Binghamton Senators Trump Utica Comets 4-2
Team finishes on a high note winning the last two games of the 2015-'16 season
Binghamton Senators ended the season with their heads held high as they scored three goals in the third period to overtake the Utica Comets 4-2 at The Aud in Utica, NY. Max McCormick, Casey Bailey and Matt Puempel each had a goal and an assist, while goaltender Chris Driedger was outstanding with his 38 save effort and First Star honors, once again.
In what could very well be the final game for Luke Richardson and his time with the BSens (31-38-6-1), the team didn't roll over and quit as they trailed Utica (38-26-8-4) 2-1 after two periods with only 15 shots taken, before their sudden offensive outburst in the third, backed by some steady goaltending by Driedger (18-15-4, 2.83, 0.912).
Utica rookie Brandon Marino put the Senators in familiar fashion as he scored the game's first goal 13:00 in the opening period by lifting the puck over Driedger. Then Driedger with a swift glove save on forward Taylor Fedun that kept it a one goal game, as the Comets outshot the Sens 18-5.
Ryan Rupert tied it with a shot sent from inside the blueline past Utica starter Joe Cannata, who ended up with 25 saves. That would be Rupert's seventh goal as a Senator and 13th overall with an assist handed out to Buddy Robinson and McCormick. But Brendan Gaunce would put Utica back on top, just 1:35 later for his 17th of the season after a turnover by Phil Varone near center ice.
Then Binghamton would break out in the final period of the season as they scored three times. The first two coming from the trio of Puempel, Bailey and Varone's line as Puempel scored his 17th, just inside the halfway point of the period.
Then with the game knotted at 2-2, with overtime looming, Bailey broke the tie and earned his seventh as a Senator, 11th overall with just 2:19 left in the third period as he cashed in on a loose rebound to give Binghamton the only lead of the night.
McCormick would add an empty netter with 14.1 seconds left assisted by Rupert for the 4-2 triumph over the Comets.
Kyle Flanagan, Mark Fraser, David Dziurzynski, Zack Stortini and Jason Akeson, all injured.
POST GAME NOTES
- Jason Akeson sat out after being upended on a dirty play by Hershey Bears' defenseman Tyler Lewington on Friday, and was replaced with Andrew Miller who signed an ATO before the game. Lewington was substantially handed a one game suspension by the league and missed Saturday night's game with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
- Sens missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season after earning a spot in the previous two, and now three out of the last five seasons has them outside looking in after winning it all in 2010-'11. They ended up 34-34-7-1 last year.
- The game was observed by Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion and Binghamton GM Randy Lee on a rare road game with little meaning in the standings, otherwise some importance with player personal, as well as coaches for next season. With the clean-up already complete in Ottawa, there's been some speculation that the same will take place in Binghamton.
- Not sure if you can put all the blame on Richardson, as with the team turned upside down with so many roster moves that took place over the course of the year, he could only do so much with what he had. Perhaps a clean slate is needed though.
- A look ahead to this coming week, I'll have final quarter grades report lined up, along with a look at the team awards and season stats, along with any news from the fallout on exit interviews scheduled to take place on Monday.