With a fresh new line-up with some new faces, the Binghamton Senators got the early jump over the Syracuse Crunch, but things turned around in the latter part of tonight's contest as they went on to lose 5-4 in a shootout before a large Family Day crowd on a late Sunday afternoon at The Floyd in downtown Binghamton.
With the Senators up 3-0, Syracuse roared back with four third period tallies, including the tieing goal with just nine seconds left, and a pair of goals by Mike Blunden and Matthew Peca in the shootout to sweep the weekend series. The game was an entertaining one to say the least between the two interstate rivals, as the Sens lost their third straight.
The first period belonged to the new guys as defenseman Jerome Leduc (1g), Phil Varone (2a) and Jason Akeson (2a) made their season debuts for Binghamton after being traded for Mike Sdao, Cole Schneider and Eric O'Dell to Buffalo late Saturday night.
Lots of energy as Matt Puempel scored his first of two on a one-timer only a 1:19 in for a power play goal. Sens then made it 2-0 a couple of minutes later with Leduc's blueline sniper (Thanks Alicia) that caromed off of Syracuse defenseman Jake Dotchin's skate and in past goaltender Adam Wilcox, who finished with 28 saves.
Puempel scored the only goal in the middle period as Akeson made a beautiful pick on journeyman forward Mike Blunden and fed Matt in front for his 15th of the season. Meanwhile, Sens' netminder Chris Driedger was cool, calm and collective as he stopped 14 shots through two.
Then the Crunch began their comeback with Blunden scoring a pair of power play goals. With Conor Allen in the box for cross-checking, his rebound tally off a shot from Tanner Richard put them on the board. Then tempers flared after the whistle proved costly for the Senators. Max McCormick earned a double roughing call on Tanner, giving the Crunch an extra four minutes of the man advantage.
They would benefit as Blunden picked up another rebound past Driedger for his 18th cutting the lead to 3-2. After some nifty glove work by Driedger on Yanni Gourde, Syracuse would tie it with 4:34 left in the third as Joel Vermin scored through traffic past a screened Driedger from the blueline.
With time ticking down it appeared the Senators were on their way to victory lane as Sens' defenseman Michael Kostka lifted a backhanded rebound past Wilcox with 48.7 seconds left, pointing to the stands before the celebration.
With Wilcox pulled and after a Syracuse timeout, Sens' killer Tye McGinn grabbed yet another loose rebound in front unprovoked with nine seconds left, causing a wild celebration from the visiting Crunch players, as once didn't seem probable came to fruition, with overtime ahead.
Both teams would get their opportunities but neither came through as the Senators closed out the extra session on a power play with 31.6 seconds left, and thought they had it won as Puempel's shot went behind Wilcox but not over the goal line.
Akeson the lone Senator goal in the shootout as the Crunch walked away with the extra point on a hard earned battle that they deserved. Disappointing, as this season has been.
POST GAME NOTES
- I like the new additions. (What am I going to say, I hate them?) But seriously, I've always been a fan of Akeson in his years with the Phantoms before the Amerks acquired him over the off-season. Varone has been around for some time now, and Leduc was steady. I don't know as of yet what they bring to the locker room as time will only tell.
- McCormick looked to have lost a tooth or so after taking a high stick to the mouth in the third period. After some repairs in the locker room, he emerged for the overtime session.
- Emotions were high tonight including a big crowd on a rare Sunday match. Front office got this one right promoting a Family Day with a post game skate with the players.
- Really great work on the PA for fill-in Ben Sperduti @PixelGhost25. He brought the energy level tonight to the max and we all enjoyed his work. Nice job Ben!
Two on tap next weekend with both home games. On Friday it'll be Hershey and on Saturday the Phantoms will pay a visit.
*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of @AliciaS20