The Binghamton Senators fell behind by one before roaring back scoring four unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs in front of 8,771 at Montreal’s Bell Centre. Andre Petersson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau both had a goal and an assist to help lead the Senators to their fourth straight win. Andrew Hammond was spectacular in net making some key saves of the 32 shots he saw as the rookie also earned his fourth win in a row and 17th of the season. With the win, the Sens increase their lead in the East Division to six over idle Hershey and eight over Norfolk and W/B-Scranton, also both idle tonight.
Mark Borowiecki starts off setting the tone with a crushing hit on 6′ 6″ Jarred Tinordi sending him to the ice and he gets right back up to take on Borowiecki. The two trade punches in a drawn out match that sees a pretty even tilt. Dustin Tokarski gets a glove on a rising Petersson wrist shot to record one of his seven saves in the period. Buddy Robinson receives a boarding call after sending Joel Chouinard to the boards and it’s a Bulldog power play. Hammond nice save in traffic as he looks solid in net so far as the Senators kill it.
Darren Kramer and Nick Tarnasky‘s turn to throw off the mitts and helmets as the two don’t really land much but credit Tarnasky with Kramer falling to the ice at the end of it. Tokarski saves a goal as Danny New‘s blue liner rattles the netminder’s cage a bit as the loose puck was just about to go over the goal line with Tokarski getting a stick on it before it does. With Martin St. Pierre in the sin bin for slashing, the Senators go on their first power play but can’t get one in as Hamilton was there blocking the lanes. On the following Bulldog power play, Hammond gets a huge glove on Louis Leblanc‘s shot right on his doormat for the save of the game so far as he has looked real good in the period.
Hamilton would break the scoreless game when Tarnasky takes advantage of Wideman’s whiff from the point and skates in on a breakaway and scoring on a snap shot that Hammond misplayed or lost sight of for the 1-0 lead. Greg Pateryn sends Mark Stone off his feet with a check that draws some players in the mix afterwards. Darren Dietz gets caught holding Pageau’s stick for the two-minute penalty, but Binghamton doesn’t do much with the man advantage as the team’s overall play, while they haven’t played bad, don’t look like the team we are used to seeing flying all over the ice and having good center ice transitional plays.
Time to eat my words as they would fight back and get two quick goals in a matter of just 43 seconds to grab a 2-1 lead. First it would be Pageau starting the rally with a fitting goal out front beating Tokarski up high with a soft dish by Petersson from the side of the net to the home crowd’s boos. Then, Robinson caps it off shooting into the open net after Derek Grant pried the puck loose from Tokarski’s glove and Shane Prince passed to the open winger for Buddy’s ninth of the season. Just like that Binghamton is up by a goal heading to the locker room as the club finished strong for the period.
Senators hope to add to their one goal lead in the third and carry on their type of game which was lacking in the beginning. They get some real solid opportunities but can’t thread the needle until Petersson’s beauty of a backhand faked out Tokarski as the Swede waited patiently before getting the puck in by the goaltender to put Binghamton up by two. Sweet play as Peter unloaded while mid-air before falling to the ice rewarded for his 17th of the season. As the period bides down, Tokarski is pulled for the extra attacker but Mike Hoffman puts to rest any notion of a Bulldog comeback and shoots from center ice into the empty net for his 28th goal of the season, 4-1 Sens and the game.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- This win tonight helps take out the sting of both TeamUSA’s hockey losses to Canada in the last few days. However, hardcore B-Sens fans in both countries all unite in this victory.
- Pageau’s goal in the second was a bittersweet reminder to the Montreal organization of his terrific playoff performance for Ottawa last spring helping snuff out Montreal’s season. He was named tonight’s second star to the crowd’s boos as that drew a smile from Pager as he could have been Star of the Game having a goal and an assist like Petey but got snubbed by the off ice officials. Hmmm…
- Prince got in the way of a New shot either off his ankle or foot as he crumbled to the ice in the middle of the second. He went off the ice under his own power but was clearly in some pain, only to continue playing and not skipping a shift. That’s just gutsy of a player and hat’s off to the pesky winger as he is one of the role models of the team that wants to win.
- Hamilton out shot the Senators 32-22 but Hammond had one of his better games of the year. I’d like to see him in goal starting Saturday against Utica but the road trip and the emotional win might be a factor as either Nathan Lawson is ready or we’ll see Scott Greenham instead. Either way, I hope this team doesn’t take the Comets lightly as this has all the makings for a let down to follow-up after tonight’s big win.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Petersson (1g 1a)
- #2 Pageau (1g 1a)
- #3 Tinordi (huh?)
Saturday Night host Utica Comets.