On Wednesday, the Binghamton Senators went on the road to Portland to take on the Pirates. The matchup was the second meeting of the year between the Dziurzynski brothers and was also newly signed goaltender Peter Mannino's second start as a Senator. Facing off in the other goal was former Binghamton goalie, Mike McKenna.
Portland's Darian Dziurzynski struck first for the Pirates, beating Mannino to the far post on a wrap-around to put them up 1-0. The Sens would be outshot by a 15-8 margin in the period, but would go into the intermission only down by one.
Just before the second period ended, the puck would bounce high into the air and back to the point. No one was quite sure where the puck was, so the Pirates defenseman rifled one on net and beat an unsuspecting Mannino. The Sens would go into the intermission looking for answers on how to beat their former netminder.
The wrong Dizzy Dziurzynski would strike again to add some insurance for the Pirates. A neutral zone turnover would send the Pirates into the zone, and Darian Dziurzynski would beat Wideman to the outside and roof one over Mannino.
The Sens would continue to fire in the third, but not be able to solve Mike McKenna despite outshooting them 18-11. They would end up getting shut out for the fourth time this season.
Binghamton Senators 0 - Portland Pirates 3
Binghamton Senators Record: 15-15-4
Friday: Binghamton Senators at Worcester Sharks
After a few games off, a struggling Andrew Hammond took his turn in the net hoping to pick up his first win since December 12. The Sens went in to Worcester hoping to break out of their recent funk. The Sens dropped their only other meeting with the Sharks back at the season opener, losing 3-2 in overtime.
An early boarding penalty to Sens defenseman Michael Sdao put the Sharks on the powerplay early in the first. The Sharks would work it around the zone with ease, and get a clean shot on net to go up by one. They would later extend their lead to two on a 2-on-1 rush to continue the unfortunate start for the Sens.
The Sharks would restore their two-goal lead following a Derek Grant hooking penalty. Again, the Sharks worked it around the zone a little too easily, found the open man who fired it into an empty net. The Sens would go into the first intermission down 3-1.
The fourth line would strike again for the Sens to kick off the second period. McCormick and Dziurzynski would foil a Sharks breakout opportunity, McCormick threw it across to a Kramer who was streaking to the net. Kramer tipped it home past the Sharks goaltender for his first of the season. The Sharks would answer back at the midway point of the period, flying down the right wing and ripping one off the far post and in.
At the end of the second, the Sens would go on the powerplay for the second time of the night. Newly named AHL All-Star Chris Wideman passed it over to Shane Prince on the sidewall. Prince walked into the middle and fired a hard wristshot on net that Matt Puempel tipped home to cut the lead to 4-3 going into the second intermission.
Towards the midway point of the third, the Sharks broke out on an odd-man rush and beat Hammond for the fifth time. A sixth Sharks powerplay would lead to their sixth goal with just over a minute to go. The Sens seemed to have given up on the play as the Sharks were able to hang around in the Sens crease without consequence.
Really disappointing to have seen Hammond's play being so discouraging lately. It's hard to pick up wins with him having a goals against average of 6.02 over his past five starts. On a positive note, it's great to see the fourth line chip in offensively with the Kramer-McCormick-Dziurzynski getting a pair on the board for the Sens.
Binghamton Senators 3 - Worcester Sharks 6
Binghamton Senators Record: 15-16-4
Saturday: Binghamton Senators at Manchester Monarchs
Hoping to end their four game slump, the Sens went to take on the Manchester Monarchs, the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. The Sens went back to Mannino in goal trying to solve their goaltender woes.
An early Sens penalty would put their struggling penalty kill to work. The Monarchs worked it around the zone and up to the point for a shot. Mannino couldn't squeeze the rebound, and the Monarchs would grind it through him for the 1-0 lead.
The score would remain 1-0 until the midway point of the second, when the Monarchs would tip a shot past Mannino through three layers of screens. A couple minutes later on the powerplay, the Sens would finally get on the board thanks to some great passing around the zone, finished off with a goal from Ryan Dzingel.
Before the period was over, the Monarchs powerplay would strike again. Bodnarchuk would pick up the puck in the neutral zone, speed down the left wing, cut across the net and put a backhand past Mannino. A minute after the goal, Wideman would take an ugly 5-minute major cross-checking penalty well behind the play.
The story of this game would continue to be the struggling Senators penalty kill, combined with a Monarchs powerplay that was clicking on all cylinders. A Carter Camper hooking call put the Sens down on 4-on-3 disadvantage. Manchester worked it up to the point and fired it through a screen to put them up 4-1. The Sens would continue to try and kill Wideman's major penalty, but to no avail. Yet again, a point shot found its way through. Not long after that, they would add their fifth powerplay goal of the night, skating right into the Sens zone and scoring on a cross-crease pass.
Not a good game again for the Sens in terms of penalty killing. After giving up three powerplay goals on Friday, they gave up another five on Saturday. The loss is Binghamton's fifth straight loss (including one in overtime).
Binghamton Senators 1 - Manchester Monarchs 6
Binghamton Senators Record: 15-17-4
Binghamton has 34 points through 36 games, which has them one point out of last place in the Eastern Conference. They have allowed the second-most goals in the league, and recorded the fourth-most penalty minutes. It will be interesting to see how the addition of newly signed Todd Bertuzzi will impact the Binghamton Senators on Monday. In reality, it can't get much worse than the current stretch.
The Week Ahead:
Friday, January 16 at 7:00pm. Syracuse Crunch at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, January 17 at 7:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Sunday, January 18 at 4:00pm. Binghamton Senators at Springfield Falcons
Notable Updates from North American Prospects:
Ben Harpur: At the OHL trade deadline on Friday, Harpur was traded over to the Barrie Colts from the Guelph Storm. Harpur picked up an assist and was a +2 in his first game with Barrie.
Tobias Lindberg: I was able to check out Lindberg firsthand on Friday when the Oshawa Generals took on the Frontenacs. He looked great out there, playing a key role on both the penalty kill and powerplay. He isn't a bruising player, but he isn't afraid to go into the corners for loose pucks. He scored one powerplay goal on Friday, a nice snap shot from the slot.
Vincent Dunn: Scored a pair of goals in a game against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, bringing him to 14 goals and 10 assists in 33 games this season. He also likes to mix it up a little bit, ranking third in the QMJHL with 112 penalty minutes.
Nick Paul: Coming off winning a gold medal with team Canada, Paul rejoined the North Bay Battalion, scoring a goal and an assist this weekend. Paul also picked up a fighting major in his first game back.
Chris Driedger: Picked up the win in a 5-3 Evansville IceMen victory over the Wichita Thunder in ECHL action on Saturday, while stopping 26 of 29 shots. Like the AHL Senators goalies, Driedger hasn't been playing his best recently as this was only his first win in his last six starts.