Oh, you just knew this might happen on a road weary Senators team, and it did.
The Utica Comets came in and stunk up the joint at the Arena in their 3-2 win over a tired Sens team sending home the sold out crowd without a win to cheer about. The effort was there in the first half of the contest, but Joacim Eriksson was better in making 27 saves ending the Senators four game win streak. Andrew Hammond got the start and remained strong throughout the game with the lone exception of a hiccup that fortunately didn’t end up costing him a goal.
The Senators would bus back after Friday night’s emotional win over Hamilton in Montreal, and tried to put the effort into tonight’s tilt but they seemed to have run out of gas near the end as it was their third game in four nights. However, all is well in the East as Hershey, Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton were all losers tonight as the Sens remain six points out front in their division.
Mike Hoffman and Tyler Eckford bear down aiding Andrew Hammond in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Utica Comets at home. Photo courtesy of Alicia Strauch.
Senators get on the scoresheet first with Hoffman ripping his wrister by Eriksson for his 29th and it’s a 1-0 game. That would be all the scoring in the first as Binghamton has ample opportunities to cash in but their rookie goalie stood tall making some great saves in the period. If it weren’t for his solid performance, this game should be if not 3-0 but 4-0 as the Senators played a good period. Besides not putting the puck in the back of the net, Utica got a lot of sticks in the way and wiped out some passes on many odd man rushes. Andre Petersson stood out the most as he had some decent scoring chances.
Into the second with Corey Cowick and Hoffman on yet another odd man opportunity but Peter Andersson gets a stick in the way. Funny moment behind the Comets net when Darren Archibald tries a hit on big Buddy Robinson only to have him bounce off of him and down to the ice, and for good measure, Buddy lands on top of him as if to say, “Really?”
Colin Stuart ties up the contest with his 12th as his shot gets re-directed in by Hammond for the freak goal as the Utica fans that made the trip make their voices heard for their team’s tally. However, Hoffman would get his team back out front less than three minutes later shooting from the corner and into traffic out front in off of a Comets’ stick past Eriksson making it a 2-1 score. Lucky shot as Hoff just tossed it in front of the net hoping for results, which did pay off.
A nervous event would unfold before the period is over as Hammond played the puck from behind his net, shoots around the boards and it catches something as the puck caroms off to the front of the open cage finding Jeremy Welsh out front only to have him slip to the ice with Hammond scrambling back. Welsh then feeds it to Stuart who also has trouble handling the puck as the Senators catch a huge break on the sequence which should have been an easy goal by Utica.
Nicklas Jensen would tie it up just 19 seconds into the third with Stephane Da Costa serving the remaining 26 seconds left on his tripping penalty late in the second for the power play goal. Video review shows the goal stands as there was a big pile up on Hammond but actually the puck hits Chris Wideman‘s stick and in as he was also flat on the ice following the overhead replay.
Fatigue seems to be setting in as Binghamton is starting to look sloppy that had hints of that sometime in the second period, but it’s really apparent now. Utica has the momentum going their way and would take their first lead when Frank Corrado‘s quick shot off of the faceoff from his own blueline beats Hammond as he looks to have lost the timing of the shot as the puck flutters by him. Towards the end of the third, Hammond gets pulled for the extra attacker but no pressure is applied by his team as that would be a wrap, Utica wins it 3-2.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- No Jim O’Brien, Cole Schneider, Wacey Hamilton or Mark Borowiecki for the Senators as they have been given the night off healing some bumps and bruises. An intriguing move by Utica in starting their five most penalized players for the puck drop. Luke Richardson answers with Mike Sdao, David Dziurzynski, Cowick, Darren Kramer and Freddy Claesson but nothing would come of it as maybe the coaching staff of the Comets was looking to throw a wrench into the Senators plans throwing the team off.
- Tyler Eckford had a terrible game, missing some passes, lousy turnovers and I normally don’t call out a player this bad but I couldn’t help it. On the other hand, Claesson had a real solid game in not only taking the body, but was relentless on the penalty kill.
- Too many Senators passes on multiple odd man rushes instead of shooting the puck that would have perhaps had better results. I don’t know how the tides turned in the game but after the first it should have been 4-0 on any other given night.
- Young child gets hit with the puck late in the third and was attended to by the in-house paramedics just behind the visitors player’s bench. Not sure how serious the situation turned out.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Corrado (gwg)
- #2 Hoffman (2g)
- #3 O’Reilly (2a)
Wednesday Night vs. Toronto Marlies.
Cover photo and insert courtesy of Alicia Strauch.