The Binghamton Senators scored two goals in the third to complete their comeback and Andrew Hammond made 40 saves for perhaps was his best effort of the season as the Senators squeaked out a 2-1 win over the St. John’s IceCaps that had playoff intensity written all over it. Shane Prince, in playing on the first line along with Stephane Da Costa and Matt Puempel, had a solid game in scoring the winning tally midway through the third period to cap the victory. Puempel ended up with a goal and an assist and Da Costa assisted on both goals as that first line clicked all night long. Let’s not forget about St. John’s Tyler Beskorowany and his incredible outing in making 38 saves by holding the Sens high potent offense to just two goals. With the win Binghamton remains in first place in their division and reduced their magic number to 12 for gaining a playoff berth.
Right from the puck drop this game has the beginnings of a playoff contest as we are out of the chute in the first period with up and down action with both clubs getting some scoring opportunities in non stop action. Beskorowany has a Darren Kramer turnaround slapper stopped but the puck bounces off of him and hits the post. Prince re-directs a Da Costa snap shot but Beskorowany is there with his big body denying Shane.
Hammond with a beauty of a kick save on Ben Chiarot‘s blast from the blue line and a follow-up blocker save from the stick of Kyle MacKinnon as Andrew has his game on tonight. Beskorowany with a good glove on Pat Mullen from the circle as he also looks solid in net early on. Mark Borowiecki with a big hit in the corner on Carl Klingberg as he is shaken on the play. Beskorowany flashes the glove on Jean-Gabriel Pageau wrist shot as the quick pace continues but neither team finding the back of the net.
Second period finds Hammond making a save on Zach Redmond from the hash marks as he was all alone on the play while right after Buddy Robinson tries to deke out a IceCaps defenseman, and does only to be stopped by that big goalie on the IceCaps. Then bad boy Blair Riley gets the best of Kramer landing some big rights and catching Kramer off-balance as he wins a fight.
Pageau gets a shorthanded breakaway rush gobbling the puck at center ice and skating in one on one drawing the large crowd to their feet but his shot is stopped. Alex Grant‘s soft wrister hits the far post as it clanks off harmlessly that had Beskorowany beat. St. John’s finally breaks the goaltending duel with Jason Jaffray re-directing Chiarot’s shot from the point putting it in by Hammond for a 1-0 lead. Tough goal as Hammond was there for the save but somehow Jaffray found an opening.
A lucky sequence would follow as Hammond whiffed on a clearing attempt from behind his net that enabled Adam Lowry to steal the puck as he tries to dish it to Klingberg in front which should have been an easy goal but he somehow can’t find the trigger to squeeze as he had the entire open net to himself with Hammond and his defense scrambling. Then Kris Fredheim takes a stab at it aiming the puck towards the goal but there is Sens bodies all over to prevent a sure goal. Right after Andrew redeems himself with a quick save by Jordan Hill‘s wrist shot and loses his stick in the process while he’s rolling around do everything he can to prevent a goal to the fans approval. Whew, were the Senators ever so lucky surviving a relentless IceCaps’ pressure.
1-0 game heading to the third as Beskorowany again comes up big on another Robinson shot getting his glove on it as the Senators turn it up a notch with the big goalie stopping Da Costa, Prince, Puempel and Pageau making save after save as Binghamton cannot solve Beskorowany. Ah, but on the following power play Da Costa’s nifty stick work draws the big man out of position and finds Puempel alone on his doorstep and taps in the rubber and making sure by falling into the net with the puck as well to finally get the Senators on board, tie game at 1.
At the 10:51 mark, Prince scores placing a laser short side by Beskorowany and in giving the Senators the 2-1 lead for the first time. Nice work again by Da Costa in feathering a pass to Prince up high in the o-zone. You know this game will come down to the wire and it does as Andrew Gordon rings one-off the post that could have tied up the contest. With Beskorowany pulled and a following timeout, St. John’s nearly gets the job completed but the Senators defense stands strong and holds on for the 2-1 victory.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- That was intense! Might as well call this a playoff game which had everything that the post season has to offer as both clubs played a very entertaining event which had the battle of two goaltenders right down to the wire, a fight, some hitting and tight checking and very little penalties as this one could have went either way.
- Prince, Da Costa and Puempel all shined on the first line as well as the fourth line tonight of Kramer, Wacey Hamilton and Corey Cowick in keeping the IceCaps in check.
- Borowiecki went hard on Jaffray in the closing seconds putting his lumber into his chest and face to prevent him from getting into the play as the two Captains would wrestle after the horn went off as Jaffray clearly was besides himself and pissed. It has to be absolutely frightening for some of these players to face Boro and I have seen it all season long and I’m gonna miss our Captain next season.
- Beskorowany is a very tall goaltender with a Ben Bishop look to him as he is very agile on his feet and possesses a great glove. Matter of fact, that entire team played big as they certainly don’t lack size in their line up.
- First time I can remember two goalies were named in the three stars honors, and deserving so as they both put on a goaltender’s clinic tonight.
- Good to have the voice of the Senators Grady Whittenburg back in action tonight returning to the mic after missing some games due to a family issue.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Hammond (40 saves)
- #2 Puempel (1g 1a)
- #3 Beskorowany (38 saves)
Saturday Night vs. Syracuse Crunch.
Cover photo courtesy of Alicia Strauch.