I have a bad feeling this is going to be a long two weeks of hockey coming up.
Rochester’s Andrey Makarov made 37 saves and helped stop the Binghamton Senators 4-3 in only their second win in 11 games. The depleted Amerks found a way and outlasted a frantic Senators attack in the third period as Binghamton looks to adjust to their new look offense and almost pulled it off. Ryan Dzingel and Garrett Thompson made their pro debut’s with Dzingel getting his first pro point in assisting on Derek Grant‘s second period goal. The Sens are now percentage points in front of the East Division over the red-hot Penguins, 3-0 winners over Bridgeport, but still have a game on hand.
Senators go on the power play early in the first as Colton Gillies high sticks Patrick Mullen into the boards. Their only scoring chance is when Cole Schneider rings one off the far post by Makarov otherwise a fruitless attempt with the man advantage. Both teams exchange scoring opportunities but Rochester gets the first goal off the stick of Nick Crawford slapping one in by Hammond’s short side for a 1-0 lead. Nice set up by Mark Pysyk dishing to Crawford for the one timer from up high in the circle.
Soon after Dan Catenacci skates into the Senators zone in between four black jerseys and shoots through Hammond’s five hole to take a two goal lead. Andrew should have had that one as Catenacci beats Mark Borowiecki along with his goalie under no pressure from the Senators. However, Shane Prince jumps on a big rebound given up by Makarov on Chris Wideman‘s shot from the circle and has an open net from about 15 feet out and gets his team to within a goal, 2-1. Borowiecki gets a cross checking call on Kevin Sundher to give the Amerks a power play to close out the first.
Thompson having a bad turnover right in the slot but Hammond alertly makes the save as we are in the second frame of play with the Senators down a goal. That would change with Gilles getting his third trip to the box putting Binghamton on the power play and just when time expired, D. Grant’s quick shot from the side boards beats Makarov between the wickets and finds the back of the net. Not sure if it was re-directed in but that is Grant’s 9th of the season. Amerks would regain their one goal lead as Phil Varone skates around the net and from the near slot beats Hammond up high making it a 3-2 Amerks lead. Not sure what was going on with Andrew on that one as he saw it all the way. Or obviously he didn’t.
Binghamton ties it up once again as Dzingel lays a beautiful east to west cross ice pass to Derek and he shoots from a sharp angle up high as Makarov was late getting back into position as that goal would be Grant’s second tally of the game. This Dzingel kid is good, very impressive pass on that play. Sens almost score as Wacey Hamilton‘s shot in tight squeezes through Makarov’s legs and is inches from the goal line before getting batted away.
Third period ready to roll as Hammond takes a shot up high and bouncing off his throat area and is shaken on the play but hangs in there. Schneider and Dzingel on an odd man rush but Pysyk clogs up the passing lane and Cole elected to shoot with Makarov covering the angle. The Amerks pull ahead once again as Porter scores his 16th left all alone directing a pass from Blake Kessel in past Hammond for a 4-3 game. Don’t know where the defense was on that one as nothing Andrew could have done.
With Binghamton applying pressure and get some good scoring opportunities but with Makarov playing well, this doesn’t look very good. With time now a factor, D. Grant takes a careless slashing penalty at 2:23 on Porter and that about does it with the Senators a man short from here on out. Sens finish the third peppering Makarov with 23 shots to Rochester’s seven but can’t get it done.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Good effort but team is really thin up the middle, and it shows. Rough night for Hammond, wasn’t sharp. Perhaps having the week off doesn’t bode well on Andrew or just one of those nights.
- Jakub Culek is really not that good a player, plays soft and has zero of a shot as he centered David Dziurzynski and Thompson. Luke has to find a way to get Danny Hobbs in there the rest of the weekend. Ugh!
- Thompson wore #17 and looked okay but Dzingel wearing number #21 really stood out. Quick fluid skater, good hands and reads the ice very well.
- Stephane Da Costa had re-constructive nose surgery and will be out for two weeks. He was in street clothes with Jim O’Brien in Thursday’s practice. Ottawa elected to keep Jean-Gabriel Pageau the rest of the season.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Makarov (37 saves)
- #2 Varone (1g 1a)
- #3 D. Grant (2g)
Saturday Night host Norfolk Admirals.
Cover photo courtesy of Jeff Ulmer.