Binghamton Senators had their chances but couldn’t solve Rochester Americans’ netminder Linus Ullmark for the majority of the contest, as he led the Amerks to a 3-1 victory at The Floyd on Saturday in downtown Binghamton.
Matt O’Connor took the loss on a frustrating night as he played fairly well and showed signs of improvement in his season debut behind what turned out to be a sluggish effort from the defense.
Let’s face it, Binghamton (1-1-0-1) was their own worst enemy all night long. Besides the fact that they were not only beaten to loose pucks, which in turn created many turnovers, Rochester (3-2-0-0) played an effective role as the aggressor forcing missed opportunities and defensive breakdowns at the expense of the Senators.
In the second period there was an apparent Sens goal that was waved off, which clearly looked to be a good, however the referees ruled it a no-goal as Mike Blunden was behind Ullmark in the crease.
Then Zack Stortini had a shot that simply went high over the net from up close. Nick Paul was also robbed with his low shot that caught the toe of Ullmark as he was spread out in the crease. (In hindsight, Paul had an open net to shoot for.)
At the end of the middle frame it was the Sens with a huge shot advantage as they peppered Ullmark 22 times in that period that included seven in the first three minutes, compared to a total of eight shots from Rochester. Yet they still trailed by a single goal.
As the game wore on, the offense tried and tried to get it going and they finally broke through. Rookie forward Francis Perron scored off a nice wrist shot from the circle past a screened Ullmark for his first professional goal at 12:19 in the third. Kyle Flanagan’s quick backhand pass set him up, as the two raced into the offensive zone.
It looked like the game was headed into overtime for the second night in a row for Binghamton, but former Senator Cole Schneider had other plans.
What led to the heart-breaker loss was Schneider, as he snapped a 1-1 tie with a strong individual effort along the sideboards with defenseman Patrick Sieloff doing his best to defend. Schneids powered himself towards the net and placed the puck from a sharp angle, up high, near side as he took advantage of a slight gap that went over O’Connor’s shoulder. Nice goal, bad timing with only 44.6 seconds remaining in the third.
Binghamton would come close with a final rush with O’Connor pulled for the extra attacker and time running out but Casey Bailey couldn’t find the handle on another loose puck in front. It then kicked out to Rochester’s Dan Catenacci, as he muscled his way to center ice to put away an empty-netter.
Tough loss. Frustrating night.
POST GAME NOTES
- It wasn’t as if Ullmark stood on his head, he just had some puck luck tonight. Earned Star of the Game Honors for the second straight night as he was in net for Friday’s 5-2 over Toronto. When you’re hot, you’re hot.
- Coach KK kept the same offensive lines but mixed up the defense. Perhaps that would be an issue, but no matter what the defense plays a different game when O’C is in net compared to Chris Driedger.
- The power play is still lacking as the team has yet to score a goal in nine opportunities so far this season, but It did look better than last night’s effort up in Albany. 1st unit consisted of basically the first line in Paul, Curtis Lazar and Blunden. On the blueline, defenseman Michael Kostka, then a revolving door of pairings that began with Ben Harper, who was later replaced by Flanagan, and then Perron.
- On the flip side they haven’t been scored upon on the PK.
- Speaking of Flanagan, he left the game in the third period with an injury as he was seen holding his wrist while he headed off to the locker room.
- Lazar still did his thing in beating down the opposition and skated hard. Easily the best player on the ice. Privileged to watch him up close. He’s a special player.
- Lines were; Paul-Lazar-Blunden, Perron-Flanagan-Bailey, McCormick-Nehring-Robinson, Dunn-Rupert-Stortini / Englund-Kostka, Claesson-Sieloff, Lepine-Harpur. DMan Chris Carlisle a healthy scratch.
The team travels up north a bit to take on the Utica Comets in Utica on Wednesday.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20