Two teams going in totally opposite directions ending up on different ends of the spectrum as the Utica Comets quick start out of the gate rolls on sending the Binghamton Senators to their third straight loss by a 3-2 affair. A tough, defensive game was on display with the Comets coming up on top for their sixth win in eight games as Senators continue to struggle out of the gate.
Joacim Eriksson gets the nod for the Comets as he gets tested early with a shot off of Shane Prince’s stick however his team draws first blood with a goal by Carter Bancks standing directly in front of Andrew Hammond. Ex-Sens Wacey Hamilton worked the puck free by the side of the cage for Bancks to capitalize on for a 1-0 lead. Utica continues to dictate play peppering Hammond often, but Binghamton gets a break when Jean-Gabriel Pageau grabs the loose biscuit down low and wraps it around for a goal to Eriksson’a far right to tie up the game 1-1.
The first would end with the Comets on a power play while Prince is in the box for tripping from behind his net and at the 19:57 mark, Buddy Robinson receives a questionable boarding call on Brendan Gaunce as he lost an edge falling into the corner boards. Fans don’t like it as that gives Utica a two man advantage to begin the second.
After 64 seconds of 5-3 action for the Comets, Senators effectively kill it with Aaron Johnson, Patrick Mullen and Pageau out on the PK. At 16:38 of the second, Peter Andersson scores his first goal of the season with a quick snap shot up high on Hammond’s glove side for a 2-1 lead.
More from Belleville Senators
- Belleville Senators: What To Expect In 2023-24
- David Bell Officially Appointed as Belleville Head Coach
- What To Expect From Ottawa Senators’ Pending UFA’s
- BREAKING: Belleville Senators sign Ryan Bednard to PTO
- Belleville Senators acquire Graham McPhee
After Prince glances a shot off of Eriksson’s glove, Utica scores a pretty goal by Bobby Sanguinetti skating with the puck as he dishes a give and go to team-mate Cal O’Reilly, who dances around Fredrik Claesson and a falling Alex Grant, and then returns it for an open Sanguinetti by the side of the net for the easy tap in. Sens get one back though, when Chris Wideman’s shot gets deflected in front, up high and rolls harmlessly behind Eriksson past the goal line to cut the lead by one to close out the middle frame.
Eriksson gets a blocker save on one of three Ryan Dzingel shots to open up the third period. Hammond answers smothering the puck after Darren Archibald‘s shot from the side of the cage. Cole Schneider’s wrister is stopped but Sens go on the power play as rookie Hunter Shinkaruk hits Robinson up high for the call. Excellent coverage by Utica as Binghamton can’t get any openings keeping the puck outside the perimeter.
Up and down action late in the third but it’s the Senators having an late opportunity with 1:37 left Brandon DeFazio trips up Prince and soon after Hammond is pulled. Sens best opportunity is when Eriksson gobbles up a Wideman shot from the blue line but Eriksson and the Comets protect the lead with two men short to win their fourth in a row setting the Sens to their third consecutive loss.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Shots were 30-29 Utica as Binghamton held their opposition to the lowest shots against this season.
- Utica played a tough, smothering defensive type of game highlighted by the PK as they are a very deep and talented club. It’s no surprise they are #1 in the league on the PK.
- Senators power play is far from last season’s success as they are 2-32 ranking them near the bottom of the AHL.
- Comets third goal was a thing of beauty with tic-tac-toe passing between Sanguinetti and O’Reilly. Wow!
- As I’m finishing this re-cap, the Kansas City Royals lost the World Series to the San Francisco Giants. Sucks. I think every baseball fan in North America was behind the Royals, except those out in Northern California.
PLAYER’S SPOTLIGHT CARD
Forwards – Prince-Pageau-Robinson, Puempel-Camper-Schneider, Dziurzynski-D Grant-Thompson, Kramer-Dzingel-Guptill
Defense – Claesson-Grant, Johnson-Mullen, Sdao-Wideman..Hammond in goal.
Out – Brad Mills, Gm. #5 of 20 gm. AHL Suspension. Max McCormick, upper body. Daniel New, upper body.
The same two clubs meet up on Friday as Comet’s goaltender Jacob Markstrom goes for the AHL shutout record at home.
*Cover Photo & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch