Prospect Update: Prince Leads the Way in Bingo

With three weeks to go in the season, the Binghamton Senators try to delay the inevitable of being mathematically eliminated from post-season contention. Meanwhile, some of the Sens junior prospects move on to the second round of the playoffs.

On Wednesday, the Binghamton Senators took on the Syracuse Crunch for their eighth and final matchup on the season. Despite the two teams going in different directions this season, the BSens have matched up pretty evenly against the Crunch and hold a 3-3-1 in the season series. The BSens called on the recently sent-down Chris Driedger for the start in goal. Driedger has a record of 2-0 through his two previous AHL starts this season.

On a set play on a draw in the offensive zone, Carter Camper fired the puck on net off the face-off. Shane Prince was there quickly for the easy rebound goal into a wide open net to make it 1-0 BSens. Prince later thanked him on Twitter for the excellent setup:

Just past the midway point of the period, the Crunch would tie it up off the stick of Mike Angelidis on a rush. Not to be outdone, the BSens would answer back before the period was over. Just a couple seconds into a Binghamton powerplay, Carter Camper would finish off a tic-tac-toe setup from Alex Grant and Cole Schneider to restore the lead. The Sens would take the one-goal lead into the first intermission.

Early in the second, the Crunch would respond on a nice shot from the slot to even the game at two. The Sens would get into penalty trouble in the second and third periods, taking four straight penalties. Luckily, Driedger stood tall in net and the game would be headed for extra time.

In the extra frame, Chris Wideman would be the Sens hero. He took a feed from Dzingel and wired a wrist-shot off the far post for the game winner. In celebration, Wideman wound up and rode his stick to center ice "Tiger Williams style".

Binghamton Senators 3 - Syracuse Crunch 2 (OT)

Friday: Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Binghamton Senators

The BSens were back at home on Friday playing host to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Their Friday matchup also closed out their 10 game season series. The BSens held the edge in the series with a record of 5-2-2. After a great game on Wednesday, Driedger was back in between the pipes on Friday.

For the second game in a row, the BSens opened the scoring. After working the puck around the zone on the powerplay, Shane Prince fed it through the box to Troy Rutkowski who fired it home for his first AHL goal of the season. Not long after, the BSens would extend their lead to two when Derek Grant would tip a Alex Grant blast past Zepp. The goal would be Derek Grant's 19th of the season.

In the second, the Phantoms would work it out from behind the net and a cross-crease feed would be tapped home to make it a 2-1 game.

The Phantoms would waste no time in the third period making it a tie game. Only 11 seconds into the period, Alt would snipe one top shelf on a slightly screened Driedger.

The BSens powerplay would work its magic again to restore the lead. Alex Grant cut a cross-ice pass through the penalty killing box and found Shane Prince who wired his 25th into the cage for the go-ahead goal.

Midway through the period, the Phantoms' Akeson would rip one high under the bar on Driedger for the tying goal. Driedger had been going down early and often in this game, and it seems as though the Phantoms had caught on to his style.

With just two minutes to go in the game, Ryan Dzingel would pick up a bad turnover by the Phantoms defenseman and come in on a breakaway. As usual, Dzingel would show off his dzangles and bury the backhand for his 16th goal of his rookie campaign.

There were a couple nervous seconds late in the game, but the Sens were able to hold on for the 4-3 win.

Binghamton Senators 4 - Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3

Saturday: Albany Devils at Binghamton Senators

On the back end of a back-to-back, the Binghamton Senators hosted the Albany Devils on Saturday night. Driedger was given the night off, and Peter Mannino was back in net for the BSens. The Sens came into the game riding a two game winning "streak".

For the third game in a row (seems like a record), the BSens opened the scoring. Brad Mills would finish off a scramble just as their powerplay expired and gave them the 1-0 lead.

In the second period, the Devil's Paul Thompson would start to steal the show. All five Senators would exit the zone, leaving two Devils unaccounted for in their own zone. A turnover at the blue line would let the Devils come in 2-on-0. The Sens would make a desperate effort to get back, but were unable to get in position before Paul Thompson would bury his first of the game.

Later in the period, Thompson would pot his second of the game with a shot off a 3-on-2 rush. Just as another penalty expired, Thompson would finish off his natural hat trick for the 3-1 Devils lead.

The Devils would add an empty net goal to make it a 4-1 game. The BSens looked tired for large portions of the game and took way too many penalties that the Devils made them pay for taking.

Binghamton Senators 1 - Albany Devils 4

Binghamton Senators Record: 30-32-8 for 68 points and 13th of 15 in the conference.

Bits and Bites from Bingo

- Goaltender Chris Driedger extends his AHL record on the year to a perfect 4-0. In the two games he played this week, he had the habit of going down too early and too often and that was exploited in the Lehigh Valley game. He had an excellent game against Syracuse, stopping 39 of 41 shots in the victory.

- No surprise at this point, but the Binghamton Senators have now been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

- Great weekends from Shane Prince (2G, 1A) and Ryan Dzingel (1G, 2A), both have great hands and are not afraid to get creative with their passes. Prince is tied for 8th in the league with 25 goals.

- Chris Wideman's younger brother Alex Wideman was signed to a amateur tryout contract with the Binghamton Senators this past week but has yet to make his AHL debut.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, April 7 at 7:00pm. Norfolk Admirals at Binghamton Senators
Friday, April 10 at 7:00pm. Albany Devils at Binghamton Senators
Saturday, April 11 at 7:00pm. Utica Comets at Binghamton Senators

Sens Prospects in the Playoffs

Nicholas Paul: Paul racked up three goals and three assists in a four-game sweep of the Kingston Frontenacs in round one of the OHL playoffs. His North Bay Battalion will now face the Barrie Colts (featuring Ben Harpur) in the second round.

Ben Harpur: After being fairly quiet offensively since his trade to the Barrie Colts, the defenceman came on strong in round one of the OHL playoffs against the Belleville Bulls. He picked up two goals and three assists in the four-game sweep.

Tobias Lindberg: His Oshawa Generals closed out the Peterborough Petes in five games to move on to the second round of the playoffs. Lindberg started off with a bang, scoring a hat trick in the first period of game 1. He has slowed down dramatically, failing to pick up a point in four games since the hat trick.

Francis Perron: He continues to pick up points for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, scoring three goals and four assists through six games in the first round. Unfortunately, the Huskies would drop the series 4-2 to Val D'Or.

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