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BSens' Offense Quiet In 2-1 Loss To Amerks

Big crowd sent home without a stick salute spoiling Star Wars Night in Binghamton

Alicia Strauch

Not what you would expect in tonight's 2-1 loss after potting six the previous night as the Rochester Americans take down the Binghamton Senators on Star Wars Night. Amerks goaltender Nathan Lieuwen handled 37 saves and his offense took care of the rest in scoring inside the first five minutes of the game with both coming on the power play ending the Senators five game home win streak.

Goaltender Chris Driedger got the surprised start after playing in Friday's game and finished with 22 saves as he kept his team in it but didn't get the goal support that he needed.

Rochester capitalized on their first power play as Sens defenseman Mark Fraser received a four minute penalty just 1:19 into the game. As a pair of 22's took the face-off deep in Binghamton's zone, Phil Varone wins it and backhands the puck to Cal O'Reilly, who then fed off to defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti and he lets it rip right by Driedger from the point for a 1-0 lead.

Just 3:30 later Buddy Robinson is called for a questionable boarding call and the Amerks jump to a two goal lead. O'Reilly backhands a pass from behind the net to Dan Catenacci in front who flips the puck high glove side with Driedger deep into the cage handcuffing the 21-year-old.

One would expect a big comeback with more than 3/4 of the game left but it never materializes with Sens missing the net, unable to handle the puck often and the offense sputters with the exception of some good puck control on several power plays, but Lieuwen was there when he was needed.

The lone Senators goal came on behalf of a Robinson deflection off a wrister by defenseman Michael Kostka with 6:14 left in the final period. Binghamton then with a big push with the help from the large crowd urging them on, pulled Driedger with 1:11 left. After Kostka played goaltender and saved a sure empty netter, Luke Richardson calls a timeout with 13 seconds left but the puck skips by Patrick Mullen near the blue line ending any chances of sending it to overtime.

Let's hope the club can bounce back behind Scott Greenham on Sunday in Allentown.

TONIGHT'S LINE-UP

Dzingel-O'Dell-Robinson
Lindberg-Paul-Schneider
Puempel-Flanagan-Greening
Penny-Dziurzynski-Stortini

Lepine-Kostka
Fraser-Carlisle
Sdao-Mullen

WHO'S OUT

Ben Harpur, Nick Tuzzolino and Matt O'Connor, injured. Troy Rutkowski, Travis Ewanyk, both healthy.
Scott Greenham back up

POST GAME NOTES

- Every time the Senators would mount a rush things just didn't click with the puck jumping off of players sticks slowing the pace down as the team looked tired, but hats off to Lieuwen as he was solid to preserve the win.

- Fraser and Jack Nevins dropped the mitts in a first period fight as both ended up swinging widely before Fraser with the take down. About the only thing to cheer about the entire game with the exception of the late goal.

- Matt Puempel's seven game point streak was snapped as Richardson altered the lines in the middle frame to help generate some offense with Puempel and Robinson swapping spots, which seemed to make some sense with Buddy having no reason being on the first line.

- Driedger had some really nice saves stopping a wrap around attempt by Amerks D-man Matt Donovan and later flashed the glove on a slap shot in the second period but the early goal he had no idea where the puck was as it sailed right by him. His record falls to 9-8-1-0, 2.99 GAA, 0.904 SV%.

- This is Travis Ewanyk's second game being a healthy scratch. I don't have a problem with it as Ewanyk has showed nothing but a single digit offensive producer in his three years as a pro and he belongs in the ECHL. He's shown nothing except taking space on the roster with the club trying to figure out the right combinations in moving forward.

- Robin Lehner made the bus trip and suited up serving the back-up role for his first appearance in Binghamton after being traded by Ottawa. Fans lined up getting his autograph at times and he exchanged some friendly chat with Colin Greening and David Dziurzynski during warm-ups as he's down in Rochester on a rehab assignment.

BOX SCORE

UPCOMING GAMES

Sens close out the weekend on Sunday with the Phantoms and return to home action on Wednesday against the Crunch.

*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch