The Senators Nathan Lawson made 29 saves and lead the club to its ninth win in ten games 4-2 over the Hershey Bears. Binghamton maintained their three-point edge on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, also winners tonight. Sens would benefit in two shorthanded tally’s as the specialty teams continue to make the difference in this recent hot streak the team has found themselves in the middle of.
Senators and Bears all set to start their eighth game of the season and it’s the Sens going on the early power play when Patrick Wellar goes in the box for tripping. Chris Wideman‘s shot almost goes in off of Shane Prince‘s stick past David Leggio. Sens timing a little off on their passes as the team tries to find its legs. Leggio not giving any rebounds up early on.
With Mike Sdao called for tripping Bears are on the power play. However, Derek Grant playing in his first game back from injury, outskates Chay Genoway for the loose puck in center ice and goes on a breakaway and roofs it by Leggio for the shorthanded goal. That is the Senators league leading tenth shorthanded goal of the season and Grant’s second shorty to take the 1-0 lead. Senators finish out the period with some strong forechecking keeping Hershey at bay.
Brandon Segal scores his eighth of the season just .44 seconds into the second period to tie up the game at one a piece. Nicolas Deschamps had a sweet backhanded pass to Segal who’s hard wrister beats Lawson up high. Senators regain their one goal lead when Matt Puempel laid down a soft upper shot by Leggio’s shoulder and in for his twelfth tally with Andre Petersson setting him up.
Just over a minute later Segal nets his second of the night making it 2-2. There was a mad scramble in the crease with bodies getting in the way as Lawson had no chance on the play as it appeared Lawson had control of the puck but no whistle was blown. Soon after Corey Cowick destroys Cameron Schilling in the corner and Tyson Strachan picks up for his falling team-mate and fights Cowick as several punches were thrown from the two big guys with Strachan with the semi takedown.
Shortly after in this see saw type of contest, Prince puts the Senators back up by one as he gets a piece of Wideman’s shot from the blue line that trickles in past Leggio as the netminder shows his frustration by his body language. Couple of nice plays follows when Leggio gets a leg out at the last second stopping Mike Hoffman‘s point blank shot. Then Jim O’Brien feeds David Dziurzynski on a three on one but Dizzy can’t get it across the Stephane Da Costa in time. 3-2 Sens after both teams trade two goals in the period.
Into the third with Sdao in the box for slashing as Grant gets an opportunity for his second goal of the game denied on the shorthanded attempt as the Bears this time are all over it. Derek takes out his frustration slamming his stick on the boards heading to the bench. Hoffman later in the period gets a breakaway but can’t pull the trigger when Ryan Stoa lifts up his stick just before Hoff takes a shot. Da Costa and Hoffman have a two on one break but Stephane can’t finish the sequence.
With just under three minutes in the third Cowick elects to check Genoway into the boards but instead receives a boarding penalty. Senators do a good job covering man to man defense but Leggio is pulled to make it a 6-4 man advantage for Hershey. Cole Schneider would put an end to all this with an empty net shorthanded goal to seal the victory for Binghamton. 4-2 and it’s a wrap.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Sens appeared off slightly by the Bears solid play once they found their legs after the first ten minutes of the first. It was strange watching Dustin Gazely on the ice in a Bear’s uni but the kid is a good player. In a few more years he might be another Keith Aucoin type but who knows.
- Senators scored two shorthanded goals tonight for their 10th and 11th padding their AHL lead in the category. Grant actually had two attempts as he is regaining his edge killing penalties and having a knack finding the loose pucks leading to a scoring opportunity.
- Hoffman was announced his selection to the AHL All-Star game and acknowledged the crowd’s cheers with him raising his stick mid way. Nice little interaction on a personal accomplishment and reaction from the Senator’s fans.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- #1 Lawson (29 saves)
- #2 Prince (1g)
- #3 Segal (2g)
Saturday Night host Adirondack Phantoms