The Binghamton Senators did something they haven’t done and that’s sweeping a pair of games on the Rock in St. John’s in the latest win on a snowy Wednesday by a score of 6-4 over the IceCaps. In the previous night, Casey Bailey recorded his 14th of the season in an overtime thriller 3-2 win on Tuesday.
Starting goaltender Andrew Hammond secured the victory in his third appearance and fifth overall in the past two seasons for Binghamton, as he stopped 31 shots after he cleared waivers this past Monday from Ottawa.
Jason Akeson, Phil Varone and Mike Blunden all had a goal and two assists to help the offense out with the six goals, which tied the season high for the fourth time. Ben Harpur also recorded four assists, which blended in nicely with this morning’s Bites Report featuring himself. With the win, BSens (22-25-2-1) are now six points out of fourth place in the North Division with a lot of hockey yet to be played.
Sens got on the board first with another tally from rookie Jack Rodewald for his 15th just over two minutes into the opening twenty minutes as he beat St. John’s goalie Yann Danis on a great individual effort, as he moved the puck from his left to his right and stuck it past Danis near the crease.
Then the IceCaps tied it as forward Yannick Veilleux recorded his fifth of the season off a Senator turnover with his backhand past Hammond in front. However three minutes later, Blunden’s wrist shot from the top of the left circle deflected off of Max McCormick in front as Binghamton regained their one goal lead with a power play goal 12:40 in the first.
In the second St. John’s scored the go ahead goal when forward Charles Hudon released a quick shot that beat Hammond short side off a broken play as he scooped up the puck near the circle.
Sens changed things up once again when forward Nick Paul’s tip in off a shot from Akeson at the blueline was successful that gave the Senators a lead cashing in on another power play opportunity.
Binghamton made it a 4-2 contest as Varone and Akeson together made the best of a odd man rush near the crease as Akeson patiently planted a short pass for the easy tap in by Varone for a two goal cushion as the Senators were off and running.
After both teams traded a pair of goals that made it a one goal game, Blunden added an empty netter with 0:04 seconds left to secure the win and complete the two game sweep.
POST GAME NOTES
- Blunden moved up to the top line with Akeson and Varone and it paid off royally. Good, but gutsy move as Blunden has struggled offensively with Coach KK providing a boost for the Captain. Akeson and Varone possibly one of the best duels in the league right now, bar none.
- Hammond played well with several clutch saves, including a beauty in the third period that saved the game off the stick of St. John’s forward Chris Terry, as he reached over getting a glove on the one-timer. Solid performance.
- Rookie defenseman Andreas Englund was involved in a second period fight with Yannick Veilleux and held his own against the fifth year pro. I’ll have a profile coming up on Englund very soon.
- Three Stars; 1st Akeson, 2nd Varone, 3rd Hudon
- Forward Ryan Rupert recalled from Wichita along with defenseman Jamie Doornbosch, while Chris Driedger was scratched as Matt O’Connor served as back-up to Hammond. It’s going to interesting on how the three goalies pan out once the dust settles.
- Akeson-Varone-Blunden, McCormick-Paul-Bailey, Krushelnyski-Flanagan-Rodewald, Perron-Rupert-Hagel. Englund/Harpur, Rumble/Carlisle, Lepine/Doornbosch. Sieloff and Gagne both out injured, Kostka a healthy scratch.
POST GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Binghamton has two games slated for this weekend with a home on home series with the Rochester Americans beginning on Saturday at The Floyd Arena.