Binghamton kicks off their 41st consecutive year in hockey as well as their 12th being the affiliate of the Ottawa Senators tonight at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. They will host their bitter rival Syracuse Crunch in front of an already almost sold out Arena with a 7:05 pm puck drop to open up the season for both clubs. This will be game 1 out of 10 overall meetings between the two I-81 cities this year.
Tied in the East Division
Tied in the East Division
The Crunch arrive in Senator’s territory as winners of the East Division last season by a mere 1 point over the B-Sens. They would end up cruising to the Calder Cup Finals only to lose to the Detroit Red Wings AHL team Grand Rapids Griffins. The defending East winning Crunch are still favored to win the division again, as their team remains mostly intact, except for one. The 2012-’13 AHL All Star, Top Scorer and MVP forward Tyler Johnson, who is now playing on the parent club Tampa Bay Lightning. Sens fans will certainly rejoice Johnson’s call up but will also look forward to a new season as last year was cut short for them in a 1st round playoff sweep courtesy of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penquins. Sens team also remains nearly complete as they have 22 players returning from last years squad, and here’s a look at tonight’s projected line-up;
-Forward Lines (Practice)
Lawson / Hammond
Injured: None (amazing after what the entire organization went through last season. I know, I know..let’s not jinx it)
Healthy: D-Men Ben Blood and Tyler Eckford, Forwards Darren Kramer, Jakub Culek and Buddy Robinson.
-3 Key Players To Watch For
Syracuse: Defensemen Joey Morimina and Jean-Philippe (J.P.) Cote, Forward Brett Connolly.
Binghamton: Forwards Jim O’Brien, Mika Zibanejad and defenseman Mark Boroweicki.
-Head to Head Results (Last Season)
Crunch and Sens ended up after 8 games tied 4 a piece with Crunch having the slight edge 26-25 in goals advantage.
-Last Game’s Highlight (Last Season)
In the 4th game of the 2012-’13 season in Bingo, fans will always remember Sens being up 5-0 midway in the 2nd period before the big event between Robin Lehner and Riku Helenius took place. With Lehner now ejected afterwards, new guy Nathan Lawson enters the hostile environment for his first appearance of the season. The end result is Lawson would let in 5 goals in regulation leading up to a 6-5 overtime loss. 152 minutes in penalties were handed out between the two teams that night.
Long time radio voice Dave Schreiber happened to be in town during the lock-out with Grady Whittenburg making the call.