The B-Sens lose their fifth game in a row as the Hershey Bears beat the Senators in a shootout 4-3. The Sens would however, earn a point and advance back into a first place tie with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as they lost in regulation to Springfield. David Leggio, the same netminder that ruined it for Bingo fans last Friday night, did it again in making 39 saves and kept the Bears in the game as Binghamton was soaring high all night led by the return of Mike Hoffman. Stephane Da Costa, Mark Stone and Hoff were the line to beat as the trio were clearly the front-runners in the contest.
Senators get on an early power play but Bears defense have good man coverage. Cole Schneider has his shot gloved by Leggio but it doesn’t matter as Patrick Wellar scores from the slot past Hammond’s pads for the early Bears lead. Hershey manages one shot on net through the first half of the period and make it count. Andre Petersson and Da Costa try to hook up on a 2-1 but Leggio is there for the save. Cody Ceci rips one off the post that had Leggio beat. Ben Blood takes a slapper that Leggio fumbles with but recovers with Stone waiting for the rebound.
Sens playing well but run into a bit of Bears pressure keeping the puck in their territory but suffer no damage. Time for a fight as Mark Borowiecki and Josh Brittain battle behind the Sens net with Boro getting some big lefts into Brittain’s face and ends up muscling him down to the ice. Borowiecki wins easily as he gets up quick nudging Brandon Segal on his way off the ice.
Onward into the second with the Bears up 1-0 as Leggio denies Petersson’s shot from a nice play by Jim O’Brien muscling the puck to Shane Prince in center ice while getting pinned to the boards. An ugly Mike Sdao‘s clearing attempt from behind the net gets picked off but Hammond is there for the save. Then Fredrik Claesson found an open Stone and made a perfect pass to him as Stone laid down a nice backhand shot past a diving Leggio to tie up the game at one a piece.
The Bears are back on their heals as the Senators are running the show with crisp passing and plenty of scoring opportunities but can’t break Leggio. Hoffman shows off his speed catching up to Patrick Wey fresh out of the box with a breakaway. Hoffman smartly waits to the last second and stick checks Wey cleanly and he doesn’t get a shot off. Hershey gets into penalty trouble as the Sens can’t convert on a 5-3 but do cash in on a one man advantage by Hoffman’s 12th of the season as his slapper from the blue line squeezes in under Leggio’s pads and into the net for a 2-1 lead. Senators would encounter late period chances with four players surrounding Leggio on a rush but Wey was there to help out Leggio. Matt Puempel would then miss an open net as Leggio committed early and was on the ice while Puempel couldn’t handle the puck from a pass by Pageau.
Into the third early on see the Senators increasing their lead by two as Petersson nails a one timer from a cross ice dish by Prince. What a shot from the young swede and a great pass by Prince. Soon after, off the faceoff Stanislav Galiev shoots one past a screened Hammond to cut the Sens lead by one.
Binghamton’s two goal lead disappears with Michael Latta‘s third goal of the season finds his shot sliding past Hammond’s pads and trickles into the net for a 3-3 game. Senators would find themselves in shorthanded trouble late in the period on Prince’s high-sticking call with a minute left in the period but send the game into overtime.
Bears continue the man advantage but Sens kill it to the crowd’s delight. After, Da Costa would get some good looks as well as Hoffman and Chris Wideman but don’t score. Heading to the shoot out and this is exactly what the Bears want as Leggio stands strong in net and he doesn’t allow a goal. Hammond let’s in two and was cleanly beat on both shots.
- Da Costa, Hoffman and Stone were awesome working together tonight settling in on only one goal but should have been two or three if it weren’t for Leggio’s strong net presence.
- Prince returned and shakes off early rust to finish with one of his best games of the season. His legs were moving and was involved trying to set up Pageau all night and had a great pass on Petersson’s goal.
- You don’t want to mess with Borowiecki unless you mean business. That’s one tough hombre to take on and you better be ready to battle as Mark gets down quick and hard in his fights. No drama found here, just gets the job done.
- Shots ended up 42-27 Sens and for the fourth game in a row out shoot their opponent. All signs point that this team will come through and start running a win streak once they break the ice. The spirited effort was there tonight, just didn’t get the bounces their way. You could feel that this sort of night was going to end up like it did when it was a 3-2 game. Hershey was lucky with the win.
- Three out of the last four Sens games have wound up in a shootout ending with a record of 2-3 after tonight’s loss.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Leggio (39 saves)
- #2 Latta (2a)
- #3 Stone (1g)
Friday Night at Utica Comets