Penalties, penalties and more penalties. Nine all together when said and done called against the Binghamton Senators as they kept shooting themselves in the foot. I’m not blaming the ref’s here, it was my blame pointing right at the player’s themselves as they got spanked 6-2 by the IceCats in St. John’s Friday night. Can’t win games and have any momentum if you are on the penalty kill for nearly a full period of play. That’s not taking anything away from the IceCats as they have a solid line-up and great goaltending, just not the way the Senators wanted as they are now on a losing streak and their lead in the East is slowly starting to fade away.
102 straight sellout in St. John’s as the Senators spend the majority of the first on the penalty kill as they hand over five power plays including an early 5-3 to the IceCaps. Adam Lowry gets St. John’s out front first shooting on Nathan Lawson as the puck finds a way underneath him for a 1-0 lead. Fredrik Claesson and John Albert collide at center ice with Freddy finding the ice while Ben Blood draws a boarding call.
Albert takes advantage on the power play scoring his 16th cashing in on Jason Jaffray‘s shot and into the net as Daniel New slips and falls into Lawson. 30 seconds later Kael Mouillierat makes it a 3-0 contest as he intercepts a terrible clearing out pass by Troy Rutkowski from just outside his net and wristing it home as Lawson is hung out to dry. Too many penalties in the period as the Senators don’t mount any pressure on the IceCaps. Shots are 14-7 guess who?
The second drags on with the Senators on the short end of three more as the penalty parade to the box continues with another IceCaps goal. Mouillierat’s second of the night from the right circle firing it by Lawson. Shane Prince and Andre Petersson go on a 2-1 shorthanded rush as Petey passes to Shane and he misses the wide open net which had goal written all over it. Soon after with Prince in the box Corey Cowick and Jean-Gabriel Pageau go on another shorthanded break but Michael Hutchinson is there for the pad save on Cowick.
Hutchinson then makes the save of the game with New in the box for the Sens and Buddy Robinson and Derek Grant have a third shorthanded 2-1 breakaway as Buddy slips the puck to Derek and shoots what should have been another Senators goal but Hutchinson gets a sweet glove save out of the deal. it’s all for naught though when Albert comes streaking in all alone on Lawson and with a few rattle and shakes dekes Nathan for a 5-0 contest as the rout is on.
Frustrations mount up at the end of the period for the Senators as Chris Wideman gets a cheap shot from Jerome Samson after the whistle and Chris returns the stick hit at Samson. Then J.C. Lipon pounds Wideman and Grant jumps all over Lipon and those two would have a brief fight with both getting some punches thrown with Lipon with the takedown. It’s been one of those nights and the third doesn’t look promising to say the least.
EricO’Dell gets interfered with by Claesson on a breakaway and is rewarded a penalty shot a little more than two minutes into the third..and scores his 14th of the season as he undresses Lawson up high in the corner of the cage. In a melee by the boards Ben Chiarot had enough of Cowick it seems as he grabs Corey’s head, rips off his helmet and wrestles him to the ice with no punches exchanged.
Senators break the shutout as Robinson picks up the rebound from New’s blue liner and lifts the puck by Hutchinson making it 6-1. On a 5-3 Pageau scores his 10th of the season while parked in all alone in front taking Mark Stone‘s pass and into the net for the final goal of the game. Hutchinson shuts down the rest of the way as the last 10 minutes of the period Binghamton finally showed some promise that hopefully carries with them for Saturday nights tilt.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Sens go right back at it on Saturday for game two and I would expect a better effort and control the penalties. You’re not going to win any games giving out nine power plays on any given night.
- Lawson looked rusty but had his head into for the most part it as he has missed a ton of action with his health issues. I would go with Andrew Hammond Saturday night as he has the better conditioning right now between the two.
- The average age of tonight’s defense with Mike Sdao, New, Claesson, Blood, Wideman and Rutkowski was 23.16. With Mark Borowiecki out of the line-up, it really doesn’t change much but I just realized that I knew the D was young but didn’t know how young they are as a group. Senators could really use a solid veteran defenseman and I’m not talking the Tyler Eckfords’ or Tim Conboys’ type either.
- Speaking of Boro, they sorely miss his on ice presence and his physical play as the team has been lacking that since he became injured. Not sure what next season promises when his one way kicks in and he’ll be up in the NHL. Guess I’ll worry about that when the time comes.
- Stone extended the leagues best point scoring streak to 12 games with an assist on Pageau’s third period tally.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Albert(2g 1a)
- #2 Mouillierat (2g)
- #3 Lowry (1g)
Saturday Night vs. St. John’s IceCaps.
Cover photo and insert courtesy of Jeff Ulmer.