It’s early, I know, but this is beginning to look ugly.
For a second night in a row the team came out strong in the opening 20 minutes before falling flat on their heels in the final 40 minutes with just a single goal to show for as the Rochester Americans smothered the Binghamton Senators 4-1 at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in downtown Binghamton.
Ex-Sen Cole Schneider had a goal and an assist while goaltender Linus Ullmark made 29 saves to send Binghamton (2-5-0-1) to their fourth straight loss. Just like in Friday’s 4-1 loss in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Sens got the early jump they needed and outplayed their opposition that resulted in an early lead only to come up short once again.
Tonight it was rookie defenseman Andreas Englund’s first pro goal with a quick deflection near the net from a cross-ice pass off the stick of Kyle Flanagan that set the tone just two minutes into the contest. No argument here as the club was prepared out of the gate.
The problem was though, Rochester (5-4-0-0) was allowed to fight their way back in the game by scoring the next four that sent the Sens reeling the rest of the evening. Goaltender Matt O’Connor was not too bad, as some of his goals that he gave up were partially screened. (Trying to be positive here.)
The first Amerk goal was off a faceoff won cleanly by Justin Kea from Nick Paul that sent the puck to Rochester forward Eric Cornel at the top of the circle. His shot sailed through O’Connor’s five hole while he was screened by Ben Harpur near the hash marks.
1:16 later forward Brady Vail recorded his first goal of the season off a feed from Kyle Bonis near the corner boards and let it rip, up high, stick side by O’Connor with Binghamton’s defensemen lurking around.
In the final period, Cal O'Reilly beat Phil Varone on another faceoff win and slid the puck back in-between his legs to Schneider, who was planted on top of the circle. His soft wrister beat O’Connor cleanly up high, as defenseman Chris Rumble appeared to be in the way of a seemingly disgruntled O’Connor’s line of vision, as he threw his arms in the air as if to ask “really?”
O’Reilly added an empty-netter with 26.9 seconds left that sent the fans to the exits in frustration as they witnessed another home loss, the third in four attempts.
POST GAME NOTES
- “Where’s the offense” is on everyone’s mind lately as it remains to sputter in molasses with just 3 goals in the last 3 games. Again, 4 unanswered goals tonight, 4 last night, 3 in Hershey last Saturday. All out of the gate, and then the collapse soon follows after one period.
- BSens did come out with some hits in the opening frame, which was a rare occurrence vs. last year’s club, but that too soon disappeared as this team has zero grinders and not enough physical players.
- For a second night in a row, the team came out strong in the opening 20 minutes before falling flat on their heels in the final 40 minutes. What needs to change is some of the player’s commitments to winning and digging deeper in what it takes.
- O’C has improved, and although he keeps on losing, he has to fight his way through his battles. It’s been better, but it remains a struggle.
- Schneider continues to haunt his former team with another goal and assist effort as he led his team to a 3-1 triumph two weeks ago.
- Scott Greenham served as back-up while the recently sent down Chris Driedger was in street clothes. However, Driedgs should get the start on Sunday in Massachusetts.
The Senators conclude their 3 game weekend in Springfield on Sunday for a matinee meeting.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20