there and held onto it throughout the game is beyond me.) Even the ref watched the replay on the overhead video boards and mouthed "bad call".

This drew the ire of head coach Luke Richardson afterwards, as he played it cool during a media scrum, but still let his displeasure's be known with him stating  "..but I thought referring was way unacceptable for a professional hockey league".

It wouldn't matter in the end, as Syracuse netminder Adam Wilcox stood his ground and preserved the 3-2 win sending Binghamton to their third straight loss, all on home ice. But it did play a role in tonight's unfortunate outcome.

Rant over. How the game unfolded.

Both teams would exchange goals in the opening period as forward Tye McGinn put the Crunch up with a snipe past Driedger's glove after a series of backhanded passes from Matt Taormina to Matthew Peca, ending over to McGinn. Sens then tie it with a power play tally, as Cole Schneider tipped in Kostka's soft release from the point beating Wilcox for his 13th of the season.

Things would heat up for the long-time rivals in the second with some big hits and bad blood from the Senators,  including a fight. However, Binghamton would take the lead on a lucky bounce from a shot by Kyle Flanagan that hit a Syracuse skate in front, and ricocheted right to Kostka as he was passing through the crease, and tapped it by Wilcox putting the Sens up 2-1.

Driedger wasn't overly sharp once again, as he was scored upon twice within two minutes in the final period. Syracuse defenseman Slater Koekkoek unloaded a bullet from the high slot that whizzed right by him, and soon after Taormina racked up number eight on the season with his blast from the blueline that Driedger never saw, as the comeback is complete for the Syracuse Crunch.

Tough night for the team and the home fans as the start of the second half of the season isn't all that rosy with two straight losses.

TONIGHT'S LINE-UP

Dzingel-O'Dell-Robinson
Greening-Paul-Schneider
Wideman-Flanagan-Dziurzynski
Penny-Ewanyk-Stortini

Lepine-Kostka
Claesson-Allen
Fraser-Carlisle

Chris Driedger
Matt O'Connor

WHO'S OUT

Tobias Lindberg, injured. Nick Tuzzolino, Mike Sdao, healthy.

POST GAME NOTES

- Travis Ewanyk's viscous hit to Syracuse rookie forward Brian Hart into the boards drew some attention by the players benches, as he received a five minute major but don't be surprised if a suspension is handed down by the league.

- Syracuse forward David Broll's legal hit to Kostka in the corner midway through the second drew the attention of Sens' defenseman Guillaume Lepine, as the two dropped the mitts and started hammering away at one another with Lepine popping the lid off of Broll. Quick fight that draws even with both landing rights, as Lepine was called for the extra two for instigating.

- Rookie goaltender Matt O'Connor served in the back-up role and appears ready to resume play next week. That'll mean the return of Scotty Greenham to Evansville to make room, as Greenham was splendid in his four recent starts. Overall this season in the A, he is 3-1-0-1, 2.19 GAA, 0.928 SV%. I'm sure he'll return at some point in the second half, as he's undeniably paid his dues and it's somewhat of a disservice for him lacing them up at the ECHL level, (all due respect to our friends in Evansville).

- Ryan Dzingel with an ill-advised fight late in the third with rookie defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, putting him in the box for five minutes with 7:17 left. As he made his way to the box, he mouthed off Let's Go! directed to his teammates hoping for a spark, but that's not what you want to happen when trailing by a goal and one of the team's better puck movers suddenly not available.

Alex Wideman doesn't belong in the AHL.

- Big crowd, including the Syracuse Booster Club, as they filled a bus or two adding to the exciting atmosphere.

BOX SCORE

UPCOMING GAMES

Next week the team takes the road beginning with a trip to Legigh Valley on Wednesday, followed with two contests on the weekend with Rochester on Friday, and Toronto on Saturday.

*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch