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At Home On The Road: B-Sens Take The First Two Games In Charlotte


The Binghamton Senators kicked off their Eastern Conference final series with the Checkers in Charlotte on Thursday and Friday. Both games ended on the plus side of ledger for the roadies, but the similarities ended there. With the wins, the baby Senators now have eight straight road wins stretching all the way back to round 1 against the Manchester Monarchs; the total is one win shy of tying the all-time Calder Cup playoff record.

Game #1: Binghamton 7 – Charlotte 4

By all accounts, Game 1 was a sloppy affair on multiple fronts. Both teams tripped over the starting gate and before the game was three minutes old, the score was 2-1 Bingo. The goals would keep on coming, but the B-sens never relinquished the lead. When the final buzzer sounded, both starting goalies found themselves on the bench and 11 different players on both teams found twine. Despite not putting forth their most sound effort, the start was a great one for the “good guys in black” (thank you Grady Whittenburg).

On the Positive

Bingo was able to penetrate the Checkers’ defenses. Coming in to this series, Charlotte had allowed a stingy 2.25 goals on average per game, but seven different B-Sens were able to light the lamp on this night. The superb seven included: Corey Locke, Kaspars Daugavins, Andre BenoitBobby ButlerRoman WickErik Condra, and Ryan Potulny.

Barry Brust: Since round one, Brust has seen limited spot duty and there may have been a little rust forming on his pads. But the ‘tender didn’t show it and was solid in limiting the Checkers to one goal through periods two and three.

There are no bonus points for sexy wins. Bingo did what they had to do to win and that can never be a bad thing.

Negative Nancy

The final shots were 40-22 for Charlotte and a staggering 17-3 in the second. Talk about playing with fire.

Robin Lehner: Binghamton’s graduated #1 goaler had rough opening 20 (and he’d be the first to admit it). Although they lead 4-3 after the first, coach Kurt Kleinendorst was less than enthused about the play of the young Swede and he was pulled in favour of the aforementioned Brust in the intermission.

Eight penalties: It’s tough to win games from the penalty box. The glut of calls against Bingo really impacted the flow of the team. Charlotte also managed 2 power play goals from the ordeal.

Here are some highlights from Game #1 and reaction from the Checkers courtesy of the Charlotte Checkers.

Game #2: Binghamton 3 – Charlotte 0

The contrast between games 1 and 2 was noticeable, as evidenced by the score. Both teams tightened up defensively, scoring opportunities were harder to come by, but the result remained the same. Lehner was outstanding and completely redeemed himself for his questionable start the night before. Potulny with two and Butler with the other provided all the offense that Bingo would need to secure victory.

On the Positive

Robin Lehner: After being pulled in game #1 and placed on a “short leash” by Kleinendorst in game #2, Lehner responded as he did after being pulled in a previous game, with a shutout. The goalie stopped all 35 Checkers shots in the win. Not a bad tendency for the “hunter”.

Ryan Potulny: The AHL’s leading scorer picked up two more goals and now has 22 points through 15 games in these playoffs.

Late and early goals: Bingo scored in the final minute of the first period and in the first minute of the second. Ancient hockey folklore speaks of the mystical powers of late and early goals and the debilitating effect they have on the opposition. Clearly the Checkers were feeling the effects.

Negative Nancy

Potulny didn’t get the hat trick? Seriously, there was literally nothing that adverse from a Binghamton perspective in this game.

Here are the highlights and Checkers reaction from game #2 courtesy (again) of the CharlotteCheckers.

The series now shifts to the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton starting with game #3 on Tuesday night at 7PM. As in round two, Bingo returns home searching for that commanding 3-0 series lead. And somewhere in Raleigh NC, Kristina Kelly of the Cardiac Cane is wiping the perspiration off her brow and looking up pictures of Erik Karlsson.


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