Cole Schneider had a four point night including a hat trick and Chris Wideman had two assists to set a new points club record by a defenseman as the Binghamton Senators hung on for a 6-3 win over the Albany Devils. Rookie netminder Chris Driedger with the start, as he stopped 33 shots and remains undefeated upping his record to 5-0-0-0 on the season.
Senators open up the scoring getting the only goal of the first period as C. Wideman jumps into the offensive rush and pushes the puck down through the slot passing to Schneider in front as he finds an opening on Albany’s goaltender Scott Wedgewood and scores his 25th of the season.
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Driedger stops Devils’ Scott Timmins skating from behind the cage and has looked good in net, but Albany nearly scores as forward Joe Whitney‘s shot slithers under the netminder and heads to the net, but Senators defenseman Fredrik Claesson swats it free before the puck crosses the goal line.
Senators strike quickly in the second at 18:19 with a pair of defensemen working the puck as Alex Grant snaps it down low in front with Aaron Johnson getting a stick on it causing a redirection in past Wedgewood. Then Binghamton’s Shane Prince scores his 26th when Schneider causes a turnover from behind the net and nudges the puck to Shane as his quick wrister beats Wedgewood glove side for a 3-0 Senators lead.
Devils rookie Matt Lorito has Driedger beat near the left circle but instead nails the post. Albany continues to be sloppy in their own end as Schneider grabs a loose puck left over from a Devils defenseman and skates in all alone nailing a shot from the slot and scores his second of the night. Senators score again just 16 seconds later with newly signed forward Mathew Zay picking up C. Wideman shot from the blue line and redirects the puck through Wedegewood for his first professional goal making it a 5-0 game.
Just 35 seconds into the third period forward Tim Sestito snaps the puck up high by Driedger’s glove side as that goal would end five unanswered ones by the Senators killing the shutout bid. Albany scores again as they are gaining momentum when rookie defenseman Joe Faust one times a pass from Joe Whitney that eludes Driedger as it’s now a 5-2 contest.
Forward Mike Sislo keeps the Devils pressure moving scoring his 18th beating Driedger top shelf from the slot with Prince draped behind him and the Senators lead is now down to two. Devils with a 16-3 shot advantage with 3:00 left in the third as they call a timeout and pull Wedgewood for the extra attacker. With no real substantial offense set up by Albany, Carter Camper, from the half wall, makes a cross ice pass to Schneider as he puts it into the empty net for the hat trick and the game. Shots end up 36-28 Albany.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Alex Wideman made his pro debut and can skate despite his size. Had a nice scoring chance in the second cutting to the net lifting a backhander that was gloved by Wedgewood.
- Zay also made his Senators’ debut and scored his first professional goal in the second period as he played in 151 games at Mercyhurst College with 47 goals, 81 assists, then participated with the Springfield Falcons for 3 games before signing a ATO with Binghamton.
- C. Wideman breaks the record held by Andre Benoit back in the Championship season of 2010-’11 with his 56 points. He also picked up his hardware before the game for being voted best defenseman and 1st team all-star, while Prince received his 2nd team all-star award.
- Schneider’s first career hat trick and the team’s first of the season as he takes over the club’s lead with 27 goals.
- 2 fights featured tonight as Darren Kramer and veteran Cam Janssen get into a wrestling match as well as Alex Guptill and Chris McKelvie, with both not leading to much of a discussion.
- Prince with a goal and an assist as he continues to march on for career highs with 4 games still remaining.
Forwards – Prince-Camper-Schneider, A Wideman-D Grant-Hobbs, Guptill-Dzingel-Robinson, McCormick-Zay-Kramer
Defense – Claesson-Rutkowski, Johnson-Grant, Lepine-Wideman
Out – Matt Tassone, Patrick Mullen, Danny New and David Dziurzynski, injured. Mike Sdao and Garrett Thompson, healthy.
Utica Devils hook up with the Senators on Saturday at the Arena.
*Cover Pic & Inserts Courtesy of SenShot’s Photographer Alicia Strauch