The Senators proved that there’s still a season left to be played in Binghamton as they tied a season high six goals in front of a near capacity crowd in a 6-2 rout over the Albany Devils at The Floyd on Saturday night.
It was an emotionally charged night, in what was one of the better performances by the Senators with all the hubbub surrounding the two clubs and relocating being the main focus that’s in store for the 2017-’18 season in the first game since the official announcement was made this past Monday.
The message? The BSens let the Devils know that they are just not ready to hand over the keys quite yet.
Albany did set the tone early on when they jumped out to an 1-0 lead just 0:34 seconds into the first period as forward Ben Sexton lifted the puck up, after the rebound was given up by goaltender Chris Driedger, and into the back of the net for his 15th of the season that brought some surprising, but somewhat encouraging cheers from the fans.
But that reaction might’ve fueled some Binghamton players on as they played with intense determination from that point on that they were not going to be embarrassed on their home ice by the visiting Albany Devils.
And boy, did they ever as they scored the next six goals as Albany’s rookie netminder Ken Appleby was stymied the rest of the way.
Captain Mike Blunden made the most of his first tally on a breakout play from the feed by Chad Nehring as he tied it with a nifty wrister near the right circle. Then Kyle Flanagan got into the scoring mix with the go ahead goal on his punch in from the corner of the slot past Appleby for his fifth of the season.
Binghamton increased the lead by two as Flanagan’s shot from the corner deflected in off the skate of Devils’ rookie defenseman Josh Jacobs out front as the puck curled to the far post past Appleby for a 3-1 contest in the second period. What followed next was a landmark from Akeson that gave the BSens a three goal cushion with his 100th AHL goal off a wrist shot through traffic, as he skated across the hash-marks and the rout was on.
In the third period, Blunden teamed up once again with Nehring on a similar play that took place in the opening twenty minutes with a feed and another wrister from near the circle, as the Captain put his team up by a score of 5-1. Soon afterwards, Akeson’s second goal was the byproduct of a three-on-one rush with his perfect, far side shot past Appleby for his 101st AHL marker.
Albany capped off the scoring with a upper shelf by defenseman Jacob MacDonald, as the Senators showed some emotions with some rare physical play and offensive output that sent the a message to the fans that they are not quite ready to move just yet.
POST GAME NOTES
- This was teetering between either being a great game from Binghamton, or an ugly one with the possibility of fans cheering on the visiting, but future Devils club. Lots of energy and emotions tonight with one helluva performance by the BSens that was lacking in Friday’s defeat to the Hershey Bears.
- Shots ended up in favor of the Devils 35-22 as Driedger had some puck luck at times, while on the other end of the ice Appleby was shelled with little help from his defense.
- Senators played a physical style of game that featured two fights from an unlikely pair of candidates, as both came from a defenseman in Patrick Sieloff and Reece Scarlett that turned out nothing more than a wrestling match. Then rookie forward Gabriel Gagne made his presence known on a swift, but legal hit on veteran Brian Gibbons and was quickly challenged by another rookie John Quenneville as the two exchanged punches near the players’ bench.
- Ben Harpur looked pretty good and played with increased confidence as he’s been able to someway figure out how in using that big body of his in a more physical role with some timely hits tonight.
- Flanagan, Akeson and Blunden all on the ice in the final two minutes with the hat trick on the line between the trio. Good to see them get the opportunity with the odd combination.
- McCormick-Varone-Rodewald, Bailey-Paul-Akeson, Perron-Blunden-Nehring, Hagel-Flanagan-Gagne. Englund/Harpur, Seiloff/Kostka, Rumble/Carlisle. Lepine and Krushelnyski were healthy scratches.
Binghamton goes on the road for the next five games covering almost two weeks that begins on Wednesday with the Phantoms in Allentown, PA.