Mike Hoffman scored with .35.2 seconds left in overtime to give the Senators their sixth straight win 5-4 over the Manchester Monarchs. Stephane Da Costa‘s brilliant effort behind the net was all it took as his pass made it look easy for Hoff to notch his 16th of the season. The win helped keep pace with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 2-1 shootout win over Hartford for first place in the East as the Senators maintain their one point lead over the Penguins.
Sens get the early jump which results in a goal by Da Costa, his tenth of the season with some pin point passing from Hoffman and the give and go by Cole Schneider. Just a sweet highlight reel play by the trio. Da Costa shortly after robbed by Jean-Francois Berube close in. Schneider later gets hauled down on a breakaway into Berube but no call is made. Corey Cowick can’t find any luck this season as his shot from the circle rings off the post.
Fredrik Claesson makes a sweet defensive play intercepting on A.J. Gale’s attempted pass to Andrew Bodnarchuk on a two on one break. Senators look sharp, making accurate passes and skating well. That still doesn’t stop Manchester’s Tanner Pearson from scoring just as the puck slides under his skate past Nathan Lawson. Jordan Weal gets the assist with his pass to Pearson as he was skating towards the net. A video review by the ref solidifies the correct call as Lawson argued it was kicked in. However, more importantly the play appeared offsides to me. 1-1 game after one.
In the second Monarchs get yet another powerplay with Cowick in the box for a questionable high sticking but it’s Claesson’s drive from the blue line that rockets by Berube’s stick side and into the net for a shorthanded tally. Just a beauty of a shot by number three as Berube slams his stick on the crossbar afterwards.
Another slapper driven by Chris Wideman gives the Senators a 3-1 lead with his shot from the same area as Claesson’s and screaming by Berube on the powerplay. Sens continue to dominate play as Monarchs are slow to adjust. That would all change later in the period when Gale rifles one by Lawson on a Monarch’s powerplay to cut the Senators lead by one.
Into the final period as the Sens are up 3-2 as Lawson makes an alert kick save from his own player’s misfortunes as a the puck glances off of Danny New‘s skate that had eyes for the back of the net. On a side note, this referee is just plain terrible and the crowd let’s him know it with some unbelievable calls tonight as Hoffman gets a cross checking penalty that the Sens were able to kill.
Brandon Kozun ties up the game at three a piece as he steals a bad turnover at center ice and skates it in the Sens zone and unleashes a bullet beating Lawson up high. As Mancheaster looks to be rolling it’s the Senators re-claiming the lead two minutes after with Cowick’s wrister glancing off of David Dziurzynski‘s stick and into the net. Both teams exchange penalties mid way through the third with no goals being potted. Lawson stands firm keeping the game 4-3 with some good saves.
Then things would get dicey as Colin Miller just simply lets it rip from the blue line surrounding by Senators and in by Lawson to tie up the game at four. What a blast that Lawson had no chance as he seemed to just give up on the play or was partially screened. Game heading to Overtime. Monarch’s rule in shots in the third 17-9.
Overtime sees Manchester being the aggressive team catching Binghamton back on their heels as they control the play for the extra period. Not for long as Da Costa is to the rescue! His hard play behind the net fends off a Monarch and feeds Hoffman in front who buries it by Berube as he went down too quickly on the play.
Game. Set. Match. Sens win 5-4 with a big celebration for the home fans delight and of course, free McDonald’s breakfast biscuit for each fan.
- This officiating crew was brutal with missed calls, phantom penalties and blown offsides all night long. If we had lost I don’t make it a habit to blame the refs but wow, this was pretty bad tonight.
- The culmination of both Hoffman and Da Costa’s work all night pays off in high dividends with Hoff’s overtime winner. These two players are making it count, even with Stoner up in Ottawa.
- Claesson was fun to watch and is starting to find his offense grove. His defensive play on that two on one was perfectly played.
- Jonathan Quick was suppose to make the game for a conditioning stint only to have his flight plans delayed in Detroit due to the inclement weather. That would have been really cool to see Quick play in person but I’ll take the win instead.
- For the love of God please get someone else to pick the three stars of the game! Really?!
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Da Costa (1g 1a)
- #2 Hoffman (1g 2a)
- #3 Pearson (1g 1a)
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