Cole Schneider and Max McCormick each had a goal and an assist, while goaltender Chris Driedger made 32 saves, as the Binghamton Senators played one of their
better best games of the season in a 5-2 drubbing against the Rochester Americans. The win ended the team's four game losing skid, while at the same time putting a halt to the Amerks three game winning streak.
Perhaps the Senators (16-23-3-0) caught a napping Rochester team (21-20-2-1) that was looking ahead to their contest on Saturday with Utica, or maybe the Sens were just tired of giving up the lead after two periods that has been a recent pattern. Either way, it's a good start of the weekend with the Toronto Marlies on the horizon on Saturday.
Both teams exchanged a pair of power play goals in the opening period as the Amerks struck first with rookie Nick Paul in the box for hooking. Center Phil Varone's soft pass found Cal O'Reilly inside the circle, and he let go a slapper by Driedger's glove side for the early lead. Then Binghamton would tie it up shortly after when Michael Kostka scored his fourth of the season on a wrist shot that sailed by Amerks goaltender Nathan Lieuwen's shoulder.
Senators defenseman Guillaume Lepine took matters into his own hands before the end of the period as he puck handled to around the back of the net and popped out the other side, causing Lieuwen to go down early (for whatever reasons), as Lepine simply shot into the empty net giving his team the 2-1 lead.
Each club scored a goal in the middle stanza with Cole Schneider cashing in on his 14th with a sweet tap in after receiving the puck from Tobias Lindberg from behind the cage. That goal would end Lieuwen's night, after giving up three on only ten shots, as back up netminder Linus Ullmark entered the game.
Rochester cuts the lead to one with forward Tim Schaller, from behind the net, tossed the puck into Driedger and got the lucky bounce as it trickled in what looked to be off his skate.
With the Sens up 3-2 entering the third period, forward Kyle Flanagan made a statement just 30 seconds in, that this night would belong to the Senators. His crafty, cross ice movement in the slot drew Ullmark down early, as he seized the moment and into the empty net the puck went for his third of the season. Amerks looked to gain some ground near the end, but Driedger came up huge stopping hometime native Jerry D'Amigo up close in gobbling the puck in front with just inside five minutes left.
Ullmark was then pulled that gave Rochester the extra attacker, but Binghamton kept up the pressure and was rewarded for their efforts, as Max McCormick broke loose from center ice and added an empty netter for his eighth of the season that would wrap it up, as the team accounted for all threeof the Game. (McCormick, Kostka and Schneider with first star)
POST GAME NOTES
- Schneider and Ryan Dzingel share the team lead with 34 points after both playing in all 42 games. Cole had a terrific night, including a shorthanded breakaway that resulted in his backhand shot gone wide as he had beaten Ullmark's five hole. The team ended up with three breakaways overall with none being accounted for.
- That fluke goal didn't rattle Driedger at all as he hunkered down and secured his 10th win of the season. Still, he's known to possess a weak glove, but that first period snipe by O'Reilly was a heavy shot from up close inside the faceoff circle. It'll be interesting to see who gets the call on Saturday, but I bet it's Driedger over O'Connor.
- After Rochester's goal in the first, Sens Captain Zack Stortini dropped the gloves with Jack Nevins right after the faceoff and landed some rights that connected sending Nevins down to his knees. Good timing and a wake-up call for the Sens, as the Amerks started out strong and had the early momentum.
- If only this team can find some kind of consistency to bring with them we wouldn't be in the position that we are. Frustrating season to say the least.
- The Booster Club were amongst those in attendance as they made the trip and will on Saturday in Toronto. Good to see them alive and well in supporting the team on another difficult season.
Next up, the talented Toronto Marlies for a late afternoon affair on Saturday closing out the month of January. Then the team is off next week before a three in three on the weekend, beginning with Hershey.