Binghamton Senators found themselves in a 4-1 hole early in the second period and would mount a comeback of sorts but fell short, as they wound up losing 4-3 at the hands of the rival Syracuse Crunch at The Floyd on Friday. Goaltender Matt O’Connor started his second straight game and took the loss with Chris Driedger away filling in for Ottawa.
As a result of the way Syracuse was better prepared, they got off to a lead less than two minutes into the first period. Forward Adam Erne scored his second of the season as he cut across the hash marks and used defenseman Chris Carlisle as a screen before he ripped off a wrist shot past O’Connor to set the tone early on.
Luck would also be on the side of the Crunch as a loose rebound was right for the picking when forward Michael Bournival lifted a backhander up and over O’Connor’s glove near the crease for a 2-0 lead. Syracuse was all over it, and that kept the Senators’ flat-footed until they would finally break free and cut the deficit by one.
Zack Stortini got credited for his first goal of the season after a shot from Casey Bailey was stopped by Syracuse goaltender Adam Wilcox, as the puck broke loose from his leg pad. That goal would lift Binghamton as they finished out the period with momentum that hopefully would be carried into the second.
But the Crunch would dampen any of those thoughts right away with the result of two quick goals in the first 61 seconds of the middle frame. Forward Matthew Peca sent a soft wrister through heavy traffic from up high in the circle past O’Connor for a power play tally, as O’C never saw it with his late reaction. Then 25 seconds later, Gabriel Dumont received a short pass in front from Henri Ikonen that forced O’C out of position, and he had no shot as Dumont simply sent the puck into the empty net.
Forward Max McCormick’s first goal gave the team life on a nifty feed from Kyle Flanagan on a two-on-one break to cut the lead to 4-2. Again the Senators hung in there and with momentum on their side cut the lead back to one when Phil Varone’s shot found the back of the net near the short side of the post by Wilcox at 4:03 in the third. Syracuse was close to going back up again by two when Captain Luke Witkowski’s shot rang off the corner post.
Binghamton made a final stab at it with plans of pulling O’Connor early before defenseman Patrick Sieloff crushed those thoughts as he shouldered his way into Wilcox that sent both players down to the ice in a collision with 2:36 left in the final period. O’C was eventually pulled but the Sens couldn’t complete the comeback.
POST GAME NOTES
- Erik Condra made his return to the place where he helped win a Calder Cup for the first time and sported an ‘A’ on his jersey. Wasn’t really thrilled with his play, but he did have an assist on the night. (Over-rated, there I said it.)
- Syracuse played harder, faster and were more determined to pucks than Binghamton was, plain and simple. Sens defense wasn’t sound enough and at times were simply over-matched and behind the entire night.
- Senators first goal looked to be Mike Blunden’s, as he seemed to have poked the puck through while in the blue paint, but somehow Storts got credit for it.
- McCormick took a vicious hit from the stick of Witkowski in front as the final horn blew, with Max in pain down on all fours. Replays would show his stick caught his ear along the side of Max’s head. In retaliation, Mike Kostka sent the wrong player to the ice that drew a crowd before the ref’s interfered and order was restored, sending both teams off the ice.
- BSens were outshot 31-27, but again couldn’t counter early on that would cost them the game. Same went in the opening of the second period, team was not ready to deal with the attack from Syracuse as the club needs to be better prepared.
On Saturday the BSens will be on the road to face the Hershey Bears in Chocolate Town.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20