Rochester came prepared and the Sens defense took the night off losing their first game of the season in five games to the Amerks by a score of 5-2 spoiling Denis Hamel‘s Hall of Fame night in front of a large crowd gathered at the Arena. Sens left starter Andrew Hammond out to dry as the Amerks won every battle and played determined hockey to make tonight’s contest a miserable one for the Sens for their fourth straight victory. W/B-Scranton won in shootout down in Norfolk to make it a one point lead for Binghamton in the East.
Rochester gets right at it just 1:45 in and scores as Brayden Irwin nets his first of the season alone in front beating Hammond down low. Second night in a row Sens find themselves down a goal early on. Following suit Jean-Gabriel Pageau evens up the game getting a power play goal rebounding off of Chris Wideman‘s shot in by Matt Hackett for his ninth and it’s all tied up. Hackett robs Jim O’Brien‘s backhander and falls dangerously close to the goal line but is there denying OB.
Kevin Porter‘s nice effort dancing around the defense down the middle and shoots in on Hammond’s right to regain the one goal lead 2-1. Sens defense was awful on that play as there was four players surrounding the play. With Mark Borowiecki in the box for high sticking on Brayden McNabb, Jamie Tardif pounces on the sitting puck in the crease and into the cage for the easy power play tally. Hammond initially stopped McNabb’s blast from the point but was unable to react quick enough to cover Tardif’s shot.
A Shane Prince wrist shot from the slot gets by Hackett and gets the Senators back by one. That’s Prince’s tenth of the season as the home fans start the famous “you can’t Hack-ett” chants that always seems to rattle the veteran netminder. As the first winds down Wideman rings one off the post that looked to have beaten Hackett as time expires. Rochester came to play and is delivering but Binghamton responds scoring two but needs to make adjustments during the break.
Second period sees Johan Larsson right off the beginning and puts the Amerks back up by two as Mike Sdao and Freddy Claesson have blown man coverages in the crease and Hammond finds himself in the back of the net not finding stable ground and scrambles some. O’Brien clips Rasmus Ristolainen in the face which draws blood and receives a four-minute high sticking, then Danny New with a delay of game call throwing the puck into the crowd and it’s a full five on three man advantage for Rochester. Sens would eventually kill both with Boro, Freddy and David Dziurzynski killing the majority of it to the fans cheers.
All Rochester and they’re not letting down and continue to carry momentum with Sens getting chances but are careless in the process. With the embarrassing to many men on the ice call going against the Sens and Dizzy’s hand on the puck call, Adam Luke capitalizes scoring his 18th making it a 5-2 game with under a minute left in the period. He gets the re-direct shot by McNabb from the blue line that Hammond had no chance on.
Third period would feature a Matt Puempel fight with Kevin Sundher as the two exchange a few punches but nothing more with Pumps getting the take down. Amerks play dump in and conserve the clock as the Senators know their night is through. Tough loss but the better team deserved the two points and it certainly wasn’t the Senators tonight.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Special night as ceremonies went without a hitch and was praised by outside media members as Hamel was inducted and read a speech that drew a tear to his eye. Just a heartwarming experience between the player and his fans. Noted saying thanks to his family and most of all the fans stating the best in the AHL to the home crowd cheers. A standing ovation followed as the former Captain walked off the ice for the final time.
- Derek Grant went off to the players dressing room in the first and did not return. Not sure what his current status is.
- The high powered Senators offense was missing and out of sync as they had numerous chances around the net only to lose the puck in the process and were not able to finish off the play.
- Hackett didn’t necessarily play that well but good enough as he raised his arms in the air and looked into the stands when the final horn sounded. Hackett has been pretty beaten up by Binghamton’s faithful and I’m sure it’s not going to ever end.
- Claesson was an uncharacteristic -2 for the game making some bad turnovers and not a very sharp night leading the defense. Hammond played okay but with little help, he’s not ready yet to steal a game or two as the team could’ve used a bailout from the rookie. I would expect Scott Greenham getting the start Sunday afternoon in Albany.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Adam (1g 2a)
- #2 Porter (1g 1a)
- #3 Larsson (1g 1a)
Sunday Afternoon vs Albany Devils