BINGHAMTON - The Binghamton Senators and Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins to a shootout and came away victorious in a 4-3 shootout victory Friday night at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. Binghamton (5-2-0-0) handed the Penguins their first loss of the season, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (6-0-0-1) has yet to lose in regulation this season.
The first period was played relatively evenly, with the two division and geographical rivals feeling each other out in the early minutes. It wasn’t until 12:36 into the game that the first signs of physicality were shown. As Brendan Mikkelson took a cross checking penalty, Brooks Robinson and Scott Harrington got into a roughing match. Regardless ,the B-Sens were on their first powerplay of the night and they got more help as Harry Zolnierczyk got called for goalie interference after taking Nathan Lawson down behind his net. With the two man advantage and crowded penalty box, Binghamton scored two goals in succession.
First, at the 13:44 mark, Stephane Da Costa scored his first of the year. He was fed the puck by Mike Hoffman. After Da Costa was in the left circle, he sent it to Chris Wideman at the center point. Wideman return the puck to Da Costa who let a hard slap shot get past Jeff Deslauriers glove side to make it 1-0.
14 Seconds later, at the 14:02 point of the first frame, it was Matt Puempel’s turn. In a seemingly identical position, Chris Wideman sent it to Puempel, who was in the right circle. He fired it stick side past Deslauriers, and before the Penguins could blink, it was 2-0. Tyler Ekford was credited with the secondary assist.
Near the end of the first period, Bobby Farnham and Darren Kramer got into a tussle near the B-Sens bench. Farnham went and battled with the B-Sens bench, but was only assessed a roughing penalty, as we Kramer. The two continued to exchange words in the penalty box and Kramer had words for the referee after the period. Farnham was not done.
The game stayed 2-0 until early in the second. At the 1:50 mark, The Pens got on the board for the first time, as Tom Kuhnhackl got on the board with a wrist show from down low, making it 2-1. IT was his fourth on the young season, with Brian Gibbins and Mikkelson assisting on the play.
Binghamton got the goal back, but it took most of the period and a controversial call. Farnham continuted to irritate the B-Sens, leading to an unexpected climax. After Farnham appeared to board a B-Sens player (with no penalty called), Mike Sdao decided to take matters into his own hands. He called to Farnham, who approached him as if to go for a check. Instead, Sdao appeared to push him forcefully to the ice. Sdao was assessed a major cross checking penalty and a game misconduct. Sdao had words for the referee as he skated off the ice, and he appeared to listen as he assessed a minor to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton almost immediately after play resumed.
“That’s not a crosscheck,” head coach Luke Richardson said adamantly. “We just watched it on video.
“We don’t want a guy that’s an agitator…to get under our skin.
“Farnham on the video clearly dives. He’s good at it, but it should’ve been 2 and 2 (minors) and not five minutes. We would gladly send that video in.”
After the four on four play, Binghamton was still shorthanded for nearly three minutes. In typical B-Sens fashion, it didn’t matter. Cole Schneider intercepted the puck near center ice and skated in untouched. He backhanded the puck past Deslauriers to make it 3-1 15:24 into the second. They killed off the remainder of the powerplay.
Penguins coach John Hynes shifted his lines in the third. That burst of energy, combined with a lack of performance in the first 10 minutes of the frame, allowed them back into it. After the Penguins intercepted the puck behind Nathan Lawson’s goal, causing Lawson to be out of position, Zolnierczyk took advantage and swooped in for an easy goal from the left side, cutting the B-Sens lead to 3-2. Gibbins was credited with the helper at 1:53, which was near the point of the first Pens’ goal in the second. It was Harry Z’s fourth goal on the young campaign. Zolnierczyk has also seen time with the Big Club early on.
Five minutes later, the Pens got traffic in front of the net and scored yet again. Adam Payerl was credited with his second goal of the year, with Nick Drazenovic being credited with the assist at 5:45.
“The first two periods were great,” Richardson said. “I just thought we were a little tentative in the third.”
Binghamton, and Nathan Lawson, turned things around, and Lawson and the penalty kill saved the game for the Sens. 12 minutes into the stanza, Binghamton was faced with a 5-on-3 disadvantage, and rose to the occasion. Mark Borowiecki made at least two blocks to keep the puck from being shot on the Binghamton net during the kill.
Meanwhile, Binghamton was handed a late gift of a powerplay, but could not convert, as Deslauriers made an amazing save, sliding on his side to keep the puck out of the net and help send the game to overtime.
After a back and forth overtime that saw a combined three shots and no goals, the B-Sens headed to their first shootout of the season. Lawson stopped all four shooters he faced (one of the four went wide). Binghamton book-ended the shootout with a Da Costa and Puempel goal, respectively.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton returns home Saturday to face the Norfolk Admirals, who had a convincing 3-0 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms Friday night, at 7:00. Adirondack travels to Binghamton for a Saturday night 7:05 face-off.
- Binghamton scored on their first two power-play chances, making it a perfect 6-for-6 in their previous six attempts. They were 4-for-4 Sunday at Bridgeport. The late penalty in the third was the first time since Sunday that they had not scored on the man advantage.
- A light Friday crowd of 2,860 attended the first of back-to-back games in Binghamton
1. Stephane Da Costa (BIN) G, SOG
2. Cole Schneider (BIN) G
3. Tom Kuhnackl (WBS) G
NOTES AROUND THE LEAGUE:
- Utica got its first ever point tonight in a 2-1 SO Loss to Syracuse at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Utica is 0-4-0-1 on the season.
- Harry Pesonen missed two penalty shots, but the Albany Devils still defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack 4-3 at the Times Union Center
- John Gibson got his first shutout of his pro career, stopping all 38 shots as Norfolk beat Adirondack 3-0 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
- Springfield also got their first loss, but it also came in the shootout as the lost to the Providence Bruins 4-3 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center
- At the time of printing, Linus Omark scored 4 goals, his fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh, for Oklahoma City against the San Antonio Rampage in a game in progress at the AT&T Center