BINGHAMTON – The Binghamton Senators skated into their four day Christmas holiday on a winning note, capturing two points in a 3-2 overtime victory at the hands of the Albany Devils in front of a crowd of 3459 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena Saturday night. The win was their second in a row, as the team garnered all four of their possible points after falling in their previous seven straight contests.
“I think we have a bit more confidence,” Senators assistant captain Mike Hoffman said. “We found a way to get four points this weekend…We feel good going into the break.”
For the second consecutive night, Binghamton (16-9-0-3 35 points 2nd East) had a chance on their first shift, but couldn’t get the biscuit in the basket. It wasn’t until a highlight reel goal at 3:22 gave Binghamton their early lead. Hoffman skated from his own zone and made a bee line to the Devils goal line. He spun in a 180 and found a cutting in Mark Stone, who lifted an easy top self wrist shot past Keith Kinkaid to make it 1-0. It was Stone’s eighth of the year, and Mike Sdao was credited with the second assist.
“Kind of a lucky play to be honest,” Stone admitted. “I just drove the net, [Hoffman] just threw the puck at my stick and, nice tip…
“If you put yourself in good spots, it’s easier to score.”
“If I was able to take it to the net, I would have,” Hoffman added “He was there and I turned up and say [Stone] in the slot and [Stephane] Da Costa was right behind him. I sent one in there and Stone had a good redirection.”
Later in the period, Jim O’Brien made a nifty move around his defender, getting the crowd riled up. He would have had a clear path at the goal, but had his stick slashed, keeping the lead at 1-0.
The Sens took the lead into intermission, but lost it just 1:44 into the second stanza, as Harri Pesonen scored his first of two goals for Albany (17-7-2-1 37 points 2nd Northeast). Pesonen received a ass from Kelly Zajac behind the net and came in with an extremely sharp angle shot that threaded the needle between the right shoulder of Andrew Hammond and the left post to tie at one.
After Mike Hoeffel took a goaltender interference penalty, the B-Sens got their goal back 8:48 into the second stanza. Stephane Da Costa had the puck near the point on the left side and sent a cross ice pass down low to a wide open Hoffman who got his team leading 14th goal of the year. Chris Wideman was credited with an assist on the play.
“Da Costa found me crossing on the powerplay,” Hoffman said. “There was no chance for the goalie. It was a good pass.”
It wasn’t going to be that easy for Binghamton to walk away, though, as Albany again tied things up in the third, at the 13:42 mark. Scott Timmins came in on the right side into the circle, with Pesonen trailing close behind. Timmons cut away and dished the puck behind him, Pesonen let go a hard shot that found the back of the net to make it a 2-2 game. It was Pesonen’s fourth of the year, with Roman Hrabarenka assisting on the play.
With the game tied, an extra session was assured, but Binghamton did not disappoint. Just 1:08 into the extra session, Andre Petersson had a hard shot from the left that Kinkaid stopped, but the rebound was let go to Cole Schneider who shot it past the Albany netminder before he knew where the puck was and sealed the victory 3-2.
Binghamton will enjoy the 4 day break before returning to the ice on December 26 against their rival Hershey Bears, while Albany will have to wait one more day before their break. They are in Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers Sunday afternoon.
“I think with four days off it’s really good on the mind,” Senators head coach Luke Richardson reflected on the weekend. “We’re going to take these two wins and enjoy them over the [break] and maybe come back upbeat.”
- Shane Prince left the game in the middle of the first period due to an apparent upper body injury that some were speculating was a separated shoulder. Coach Richardson said it was more precautionary than anything
“He just got banged in the boards and just jarred his shoulder…” Richardson hesitated before correcting himself to say: “upper body injury.”
“The doctors said ‘if it was a playoff game he could have played,” but he seemed a bit sore and his strength wasn’t there.
“…I think [losing a player before a break] happened last year with Hoffman and Stone right before the All Star Break. It just gave that extra four or five days of recovery mode…if there’s any time he needs the rest it’s perfect timing.”
- The Senators announced that they will induct Denis Hamel into their Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame in January.
3. Harri Pesonen (ALB) 2 G
2. Mark Stone (BNG) 1 G
1. Mike Hoffman (BNG) 1 G 1 A