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Joseph LaBate's Two Goals Propels Comets Over BSens

Utica downs Binghamton 4-1 for their fifth straight loss

Utica Comets Joseph LaBate sets up for his first of two goals in Saturday's tilt with Binghamton.
Utica Comets Joseph LaBate sets up for his first of two goals in Saturday's tilt with Binghamton.
Alicia Strauch - SilverSevenSens

A different look at The Floyd as it was throwback uniform night with the Binghamton Senators donning their old red jerseys with gold trim from their inaugural season back in 2002-'03, but it was present day hockey once again which resulted in another loss for the Sens.

Joe LaBate led the Utica Comets to victory by netting a pair of goals in a wacky opening 20 minutes of play, as the Senators lost for the fifth consecutive game 4-1 on Hall of Fame night.

LaBate got his team off and running on a powerplay goal at 10:26 with Max McCormick in the sin bin for two minutes for slashing Utica defenseman Jordan Subban's stick, as the questionable call appeared he dropped it. T.J. Hensick's shot from the far wall then glanced off of LaBate's blade, as he provided a screen in front with the puck popping in the air over Senators' goaltender Matt O'Connor into the back of the net, with him losing sight of it.

LaBate then ripped an absolute bullet by O'Connor down low, from the left circle, after he took a pass from Subban from the middle for a 2-0 Comet lead. Frustrations would gather and come to a peak for the fans as well as the Senators, as both referees missed a very bad call that went against them.

Defenseman Guillaume Lepine went for the puck in the corner with Wacey Hamilton, but was a victim of a slew-foot with himself going down to the ice. A five minute penalty should have been the correct call, but instead Lepine was addressed two for roughing as he briefly nudged Hamilton to the ice. Unreal and bizarre.

That then set-up another powerplay tally for Utica, with defenseman Taylor Fedun scoring his seventh of the season on a slapper from the blueline that sailed by O'C for a 3-0 cushion, causing the crowd to go absolute bonkers with a chorus of boos directed at the officials. But in retrospect, Utica deserved the three goal lead as they outshot the Sens 17-6 and controlled the opening 20 minutes.

Just 43 seconds into the middle stanza, Carter Bancks made it 4-0 with a soft wrister up high and tight over the stick of O'Connor with Sens defenseman Mark Fraser caught chasing in front of the crease.

Binghamton finally made something happen on the scoreboard, as Fraser charged towards the net and took a pass from behind by Casey Bailey scoring his second of the season by Utica goaltender Richard Bachman, who finished the night with 26 saves.

Both clubs went through the motions the rest of the way in the final period as Utica ended up on top with a 4-1 win.

TONIGHT'S LINE-UP

Bailey-Varone-Akeson
Keranen-Rupert-Borkowski
McCormick-Dziurzynski-Robinson
Hobbs-Ewanyk-Stortini

Lepine-Leduc
Trecapelli-Fraser
Tuzzolino-Carlisle


Matt O'Connor
Chris Driedger

WHO'S OUT

Kyle Flanagan injured. Daultan Leveille, Kevin Tansey healthy

POST GAME NOTES

- Two for roughing? On Lepine? You gotta be kidding me! Clearly the in-house replay showed what transpired between Hamilton and Lepine in the corner was a wrong call, as the home fans were extremely vocal with their displeasure, as well as a few Senators with Dave Dziurzynski and Michael Keranen delivering some huge hits in the corners taking out their frustrations soon after. Talk about bad officiating.

- Luke Richardson also tried to check his emotions and not get the better of him after the first period expired, as he walked to the dressing room questioning the bad call only to get waved off from the officials to vacant the ice without an explanation, because literally there was none.

- Defenseman Nick Trecapelli made his profession debut pairing up with Fraser, and did okay with some steady passes and showcased some decent skating abilities. Looked poised.

- Fraser with a good outing as he 1.) stayed out of the box and 2.) scored the Sens lone goal, while he also ended up with at least five blocked shots.

- Not as good with blown coverage by both defensemen Lepine and Jerome Leduc in front on LaBate's first goal with him setting a screen on O'Connor, no matter on how it was a fluke one to say the least.

- Tonight's game was preceded with HOF ceremonies with Jean-Yves Roy (Rangers 1993-'95), Richard Grenier (Dusters 1977-'79) and Justin Plamondon (Icemen 1998-'02) being inducted.

- Love those red jerseys, reminiscing from the early days when Ottawa set home for the first time in Binghamton. I wish they would somehow incorporate this theme as a third alternate today. So many memories to be told.

BOX SCORE

UPCOMING GAMES

The rematch of Friday's game is held in Albany on Sunday afternoon. Then a mid-week tilt will be held on Wednesday with Utica at The Aud.

*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20