Now that’s more like it.
Andrew Hammond made 34 saves and benefited from some stingy defense in front of him as Binghamton gets the rematch and bounces back 5-1 over the Hershey Bears at Giant Center. Stephane Da Costa regrouped and played better adding a goal and two helpers as the offense returned to what they are capable of doing, and that is putting the puck into the back of the net, multiple times. This would be the rookie netminder’s fourth win in a row as Andrew continues to improve on the season. Bingo takes four out of six points this weekend and is back in a first place tie with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the East and while improving their road record to 7-3.
Senators get the jump and are playing better than last night’s fiasco. Hammond looks smooth and steady not giving up any rebounds. Andre Petersson slides a pass to Jim O’Brien right in front of the crease as OB draws a slashing call on the play. Bingo makes quick work out of it as Shane Prince hammers one from the right dot past Phillipp Grubauer for a 1-0 lead. That goal would break an 0-14 slump on the power play for Bingo.
Senators look crisp and the defense is plugging up the holes in their end helping out Hammond. Da Costa playing much better tonight and moving the puck well and creating some good scoring chances. Speaking of DaCosta, he steals the puck as Bears can’t break out of their zone and slips it to a wide open Mark Stone sitting by the side of Grubauer and Stoner misses the wide open net as the period winds down. Mark slams his twig on the ice in disbelief. This should be a 2-0 game right now. Shots are 11-10 Sens.
We’re off in the second period as Prince nearly frees the puck from a falling down Hershey D-man that would have lead to a 2-0 break. David Dziurzynski‘s has a nice mid ice hit to Patrick Wey. Mike Hoffman finds Mike Sdao as Sdao’s shot misses the net. Senators in control early as Prince gets the high sticking penalty. Cole Schneider, Dizzy, Cody Ceci and Fred Claesson are the penalty killers and do an effective job clogging the lanes as Hershey fails to put a shot on net.
Bears would then tie it up after the penalty as Wey’s shot looks to hit a player’s skate in front of the crease that deflects in past Hammond. Petersson unloads a backhander through traffic that catches Grubauer body. Sens put pressure in the Bears zone as Hershey ices the puck and uses their time out for the tired line to catch their breathe. Bingo can’t take advantage as Jeff Taffe skates down the ice and shoots at Hammond and he smothers the puck. Buddy Robinson off for hooking and Bears move the puck better this time but can’t solve Hammond. Sens end up on the power play to end the period. Shots in favor of Hershey 8-4.
Binghamton starts the third on the man advantage but can’t capitalize though they would get another opportunity right after as Dmitry Orlov goes off for holding. Sens send the first power play unit of Chris Wideman and Hoffman on the points, Prince, Schneider and Da Costa down low. Sens changed D-man paring and Ceci gets his pocket picked by John Mitchell by the blue line but can’t gather the puck as Petersson gets the slash call. Hammond comes up big with some crafty work in the crease.
Senators take the lead and quiets the crowd as Wideman finds Da Costa alone by the side of the crease and taps it as the puck trickles in past Grubauer. Binghamton tighten ups the defense and Hammond is having a strong third period. Bingo kills off their fifth penalty of the game and goes up with a two goal lead as Hoffman with the puck stops, leaves a beauty of a back hand pass to a streaking Stone and Mark makes sure with this one as his low wrister surprises Grubauer and Sens now a 3-1 lead.
Robinson takes a careless tripping penalty with just over three minutes left in the third but Hammond shuts the door on the Bears. Hershey pulls Grubauer but O’Brien’s good hustle down in Bears territory behind the net ties up the puck. Petersson slithers in and grabs it, skates out to the circle and finds the open net for his fifth of the season. For good measure, Matt Puempel scored his sixth of the season slapping the puck from the blue line and in as it fooled Grubauer and Sens go up 5-1 with five seconds left in the contest. Shots for the period 17-9 Bears and for the game 35-24 Hershey.
- O’Brien returned to the line up and looked good as the ever hustling JOB should see more ice time as a result of his game tonight.
- Ottawa goalie coach Rick Walmsley was in attendance and Hammond didn’t fail to impress. I’ve been hard early on the rookie but I have now turned the corner and have 100% confidence in Andrew’s game.
- Luke Richardson juggles all three lines and it payed off as Jean-Gabriel Pageau centered Robinson and Puempel and that line did look decent. Stone spelled Schneider off the first line and JOB centered Prince and Petersson. DD, Schneider and Wacey Hamilton was the fourth line. Forwards Corey Cowick and Darren Kramer, as well as defensman Troy Rutkowski all healthy scratches.
- Claesson and Hoffman celebrated their birthdays today and should have a happy bus ride back home following the Senators win. UPDATE: Maybe not. It appears the heating system is malfunctioning on the bus ride back to Binghamton and it seems colder in the bus than outside according to some tweets that have transpired.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Hammond (34 saves)
- #2 Da Costa (1g 2a)
- #3 Hoffman (3a)
Wednesday Night host Syracuse Crunch