A large New Years Eve crowd rallied around the B-Sens as they downed Norfolk by a score of 3-2 tonight in downtown Binghamton. Notably, Sens with some timely penalty kills on three separate five on three occasions, and Nathan Lawson making some clutch saves to help the Sens send the Admirals to their first defeat in four games. With the win, Senators stay perched in first place in the East.
Sens start off the game on a couple of power plays as the first unit now consists of Matt Puempel taking Mark Stone‘s slot but the specialty team can’t find any rhythm as Norfolk is busy covering the lanes in their zone. Sens would get into their own penalty troubles later on with back to back five on threes but Lawson helps out the team making a nice save on Zack Stortini‘s shot from the bottom circle.
Mike Sdao hammers 6′ 6″ Nolan Yonkman into the dasher’s and looks to fight but is refused at first, then granted his wish but the two big guys don’t amount to anything thrown. Sens are out shot by a ten to two margin as the period is more a less a feeling out matter between the teams.
Rickard Rakell scores his ninth as Norfolk takes an early 1-0 lead to start the second. Rakell walked in on Lawson and slid the puck under the sprawled netminder and in. However, the Senators would soon get it back when Puempel one times it by John Gibson from a set up pass by Stephane Da Costa for his tenth of the season. Just an awesome shot by Matt. Lawson playing his usual steady performance in net making some key saves.
Mark Borowiecki then lays a big hit to John Kurtz behind Lawson’s net as Kurtz might have had a few words spoken about the hit as the two would end up fighting and Boro makes pudding of Kurtz laying out the left winger handily in the quick tussle. Sens continue to pick up the physical play with several big hits.
Senators take the lead as Shane Prince finds Andre Petersson all alone to the left of Gibbons and shoots a perfect shot which appeared to go off the goalie’s back and into the net from a near impossible angle. That’s goal number nine for Andre. Later Petersson would follow-up a few shifts later with a roughing call to end the period.
Norfolk on the power play to begin the third but Sens prevail in killing it. Lawson tremendous save on Stortini and Antoine Laganiere in front of the net. Gibson, meanwhile keeping the game close with a little luck in his corner as Sens have an ample amount of chances but don’t find the back of the net.
Jim O’Brien would change that scoring on a sweet deke on Gibson from a give and go by Prince. That goal would come with a delayed penalty on Norfolk and Lawson pulled for the sixth attacker. The following scene is an odd one as all six players make the circle of hugs celebration a unique one.
As the period winds down Wacey Hamilton and Schneider find themselves in the box with five minutes left in the third for Admirals third five on three man advantage. Norfolk looks to be aggressive but the plays of Borowiecki, Freddy Claesson and David Dziurzynski keep the puck out of their zone and kill it to the crowd’s approval.
Soon after, Norfolk calls a timeout and pulls Gibson and Emerson Etem cuts the lead by one and scores to Lawson’s left as he had the net all to himself. There were four Admirals parked in Lawson’s doorstep and nothing could be done to stop that one. However, time winds down as Lawson was there to preserve the win for his 12th of the season.
- Stone was called up on emergency re-call earlier today to replace Chris Neil on Ottawa’s line-up. Schneider took his spot on the first line with Hoff and Da Costa.
- Prince played very well and was the spark plug on the line with OB and Petersson as they stood out the most for me tonight. Hoffman remained pointless to halt his seven game streak.
- Corey Cowick went down in a world of pain blocking Rakell’s shot from the blue line to end the game. It appeared the shot was absorbed in Corey’s knee as he struggled to get up and off the ice during his team’s celebration.
- Derek Grant was out of action early on as the Senators addressed it as a slight muscle pull. Last time that type of injury was released sidelined O’Brien for nine games. All of a sudden, Sens might have some holes to fill on the offense.
- Binghamton finishes December with a 5-3-0-2 mark. Quite the contrast to November’s 9-3-0-1 record but good enough to end the month strong.
- Happy New Year Everyone!
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Lawson (36 saves)
- #2 OB (1g 1a)
- #3 Prince (2a)
Friday Night host Manchester Monarchs