Phil Varone has been a legit player for the Binghamton Senators since coming over in the seven player trade with the Rochester Americans, as for the second consecutive game he raked in four points against his former team, leading the Senators to a 5-3 win over the Amerks at The Floyd.
What a difference it has been, as the rivals played in their second game in less than a week, with Varone having scored three goals and five assists in those two games. And for the second time, held Cole Schneider and Eric O'Dell scoreless. It was a spirited contest for the most part after a slow beginning for the Sens.
Justin Bailey staked the Amerks (31-28-2-1) to a early lead scoring on back-to-back plays, as his one-timer from the slot slid by Senators' netminder Chris Driedger (16-12-3-0 2.92 GAA, 0.905 SV%) after a turnover by Fredrik Claesson from behind the net. His second came in the middle frame as his shot deflected off of defenseman Chris Carlisle near the slot and into the back of the net giving the visitors a two goal advantage.
Binghamton (26-32-4-1) would score the next three goals as Varone cashed in on his 16th of the season off a rebound save from Rochester goaltender Linus Ullmark, and had all net to shoot on near the corner of the crease. Defenseman Jerome Leduc scored his third goal in a Sens uniform with a shot from near the blueline that tied it 2-2.
Senators pulled ahead on a shorthanded play with Varone and Travis Ewanyk on an odd man rush, as Varone's spin-o-rama pass to Ewanyk in front went in past Ullmark as the Sens take the lead. But just a 1:10 after, Rochester tied it as defenseman Chad Ruhwedel ponced on a rebound from a wrister by Bailey near the circle, as the play was identical to Varone's first goal.
Then in the third, the goal of the game as Varone skated amidst four Amerks in front and slipped a backhander past Ullmark that was an absolute thing of beauty, followed by a fist pump in his celebration, and deservedly so. Mike Borkowski with the primary assist with his backhanded drop pass from high in the slot.
Another newcomer that has made an impact has been rookie forward Borkowski, as he scored his second goal in three games giving the Sens a 5-3 advantage. Rochester pulled Ullmark with 2:05 left, but couldn't set-up in time as the Senators played some excellent defense and forechecked well, and had several chances to score an empty netter, but just missed.
Strong effort after a slow start as the team is 4-0-1-0 in their last five and look for another win on Sunday in Utica to complete the three-in-three weekend.
Dave Dziurzynski, Mark Fraser injured. Daultan Leveille, Kevin Tansey, healthy
POST GAME NOTES
- After being down by two goals, Binghamton began their comeback as the spirited play picked up after a lackluster first period. Like Friday night, the penalty box was free wheeling once again with six calls going against the club, but held Rochester at bay with only one power play goal.
- Mike Sdao made a fool out of himself with several run-ins against his former team. A suspension worthy hit on Jason Akeson followed by a grab of the neck, throw down near the players bench. After his penalty, he was tripped up by Carlisle that drew some attention, but that's when Sens Captain Zack Stortini had enough and stepped in, as the two shared words that led to both going off to the box. But Stortini would get the last laugh, as he got Sdao's attention just before he would go to the bench that drew the too many men on the ice call that led to a Senators' power play goal.
- Max McCormick and William Carrier were involved in a second period fight with both grabbing and throwing, as Carrier earned the take-down on several punches to McCormick's head. The game was a bit scrappy for the most part, but calmed down once the third period began with the score tied at three apiece.
- Since the trade in nine games, Varone 4g, 10a - Akeson 3g, 10a - Leduc 3g. On the Rochester side, Schneider 7 games, 2g, 6a - O'Dell 4g, 2a - Sdao 4 games 3a. Alex Guptil doesn't count, as he was a throw in on the deal after being on loan playing for the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL. Edge towards Binghamton.
- My 100th post for S7S! It's been a pleasure writing for SBNation with all these talented contributors at S7S since I joined last April. Thanks for reading and here's to the next 100! Cheers!
The final game this weekend will take place up in Utica to take on the Comets on Sunday. Then the Penguins and Sens will faceoff in Wilkes-Barre in a mid week game this coming Wednesday.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20