BINGHAMTON – The Binghamton Senators did something that hasn’t happened since February of 2012: enter a 4-game losing streak, as they gell to the Albany Devils 3-2 in a shootout Saturday night in front of 3038 fans at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
“We’re getting pucks to the net, they’re just not crossing the line,” coach Luke Richardson said.
“We know that we can do it,” goal scorer Jean-Gabriel Pageau said. “If we play 60 minutes every day, we’re going to put the chances on our side… “If we all step in the same direction, everything’s going to come back. We’re not nervous about it.”
Binghamton found themselves in an early hole, as some quick penalties led to Albany’s (14-7-1-1 30 points, 2nd Northeast) first goal of the night. After Jim O’Brien’s high sticking call, Albany’s Darcy Zajac let go a hard slap shot from the center of the right faceoff circle. The shot bounced off the skate of Harri Pesonen, who was credited with his second goal of the season, and then went off Binghamton netminder Andrew Hammond to make it a 1-0 Albany lead 8:15 into the opening frame. Raman Hrabarenka was credited with the second assist.
Binghamton (14-7-0-2 30 points, 2nd East) was unable to get the equalizer past Keith Kinkaid, who stopped a total of 39 shots on the night, in the first.
Before most fans could return to their seats from intermission, they were able to get their first goal as Cole Schneider fed Mark Stone, who was on the right side of Kinkaid. Schneider let go a cross crease pass to Pageau, who let go a hard one timer from the left side of the crease that the Albany goalie had no shot on, tying the game at 1:03. It was Pageau’s sixth goal of the year.
“It was a pretty easy goal,” Pageau said. “Stone made a great pass there. It was a good play by Schneider…and after that Stone did all the work.”
Binghamton was able to get a powerplay goal of their own later in the second, and take their lone lead of the night. After Stefan Matteau went off for holding the stick, Matt Puempel took advantage, scoring his team leading seventh goal of the season. He took a hard wrist shot from just inside the left corner of the right faceoff circle that fooled Kinkaid to make it 2-1 B-Sens. Cody Ceci and Stephane Da Costa received credit for the helpers at 14:48.
Albany was the team that bookended the regulation scoring, as they got their second powerplay goal of the night. After some sloppy play by the Senators had O’Brien (goaltender interference) and Frederick Claesson (high sticking) in the box, Albany moved the puck as they crowded in on Hammond. Reece Scarlett and Darzy Zajac played tick-tack-toe to Mike Sislo, who scored his eighth of the season to tie the game at 2 goals apiece 18:16 into the second stanza.
The game remained even on the scoresheet, and was relatively even in shots. Both teams had nine shots in each the first and second periods, while Albany outshot Binghamton 8-7 in the third.
Overtime belonged to the Senators and Kinkaid. Binghamton came out firing on all cylinders in the extra session, and aided by Dan Kelly’s tripping penalty at 1:11 exploded for 14 shots on net, all stopped by the Albany netminder.
“I don’t think we moved [the puck] as quick and efficient enough to move them around and we didn’t let them stretch it out of the triangle,” Richardson said of his team’s unusually high number of shots in the extra session.
Meanwhile, the shootout was relatively even, with Artem Demkov fooling Hammond to end the game at it’s 3-2 final score.
While Richardson isn’t ready to sound the alarms, the consecutive losses is a concern for a team accustomed to winning.
“Maybe we got a couple of good bounces that led to a few wins that might have not otherwise happened,” he said. “We had some good fortune. Now we have to work. We have to realize how we had a good stretch [to start the season] and that was through hard work. The confidence comes off that.”
Binghamton faces the Hershey Bears in a grudge match on Wednesday night, while Albany travels to Bridgeport for a divisional matchup bright and early Tuesday morning.
- Binghamton’s last four game losing streak continued to a five game losing streak, February 2-17, 2012. The streak included only 1 OT loss. This streak includes two SO losses.
3. Kelly Zajac (ALB) 2 A
2. Andrew Hammond (BIN) SO L, 25 SV
1. Keith Kinkaid (ALB) W, 37 SV