The Binghamton Senators did something they haven’t done very much at all this season, and that’s being down by three goals but end up in the win column. As a matter of fact, the team is 1-14-1-1 when trailing after two periods entering tonight’s contest. However, the improbable event happened that resulted in a 4-3 victory in overtime against the visiting Utica Comets on Saturday night.
Senators got off to a sluggish start as the first shot by the Comets was a goal when Curtis Valk recorded his ninth with a tip in from a pass along the wall by Darren Archibald, as the puck was too quick for Binghamton starter Matt O’Connor to come up with. Soon after it was 2-0, as Comets’ defenseman Jordan Subban let loose a soft wrister from the blueline that made its way through traffic and into the back of the cage for a power play tally. That would be Subborn’s seventh of the season as the boo-birds emerged with sour feelings for their tender from the
festive, holiday now anxiety-induced, home crowd.
Cole Cassels increased the Comets lead to three late in the second frame at 18:43 as his shot went off a skate in front and ricochet by O’Connor that he couldn’t anticipate in time as the fluke goal showed signs that this wasn’t going to go the Senators way tonight. But just the opposite took place, as it appeared to have pissed off some of the players, in particular Buddy Robinson and Max McCormick, and they were going to do something about it.
The two scored twice within 1:01 of each other that cut the lead to 3-2. Robinson delivered a hard wrist shot from up top that beat rookie goaltender Michael Garteig top shelf, for his fifth of the season. He was set up with a quick pass by Kyle Flanagan, who ended up with a two point night.
Then it was McCormick’s turn and with time running out, he also deposited a hard wrist shot from the opposite arch of the circle and recorded his seventh with 0:00:3 left in the second period. That would be the most important goal of the game as the Senators not only gained momentum, but also got their legs back as the Comets stewed on what just developed during the course of the second intermission. The rally was on!
Now that the crowd returned to their festive selves once again, there was still work to do, but the atmosphere felt re-energized. And so did the Senators, as they scored their third unanswered goal halfway through the third period.
With both sides honed on the defense as top priority, Flanagan was able to add to the comeback trail with a skate around the net, then he popped in front near the circle and sent home the tieing goal. Jubilation was again in full throttle mode as this was going to be an epic finish, no doubt about it.
And sure enough, overtime delivered.
Sens’ defenseman Chris Rumble took a journey around the boards with the puck and looked for a scoring opportunity but came up short. That’s until he decided to make it happen upon himself, and his shot looked purposeful as the puck bounced off the end boards by the side of the net right where Rodewald was parked, and he lifted the puck harmlessly over Garteig for the game winner and completed the comeback for his fifth of the season. He was soon mobbed by his teammates with fans in rejoice that the improbable did happen, a dramatic win at home just in time for Christmas.
POST GAME NOTES
- Power play was atrocious once again going 0/8, that included several 5 on 3’s. Just too much perimeter passing and not enough penetration. There is no set play in place and no one has looked good. Guess I’m somewhat biased on this subject, as I witnessed too many Mike Hoffman from Mark Stone from Chris Wideman days that led the league in percentage points on the man advantage.
- Rookie Francis Perron will most likely be out for a while with a possible concussion as he was hammered to the ice by a giant, Joseph LaBate who is listed at 6’5”, 208 lbs. Perron, 6’0”, 165 lbs felt all of LaBate’s shoulder as he had his head down and never saw the hit coming. Patrick Sieloff rushed to his defense and traded a few punches with LaBate as Perron continued to lay on the ice, but good news was he was conscious. He was then helped off to the dressing room and didn’t return.
- Last home game until after Christmas, as it was ‘Ugly Sweater Night’ with just enough in the crowd that I never care to see again.
- Utica Booster Club in attendance and made their presence felt with their cheering, which in turn got the home fans riled up and showing their support. Good rivalry brewing between the 2 upstate cities.
- Macoy Erkamps was a healthy scratch one again. Don’t know why, other than to ease him in slowly? Head scratcher.
- I was getting concerned for O’Connor as he played in his second game in 24 hours. The team looked sloppy to begin, but to put all the blame on him wouldn’t be fair. Expected back-up Scott Greenham to start and was surprised he didn’t. That move sent waves that it’s O’Connor or bust for the moment. Meanwhile, Chris Driedger was lit up for 6 goals on 45 shots for Wichita in Friday night’s loss to Allen Americans.
- McCormick-Varone-Akeson, Krushelnyski-Nehring-Blunden, Perron-Paul-Robinson, Rodewald-Flanagan-Gagne. Englund/Kostka, Lepine/Carlisle, Sieloff/Rumble. Erkamps a healthy scratch. Rupert missed his 7th game due to a lower body injury. Stortini also a healthy scratch.
The Senators return to action on a rare Monday night affair with the Americans in Rochester, NY.