Comeback Complete: Bingo Wins Game 7 in Overtime (Again!)


Four days ago, the Binghamton Senators had just finished the fourth game in their first round AHL playoff series against the Manchester Monarchs. The game ended in disappointment as the team squandered an early third period lead and wound up losing 6-3. At that point, it looked hopeless for Bingo and their fans. Down 3-1 in the series, not even the eternal optimism of head coach Kurt Kleinendorst was enough skirt the reality of the situation. In the history of the American Hockey League only 15 teams had ever comeback to win a playoff series after being down by a 3-1 margin. With a depleted blue line and the B-Sens hemorrhaging goals against in habitual fashion, the task of becoming the 16th team to re-emerge from such a gaping hole in playoff series seemed like an impossible one. But after a goalie change and overtime wins in games five and six, Bingo forced an improbable game seven situation and were starting to make believers out of the skeptics.

Bingo stormed out of the blocks in their third elimination game in four nights. Before the game was half over, the B-Sens had powered their way to a 4-1 lead on a pair of goals by Ryan Keller, Eric Condra’s first of the playoffs, and a Bobby Butler blast at 6:05 of the second frame. Holding a significant edge in shots and overall play, the lead looked good, almost too good. Slowly but surely Manchester began chipping away at the advantage and before the buzzer sounded to end the second, the teams were dead-locked at four. The blown lead was disheartening to say the least; not only because it put the “good guys in black” in jeopardy of losing the game and series outright, but because the team had already been through the same song and dance in game 3. The B-Sens were up 3-0 in that game too, only to eventually find themselves on the wrong side of a 5-4 overtime result when all was said and done. Kleinendorst chalked up the experience to youth and called it a “lesson learned”. After 40 minutes on this night, it looked like the coach’s pupils weren’t paying attention in class. And the situation would only get worse before it got better.

The third period got off to a cautious start. Both teams played close to the vest and not many scoring chances were had. That all changed when Bingo was charged with their fourth straight minor penalty of the night. With Andre Benoit off in the box for hooking, the Monarchs grabbed their first lead of the night with ten minutes to go in regulation. The feeling was gut-wrenching. A 4-1 lead, once brimming with second round possibilities, was now a 5-4 deficit. It was a  magnificent collapse. As the clock ticked down it appeared as though the magic had run out for the B-Sens. But, if this team and this series had taught us anything, it was that appearances are wildly deceiving. With a buck 45 left in what appeared to be the remainder of their season, Condra netted his second of the game. For the fifth time this series the game was headed to overtime.

Unlike the night before, when the game extended into double overtime, this one was over quickly. Just 3:07  into the frame, none other than Bingo’s foremost playoff performer, Ryan Potulny potted the series clincher.  For Potulny, it was his fifth point of the night (to go along with four assists) and his AHL leading 14th point of the playoffs. For the team, it was a 4-3 series win,  it was an AHL record-tying fourth overtime win in a single series, and it is the continuation of an already special Calder Cup playoff run. The result also marked the first time, in the 75 year history of the AHL, that games five, six, and seven of a playoff series were decided in OT.

Here is the goal that sent Bingo to round two, courtesy of BinghamtonSenators.

The heart and fight this team displayed time and time again was something to behold. It might not have always been pretty, and there were certainly flaws, but to accomplish what they did in the manner they did it, it`s something I have never experienced as a fan. Truly remarkable.

Bingo went 3 – 0 after Robin Lehner replaced Barry Brust in goal. With five goals against tonight, Lehner obviously was not as dominating as game six, but he continues the perfect run to start his playoff career. Shots were 39-37 in favour of the B-Sens. 

Next up for Bingo is a match-up with the Portland Pirates in the Atlantic Division final. Portland finished off their first round series with the Connecticut Whale in six games earlier on Saturday night. No doubt, Bingo will have to tighten up defensively going into round two. In the meantime, it’s a little a bit of celebrating and a little rest. With any luck, some of the battered bodies will be available to the team going forward.

Go B-Sens Go!


Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.

Can’t get enough of SenShot?  Here are more ways to get the most info about your Ottawa Senators

You can follow us on Twitter: follow Tony @13thforward and Jared @alfieisgod and Derrick @DerrickvonBrose

Visit our SenShot Facebook Page. Like us and post comments, photos and videos. 

Please visit our NHL Main PageToo Many Men On The Site.