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Binghamton Senators Complete Weekend Sweep Past St. John's

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Eric O'Dell with team leading 18th goal and an assist in sending the Senators to their third straight win

Alicia Strauch

For a second straight night the Binghamton Senators took care of business in beating the St. John's IceCaps 4-1 on a balmy winter night at The Floyd in downtown Binghamton. Goaltender Chris Driedger was in net once again for his third straight win, as well as the team's, as he had another brilliant effort in holding down the fort in a late comeback rally attempt by the IceCaps in the third period.

The contest was an entertaining one for sure, with some chippy play, several fisticuffs topped by an incredible diving stick save with the puck heading to a vacant net and a highlight goal to remember.

Binghamton would get on top first on a goal by Casey Bailey, his second in two nights, as he received a pass from behind the net by O'Dell and picked rookie forward Michael McCarron's pocket intercepting his pass. Bailey then buried it with a one-timer as St. John's netminder Eddie Pasquale fell to his knees. Chippy play between the two clubs would ensue as tempers flare with some scrums following whistle breaks.

O'Dell made it 2-0 by picking up some loose change near the crease for his team leading 18th. The initial shot was taken by Cole Schneider from inside the blueline for a power play tally with IceCaps defenseman Victor Bartley in the box for holding.

Then the goal of the evening was completed by an unlikely candidate in Senators long time defenseman Fredrik Claesson, as he rushed down the side wall and wrapped around the back of the net popping up on the other side and backhanded the biscuit home by Pasquale. What a goal, his third of the season that gave Binghamton a commanding 3-0 lead. Loved his celebration afterwards with both hands high in the air.

All Sens to that point as the IceCaps managed only nine shots through two periods, but that was all about to change for the final one. Driedger needed to be strong, as St. John's was not about to lay down and give this game up.

They struck with constant pressure that finally payed off midway through the third period ending Driedger's shutout bid. Defenseman Morgan Ellis let the puck rip from his blueline and it found its way into the mesh, hitting the far post that made it now 3-1.

So we had the goal of the game, now comes the save of the game. With Pasquale pulled for the extra attacker leaving his club with 1:52 left to make it interesting, Sens defenseman Micheal Kostka fed Schneider near the blueline and his snap shot was heading into the empty net before St. John's Bud Holloway made a miraculous dive, keeping his stick up and deflecting the shot over the vacant cage causing an eruption from the big home crowd.

However, Buddy Robinson would get redemption soon after, shooting on the mark from near center ice, with an assist coming from Ryan Rupert for his 11th that capped off the 4-1 win. Good effort and solid goaltending from the boys tonight.

TONIGHT'S LINE-UP

Bailey-O'Dell-Schneider
Rupert-Flanagan-Robinson
Hobbs-McCormick-Allen
Carlisle-Ewanyk-Stortini

Lepine-Kostka
Sdao-Claesson
Fraser-Harpur


Chris Driedger
Matt O'Connor

WHO'S OUT

Matt Puempel, injured. Ryan Penny, healthy.

POST GAME NOTES

- The game featured two and a half fights. Travis Ewanyk and Darren Dietz dropped the mitts in the opening 20 minutes with each grabbing and clutching inside with neither really doing any damage. Then Guillaume Lepine had his jersey pulled over his head right from the start by Shane Bakker, as the battle was limited to two roughing calls. Lastly, Robinson teamed up with McCarron with Buddy providing the take-down after a short exchange of punches.

- Driedger was on top of his game with a sure glove and displaying confidence with the IceCaps bearing down on him in the third, and a few lucky bounces along the way. Earned second Star of the Game honors for the second night in a row.

- IceCaps out-shot the Senators 19-7 in the final period with all kinds of pressure. Luckily Driedger did what he is suppose to do and bail out his team-mates when needed.

- Binghamton for a second night took another 'too many men on the ice' call, which is really inexcusable. They lead the entire league in PIM's and to have this happen is entirely on the coaches. We really don't need to give any more time for the PK units as exhausting this season has been.

- Team hopped a waiting bus afterwards outside the locker room for a trip to Hartford for an early contest with the Wolf Pack on Sunday. I would suspect adrenaline will be a key factor at some point, but it might take a period or so to find their legs. Matt O'Connor should get the start, should be interesting.

BOX SCORE

UPCOMING GAMES

After the game the team will make the bus trip to Hartford for a 2:00 matinee on Sunday. Then off to Toronto on Wednesday in the middle of three games on the road.

*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20