The friendly confines of the War Memorial Arena has been a get away haven for the Senators recently as they won for the third straight time this season in Binghamton’s latest, a 3-2 victory over the rival Crunch in front of a capacity crowd in Syracuse on Friday.
BSens’ netminder Matt O’Connor came up with 25 saves for his 11th win in 25 appearances, as he lowered his GAA to under three at 2.99 for the first time this season.
Max McCormick scored the game winner with under a minute remaining in the third period and a man down with forward Chad Nehring in the box for tripping. He connected with a hard pass by the near circle from Kyle Flanagan and his one-timer was too hot to handle by Syracuse goaltender Adam Wilcox.
Casey Bailey got the Senators in front 1-0 13:06 in the first period, as he redirected a wrist shot off the hands of defenseman Ben Harpur from the point for his 12th of the season.
In the second, Binghamton made it a 2-0 contest as veteran forward Phil Varone relayed a soft cross-ice feed to a surging Andreas Englund towards the net, and the puck rung off the far post and in past Wilcox for his second of the season. The Crunch then answered back to cut the deficit by one, with a tap in by forward Joel Vermin near the crease off a rebound shot by Cory Conacher from the slot.
In the final twenty minutes the two clubs exchanged a pair of goals as one was off a result of a penalty shot, and the other came shorthanded with under a minute left to play.
Syracuse forward Jeremy Morin made the most of his awarded penalty shot opportunity as he made it look easy with the puck sliding through O’Connor’s five hole after he fooled the netminder with his timing beforehand.
McCormick then delivered the final blow with under a minute left, and the Crunch on a power play for his 13th of the season. His celebration was legendary with his big jump off the glass boards near the corner.
Always great to win a game at a nearby rival’s barn. And extra special against Syracuse.
POST GAME NOTES
- I’ve said it before and will say it again. The one player I will miss next season is Max McCormick. He dropped the gloves with Mike Halmo in the second frame after his jarring hit on Bailey near center ice that sent the recent All-Star down to the ice. Love his passion for the game.
- In reference to those that have no idea on the subject manner. A Gordie Howe hatty consists of a goal and an assist, followed by a fight. Max came through on all accounts.
- Shots ended up in favor of the Crunch 27-22. O’Connor with one of his better games this evening but Driedger should get the start on Saturday in Wilkes-Barre as O’C hasn’t fared all too well in Penguins’ territory.
- What led to the penalty shot goal by Syracuse was a Senators’ player that got a hand on the puck in a mad scramble at the steps of the crease of O’Connor’s cage.
- Three Stars; McCormick, Vermin, Bailey.
- Akeson-Varone-Rodewald, McCormick-Paul-Bailey, Krushelnyski-Nehring-Blunden, Perron-Flanagan-Hagel. Englund/Harpur, Lepine/Kostka, Rumble/Carlisle. Sieloff and Gagne were healthy scratches./
Binghamton continues their season high road journey with a trip down I-81 on Saturday to face their rival Penguins in PA.