The surging Binghamton Senators won another for their fourth consecutive win as they squeaked by the St. John’s IceCaps 2-1 in the SO behind starting goaltender Chris Driedger at The Floyd on Friday. Driedger who has played an important role down the stretch, was named Star of the Game with his 36 save performance as the Senators are 9-3-1 in their last 13 games.
It was a close affair throughout the night with both clubs getting some quality goaltending, as St. John’s netminder Charlie Lindgren came up with 25 saves to keep his team in it with the IceCaps ravaged with call-ups due to injuries for parent club in Montreal.
Defenseman Chris Rumble put his team up 1-0 with a blast from the point that beat a screened Lindgren for his fourth goal of the season. Jason Akeson set him up with a feather pass from low, inside the circle for a power play goal. That would be all the scoring until St’ John’s tied it with under three minutes left in the third period.
IceCaps’ forward Markus Eisenschmid battled hard in the slot and was able to pounce on the rare rebound given up by Driedger off a slapper from the blueline by defenseman Julien Brouillette, as both teams headed into the overtime tied up 1-1.
Neither team could pot one but not before both goaltenders came up with some brilliant saves in the three on three action, as the Shoot Out was needed to settle this one.
Forward’s Akeson and Casey Bailey capped off the shootout with a goal apiece as Driedger stopped 2⁄3 of the shooters with Stefan Matteau the lone tally for the IceCaps.
POST GAME NOTES
- Binghamton (14-17-2-1) is tied for 5th place with the Rochester Americans in the North Division, one point out of the final playoff spot behind the fourth placed Toronto Marlies (14-16-1-1).
- Senators Captain Mike Blunden hit the end boards hard on an offense rush as he appeared slow getting up, then was hit by David Broll near the benches and appeared woozy. There was an apparent alarm that triggered the trainer as he raced onto the ice calling for a stretcher as Blunden might have fainted while he sat on the bench. He then went to the dressing room on his own power, but might miss some time with concussion like symptoms.
- Driedger was again focused, and mentally ready as he has carried this team on his shoulders with his consistent play. I knew he had it in him as well as the players, with Matt O’Connor still up in Ottawa. Outstanding performance with his cat-like reflexes and rarely does he give up a rebound, as he gobbles the puck on every chance he can.
- Bailey was named the lone representative for the Senators in this year’s All-Star Game & Events at Lehigh Valley, PA. Well deserved.
- AHL LIve is offering a free game on Saturday. Type in ‘AHLFREE17’ in the promo code box as the Sens take on the Pens.
- Three Stars; 1st Driedger, 2nd Bailey, 3rd Rumble.
- Akeson-Varone-Rodewald, McCormick-Paul-Blunden, Bailey-Nehring-Robinson, Perron- -Gagne. Englund/Kostka, Sieloff/Harpur, Rumble/Carlisle, Lepine. Flanagan injured and Stortini, Krushelnyski were healthy scratches.
Binghamton will play the 2nd game in 12 days with a trip down I-81 to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday.