In front of the entire brass down from Ottawa led by Bryan Murray, the Binghamton Senators picked a wrong time to lay down a stinker. Rookie netminder Matt O'Connor (3-11-2-0, 3.79 GAA, 0.874 SV%) was lit up for six goals in the second period and the Hershey Bears (25-13-3-6) went on to a 6-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators (17-24-3-0).
After a solid opening 20 minutes, featuring some terrific forechecking and puck control by the Senators, the club simply fell apart in the second, as the six goals tied a team record for most allowed in a period. Several were in close around the net as Hershey really took over and re-claimed momentum.
What started it off was a sweet one-timer off the stick of Bears' forward Riley Barber, as he sailed the puck up high from down on one knee past O'Connor's stick side. Just a wicked shot that O'C had no business making it.
Then there was a dangerous, yet on target pass from ex-Sen Carter Camper though the crease to Jakub Vrana, as he quickly bounced it in from a sharp angle near the goal line making it 2-0. Sean Collins got an easy tap in in front after a creative pass off the side boards by veteran All-Star Chris Bourque to Travis Boyd in the corner, and the rout was on.
Then Vrana's pass to the crease ricocheted off of two players right to Camper between the hash marks, and he buried it by O'Connor's glove, as the rookie hears the groans of the home crowd. Ex-NHL'er Scott Gomez then scored his second goal in seven games, both at the expense of the Senators. Three goals on three shots.
Chandler Stephenson rounded out the Bears scoring with a shorthanded tally, as he created an odd man rush and thought of passing, but decided to have a little fun with O'Connor instead, and deposited his share through his five hole, making it a 6-0 contest.
Senators added a pair of late goals in the third as rookie forward Nick Paul squeezed the puck under Bears' goalie Dan Ellis, ending his bid for the shutout. Max McCormick's backhand feed from the corner out front to Kyle Flanagan was on target, as he one-timed it by Ellis with seven seconds left showing on the clock.
Not to sure who's going to get called up and take the trip back to Canada with some of the brass, as players just couldn't keep up and Hershey really turned it on, scoring at will. Disappointing loss, and embarrassing in front of the home crowd, as O'Connor recognized the sarcastic jeers making a late save with a nod to the fans knowing his night wasn't going the way he expected at all.
POST GAME NOTES
- Player movements; Vincent Dunn and Ben Harpur were in attendance and will most likely be in the line-up at some point this weekend with Ottawa's call-up looming. Puempel the only player that is out injured.
- Daniel Alfredsson, Shean Donovan and Sean McCauley all were in evaluation mode as a player or two will be needed for Ottawa in Saturday's game vs Toronto.Pierre Dorion,
- O'Connor was strong in the first in stopping 8 shots, but in the middle frame he let in all 6 on only 8 shots, as at least 4 ended up his fault. But to be fair, he didn't have much help. Seems to lack the mental toughness that's needed at the pro level, as the longer the game wore on, the more evident it was it caved in on him. Loved to be a fly on the wall on discussions about him with all the big wigs in town.
- Colin Greening had a terrible game while missing a wide open net in the first that could have been a difference maker setting the tone early on. Also, his passes were not spot on being way off the mark. $2.6 million folks.
- Chris Driedger came in and stopped the bleeding in the third period stopping all 6 shots he faced in a mop up roll. Scott Greenham is still with the team (although not in the line-up as a third goaltender) as perhaps he'll see some action before heading back to Evansville. Edit: Greenham has already been sent down as of Friday.
- Zack Stortini was briefly knocked out with a violent, heads up collision with Hershey forward Liam O'Brien near center ice late in the first period. Stortini tried to get up, but fell right back to the ice. In his second attempt, his teammates came to his aid as his legs were wobbling and he was out to lunch. As the officials tried to get him off the ice, he started to come to, lacing profanities along the way as he headed to the bench instead. He would return in the second period and seemed fine the rest of the evening. So much for concussion protocol.
- That first period is how they played throughout last weekend resulting in a pair of wins. Once the hangover was over at the start of the second, they returned to some bad habits and stopped playing, although the penalties was surprising in check, which has often been a problem this season.
Rochester returns on Saturday then the Senators complete the 3 in 3 weekend down in Hershey on Super Bowl Sunday to take on the Bears in a early afternoon contest.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20